Located on the right side of your lower abdomen, the appendix is a tiny finger-like extension from the colon. Medical science does not know its exact function, but this tiny organ can become swollen and infected, causing appendicitis. Pain in the lower right abdomen that becomes increasingly severe is an indication that the appendix may be inflamed and infected, indicating the need for medical intervention.

It is not always apparent what causes appendicitis but an obstruction in the bowel may be a cause. Other times appendicitis occurs after a digestive tract infection. Quick treatment for an infection in the appendix is usually required, as it can burst as it becomes filled with pus. Once the appendix bursts, intestinal contents leak into the abdominal cavity, causing further dangerous infection.

Symptoms of appendicitis include the digestive troubles of nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, but most noticeable is the increasingly sharp pain that begins around the navel and then moves to the lower right abdomen. Sudden movements and even walking can make the pain worse. A low fever may also be present as the body tries to fight the infection.

Anyone can have appendicitis, but it is most common in people between the ages of 10 and 30. Any severe pain in the abdomen should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Patients in the Ft. Myers, Florida area and elsewhere should quickly seek medical attention if the pain worsens. The doctor will take blood and urine tests and does imaging testing to diagnose the problem.

An appendectomy is generally performed, removing the infected appendix. If the organ is abscessed, this may be addressed first. Recovery time varies, but it takes several weeks to heal after an appendectomy.