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Chronic Appendicitis


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#1 SJ1985

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:00 AM

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So, Cherrie's "Appendicitis and how to know you don't have it" thread is a godsend, we all know that, but over a lot of us still looms the irrational fear of the fabled "Chronic Appendicitis" and the thought that perhaps our Docs didn't check for that since it's controversial.I finally pulled my finger out, got some guts and researched into it, and I think I should share my findings with you guys so that you can be as reassured as I am...So, first, the basics, the two types of Appendicitis:Acute Appendicitis, or just appendicitis. This is the condition which we hear all of the horror stories about. Your friend's friend who woke up in blistering agony and was rushed to the hospital to have something hurriedly cut out of them. The appendix (a little tail-like structure hanging off of the colon where it starts at the bottom right) becomes infected, usually due to blockage, and puts you in enough agony to send you to the hospital before it ruptures and infects your entire body. Rarely do people put up with the pain for more than 4 hours before admitting themselves to the hospital as it's simply too intense, so nobody ever really dies from the condition.Chronic Appendicitis, the mysterious one. Since most of us have had our symptoms for months or even years and aren't dead yet, acute appendicitis is ruled out, but this is the little gremlin which latches onto the back of our minds and won't let us relax. A while back it was thrown out of medical study because the men in lab coats felt that it probably didn't exist, and it was only recently considered to be a valid diagnosis again, so finding information on it can be difficult and what you do find can be vague. Some people call it "grumbling appendix", though usually this is referring to the early, general illness of the digestive system some people will go through before Acute Appendicitis properly manifests. A very rare condition which surprises surgeons every time it occurs, Chronic Appendicitis is like a watered-down version of the acute condition, spread out over a longer period of time.We've all read the topics ruling out acute appendicitis to put our minds at rest, so my goal is to help the people like myself, worried about it's mysterious younger brother, to put our minds to rest. After a lot of online research, I'm now going to put together all of the information I have found to be consistant enough to be considered valid, and hopefully understanding the condition with a bit more clarity should help us out. So here are some of the things to consider when getting worried:
  • It's a rarity. The first thing you should consider when getting yourself into a panic is that IBS is a condition which many, many people suffer from. As many as 1 in 3 people will experience some form of IBS at some point in their life, however mild or severe it may be, while chronic appendicitis is a freak condition which rarely occurs. Consider the fact that for a while it was believed to not even exist as an indicator of just how rare it is and just how unlikely it is that your pains are related to it.
  • The symptoms are different. A text book example of chronic appendicitis is simply a general feeling of illness, and even in severe cases, it is usually described as "a very upset stomach". Typically, in chronic form, appendicitis doesn't present as a localised pain. When looking up the condition, you'll find many varied descriptions of it since it's been so misunderstood, but the most reliable sources claim that it is difficult to diagnose due to the low number of symptoms. Since there isn't any actual feeling in the appendix itself, appendicitis pain tends to begin as an overall stomach pain, around your navel or over the whole stomach, which slowly becomes more and more agonising, and it isn't until the point where the infection is critical that the pain localises to McBurney's Point, which is in the lowest, rightmost part of your colon. As such, your localised pain and how long it's lasted is more of an indicator that you don't have chronic appendicitis.I also believe (not entirely confirmed, but 99%) that an infected appendix can't cause pain all the way over on the left hand side, so the moving nature of IBS cramps are a pretty strong indicator that you're okay, even if the pain is predominantly right-sided.
  • It's not bowel movement focused. Hear me out here, because I do have a point. It's true, an infected appendix can cause constipation or diarrhoea just like any stomach problem, but it's a side-effect of the infection, not the centre of it. An IBS sufferer can see a clear link between irregular bowel movements and their pains. In fact, irregular bowel movements aren't even a common symptom of an infected appendix - most sufferers experience just pain and possibly nausea and vomiting.
  • Not affected by foods. Your appendix is either infected or it isn't. Eating a pork chop wouldn't cause it to become more infected, only to calm down again later. We all have the certain foods which set us off, whether you're in control of your IBS yet or not, we know that eating a rasher of bacon (or whatever happens to be your trigger) makes the pain worse. In theory, this makes no sense whatsoever in the context of an appendiceal infection.
That should feel like a bit of weight lifted from your shoulders, but why not go the whole way? What if you did have it? Let's go into this, as it may be a lot less worrying than you think. Here are some ways in which chronic appendicitis differs from the acute condition, which we have already ruled out, to be seen as reasons why you should not panic:
  • No surgery required. While surgery is the best way to cure appendicitis, the reason it is the only method used to treat acute appendicitis is entirely due to the fact that it's a medical emergency. There are actually antibiotics available which can obliterate an appendiceal infection (though a few repeated treatments are required as it tends to come back), and if diagnosed with chronic appendicitis, this is the way you would be treated.
  • Won't usually become acute. While everybody has a friend of a friend who has heard stories of a "grumbling appendix" which later became acute, it's usually not the case. In fact, due to the body's defenses, a seal is formed around the organ making a rupture leading to life-threatening peritonitis a very unlikely thing to happen if chronic appendicitis has been experienced.
  • If you are in trouble, it'll be less jarring. Strange sentence? Yeah, I guess so, but the reason I say this is that while chronic appendicitis can still be life-threatening if untreated for a long period of time, usually the moment you realise you need to be treated won't involve waking up in intense agony and being carried to hospital. Chronic appendicitis, if reaching critical levels, tends to spread the infection to other areas, just making you very, very ill. Not comforting, no, but wouldn't you rather end up getting checked out for feeling really unwell than be rushed to the ER screaming?
So that was my attempt at calming you guys (and myself) who suffer from the Low Right Quadrant blues down about the elephant in the room we call chronic appendicitis.My final test is to visit the doctor and request to be put on the antibiotics which are used for chronic appendicitis to see what happens - the fact that they have no effect on me should be my final proof that what I have is IBS, and in the unlikely event that they do have an effect? Well, they'll make me better.I hope I have helped people.


