Who Gets Appendix Pain?In the United States, about 1 person in 1000 gets appendicitis every year. About 1 in 100 people who get the condition die from it, but this figure rises to 1 in 5 among appendicitis sufferers over the age of 70.
There seems to be a family predisposition to the disease, and it is also more common people who eat less fiber, and fewer fruits and vegetables. Men are more likely to get appendicitis than women. It is mostly likely to strike males in their late teens or early twenties.
What Kind of Pain Tells You It Is Appendicitis Pain?Unfortunately, only about 50% of people who have appendicitis have classic symptoms of appendicitis. Here is some of what your doctor will be looking for:
1. Loss of appetite, pain around the belly button, nausea, pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, and vomiting. These are the classic symptoms of appendicitis.
2. Pain that migrates from around the navel to the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. When this happens, there is about an 80% chance the cause is appendicitis.
3. Pain first, vomiting later. When vomiting occurs before pain, there is more likely to be some other kind of intestinal obstruction. When pain occurs before vomiting, the problem is more likely to be appendicitis.
4. Most people who have appendicitis lose their appetite and suffer nausea, but these symptoms are not helpful in distinguishing it from other conditions.
5. Symptoms go from mild to severe in about 48 hours—except in people over the age of 70. In elderly persons, symptoms may get worse and worse over a period of up to two weeks.
Other Tests Your Doctor May Use to Diagnose AppendicitisAppendicitis is a real test of the doctor's skill. Some of the more unusual things the doctor may ask you to do include:
1. The doctor may palpate or "thump" the left side of your abdomen to see if you have pain on the right side of your abdomen, where your appendix is. Called the Rovsing sing, this test tells the doctor how extensive the area of inflammation is.
2. The doctor may ask you to stand on your toes and then lower the soles of your feet. Called Markle's sign, pain from the soles of the feet indicates appendicitis.
3. Without touching you otherwise, the doctor may ask you to cough. If it hurts, this is Dunphy's sign that you have an inflamed appendix.
The cause of the pain of appendicitis? Appendix pain is usually caused by calcified stool, or by parasites. Either way, surgical removal of the cause of the inflammation is the best way to resolve the disease.