Does appendicitis affect ingestion, digestion, absorption or egestion?

(Last Updated: Apr 28, 2006)

Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix, a small organ attached to the large intestine. The appendix is a very short intestinal tissue, and the specific functions of this organ are not clearly known. However, at some times, the organ swells after being infected by any foreign body or when anything gets trapped within it. This swelling, irritation and inflammation of the organ gives rise to a condition called as appendicitis, which is accompanied by pain, discomfort, and in most cases, requires surgical removal.

Some of the causes of appendicitis are outlined as follows:

  • Trapping of dried stool or food particles in the appendix.
  • Trapping of worms and parasites.
  • Any type of tumors.
  • Abnormal lymph tissue growth.
Ninety percent of the cases of acute appendicitis are found in the children and young adults, and the rest is found in older people. Appendicitis can be of two types, namely, ruptured and non-ruptured. The initial stage is the nonruptured appendicitis and emergency surgical treatment is undertaken to avoid the rupturing of the appendix. However, in certain cases, the appendix ruptures, resulting in peritonitis. The rupturing occurs as a result of the pressure buildup due to severe infection. The walls of appendix generally secrete mucus, but when bacteria or other foreign objects breed in it, they produce toxins, which causes severe pain and the walls get ruptured.

Appendicitis is considered as the most common emergencies among the abdominal surgeries. This is because the symptoms may increase in severity with time. Pain usually increases within six to twelve hours of occurrence. Some of the symptoms that may arise in appendicitis are as follows:

  • Pain and discomfort starting around the belly button and moving towards the right abdomen.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Bulging of the abdomen.
  • Mild diarrhea.
  • Mild fever.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Pain while urinating.
  • Increasing fever and abdomen pain, in case the appendix ruptures.
Appendectomy is the surgical procedure, which is undertaken for the treatment of appendicitis. In this surgery, the appendix is removed out of the body. No functions of other organs are affected as a result of removal of the appendix. The surgical treatment can be done in one of the two ways namely the open method and the laparoscopic method.  The recovery period depends upon the condition of the patient prior to the surgery. In case, you have nonruptured appendix before surgery, you will recover soon. In contrast, in case of ruptured appendicitis, the recovery may take a bit more time.

References

  1. http://pediatrics.med.nyu.edu/conditions-we-treat/conditions/appendicitis
  2. http://be.georgetown.edu/48172.html
  3. http://www.med.upenn.edu/gastro/documents/BMJappendicitis.pdf
  4. http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/health-information/topic-by-id.cfm?ContentTypeId=92&ContentId=P07686
  5. http://sifaka.cs.uiuc.edu/~yuelu2/opinionintegration/health/Appendicitis.html

answered by A S

Appendicitis is an infection and inflammation of a small part of the intestines called the vermiform appendix, and as such will definitely have an effect on digestion and absorption. Most often, appendicitis is treated with surgery to prevent systemic infection. Symptoms of appendicitis include severe lower abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting.

If you suspect you have appendicitis, you should consult your doctor immediately. Should you not have the above symptoms, then poor diet and poor digestion are likely. These can be remedied by improving your diet by avoiding refined and packaged foods, fast foods, greasy foods and sweets, and eating whole grains and whole grain breads, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and lean meats. Be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.

answered by Dr H K


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