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#2 Cherrie

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:43 AM

Hi ~ Thank you so much!Great article with a lot of wonderful info!Thank you SO much for doing all the hard work researching on it and for sharing this with all of us! I'm sure it'll help a lot of people :(CherrieP.S. -- one more little detail to add -- some people, even if they do get appendicitis, they can experience what is called "instantaneous remission", which means their symptoms (usually only unexplainable upper stomach pain) last only a few hours and then they feel totally fine again and many people won't even know what that was that they experienced. So, all in all, like SJ1085 said, appendicitis is really different from IBS and it's really not something to worry about at all.
Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent - a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie down, as long as you are awake, strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. -- Sutta Nipata

#3 SJ1985

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:55 AM

Thanks, Cherrie. :(I'll try my best to get some antibiotics off of my doctor, the specific ones used for appendicitis, and take them all, so I can report back about how they made no difference and prove once and for all that low right pain does not mean you should worry.

#4 Christinaem

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 11:57 PM

Thanks for the information on Chronic Appendicitis! I found this site while browsing Yahoo for this exact topic, and this is the most information I found in any one place. After having ongoing weird symptoms for weeks, I finally returned to the emergency room on January 31st (more out of frustration and annoyance than an "emergency situation") and next thing I knew...I was having my appendix removed. I knew that I did have an appendicitis because I was told by the surgeon immediately after having it removed, while I was in recovery. On Friday, I went in to have my staples removed, while there asked about the pathology that came back on my appendix. I was told that the pathology showed that I had chronic appendicitis and not acute appendicitis. "So it has been going on for a while?" I asked. "Yes, that would be indicated by the term 'chronic,'" was the answer I received (not said in a demeaning or sarcastic tone, so I did not take offense...because that does seem to be a smart-a** answer, coming from a doctor.)But now - I have more questions and plan to ask my family doctor soon at an appointment. How long have I actually had it? A year or two weeks? If I find out anything more...I will post, if it will be of any help. But for now I will tell you what I can, as someone who actually experienced it.I am 29 years old, female, smoker. I have felt unwell for approximately one year. I have had an IUD (Mirena) for 1 & 1/2 years. I had complete-blood-whatever done last March (2008) and it came back that I had Epstein-Barr Virus. I had mostly felt tired and achy from time to time, with diarrhea about 2-3 times per month and then urinary tract infections in Sept, Oct, and January. I had lower back pain just about every day, I also had hyper-active bowel sounds nearly every night - my husband is now used to my creaks and groans. On Jan. 19th I went to the ER with what seemed to me like an acute UTI and possibly a yeast infection. I was given Cipro and Flagyl (what I thought was a yeast infection was actually Bacterial Vaginosis), two strong antibiotics, plus a shot of some antibiotic in the ER. An an ultrasound revealed that I did not have an ovarian cyst or ectopic pregnancy but did show fluid in some (can't remember the name) cavity that could mean that I had a cyst "let go." But what I thought was pain from the UTI never went away...the pain I felt in my abdomen was not describable. It was like ache-pain - not really ache, but not really pain, either. Somewhere in between and it would go from ache to pain, intensifying only sometimes. So I was sent to see a urologist later in the week and then an ultrasound revealed a kidn`ey stone on my left side. That night, after finding out I did actually have a kidney stone, the pain got stronger more to my right side (but not intense) and I began having diarrhea. I did not trust myself and kept thinking that I was having psychosomatic symptoms, with the diarrhea possibly being caused by the antibiotics. At dinner I felt bored with eating (very weird for me!) and had to lay my head down in the table, I went directly to bed. But not to sleep. I ached in my hips, it felt like I need hip-replacement surgery. Sometimes I would get a moving ache/pain that felt like it started just below my belly button and would move upwards to under my sternum and then radiate out to my rib cage. A classic appendicitis symptom I felt was the fact that it felt better to be in the fetal position, but I think that is true with a lot of illnesses. The next day, I called the urologist's office to tell them I was feeling worse, and they felt that the kidney stones were not the cause of my pain, because they were not moving or causing blockage. I finally ended up in the ER the next day. They could not get my appendix or ureters to light up on the CT, so the surgeon was not certain he would find an appendicitis - but he did.Well I am sure that makes it as clear as mud. I still need to follow up on the kidney stones and the possible cyst/mystery fluid. I hope this has helped in some way. I feel that my experience was pretty random and I could have other problems going on (obviously) too. I could go on and on about what has happened, but I don't know how LONG the "chronic" part was going on, but I do know that besides the surgery site, I feel better all over!

