is the most common of all serious intestinal disorders. It refers to an inflammation of
the vermiform appendix. It presents itself in acute and chronic forms and affects both the sexes
equally. This disease now accounts for about half the acute abdominal emergencies occurring
between the ages of 10 to 30 . It is more frequent in developed countries than underdeveloped
The appendix is a small tube located at the end of the caecum, the first part of the large
intestine. It is called vermiform appendix as it resembles a worm. It is usually eight to ten cm.
long. Its structure is made of the same tough fibrous outer covering as protects the entire
alimentary canal. There is a layer of muscular tissue
under the outer covering and further a layer
of lymphoid tissue
. The function of the appendix, which is performed by this lymphoid tissue
to neutralise the irritating waste material generated in the body or the organic poisons introduced
through the skin or membranes.
usually begins with a sudden pain in the centre of the abdomen, which gradually
shifts to the lower right side. The pain may be preceded by general discomfort in the abdomen,indigestion, diarrhoea
. The patient usually has a mild fever varying from 100 o to102 o F. Nausea is common, and the patient may vomit once or twice. The muscles of the right
side of the abdomen become tense and rigid. The patient draws some comfort by drawing up the
right leg. The pain increases on the right side on pressing the left side of the abdomen.
Coughing and sneezing makes the pain worse.
If the inflammation continues to increase, the appendix may rupture and discharge its pus into
the abdominal cavity. This may result in a serious state known as peritonitis. The temperature
rises and the patient becomes pale and cold. This condition may call for urgent operation.
In the chronic state of appendicitis
, the patient may suffer from recurrent pain in the right lower
abdomen with constipation
, loss of appetite and mild nausea.
is caused by a toxic bowel condition. An excessive amount of poisonous waste
material is accumulated in the calcium. As a result, the appendix is irritated and over-worked and
becomes inflammed. It is an attempt on the part of nature to localise and "burn up" the toxins.
This condition is brought about by wrong feeding habits and enervation of the system.
Inflammation of the bowel lining, due to the habitual use of apparent drugs, is a potent
predisposing factor in the development of appendicitis
. Further inflammation and infection
from certain germs which are usually present in the intestinal tract.
The patient should be put to bed immediately at the first symptoms
of severe pain, vomiting and
fever. Rest is of utmost importance in the treatment of this disease. The patient should resort to
fasting which is the only real cure for appendicitis
. Absolutely no food should be given. Nothing
except water should enter the system. Low enemias, containing about one pint (1/2 litre) of
warm water should be administered everyday for the first three days to cleanse the lower bowel.
Hot compresses may be placed over the painful area several times daily. Abdominal packs,
made of a strip of wet sheet covered by a dry flannel cloth bound tightly around the abdomen,
should be applied continuously until all acute symptoms
When the acute symptoms
subside by about the third day, the patient should be given a full
enema containing about 1 1/2 litre of warm water and this should be repeated daily until the
inflammation and pain have subsided. The patient can be given fruit juices from the third day
onwards. This simple treatment sensibly applied will overcome an appendicitis
After spending three days on fruit juices, the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for a further four
or five days. During this period, he should have three meals a day each meal of fresh juicy fruits.
Thereafter, he should adopt a well-balanced diet based on three food groups namely, (i) seed,
nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits.
In case of chronic appendicitis
, a short fast should be followed by a full milk diet for two or three
weeks. In this regimen, a glass of milk should be taken every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on
the first day, a glass every hour and a half the next day and a glass every hour the third day.
Then the quantity of milk should be gradually increased so as to take a glass every half an hour,
if such a quantity can be tolerated comfortably. After the full milk diet, the patient should
gradually embark upon a well- balanced diet, with emphasis on fresh fruits and green leafy
Certain vegetable juices, especially carrot juice, in combination with the juices of beets and
cucumbers, have been found valuable in the treatment of appendicitis
. Regular use of tea made
from fenugreek seeds has also proved helpful in preventing the appendix from becoming a
dumping ground for excess mucous and intestinal waste.
The patient of appendicitis
should adopt all measures to eradicate constipation
., if it is habitual.
Much relief can be obtained by the application of hot fomentation and abdominal packs every
morning and night. An abdominal massage is also beneficial. Once the waste matter in the
calcium has moved into the colon and thence eliminated, the irritation and inflammation in the
appendix will subside and surgical removal of the appendix will not be necessary. The surgical
operation should be resorted to only in rare cases, when the appendix has become abscessed.