Differences Between Inflamed And Non Inflamed Appendices Diagnosed As Acute Appendicitis

Differences Between Inflamed And Non Inflamed Appendices Diagnosed As Acute Appendicitis
27 Aug 2023
9 minutes
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Differences Between Inflamed And Non Inflamed Appendices Diagnosed As Acute Appendicitis

    Today, we're diving into a topic of inflamed vs. non-inflamed appendices, which is called acute appendicitis. We're about to untangle the confusion surrounding these terms, shedding light on the subtle yet crucial differences that distinguish a minor tiff from an all-out brawl within your abdomen. Out of 63,707 patients who underwent nonincidental appendectomy, 84.5% were diagnosed with appendicitis, with 25.8% experiencing perforation. Appendectomies reveal morphologically normal appendices in over 20% of cases. 

    What Is Acute Appendicitis?


    Appendicitis is a small, finger-like organ that extends from the colon and becomes inflamed. It’s not life-threatening, but the inflammation can cause pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and other symptoms. If left untreated, the appendix can burst, resulting in peritonitis, an infection of the lining inside the abdomen. 

    There are two main types of appendicitis


    • Acute appendicitis is the most common type, characterized by sudden onset of pain, vomiting, and fever.
    • Chronic appendicitis is less common and is characterized by recurrent episodes of pain and inflammation.


    Inflamed and non-inflamed appendices can both be diagnosed as acute appendicitis. However, there are some key differences between the two. 

    Normal Appendix Vs. Inflamed Appendix


    Inflamed Appendices


    Inflammation in the appendix usually happens when something blocks its path, like tiny stones or foreign objects. This can cause pain on the right side of the belly, along with tenderness, loss of appetite, queasiness, and fever. If not treated, it can get worse and even cause holes or infections in the belly. To fix this, doctors often remove the inflamed appendix with a simple surgery called an appendectomy. This helps prevent the problem from getting worse and causing more trouble.


    Inflamed appendix symptoms are sudden and intense abdominal pain that starts around the belly button and shifts to the lower right abdomen, often accompanied by loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, low-grade fever, pain during movement, painful urination, localized tenderness, changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation), bloating, and a sense of fatigue. 

    Normal Appendices


    Non-inflamed appendices present an intriguing aspect of acute appendicitis. Despite displaying clinical symptoms akin to inflamed appendices, histopathological examination reveals no signs of inflammation. This scenario necessitates the exploration of alternative causes for the observed symptoms. Non-inflamed appendices might be associated with neuroimmune-endocrine disorders or other conditions mimicking appendicitis. 


    Key Differences Between Inflamed And Non-Inflamed Appendices 


    1. Size: Inflamed appendices are typically larger than non-inflamed appendices.

    2. Tenderness: Inflamed appendices are more tender than non-inflamed appendices.

    3. Content: Inflamed appendices may contain pus or other fluids, while non-inflamed appendices do not.

    4. Imaging findings: Inflamed appendices may appear enlarged and inflamed on imaging tests, while non-inflamed appendices do not.

    5. Treatment: Inflamed appendices are typically treated with surgery to remove the appendix, while non-inflamed appendices may be treated with antibiotics.


    Foods To Include And Exclude


    Foods to include


    • Bland foods: These are easy to digest and do not irritate the appendix. Some examples include toast, rice, yogurt, applesauce, and bananas.
    • Probiotic-rich foods: These foods can help to improve gut health and reduce inflammation. Some examples include yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.
    • Fluids: It is important to stay hydrated when you have acute appendicitis. Drink plenty of water, clear broth, or sports drinks.


    Foods to exclude


    Certain types of foods can make the pain from appendicitis worse by irritating the appendix. These include greasy or fatty foods, spicy foods, caffeine drinks, alcohol, and carbonated drinks. These can all make the discomfort more intense. Additionally, foods high in fiber, which are usually good for digestion, can be hard to digest during appendicitis and may cause gas and bloating, which can worsen the pain. Avoiding these foods if you suspect you have appendicitis is important to help alleviate the discomfort and prevent further irritation. Eat smaller meals more often and thoroughly cook your food. Avoid processed foods with unhealthy stuff that can bother your appendix.

    Myth And Facts


    Myth: Spicy or caffeine-rich foods directly lead to appendicitis.

    Fact: While these can worsen discomfort, they're not direct causes. It's about their impact on digestion and irritation in the appendix.


    Myth: Alcohol or carbonated drinks can cause appendicitis.

    Fact: While they may worsen symptoms if there's an issue, they don't directly cause appendicitis.

     Myth: Everyone with appendicitis needs immediate surgery.

    Fact: Surgery isn't always needed for non-inflamed appendices. Sometimes, symptoms can improve with other treatments.

    Myth: Non-inflamed appendices with symptoms aren't a concern.

    Fact: These cases could have underlying conditions or neuroimmune-endocrine issues that mimic appendicitis.


    Myth: Appendicitis is only about the appendix.

    Fact: Appendicitis can lead to complications like abscesses or peritonitis if not treated promptly.


    FAQs On Acute Appendicitis


    What are the common symptoms of acute appendicitis?

    Common symptoms include sudden abdominal pain, particularly in the lower right side, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and fever. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical help.


    Is surgery always necessary for acute appendicitis?

    Surgery (appendectomy) is the standard treatment for inflamed appendices. However, non-inflamed cases might not always need surgery. Your doctor will determine the best approach based on your condition.


    Can I use antibiotics to treat appendicitis instead of surgery?

    In some cases, antibiotics may be used to treat mild cases of appendicitis, especially if surgery is not immediately possible. However, surgery remains the standard treatment for severe cases.


    Are there any complications associated with untreated appendicitis?

    Yes, untreated acute appendicitis can lead to serious complications such as perforation (rupture of the appendix), abscess formation, and peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal lining).

     Can appendicitis recur after treatment?

    Once the inflamed appendix is removed (appendectomy), appendicitis won't recur in that same appendix. However, it's still possible to develop appendicitis in the remaining appendix or other medical issues.


    Wrap Up

    In conclusion, recognizing the differences between a normal appendix vs. inflamed appendix in acute appendicitis is crucial. Inflammation is driven by obstruction, causing distinct symptoms. Non-inflamed cases, lacking typical signs of inflammation, require exploration of alternative causes. Dispelling myths and clarifying facts helps guide dietary choices for symptom relief. Let’s raise awareness of appendicitis by addressing common questions that enhance awareness and health management.

    Written by
    Aswini Priya Velmurugan Masters in Biotechnology
    AboutMedical Content Writer
    Tags :normal appendix vs. inflamed appendix inflamed appendix inflamed appendix symptoms inflamed appendicitis Myth busting of appendicitis