#5 angell1982

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:29 AM

I have to say that this forum was a lifesafer-literally. I want to explain my situation and I hope that this helps other people who are in desperate need of help. Two months ago I started having horrible pains in my right side. I thought that I was just having problems with an ovarian cyst because I have had problems with them in the past. After about a week of really intense pain it started to get worse and I decided to go to the ER. When I got there they immediately started telling me that it was probably appendicitis but they needed to do some testing. They did a CT, full blood work,Ultrasound, urine work-up and gave me pain meds through an IV. The doc said that the ultrasound showed that I had a uterun fibroid but that it was very small and that it would not be causing that much pain. She gave me the option of staying a day or two for pain control. I left that night still in pain and frustrated because I didn't have any answers. After another two weeks of pain I went to my OBGYN who had done a surgery on a ovarian cyst before. She said that she would do a laproscopy even though she didnt think she would find anything. I said I wanted to wait and see if the pain went away. The pain got progressively worse. I have never felt so much pain in my life and I was completly unable to walk or work. I would be fine and then I would have a pain attack and it would literally send me down to the floor crying. Five days after my visit with the OBGYN I called her and begged for surgery. I had the laproscopy two days later. She took pics of the ovaries, appendix and the area around it. She said that everything looked good and she wasn't able to fit anything. I came out of surgery very upset after learning that nothing had been done to help me. I then spend another two weeks in horrible pain and finally decided to find the answer myself. I spent hours upon hours searching the internet comparing my symptoms to those of others with similar symptoms and stories. I found this site and a few others that seemed to talk about almost the exact same thing I had been dealing with. I thought that I had chronic appendicitis and I decided that I needed to find a doctor that would not only listen to me but would do elective surgery on me. As most of you know chronic appendicitis is very hard to diagnose and to get doctors to agree with that diagnosis. I took about 25 pages of reports and info showing that other doctors had seen this same type of thing with others. I went to my family doctor and I described my long situation, the info I had found on line and my family history. In 1985 my mother had almost the exact same situation and she ended up going to the mayo clinic where a doctor had said that he wanted to take the appendix out just to see if that was it. She was instantly better after having the appendix removed. I explained this to my family doctor and she said she had seen a couple cases similar to this and she referred me to a surgeon. I went to the surgeon the next day. I brought all the test results from the ER, the pics from the larposcopy, the OBGYN's surgery notes and all the stuff I found online. I explained the whole situation while he listened and his answer was that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my appendix. I asked him what he thought it was and he had absolutely no answers and no other tests for me to do in order to find an aswer. After explaining about my mothers situation (she was with me) he said that her doctor was a bad surgeon and should have had his license taken away because he had made a bad decision. I told him that if he wouldnt take my appendix out that I would find another doctor that would so it wasnt going to stop me, it would just cause me more pain and time. After arguing back and forth he finally threw his hands in the air and said that he would take my appendix out but he was completly against this and that it would not fix anything. His comment was, "if I am going to start taking out organs that are not having problems why dont I just go in and take our your gallbladder and anything else I see while I am in there." I then said, "why the hell dont you, maybe I will feel better then!" I was scheduled for a laproscopy appendectomy three days later. He came to see me before surgery and kept repeating that this was a waste of time and money and that nothing was wrong with my appendix. After surgery he came out and spoke to my parents and said that the appendix was perfect and that this was NOT the problem at all. I would be in just as much pain as I was before and we had wasted his time. A week later while recovering at home I noticed that I had NOT had the pain anymore and that besides healing from surgery I felt much better. I called the doctors office to get the results of the pathology report from my appendix. I was so happy to hear the results that I started to cry while on the phone. The report showed that part of the appendix was hemmoraging and was leaking pus and fluid into my abdominal cavity. The lymph nodes were very swollen and that it appeared that I had ACUTE APPENDICITIS probably a month or two ago but that it had somewhat resolved itself. The pain I was feeling was not only my appendix swelling but the fluid being leaked into my body. I almost fell out of my chair when the nurse told me that based on the report I was very lucky that I had the surgery when I did. She said that I would have ended up with it rupturing and having a serious infection which could be deadly. She said that if would have only been a few days or weeks until I would have really been in bad shape. So, I find out that after the ER told me I was fine, the OBGYN had taken pics saying it was fine and the surgeon who took it out told me it was fine, IT WAS NOT FINE AND I HAD ACUTE APPENDICITIS FOR ALMOST TWO MONTHS!!! I have a post-op appointment with the surgeon next week and I can not tell you how excited I am going to be to tell him to go to hell and that he needs to listen to his patients. I wanted to share my story with you because it is so frustrating when you know that something is wrong and nobody will believe you. Through this ordeal I ended up in the ER four times and got the same answer every single time- your fine, go home. Please take your health in your own hands and fight for your rights. I am happy to say that it has all ended well, but there was no reason for me to go through two months of excruicating pain and suffering because nobody would listen to me. If anybody needs any advice or would like any more info from me please feel free to write me. It is because of this exact site and a few others that I was able to diagnose myself and search out the right answer. I could have died because nobody listened to me, they just blew me off. I hope this helps other people. By the way I am a 26 year old female. I think that doctors also dont listen to the compaints of women as much or they automatically assume that its a "womans problem". I had two surgeries in two weeks because of all this ordeal. BUT finally I am feeling great.

#6 BQ

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:54 PM

Angel thanks so much for sharing your story. Your persistence paid off. So glad you are feeling better now.
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#7 onthebit

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:50 AM

This is a great topic. Chronic appendicitis DOES exist, I had it. I am now the proud owner of a new appendectomy and a self-proclaimed expert on the topic (OK, at least MY experience of it)! I am so ecstatic to be feeling better, I want to tell the world! Here is the link to my story:http://www.ibsgroup....howtopic=116260

#8 ihaveaname!

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 05:01 AM

I've been doing some research and been trying to find out a bit more information about chronic appendicitis. Perhaps those that had an experience with chronic appendicities (or acute appendicitis that lasted a long time!) can help me?My main question is: Did you gain weight?I've been ill for 8 months and they have ruled so many things out:bacterial infectionH. pylori infectionparasitespregnancychalmydiathyroid problemsdiabetesceliac diseasesmall intestinal bacterial overgrowthIBSIBDparalyzed stomachMost gyn issues (I had a laparoscopy to remove a cyst that turned out to have dissolved itself, they explored in there and my reproductive organs were a-ok)All my blood tests have been clean and normal.My main symptoms are: sudden 10 lb weight gain over 9 days (that I have not been able to lose), diffuse abdominal pain - sometimes localized to the right side, pressure and stomach distention. I'm a marathon runner and have always had a VERY stable weight so this 10 lbs is a big deal I am not "just getting fat" like so many dismissive doctors have said. I'm getting a CT scan really soon. I've read repeatedly how hard chronic appendicitis is to diagnose, but if I've gained 10 lbs they have to see something on the CT is my thought. Right? Did any of you gain weight and it STILL didn't show up on the scan? Of course it is probably unlikely I have chronic appendicitis since it is so rare, but we are running out of things it could be. I can't shake the possibility it could be appendicitis since my mom had to get her appendix removed at the same age I am now....Any input (I know you're not docs :() appreciated!!!!

