is an 8-10 centimeter long, finger-shaped
projection located at the junction of
the large and small intestines. The
function of the appendix in the human
body is not clearly established and
experts have contrasting opinions regarding
the purpose of the human appendix. Some
experts believe that the appendix is
simply a remnant of the past while others
claim that it has a definite use.
refers to the inflammation of the appendix
that leads to severe abdominal discomfort.
Most emergencies that concern acute
abdominal pain are related to appendicitis
and this disease affects men and women
equally. Approximately one out of every
400 people suffers from appendicitis
in the United States and it is more
common in developed nations.
Causes and Risk Factors
is primarily caused by an obstruction
of the appendix that can result from
numerous reasons. Hard feces or proliferating
lymphatic tissue may block the appendix
and poor eating habits accompanied with
a low intake of fiber generally cause
expands and swells because of obstruction
and this causes pain in the abdomen.
Mucous production increases and proceeds
to fill the tiny organ. As blockage
increases, blood vessels become restricted
and this increases the possibility of
clot formation. The reduced blood supply
eventually leads to cellular death.
is not correctly treated, the excessive
swelling may rupture the wall of the
appendix, and this may cause the accumulated
waste material to leak out in the abdominal
cavity and spread infection to other
body parts. Pus formation and inflammation
of the abdominal wall may occur.
that spreads from the appendix is very
alarming because it may be fatal.