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4 Telltale Signs of Appendicitis

4 Telltale Signs of Appendicitis

As many as 9 in 100 people experience appendicitis in their lifetimes. It’s a condition that develops when your appendix gets inflamed, and it's a medical emergency that requires prompt attention.

In fact, appendicitis can quickly cause life-threatening complications, like a ruptured appendix. Learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of appendicitis is absolutely essential for timely diagnosis and treatment, and it could even save your life.

Elvira Klause, MD, FACS, and our team specialize in abdominal surgery in Laguna Hills, California, and we’re here to help educate you about the telltale signs of appendicitis. Here’s what you should watch out for:

Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is a hallmark symptom of appendicitis. Appendicitis pain often starts as a dull ache around your navel and gradually intensifies, becoming sharper and more localized in your lower right abdomen.

Unlike typical stomach pain or indigestion, which may come and go, the pain associated with appendicitis tends to persist and worsen over time. Many people describe the pain as sudden and severe, and it can have the power to wake you up from sleep or make you double over in discomfort.

Nausea and vomiting

Another common symptom of appendicitis is nausea, which is often accompanied by vomiting. As the inflammation in your appendix worsens, it can irritate your stomach lining and trigger feelings of nausea or an urge to vomit.

Many people with appendicitis report feeling queasy or sick to their stomach. Nausea and vomiting can be the result of a number of issues, from gastrointestinal infections to food poisoning, but when they occur alongside lower right abdominal pain, they may indicate appendicitis.

Fever and other signs of inflammation

A fever is your body's natural response to infection and inflammation. It's typically characterized by a temperature above 100.4 F, and it can accompany appendicitis as your body tries to fight off the infection.

If you go to a doctor for abdominal pain, fever, or other symptoms, they might do a blood test to check for signs of inflammation. An increase in white blood cells, particularly neutrophils, can indicate an infection or inflammation in the body, further supporting the diagnosis of appendicitis.

Abdominal tenderness

Sometimes, appendicitis pain is accompanied by localized tenderness in your lower right abdomen. Pain or tenderness in this area, known as the McBurney's point, can indicate appendix inflammation and help confirm an appendicitis diagnosis.

But not everyone with appendicitis has obvious abdominal tenderness, especially in the early stages.

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Don’t wait to get checked out. Acting quickly is key to getting a prompt diagnosis, so you can get the treatment you need to avoid more serious complications.


Schedule an appointment with Dr. Klause and our team to learn more about appendicitis and treatment options. Call us at 949-245-6910 or request an appointment online now.

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