#9 Michelle-moemnm

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 05:14 PM

Hi. I had my appendix rupture (& ruptured my intestines/colon), had surgery to remove the mess (removed ruptured appendix, took out 6 inches of colon & then reattached everything), about 8 months ago. Just want you all to know: that i'm a 37 year old female, wife & mother of 5, always have been thin & very active, never had any problems with my appendix (or any major health problems). I went from being totally fine to vomiting for 7 straight hours thru the night, then to having horrible belly pain (stomach spasms all over my belly) for the next 24 hours. This was the worst pain that i have ever had in my life, & i've given birth to 5 kids. I would not go to the hospital or doctor because i thought that i had food poisoning (which i've had once before, & i did not have pain on my right side so i had no idea it was my appendix). I also had chills one minute, then sweating all over the next, i layed in bed for 4 days, dying at home & not even knowing it. Then i woke up in the middle of the night with pain on the right side, (i was 4 1/2 weeks pregnant at the time & started to wonder if i had a pregnancy in my tubes), so then i finally had my husband take me to the ER. When i got there i had a 103 fever (which i had not had at home the entire time), still bad belly pain all over, they couldn't CT scan me bc i was pregnant, they did an ultrasound & didn't see anything wrong, my bloodwork all came back normal (white blood count was fine), but when the doctors would push on my belly (it would hurt really bad) it would hurt WORSE when they would let go. Surgeon decided to go in thru my belly button to see what was going on, & take out my appendix either way. I woke up to over 2 hour extensive major surgery, they had cut a 4-6 inch incision from my belly button down, an incision above & an incision below the belly button, & an incision with a tube coming out of it on my right side (of my belly), an NG tube in my nose (going up my nose & down my throat), a catheter in, & an iv in. I was a nightmare mess, i had been septic (with puss & bm all over inside my belly), i had staples all over (looked like frankenstein's bride), i spent 10 days in the hospital on heavy pain meds & heavy iv antibiotcs. My doctor told me that if i had waited 1 more day then i would be dead right now, & i can tell you that if i hadn't been pregnant (& worried for the pregnancy) i would not have gone in to the ER & i would be dead right now. I am writing this right now so that if anyone out there can relate to ANY of this then hopefully it will save your life, because believe me - i am pretty "in tune" with my body, am not medically stupid being 37 & having 5 kids, & i truly had NO IDEA that it was my appendix. Anyway, i just had my baby girl, who is my angel & life saver. I gained a lot of weight with this pregnancy, almost 20 pounds more than i did with all of my other pregnancies, & am wondering if having my appendix removed (or the little muscle valve remived that controls the liquid that goes from 1 part of your intestines into the other part, i think called the Secum?) causes weight gain? If anyone knows, can you please reply and let me know? I know being so inactive for the last 8 months has probably caused the increased weight gain, but now i'm worried that it's going to be hard or impossible to lose it (i've always lost the pregnancy weight fairly easily within 6 months, not needing to excersise or anything). Thank you, & good luck to all of you- Michelle

#10 hemiola

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 07:55 PM

Hi,Like others users I found this message board by googling for chronic appendicitis.After reading it I'm still not sure whether I should worry or not.I've had this lower right abdomen discomfort for a couple of months now. It manifests as a migratory, deep pain (feels more like a sting), anywhere between the belly button, the hip bone and pubis. The pain comes and goes, but one area which is always sensitive to pressure (e.g. crouching or bringing the leg up) is the lower right abdomen. Occasionally I also have mild stomach pain (like I have not eaten).No nausea, vomiting or any typical simptoms (only a few episodes of mild fever). The pain itself is never severe enough to wake me up in the middle of the night or send me to the emergency room, but is is annoying enough to interefere at times with my work and well being. I've had a couple of tests done (blood, urine, stools) as well as an ultrasound scan. Liver functions are normal, kidneys ok, prostate and bladder as well. No signs of hernia or any other kind of damage. The ultrasound itself revealed small gallstones, but nothing else abnormal (the appendix however could not be seen due to gas blocking the sound path). I discussed the results with both my GP and a general surgeon, and they maintain that gallstones could not be responsible for these symptoms. They also rule out appendicitis because the symptoms do not match (although they both admitted that the area I point to is around the appendix).Honestly I don't know where to go from here, and I would like to shake off the abdominal pain/discomfort one way or another. Any suggestions?Cheers,Alan

#11 PeterMartin

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:47 AM

Very informative post thanks for it.

#12 sundaysurgery

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 11:39 AM

Hi,Like others users I found this message board by googling for chronic appendicitis.After reading it I'm still not sure whether I should worry or not.I've had this lower right abdomen discomfort for a couple of months now. It manifests as a migratory, deep pain (feels more like a sting), anywhere between the belly button, the hip bone and pubis. The pain comes and goes, but one area which is always sensitive to pressure (e.g. crouching or bringing the leg up) is the lower right abdomen. Occasionally I also have mild stomach pain (like I have not eaten).No nausea, vomiting or any typical simptoms (only a few episodes of mild fever). The pain itself is never severe enough to wake me up in the middle of the night or send me to the emergency room, but is is annoying enough to interefere at times with my work and well being. I've had a couple of tests done (blood, urine, stools) as well as an ultrasound scan. Liver functions are normal, kidneys ok, prostate and bladder as well. No signs of hernia or any other kind of damage. The ultrasound itself revealed small gallstones, but nothing else abnormal (the appendix however could not be seen due to gas blocking the sound path). I discussed the results with both my GP and a general surgeon, and they maintain that gallstones could not be responsible for these symptoms. They also rule out appendicitis because the symptoms do not match (although they both admitted that the area I point to is around the appendix).Honestly I don't know where to go from here, and I would like to shake off the abdominal pain/discomfort one way or another. Any suggestions?Cheers,Alan



