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Dr QM Leong
Dr QM Leong

Can Stress Cause Appendicitis? 6 Things You Should Know

Can Stress Cause Appendicitis? 6 Things You Should Know

Can stress cause appendicitis? Stress is known to affect the digest tract. Many gastrointestinal diseases, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and dyspepsia, are caused by mental factors like stress. If you’re constantly stressed out, read more.

When Does Appendicitis Become Chronic?

The appendix is a very small tube that connects the small and large intestines. It is located in the lower right region of the stomach (abdomen). Inflammation of the appendix happens when the organ becomes obstructed and causes pain. If not immediately removed, the ruptured appendix indicates a medical emergency.

Appendicitis is an acute condition for which appendectomy is the treatment. Acute appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix that occurs suddenly. In contrast, chronic appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix that lasts for weeks, months, or even years.

Inflammation is the cause of chronic appendicitis, which is not fully understood. The pain occasionally occurs intermittently for several months before being diagnosed as appendicitis. As the pain is frequently less severe than acute appendicitis, individuals do not always seek medical attention because the symptoms tend to come and go.

2. What Causes Appendicitis?

Appendicitis may have multiple causes. In many instances, the cause is obscure, but possible causes include:

  • Hardened stool or growths that obstruct the opening of the appendix
  • Swollen tissue in the appendix wall is caused by an infection in the digestive tract or other parts of the body
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

3. What Are The Symptoms Of Appendicitis?

According to an article by NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NDDK), the most common symptom of appendicitis is abdominal or gut discomfort. If you have appendicitis, you may experience intense abdominal pain:

  • Beginning close to your belly button, moving toward your lower right abdomen
  • Sudden abdominal pain that wakes you if you’re sleeping and get worse when you move.
  • You may feel pain as you cough, sneeze, or take a deep breath

Other symptoms of appendicitis may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Swelling in your lower right abdomen

Appendicitis can occasionally be accompanied by digestive complications, such as:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Inability to pass gas

4. How Is Appendicitis Diagnosed?

How Is Appendicitis Diagnosed

Your healthcare professional will conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Additionally, he or she may need you to take one or more of the following examinations:

  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan can produce high-resolution images of virtually any region of the body, including the organs, bones, muscles, and fat.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is sometimes used to diagnose appendicitis, especially in pregnant women.
  • Blood tests will search for evidence of infection, while a urine test will help rule out other illnesses, such as bladder and kidney disease, and other digestive conditions..

5. Treatment For Appendicitis

Appendicitis requires an urgent medical emergency. The appendix will likely rupture and produce a fatal infection without immediate treatment. Your healthcare professional will, therefore, recommend appendix removal surgery or appendectomy:

  • Open (traditional) surgical procedure: You will be administered an anaesthetic. The surgeon locates the appendix and removes it by incision. If the appendix has ruptured, a tiny tube (shunt) may be inserted to drain the abdomen of pus and other fluids. The shunt will be removed a few days after your surgeon determines that the infection has subsided.
  • Laparoscopic technique: You’re administered an anaesthetic. Several small incisions and a camera (laparoscope) are used in laparoscopy to examine the abdomen. The surgical instruments are inserted via a few tiny incisions. The laparoscope is inserted via a second incision. laparoscopy can be performed even if the appendix has ruptured.

6. Complications Of Appendicitis

Untreated chronic appendicitis can have a negative influence on the quality of life. Frequently, it develops into an acute episode, at which point appendicitis is diagnosed.

Chronic appendicitis presents the risk of appendix rupture, which can result in a severe infection. Unfortunately, because chronic appendicitis has not been thoroughly researched, it is unclear how frequently complications arise.

If your appendix has not ruptured, you will only need a few days to recover from an appendectomy. If your appendix has ruptured, your healing period will be lengthened, and you will require antibiotics.
Normal life is possible without an appendix. Changes to diet or exercise are typically unnecessary.

Conclusion About Can Stress Cause Appendicitis

There is no direct correlation between stress and appendicitis. However, the long-term consequences of stress on gastrointestinal health and immunity may contribute to appendicitis. More study is required in this field.

Appendix pain worsens when it bursts and may cause a serious infection. There’s no known cause for appendicitis, but if you’re feeling frequent pain, it’s best to see a colorectal specialist.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. QM Leong. He specialises in gallstone removal, anal fissures, hernia surgery, colorectal cancer, peptic ulcers, and treating other changes in bowel habits.

Frequently Asked Questions On Can Stress Cause Appendicitis

Your gut contains billions of nerve cells that regulate your digestion independently of the brain. This extensive network of nerve cells within the digestive tract is known as the enteric nervous system.

The enteric and central nervous systems influence and interact with one another. Through its effect on the brain-gut axis, chronic stress significantly impacts the digestive system.

The digestive system contains the longest list of stress-related disorders, including:

  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Dyspepsia
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal bloating and stomach pain

In addition, continuous stress can damage your digestive system’s immunity. Chronic stress can affect the habitat of microorganisms (the gut microbiome). If your gut immunity is compromised, your digestive tract will be more susceptible to inflammatory disorders (such as inflammatory bowel diseases) and infection.

Though there is no direct link between stress and appendicitis. But appendicitis may be caused by the long-term effects of stress on the health of the gut and the immune system.

No scientific data demonstrate a direct correlation between emotional stress and appendix rupture. Infection, blockage, and pressure buildup within the inflamed appendix are the most common causes of an appendix rupture.

However, stress can harm your general health and immunity. Theoretically, stress can exacerbate appendicitis-related inflammation and its consequences (such as perforation). However, there is no solid, well-designed research testing this notion.

There is no proven method to prevent appendicitis at this time.

Symptoms of appendicitis may continue between 36 and 72 hours before the appendix ruptures. Symptoms of appendicitis occur rapidly after the commencement of the ailment. Early symptoms include abdominal pain, appetite loss, nausea and vomiting, and a mild fever. After 24 hours, abdominal pain typically shifts to the lower right side of the abdomen.