If you think you are having an appendicitis attack, you may want to know how to tell if you have appendicitis before you head to the emergency room. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix fills with pus and becomes inflamed. Appendicitis most commonly affects people who are ten to 30 years old. Surgery is usually necessary to correct this life-threatening condition. If you think you have appendicitis, head straight to the emergency room.
- Pay attention to the pain. Generally, pain from appendicitis will start around the belly button and migrate to the lower right portion of the abdomen. It may start out as a dull pain and slowly progress to a sharper, more severe pain.
- Press on your lower, right stomach and focus on the pain. When the area is touched, it will likely hurt worse than normal. When you press on the area, the pain may increase severely when you are pressing and abate once you take your hand off the area. This is called rebound pain and is one of the most common ways to tell if you have appendicitis.
- Check the clock. Appendicitis symptoms usually become more severe over twelve to eighteen hours from the first time you feel the dull ache near your belly button.
- Take your temperature. A low-grade fever is likely when you have appendicitis.
- Keep an eye out for other symptoms to tell if you have appendicitis. These include a swollen abdomen, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and inability to pass gas.
Once you head to the emergency room, you will likely have blood work done. You may have a CT scan or MRI. If the appendicitis is confirmed, you will have to have it removed and you will likely have to take antibiotics.