Appendicitis 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. 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 tough fibrous outer covering which protects the entire alimentary canal. There is a layer of muscular tissue under the outer covering and further a layer of lymphoid tissue.
Diagnosis may be specially difficult in young children, because it may not be possible to obtain accurate history. The sequence of symptoms is less characteristic than in adults. The child always loses his appetite and he may vomit. He becomes irritable and cries with pain. The pain usually begins at the centre of the abdomen, which gradually shifts to the lower right side. The pain may be preceded by general discomfort in the abdomen, like indigestion, diarrhea or constipation. The muscles of the right side of the abdomen become tense and rigid. The pain increases on the right side on pressing of the left side of the abdomen. Coughing and sneezing makes the pain worse. Perforation is much more common in infancy, during which period mortality rates are highest.
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 clammy. 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.
Causes of Appendicitis
The passage of the appendix can be blocked by hard piece of foecal material or worms causing inflammation of appendix. The other view is that appendicitis is caused by a toxic bowel condition. An excessive amount of poisonous waste material is accumulated in the caecum. As a result, the appendix is irritated and overworked and becomes inflamed. It is an attempt on the part of nature to localise and ‘bum up’ the toxins. This condition is intiated by wrong feeding habits and enervation of the system. The inflammation of the bowel lining, due to the habitual use of aperient drugs, is a potent predisposing factor in the development of appendicitis. Further inflammation and infection comes from certain germs which are usually present in the intestinal tract.
Home Remedies For the Treatment of Appendicitis
1. Green Gram
Green gram (mung) has proved effective in the acute phase of the disease. A handful of this pulse should be soaked overnight in water. This water is used as a medicine for treating this condition. It may be given in small quantities of one teaspoon to the child two or three times daily.
2. Fenugreek Tea
Regular use of tea made from fenugreek (methi) seeds has proved helpful in preventing the appendix from becoming a dumping ground for excess mucus and intestinal waste. This tea is prepared by putting half a tablespoon of the seeds in 250ml. of cold water and allowing it to simmer for half an hour over a low flame. It should be allowed to cool to a bearable temperature and the strained. It can be given to the child once daily.
3. Carrot Juice
Certain vegetable juices, especially carrot juice, in combination with the juices of beet roots and cucumbers, have been found valuable in appendicitis. In this combination. 5oml. each of beet root and cucumber juices should be mixed with 150 ml. of Carrot juice. It may be given to the child-patient twice daily. The use of buttermilk is beneficial in the treatment of chronic form of appendicitis. About 250ml. of buttermilk may be used for this purpose.
When all the measures have failed and infection is so severe that there are chances of perforation or formation of appendicular abcess then only surgical removal of appendix is necessary. In this matter you should consult your doctor.