How Long Would Appendicitis Pain Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 24 to 72 Hours

Appendicitis is a medical condition that is caused as a result of an inflamed or swollen appendix. An appendix is a small body organ located at the lower right-hand side of the body. It is a narrow pouch of 4 inches that is attached to the large intestine. An appendix is a vestigial organ, which means that the removal of the appendix will not cause any harmful effect on an individual’s life.

There are around 10 million cases of appendicitis per year in the globe. The number is ever-increasing due to unhealthy food habits. People of all age groups are inclined towards fast food, and this has decreased the number of fibers in the diet.

Appendicitis is of two types: acute & chronic. Chronic appendicitis is less fatal & the pain is less severe, with nearly no symptoms for weeks or even months. Acute appendicitis is believed to be a serious disorder and could be fatal.

How Long Would Appendicitis Pain Last?

Acute appendicitis pain usually occurs within the first 24 hours of the problem. Though, the pain is supposed to last for anywhere between 24 to 72 hours before bursting. The rupturing may take around 2-3 days. Chronic appendicitis pain happens in the lower abdominal region. The pain may exist for weeks, months, or even years in a few cases.

The level of pain is directly related to the intensity & type of appendicitis. Appendicitis pain is believed to be very sudden that begins near the navel. It moves towards the lower right side of the abdomen, where the large intestine is located.

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The common symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, swollen belly, diarrhea, and even low fever. It may also cause a lot of difficulty in sneezing, coughing, or any physical activity like walking. As the pain worsens, difficulty in routine work increases. These symptoms contribute to appendicitis pain. This pain is very sharp and sudden pain that could be unbearable at times.

Appendicitis pain could be mistaken for gastroenteritis as the pain is very similar. Other diseases like constipation, Crohn’s disease, the pelvic infection can also be misunderstood for appendicitis. The majority of times it requires surgery, and in severe conditions, there is no alternative other than that.

There is no particular test to detect appendicitis, and according to the various types of symptoms & pain, tests are conducted. Tests such as complete blood count, pelvic examination, abdominal imaging test are done after the physical exam. Doctors may advise these types of tests as they may help in detecting appendicitis.

Type of AppendicitisTime
Acute24 to 72 Hours
Chronic1 Week to 2 Years

Why Would Appendicitis Pain Last So Long?

Chronic appendicitis causes less pain along with no symptoms that may go undiagnosed for weeks or months. Such symptoms may disappear & reappear. The symptoms of chronic appendicitis can be controlled through antibiotics and other medications.

Acute appendicitis requires immediate medical treatment as it comes under an emergency. It causes severe pain, and its symptoms require immediate treatment. A surgery named appendectomy is required to remove the appendix.

If not taken out of the body, the appendix may burst inside. The pain indicates that the appendix should be removed, as the appendix may rupture. The doctor removes the appendix under laparoscopy with a small notch in the navel.

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This procedure has proven to be suitable for people of all ages. As the appendix is a vestigial organ, one can easily live without it. Though the appendix helps to fight some infections, its absence doesn’t affect the daily routine of a human being.

Conclusion

Every individual’s body functions differently, so the symptoms vary to a great extent. Depending upon the condition of an individual, required treatment is provided. Unlike other diseases, appendicitis is not hereditary, and cannot be passed on from one generation to another.

Though anyone can experience appendicitis at any point in their lives, people with bad food habits are more vulnerable to it. People who eat healthy fruits and vegetables usually never contract appendicitis. So, it is advisable to not avoid any pain in the lower abdomen as it could be appendicitis pain. Acute appendicitis can be fatal, and the severe pain can be unbearable.

References

  1. https://www.scholars.northwestern.edu/en/publications/appendicitis
  2. https://www.bmj.com/content/333/7567/530.full-text
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