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Health Tip: Symptoms of Appendicitis

If you have them, get medical help immediately

(HealthDayNews) -- The appendix is a tubelike structure attached to the first part of the large intestine in the lower-right portion of the abdomen. It has no known function, and removal appears to cause no change in digestive function, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Once it starts, there is no medical therapy short of removal. When treated for this medical emergency promptly, most patients recover. But if treatment is delayed, the appendix can burst, causing infection and even death.

Symptoms of appendicitis may include pain in the abdomen, first around the belly button, then moving to the lower-right area; loss of appetite; nausea; constipation; diarrhea; low fever that begins after other symptoms; and abdominal swelling. Pain worsens when the patient moves, sneezes, coughs or takes deep breaths.

Not everyone with appendicitis has all of these symptoms. If you or a member of your family think you may have an inflamed appendix, seek medical attention immediately.

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