#13 sundaysurgery

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 11:58 AM

I hope my story can help you. FYI I am a medical professional. I had my appendix remomved Sunday and it is now Tuesday. Saturday night I started with good amount of pain in general abdominal area. It was enough to fold over some and gaurd my abdomin. My most predominant symptom was that caring for my extreamly active 2 year old was very difficult. I kept telling him "mommy hurts" and "please don't jump on mommy's belly". The pain was bad but didn't prevent me from sleeping or wake me in the middle of the night. When I woke up sunday, I noticed the pain was more local to lower right abdomin. The pain again was not unbareable but tender with movement, touch, or jaring. Again the bigest issue was my son and that he couldn't stay off of me to let me rest an see if it went away. Sunday I thought I had to take a huge poo. By Sat., being in the medical field, I started trying to think of what the possibilities could be. I know all the anatomy (including the psoas muscle that some say can mimic appendix pain) and could not come up with anything but the appendix. I felt guilty calling my mom and dad to come drive my son and I to a walk in clinic to check it out. I'm a 36 y.o. female and only asked them to pick us up to help me with my son. My point being it hurt, but I could tolerate it. Dr at the facility said it sound like appendicitis and told me I should go to ER because a contrast CT is the only definitive diagnostic test. I had NO FEVER, NO VOMMITING!!! I was still felling silly and didn't want to waste anyone's time. My blood work did show increased white blood count. I had to drink the barium used for contrast and wait 2 hours for it to move through colon. CT scan showed that it was appendicitis and I had it removed a few hours later. I went home the next day. I'm home now, need a little pain meds, but doing fine. If I had waited it would have ruptured. Good Luck!!

#14 doglover182

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:09 PM

Thank you SOOO much for this post! I have been literally freaking out lately thinking that this may be what I have. I stumbled on this post by Googling "chronic appendicitis", and have joined this site because of it! I have daily flares of lower right abdominal pain that has lasted for months, and going to the doctor, was told that I have IBS. I'm SO glad to have found this forum! Thanks again!!Lauren

#15 Spikyles

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 04:22 AM

For a little over a year now, I have been suffering from a pain in my lower right abdomen. One night, after dinner, I felt poorly and looked at myself in the mirror and saw that my belly had ballooned out to the point where I looked 5-6 months pregnant, along with the pain in my lower abdomen. It grew in intensity quickly. 30 minutes later I had to run to the bathroom where I had horrible diarrhea. I felt sick and had cold sweats. I thought perhaps I just ate something bad. All night I had this stabbing or cramping type pain on my right side near my hip. I did not sleep very well and woke up feeling exhausted and quite bad. To make a long story shorter... I went to doctor after doctor. I have taken CT scans, MRI, Ultrasounds, Upper GI, Colonoscopy, Celiac test (negative), Food Alergy test (negative), took a Hida Scan for my gallbladder, EVERY test came back normal and fine. I tried this medicine and that medicine, so many medicines that were supposed to help with the IBS they finally dubbed me with that. I disagreed with that since if I have IBS, then the medicines should help me. I asked if it were possible that I have a case of chronic appendicitis. He practically laughed at me. He said that he had never seen a case in his lifetime and proceeds to hand me a business card for a mental therapist. He said since I was upset about my "IBS" my "depression" over it is obviously making the pain worse and that I should consider being given an anti-depressant. I yanked the card and asked him again if it was possible to have chronic appendicitis, and he said "Yes, it is possible. If you do, you'll just have to wait until it gets bad and then you will be on your way to the hospital." My mouth hit the floor, and I was in shock. I said, "So this is your answer?" I just left. I have a new doctor coming up. I'm praying that he will listen to me. This pain is very localized. When it is tolerable, it is a stinging or burning sensation around my appendix area that travels under my hip and then above my hip bone. When it flares up, it throbs/stabs, I feel nauseas. I don't want to eat. Finally I will have a bm that relieves the pain and following the bm I will have clear to green mucous. I self diagnosed myself that I was obviously toxic with some kind of infection in my tummy. The doctor gave me some anti-biotics but I told him that I am allergic to ALL oral anit-biotics and would rather try something natural. He brushed me off and told me to take them. Against my better judgment, I did. And as I though, I am still getting rid of a rash and tight throat 3-4 weeks later. I am so upset. I am missing days from work constantly. I am placing so much hope in the new doctor that I will be seeing July 11th 2011. I am going to BEG HIM to have my appendix removed. I feel like I am dying slowly from toxins and poisons. I see my hair fall out and the dark circles under my eyes. I take Ambien to try and sleep through the night, but the pain will wake me up out of the strong sleep of an Ambien even. I just don't get it. Am I really just over-reacting and putting my mind on this chronic appendix for no reason? And the other weird thing about it I can feel my insides where I hurt itch. I was always told that when something is healing it will itch. Again, the doctor thought that was not happening. If I do not find a doctor who can help me, I fear that I am going to have to quit my job because I get too sick to work. I had wanted to have a baby, but how can I do that if there is something obviously painful going on in my belly. I feel like my whole life is falling apart and all because this doctor I've been seeing for a year tells me that there is no way that I have chronic appendicitis. BUT- He said that I have IBS, Spastic Colon, blah blah blah.... I at least considered it all and tried the mediciations, but none helped me whatsoever. I even thought may I had a problem with my illeocecal valve, but he said it looked normal to him during the colonoscopy. So I am just at my witts end with it. I did make one trip to the ER in the middle of this whole convoluted story. They couldn't find anything wrong with me either, and said perhaps I passed a kidney stone as I had a small amount of blood in my urine. I knew that wasn't it, and I knew because 2 hours later, my cycle started. So now I just refuse to go to the ER because they are not going to believe in or treat chronic appendicitis. I am going to have to find someone who believes it is possible and then request it be removed. All I want to do is get back to my life. :( Thanks for letting me rant.

