Appendicitis is one of those health conditions you think you'll be able to spot. An inflammation of your appendix—the small worm-like tissue that's attached to your large intestine—is typically associated with that lower-right-side-of-your-stomach, make-you-want-to-curl-up-in-agony pain, right?
Sort of. "The classic story you hear with appendicitis is what we call periumbilical pain—it's pain near the belly button which then gradually moves to the right-lower quadrant where the appendix is located," says Daniel Herron, MD, division chief of the department of surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Pain is far and away the most common symptom of appendicitis." (So, unfortunately, that whole agony part could be likely.)
But the targeted pain on the right side of your stomach? It only shows up in about half of people with appendicitis, Herron says.
So, look out for these 5 symptoms, too—and head to the doc if you're in pain. "The earlier you can identify appendicitis, the easier it is to treat," says Herron. "Although classically the teaching has been that all appendicitis goes to the operating room, there is an increasing interest in treating early appendicitis with antibiotics, so sometimes you can avoid an operation if you are early in catching it."
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