Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract with today's food habits of man have become the most common cause not only for the deterioration of the quality of his life, but also for deaths. Among these diseases, appendicitis is the most dangerous and still not fully understood. Which side hurts the stomach at the same time, how to recognize inflammation at the initial stage and prevent its development - questions, answers to which everyone should know.
What does an appendix look like?
Strictly speaking, appendicitis is the name of the disease with an inflammatory process, and the organ has the name "appendix", therefore appendicitis cannot "hurt". The pain arises in a small rudimentary worm-shaped process, departing from the cecum - one of the sections of the colon, located in the ileal fossa. It is worth noting that specialists can call an appendix absolutely any closed (i.e. connecting only by the 1st hole) appendix, so when reading medical diagnoses, clarification is necessary. And for this reason, in colloquial speech, this organ is called appendicitis.
- Which side is the person with appendicitis? In most cases, it is located on the right, but this is not an axiom, because it affects the state of the rest of the gastrointestinal tract, and its size, and, of course, genetic predisposition. For this reason, a clear localization can be established only after an examination, and there is never any guarantee that it will not change over the course of a lifetime.
- What parameters of appendicitis are considered normal? In an adult, the length of this process is not an average of 10 cm, but the total corridor is 2–20 cm. The diameter of the tube is incredibly small: not more than 1 cm. It is uniform along the entire length, and the inlet is even less - only 2 mm. .
Regarding the position of this body, experts identify several options: it can be located inside the intestine or cecum, adjacent to the liver or gall bladder, located in the right lateral canal, or in contact with the anterior abdominal wall. Most often, the appendix is descending, in some cases it is located in the pelvic area, as a result of which pain syndrome can be confused with problems of the uterus or bladder. It is extremely rare cases of mirror arrangement of organs (transposition), as a result of which the appendix is on the left.
If you need to quickly identify for yourself the localization of the appendix (standard, and therefore not accurate), mentally divide the stomach with a horizontal line from the navel and in the lower zone, almost at the level of the pelvic bone, this appendix will be located in the center of the right half.
What functions does it perform?
By virtue of the fact that this body is rudimentary, i.e. remaining in the body after evolution and losing the main tasks during it, as such, it has no basic functions. Despite his affiliation with the organs of the digestive tract, he does not participate in the process of digesting food. But still it is impossible to call him completely useless.
- The presence of lymphoid tissue in the walls of the appendage led to the fact that experts began to argue about the importance of the appendix in the formation of the human immune system. The fact is that the composition of this tissue is plasma cells and lymphocytes, whose role is to create a protective barrier and fight against infectious agents. Thus, those cells that synthesize the appendix, form the human immunity, especially actively "sorting out" with pathogens ingested from food.
- Also, being a "passive" organ, this intestinal process stores a whole set of microorganisms involved in the digestive process: the normal microflora in the appendix is supported by Peyer's patches that cover the narrow entrance. However, this “repository” is included in the work only if, for certain reasons, the proportion of pathogenic bacteria in the intestine itself increases, while the positive ones decrease. In this case, if the body has nowhere to take the latter, dysbacteriosis and more complex intestinal diseases develop. It has been scientifically proven that the risk of such problems in people with appendicitis removed is much higher.
- In addition, there is an assumption of hormonal function, which is to reproduce the elements that affect the motility of the sphincters. In addition, in the appendix amylase and lipase are produced - enzymes used to break down starch and triglycerides.
Thus, the opinion that appendicitis needs to be removed until its aggravation has happened is not quite true. Despite the fact that its inflammation is a complex problem, this worm-shaped process is not an “extra organ”, and its absence, although not critical, can still give some complications.
What causes inflammation of the appendix?
Due to the frequent cases of non-standard location of this process, as well as its proximity to a number of organs, it is often a person experiencing pain in the right lower abdomen that makes an erroneous conclusion, which leads to an aggravation of the inflammatory process and almost always ends in a bad way. Statistics show that appendicitis is most susceptible to people in the age range from 20 to 40 years old, mostly female.
- The opinion that has existed for several years that the ingress of small solid particles that are not digested (especially as the appendix does not perform a similar function) can be a prerequisite for the inflammatory process has received a scientific refutation. The density of Peyer's patches and the minimum width of the hole that connects the process with the cecum, does not allow penetration of anything from the outside.
However, what then can be a prerequisite for appendicitis, and from which side does it hurt at the beginning of the inflammatory process?
- By itself, appendicitis cannot begin to hurt. All problems arising from it are secondary and occur from the malfunctioning of related organs and systems. The most common cause, which doctors call, of course, infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, especially the colon, as the closest to this process, as well as inflammatory processes of the mucous membrane.
- In addition, abdominal injuries can also lead to appendicitis; in children, the inflection of a given organ is often a precursor to the problem resulting from their high activity: i.e. all kinds of mechanical external influences.
- Older people and those with imperfections of the digestive system have the risk of appendicitis when the rectal passage is blocked by fecal masses. However, again, it is worth noting that they only block the exchange flow, but do not fall into the process itself.
Often referred to the relationship of stress with inflammation of the appendix. There is some truth in this, since a strong vasospasm leads to impaired blood circulation, which in turn, with long-term preservation of this condition, provokes an inflammatory process in the tissues. Also, strong stress can contribute to a sharp compression of the walls, which, as in the case of feces, closes the exchange flow, "isolates" the appendix. Following the puffiness, the organ is filled with pus, which, if it is impossible to get out, tears it from the inside, leads to peritonitis - it is this disease that causes lethal outcomes from appendicitis.
How to recognize appendicitis?
Doctors subdivide this problem into several stages: an inflammatory process and thickening of the walls develop at the initial stage, then purulent foci appear inside, then they expand until the walls are completely filled, and the appendix itself increases in size. And at the last stage, its rupture occurs. It is possible to notice appendicitis even in the catarrhal (1st) phase, as well as to stop the processes occurring here. But for this you need to understand what are the symptoms of appendicitis, and from which side should the pain appear.
- Inflammation of this appendage is primarily characterized by severe pain arising from exactly in the center, at the navel, moving to the upper half of it, and then going down. Occasionally there may be recoil in the hypochondrium, back and even the anus. In this case, any touch to the localization of pain only enhances it, even if you do not produce pressure. A person wants to tighten his legs to ease his condition, or to bend over.
- An additional and almost always manifest symptom of appendicitis is pronounced nausea with opening vomiting, and the urge is quite frequent. Along with them may come violation stool. High fever is also a sign of an acute form, which requires urgent medical attention. The absence of points of this group, as well as dull, aching pain, may indicate chronic appendicitis, which often completes on its own with complete recovery.
Doctors note that pain is not constant: it changes its character, it can even completely subside, which, in the presence of an inflammatory process, indicates a rupture of the appendix walls. To check whether this is so, or feeling unwell is not caused by problems with this process, a person should be asked to cough deeply and actively, thereby squeezing the abdominal muscles. If a combat sensation arises in the same area with the same force, then it is time to immediately call an ambulance, since the probability of peritonitis is approaching.
In the process of waiting, the medical team is strictly forbidden to take analgesics and any other drugs that can relieve pain or relax the abdominal muscles, as this can have a negative impact on the state of the damaged organ and general well-being. In addition, such a move could later provoke false diagnostic data. To facilitate the well-being, it is allowed to apply ice to the right side, but in no case give heat - it will accelerate the moment of rupture.