#16 chiflow

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 07:28 AM

I am one of those rare cases of chronic appendicitis and I have to share my story and respond to this article and say IT HAPPENED TO ME. I hope it helps others out there to make sure to believe in your gut (ha ha) if you think you are really sick. Don't give up trying to get answers and diagnosis. I really think had I not stopped trusting my own intuition I may have not had to go through 8 years of suffering. My symptoms started with waking up in the middle of the night vomiting. I would eat full meals and even though I wasn't sick while eating afterwards I would find myself uncontrollably having it come back up. I went to various doctors for years about this and the stomach cramps, flu like feeling overall when I went to the bathroom and especially as time went on THE NAUSEA. The fact that my appetite had always been okay even though I am a thin person is a testament to my overall relative healthy digestion growing up. Finally after thousands in tests, an endoscopy and so much bloodwork I finally had had enough. I had been having some severe cramping for almost a year in my lower right quadrant of my abdomen so I had an ultrasound which showed a very large hemorragic ovarian cyst. After two months of waiting without relief I had surgery to remove the cyst and the surgeon discovered adhesions and scar tissue all over my entire abdomen and attached to the pelvic wall. The adhesions were encasing my appendix, my bladder, uterus, large intestine and he said it looked like I had had an infection in my appendix. He said since he was just a gynecological surgeon and taking out my ovarian cyst that he couldn't get into all of that so he closed me back up. Months later after very little relief. The cyst being gone helped with some issues, but I still just didn't feel right especially knowing there had been some kind of infection that appeared to involve my appendix just all locked up inside of me. So I went through more tests trying to convince the general surgeon that my appendix was worth taking out just in case it was the issue and since they wanted to do an exploratory anyway laproscopically. My WBC came back normal, my colonoscopy they couldn't even complete because of adhesions, and so the barium series I had to do even showed my appendix filling normally. When they went in to clean out all the adhesions and sent in my appendix it had started to go into acute appendicitis and the biopsy came back with acute appendicitis which the surgeon was "So surprised." The moral of the story is I pretty much had to keep perservering for years and years to figure out WTF was going on, you know? And you know when you just don't feel right, but as time goes on and you don't get diagnosed doctors and people will start to try to convince you it is all in your head. I was never a hypochondriac kinda person that wanted to be sick or convinced myself and others that I was sick. My point is, don't let people tell you who you are because only you know yourself and you should always trust in that above anything else.

So, Cherrie's "Appendicitis and how to know you don't have it" thread is a godsend, we all know that, but over a lot of us still looms the irrational fear of the fabled "Chronic Appendicitis" and the thought that perhaps our Docs didn't check for that since it's controversial.I finally pulled my finger out, got some guts and researched into it, and I think I should share my findings with you guys so that you can be as reassured as I am...So, first, the basics, the two types of Appendicitis:Acute Appendicitis, or just appendicitis. This is the condition which we hear all of the horror stories about. Your friend's friend who woke up in blistering agony and was rushed to the hospital to have something hurriedly cut out of them. The appendix (a little tail-like structure hanging off of the colon where it starts at the bottom right) becomes infected, usually due to blockage, and puts you in enough agony to send you to the hospital before it ruptures and infects your entire body. Rarely do people put up with the pain for more than 4 hours before admitting themselves to the hospital as it's simply too intense, so nobody ever really dies from the condition.Chronic Appendicitis, the mysterious one. Since most of us have had our symptoms for months or even years and aren't dead yet, acute appendicitis is ruled out, but this is the little gremlin which latches onto the back of our minds and won't let us relax. A while back it was thrown out of medical study because the men in lab coats felt that it probably didn't exist, and it was only recently considered to be a valid diagnosis again, so finding information on it can be difficult and what you do find can be vague. Some people call it "grumbling appendix", though usually this is referring to the early, general illness of the digestive system some people will go through before Acute Appendicitis properly manifests. A very rare condition which surprises surgeons every time it occurs, Chronic Appendicitis is like a watered-down version of the acute condition, spread out over a longer period of time.We've all read the topics ruling out acute appendicitis to put our minds at rest, so my goal is to help the people like myself, worried about it's mysterious younger brother, to put our minds to rest. After a lot of online research, I'm now going to put together all of the information I have found to be consistant enough to be considered valid, and hopefully understanding the condition with a bit more clarity should help us out. So here are some of the things to consider when getting worried:

