Healthy Living

Can Appendicitis Affect the Large Intestines?

Can Appendicitis Affect the Large Intestines?

Key Takeaways

  • The large intestine being the closet neighbor to the appendix has the possibility of being affected by the appendicitis.
  • There is no valid evidence of people suffering from large intestine problems due to inflamed appendixes in the world.
  • However, the large intestine may be affected if the appendix is bloated to such an extent it actually explodes.

The Appendix

Understanding the location of the appendix in the abdomen will help us understand how appendicitis can affect the organs in proximity to it. The appendix is found in the lower, right abdomen; with one end attached to the large intestine or the caecum. The function of the large intestine is to remove waste from the body through the anus and also to absorb water. In the event of an appendix rupturing, the surrounding areas can be affected if medical help is not sought, causing life-threatening complications.

Appendicitis

The most common symptoms among those who have experienced appendicitis have suffered from difficulty passing gas through the body, or complications from the trauma which caused the appendix to not function properly in the first place. Even though many doctors have confirmed the fact that the appendix holds no important vital function or secondary function in the body, it is still of great interest because of its ability to fight off with parasites which invade the body. Many people have been concerned with the tendancy of pus to travel through the bloodstream, around the entire body, when the appendicitis becomes out of control. When the pus traveling through a patient's bloodstream settles in other areas of the body, such as the large entestine, serious complications can ensue.

Large intestine dilemma

While doctors world wide have made great efforts in preventing and educating people about the growing problems of appendicitis, the threat of appendicitis is deceptively dangerous. Many times a patient will put off going to the doctor because they think their appendicitis is merely a stomach ache that will pass with time, meanwhile the appendix is building its potential to actually burst inside the body. Warning signs include pain in different parts of the body, typically relating to the stomach area. However pain can also occur in the lower back and sides.

Appendicitis is a very serious condition that can, in many cases, result in hospitalization. The gruesome ability of such a small, and useless, organ to cause such enormous distress in people has certainly made people realize its importance. Over the years, doctors have  come to learn that the appendix is attached to the large intestine, and because of this proximity and the importance of the large intestine in digestion absorption of water from food molecules, it can leave the patient in a life time of distress if either of the two organs are not functioning optimally. 

Problems posed by ruptured appendix

Outlined below are some of the complications that may arise from a ruptured appendix which may affect the organs nearby. Seeking prompt medical attention in such situations can prevent serious complications and future worries.

An appendix becomes infected and inflamed when it is blocked due to various reasons. This results in the buildup of bacteria/mucus within the blocked cavity of the appendix and it gets trapped there. A person may start to show symptoms at this stage; typically beginning with a pain that starts at the belly button and moves down to the lower right abdomen. If such signs are ignored, the possibility of the appendix rupturing increases with time.

Rupturing of the appendix occurs when the pressure of the trapped, infected contents within the appendix builds up to the point where finally it causes a tear in the appendix. Through this tear, the infected contents begin to seep into the surrounding areas of the abdomen. As discussed earlier, pus leakage poses a serious threat. From spreading throughout the bloodstream into other parts of the body, to affecting its next door neighbor, the large intestine, the dangers of a ruptured appendix are many.

A rupture in the appendix may bring temporary relief from pain, but this is short-lived. The infected contents are oozing out into the abdomen and can cause serious complications. The body responds to this infection by forming an abscess around the appendix. This is a pocket of pus around the appendix, and this is the body’s way of fighting the infection. Despite an initial dip in pain, as the abscess of pus surrounding the appendix grows as the body tries its best to fight the infection, the level of pain for the patient increases.

If the infection spreads to the peritoneum, or the lining of the abdominal cavity, it causes peritonitis. This is a life-threatening situation, which is left untreated will lead to septicemia or bacteria in the blood and have life-long complications or even fatal consequences. Treatment for peritonitis is antibiotics and Appendectomy- removal of the appendix by surgery.

Symptoms of peritonitis include:

•    Swelling of abdomen

•    High temperature

•    Rapid heartbeat

•    Severe and continuous abdominal pain

•    Feeling very unwell

•    Shortness of breath

Complications of a ruptured appendix also include blockage of the intestine causing interference in the functioning of the intestinal wall. This hinders movement of liquids and gas causing nausea and vomiting.

In all of the above situations, urgent medical care and surgery will cause healing without any problems to the large intestines in most cases. As with all serious illness, consulting a doctor at the first onset of symptoms can prevent any of these complications from developing. And thus, one does not have to worry about the infection affecting the intestines.

The Conclusion of Researchers

The question of the nature of the appendix, which has caused many people doctors to shake their heads at the appendix, and finally release a serious statement that it can cause damage to other organs, and especially the large intestine, which can lead to other problems. Think of the appendix like a single domino, and the organs that surround it, such as the large intestine, as other dominoes that are all grouped together. The appendix doesn't pose much danger on its own, in the sense that if you lose its functionality, you aren't in a hard place. However the appendix has the possibility of affecting a large number of other organs when it becomes infected. After several debates between many notable scientists and doctors, in the recent years, medical studies have gone up a notch to provide not only the answer but the logical reasoning behind the effects of appendicitis.

Doctors have finalized that there has been no valid evidence of people suffering from large intestine problems due to inflamed appendixes in the world. Such type of condition can only occur in rare cases where the appendix is bloated to such an extent it actually explodes. Operation with the aid of antibiotics help to remove the appendix before it reaches to any such point thus making the problem disappear with a few stitches. 

Thus, keeping the body healthy through a balanced diet and being aware of any changes in your body will help you keep all health related worries at bay.