  • It's a rarity. The first thing you should consider when getting yourself into a panic is that IBS is a condition which many, many people suffer from. As many as 1 in 3 people will experience some form of IBS at some point in their life, however mild or severe it may be, while chronic appendicitis is a freak condition which rarely occurs. Consider the fact that for a while it was believed to not even exist as an indicator of just how rare it is and just how unlikely it is that your pains are related to it.
  • The symptoms are different. A text book example of chronic appendicitis is simply a general feeling of illness, and even in severe cases, it is usually described as "a very upset stomach". Typically, in chronic form, appendicitis doesn't present as a localised pain. When looking up the condition, you'll find many varied descriptions of it since it's been so misunderstood, but the most reliable sources claim that it is difficult to diagnose due to the low number of symptoms. Since there isn't any actual feeling in the appendix itself, appendicitis pain tends to begin as an overall stomach pain, around your navel or over the whole stomach, which slowly becomes more and more agonising, and it isn't until the point where the infection is critical that the pain localises to McBurney's Point, which is in the lowest, rightmost part of your colon. As such, your localised pain and how long it's lasted is more of an indicator that you don't have chronic appendicitis.I also believe (not entirely confirmed, but 99%) that an infected appendix can't cause pain all the way over on the left hand side, so the moving nature of IBS cramps are a pretty strong indicator that you're okay, even if the pain is predominantly right-sided.
  • It's not bowel movement focused. Hear me out here, because I do have a point. It's true, an infected appendix can cause constipation or diarrhoea just like any stomach problem, but it's a side-effect of the infection, not the centre of it. An IBS sufferer can see a clear link between irregular bowel movements and their pains. In fact, irregular bowel movements aren't even a common symptom of an infected appendix - most sufferers experience just pain and possibly nausea and vomiting.
  • Not affected by foods. Your appendix is either infected or it isn't. Eating a pork chop wouldn't cause it to become more infected, only to calm down again later. We all have the certain foods which set us off, whether you're in control of your IBS yet or not, we know that eating a rasher of bacon (or whatever happens to be your trigger) makes the pain worse. In theory, this makes no sense whatsoever in the context of an appendiceal infection.
That should feel like a bit of weight lifted from your shoulders, but why not go the whole way? What if you did have it? Let's go into this, as it may be a lot less worrying than you think. Here are some ways in which chronic appendicitis differs from the acute condition, which we have already ruled out, to be seen as reasons why you should not panic:
  • No surgery required. While surgery is the best way to cure appendicitis, the reason it is the only method used to treat acute appendicitis is entirely due to the fact that it's a medical emergency. There are actually antibiotics available which can obliterate an appendiceal infection (though a few repeated treatments are required as it tends to come back), and if diagnosed with chronic appendicitis, this is the way you would be treated.
  • Won't usually become acute. While everybody has a friend of a friend who has heard stories of a "grumbling appendix" which later became acute, it's usually not the case. In fact, due to the body's defenses, a seal is formed around the organ making a rupture leading to life-threatening peritonitis a very unlikely thing to happen if chronic appendicitis has been experienced.
  • If you are in trouble, it'll be less jarring. Strange sentence? Yeah, I guess so, but the reason I say this is that while chronic appendicitis can still be life-threatening if untreated for a long period of time, usually the moment you realise you need to be treated won't involve waking up in intense agony and being carried to hospital. Chronic appendicitis, if reaching critical levels, tends to spread the infection to other areas, just making you very, very ill. Not comforting, no, but wouldn't you rather end up getting checked out for feeling really unwell than be rushed to the ER screaming?
So that was my attempt at calming you guys (and myself) who suffer from the Low Right Quadrant blues down about the elephant in the room we call chronic appendicitis.My final test is to visit the doctor and request to be put on the antibiotics which are used for chronic appendicitis to see what happens - the fact that they have no effect on me should be my final proof that what I have is IBS, and in the unlikely event that they do have an effect? Well, they'll make me better.I hope I have helped people.



#17 photolady

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:42 AM

HI all,im 26 years old , non smoker, healthy eater, yes i have ibs It has just been mind blowing ready this forum. Firslty because i have had symptons like this since i was 6 years old a pain that starts in my stomach which feels like a big cramp which will slowely subside in 10 mins & then after that 10 mins it will incresingly get worse to the point that my entire stomach is aching & i cant move. This then proceeds for a good 8 hours after which time it slowely subside with me passing a little bit of wind (sorry) & then i have a pain that will stay in the bottom right hand corner of my stomach (where your appendix is) for a couple of day 3-4 days & then it will go away. I have been in & out of hospital since i was 6 i have had colonscopys i have had ultrasounds & yes everytime they think its the appendix & as it gets better they decide it is not & i am left with no answer. I have recentley had an internal & my overies all came up fine. The hard thing is i have just recently had 2 middle ear infections followed by a UTI Infection & then one of my stomach (pains which i have decribed happening now but its supsided to a numb ache) i fill run down tied fluie in my throat sore. The docotor rang me today to say that the ultrasound shows its a rummbling appendix & that i should go in & see the surgeon i am just so unsure as i have had this since i was 6 years old on & of forever & i suppose its become normal to me but why now do they decide it is what is is a rummbbling appendix? i spose after reading the forum the only thing i worry about is a just cant seem to get rid of my infection i keep getting & is these linked ? if anyone has any insight into my crazey body could you help me please?

#18 JudithMoon

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:28 AM

Hi all,

No surgery required. While surgery is the best way to cure appendicitis, the reason it is the only method used to treat acute appendicitis is entirely due to the fact that it's a medical emergency. There are actually antibiotics available which can obliterate an appendiceal infection (though a few repeated treatments are required as it tends to come back), and if diagnosed with chronic appendicitis, this is the way you would be treated.

Antibiotics rather than surgery may be a better treatment for cases of appendicitis in which the appendix has not yet burst, the results of a new study indicate. Appendicitis is a painful infection in the area of the lower right abdomen that typically affects younger people aged 10 to 30. According to US researchers, the findings suggest that non-perforating appendicitis, as the disease is called when the appendix has not burst, may be unrelated to perforating appendicitis, in which the appendix has burst. Instead, the study found that non-perforating childhood appendicitis, which historically has been treated with emergency surgery, seems to be a disease similar to non-perforating adult diverticulitis, which is often treated with antibiotics. Diverticulitis refers to the swelling or inflammation of an abnormal pouch (diverticulum) in the intestinal wall. These pouches are usually found in the large intestine (colon). Symptoms can include abdominal pain, fever and nausea. The researchers from Dallas analysed 27 years worth of hospital discharge records and found that childhood appendicitis and adult diverticulitis share many similarities, including an association with colon hygiene and a low intake of fibre in the diet. The team analysed all the data and found ‘the same thing in every region'. "It is assumed, but has never been proved, that appendicitis always perforates unless appendectomy is performed early in its course. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that this is not the case. "Childhood appendicitis and adult diverticulitis seem to be similar diseases, suggesting a common underlying pathogenesis. At least for appendicitis, perforating disease may not be an inevitable outcome from delayed treatment of non-perforating disease. If appendicitis represents the same pathophysiologic process as diverticulitis, it may be amenable to antibiotic rather than surgical treatment," the researchers said. They noted that the findings ‘seem incompatible with the long-held view that perforating appendicitis is merely the progression of non-perforating disease where surgical intervention is delayed too long'.source - Antibiotics and Appendicitis

#19 BQ

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:47 PM

Please provide a link to this research if you would. Thanks.
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#20 Michigan 002

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:48 PM

So, Cherrie's "Appendicitis and how to know you don't have it" thread is a godsend, we all know that, but over a lot of us still looms the irrational fear of the fabled "Chronic Appendicitis" and the thought that perhaps our Docs didn't check for that since it's controversial.I finally pulled my finger out, got some guts and researched into it, and I think I should share my findings with you guys so that you can be as reassured as I am...So, first, the basics, the two types of Appendicitis:Acute Appendicitis, or just appendicitis. This is the condition which we hear all of the horror stories about. Your friend's friend who woke up in blistering agony and was rushed to the hospital to have something hurriedly cut out of them. The appendix (a little tail-like structure hanging off of the colon where it starts at the bottom right) becomes infected, usually due to blockage, and puts you in enough agony to send you to the hospital before it ruptures and infects your entire body. Rarely do people put up with the pain for more than 4 hours before admitting themselves to the hospital as it's simply too intense, so nobody ever really dies from the condition.Chronic Appendicitis, the mysterious one. Since most of us have had our symptoms for months or even years and aren't dead yet, acute appendicitis is ruled out, but this is the little gremlin which latches onto the back of our minds and won't let us relax. A while back it was thrown out of medical study because the men in lab coats felt that it probably didn't exist, and it was only recently considered to be a valid diagnosis again, so finding information on it can be difficult and what you do find can be vague. Some people call it "grumbling appendix", though usually this is referring to the early, general illness of the digestive system some people will go through before Acute Appendicitis properly manifests. A very rare condition which surprises surgeons every time it occurs, Chronic Appendicitis is like a watered-down version of the acute condition, spread out over a longer period of time.We've all read the topics ruling out acute appendicitis to put our minds at rest, so my goal is to help the people like myself, worried about it's mysterious younger brother, to put our minds to rest. After a lot of online research, I'm now going to put together all of the information I have found to be consistant enough to be considered valid, and hopefully understanding the condition with a bit more clarity should help us out. So here are some of the things to consider when getting worried:

  • It's a rarity. The first thing you should consider when getting yourself into a panic is that IBS is a condition which many, many people suffer from. As many as 1 in 3 people will experience some form of IBS at some point in their life, however mild or severe it may be, while chronic appendicitis is a freak condition which rarely occurs. Consider the fact that for a while it was believed to not even exist as an indicator of just how rare it is and just how unlikely it is that your pains are related to it.
  • The symptoms are different. A text book example of chronic appendicitis is simply a general feeling of illness, and even in severe cases, it is usually described as "a very upset stomach". Typically, in chronic form, appendicitis doesn't present as a localised pain. When looking up the condition, you'll find many varied descriptions of it since it's been so misunderstood, but the most reliable sources claim that it is difficult to diagnose due to the low number of symptoms. Since there isn't any actual feeling in the appendix itself, appendicitis pain tends to begin as an overall stomach pain, around your navel or over the whole stomach, which slowly becomes more and more agonising, and it isn't until the point where the infection is critical that the pain localises to McBurney's Point, which is in the lowest, rightmost part of your colon. As such, your localised pain and how long it's lasted is more of an indicator that you don't have chronic appendicitis.I also believe (not entirely confirmed, but 99%) that an infected appendix can't cause pain all the way over on the left hand side, so the moving nature of IBS cramps are a pretty strong indicator that you're okay, even if the pain is predominantly right-sided.
  • It's not bowel movement focused. Hear me out here, because I do have a point. It's true, an infected appendix can cause constipation or diarrhoea just like any stomach problem, but it's a side-effect of the infection, not the centre of it. An IBS sufferer can see a clear link between irregular bowel movements and their pains. In fact, irregular bowel movements aren't even a common symptom of an infected appendix - most sufferers experience just pain and possibly nausea and vomiting.
  • Not affected by foods. Your appendix is either infected or it isn't. Eating a pork chop wouldn't cause it to become more infected, only to calm down again later. We all have the certain foods which set us off, whether you're in control of your IBS yet or not, we know that eating a rasher of bacon (or whatever happens to be your trigger) makes the pain worse. In theory, this makes no sense whatsoever in the context of an appendiceal infection.
That should feel like a bit of weight lifted from your shoulders, but why not go the whole way? What if you did have it? Let's go into this, as it may be a lot less worrying than you think. Here are some ways in which chronic appendicitis differs from the acute condition, which we have already ruled out, to be seen as reasons why you should not panic:
  • No surgery required. While surgery is the best way to cure appendicitis, the reason it is the only method used to treat acute appendicitis is entirely due to the fact that it's a medical emergency. There are actually antibiotics available which can obliterate an appendiceal infection (though a few repeated treatments are required as it tends to come back), and if diagnosed with chronic appendicitis, this is the way you would be treated.
  • Won't usually become acute. While everybody has a friend of a friend who has heard stories of a "grumbling appendix" which later became acute, it's usually not the case. In fact, due to the body's defenses, a seal is formed around the organ making a rupture leading to life-threatening peritonitis a very unlikely thing to happen if chronic appendicitis has been experienced.
  • If you are in trouble, it'll be less jarring. Strange sentence? Yeah, I guess so, but the reason I say this is that while chronic appendicitis can still be life-threatening if untreated for a long period of time, usually the moment you realise you need to be treated won't involve waking up in intense agony and being carried to hospital. Chronic appendicitis, if reaching critical levels, tends to spread the infection to other areas, just making you very, very ill. Not comforting, no, but wouldn't you rather end up getting checked out for feeling really unwell than be rushed to the ER screaming?
So that was my attempt at calming you guys (and myself) who suffer from the Low Right Quadrant blues down about the elephant in the room we call chronic appendicitis.My final test is to visit the doctor and request to be put on the antibiotics which are used for chronic appendicitis to see what happens - the fact that they have no effect on me should be my final proof that what I have is IBS, and in the unlikely event that they do have an effect? Well, they'll make me better.I hope I have helped people.







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