Healthy Living

Is Appendicitis Hereditary?

Is Appendicitis Hereditary?

Key Takeaways

  • Appendicitis can happen to anyone, but it is generally observed among people between the ages of 10-30.
  • The main cause of this disease is the blockage of the inside of the appendix known as the lumen. 
  • In most cases, appendicitis is not genetic and can affect any person at any point in life even if he or she doesn’t have any family history of the condition.

In order to understand the condition of appendicitis and to know whether it is hereditary or not, we first need to know which body part it affects and what are its symptoms. Appendicitis affects the appendix, which is a small tube–like structure attached to the large intestine. The part of the intestine to which the appendix is connected to is called the colon.

The appendix is a non-functional part or organ of the body, and its removal causes no change in the body, especially in the digestive system. But if you have a family history of appendicitis and if many of your family members had the same condition, then the chances of you getting appendicitis is significantly increased. In short, you are genetically predisposed to get appendicitis, but this is not to say that it is certain you will do so.

Though it happens to the non-functional part of the body, appendicitis can prove to be fatal if not attended on time. In appendicitis, the inflammation and enlargement of the appendix occur.

The biggest problem of this condition is that, once it starts, there is no medical therapy that can reverse or slow it down. Hence, it becomes a medical emergency. For this reason, when you start experiencing the symptoms, you need to get yourself checked into the nearest emergency room for effective treatment. Although when treated as soon as possible, most patients recover without difficulties. However, if not treated at the right time, the appendix can burst causing death or infection. Appendicitis can happen to anyone, but it is generally observed among people between the ages of 10-30.

Appendicitis

It is important to know the cause and symptoms of appendicitis as it is quite a common disease. The main cause of this disease is the blockage of the inside of the appendix known as the lumen. This blockage is the reason for increased pressure, impaired blood flow, and inflammation. The main reason for this blockage is feces.

Bacterial or viral infection in the digestive tract can lead to the swelling of the lymph nodes, which results in the squeezing of the appendix, causing obstruction. Additionally, the most surprising cause of appendicitis can be genetics. This means that appendicitis can be hereditary. So make sure that you get yourself tested out at the nearest emergency room on experiencing some of the symptoms.

As mentioned earlier, it is vital that you seek out effective treatment from the doctor confirming that your appendix is indeed inflamed. You need to get treated at the earliest since a burst appendix can lead to serious health complications and may even lead to a complete collapse and fatality.

There are a number of appendicitis symptoms and they include:

  • Abdominal pain - You will experience pain the abdomen, first in the belly button and then slowly move to the lower right area of the stomach. This is indicative that there is something serious with your appendix and that you need medical attention right away. Make a careful note of the pain you are experiencing since the doctor would ask you to explain your condition.
  • Loss of appetite - You could also be experiencing from a severe loss of appetite. It could be indicative of several health conditions with some of them being serious, including appendicitis. So make sure that you schedule an appointment with your doctor at the earliest, and get your condition attended to right away. The doctor would recommend surgery to remove the appendix since it would be impossible to treat an inflamed appendix.
  • Nausea and vomiting - It is always a good idea to seek out medical help if you are experiencing frequent bouts of nausea and vomiting, since there could be several health conditions that could be causing the same. The doctor may ask you a few questions and even run a few tests to confirm the diagnosis. Once it is confirmed that you are suffering from appendicitis, you would need to get surgery right away, before it bursts and causes your condition to take a turn for the worse.
  • Constipation and diarrhea - While most patients usually brush off these symptoms as nothing serious and opt to take over-the-counter medications to help treat the conditions, it is strongly advised that you consult your doctor first as it could be indicative of something serious like appendicitis. 
  • Inability to pass gas or frequent passing of gas - Either of these symptoms could be indicative of appendicitis. Seek out a detailed medical consultation to better understand the risks involved with the surgery. Inform your doctor regarding your current medical history and any allergies that you may be suffering from as it can have a bearing on your treatment. Moreover, it is important that your doctor has all of your information prior to the surgery to provide you with an effective treatment and relief.
  • Abdominal swelling - If you are experiencing abdominal swelling and pain, along with discomfort, then the chances are high that you could be suffering from appendicitis. So check with your physician and after a few tests, he should be able to confirm if you have appendicitis or not. On confirmation, you may have to prep yourself for surgery, both physically and emotionally since the infected appendix would have to be removed surgically.
  • Low-grade fever that begins after experiencing other symptoms - In addition to the above symptoms, if you end up experiencing low-grade fever, then it is indicative of appendicitis. You need to head over to the nearest emergency room since appendicitis is an emergency medical condition. 
  • Indigestion - There are various health conditions that can cause indigestion. However, some of them are quite serious enough, which is why it is important that you seek immediate medical help to have a proper diagnosis. 

If you have abdominal pain, it doesn’t always mean that you have appendicitis. The pain could also be due to gas, constipation, pregnancy problem, stomach ulcer, and other medical conditions. To be sure that your symptoms are stemming from appendicitis, you will need to get a proper checkup if the pain remains for more than a few days. It is important that you seek out medical attention right away, for the appendix can easily burst and turn fatal if left untreated. Consult your doctor at the earliest for a speedy diagnosis and treatment.

The most reassuring fact about appendicitis is that, no matter how bad your condition may be, your appendix can be removed through laparoscopic surgery. It is a simple procedure done under an anesthetic, and you can be out of the hospital the next day. 

According to a study published on NCBI journal, almost half of the unpredictability regarding the risk of acute appendicitis is due to hereditary factors. It has been concluded that a family history of appendicitis increases your risk of having appendicitis nearly 3 times. However, this isn’t always the case. If you have a family history of appendicitis, you may or may not have this condition.

Further research is being done and many scientists around the world are working to develop a connection between this condition and hereditary factors. In most cases, appendicitis is not genetic and can affect any person at any point in life even if he or she doesn’t have any family history of the condition. But if you do have a family history of appendicitis, then it is reason enough for you to consult your doctor periodically and generally be more aware of the symptoms so that if you start experiencing the symptoms, you can seek out effective medical treatment on time.

Appendicitis is the inflammation of your appendix. When the appendix is filled with pus, it needs to be removed. It is mainly caused when food or stool gets trapped in the abdominal cavity or if you've had a viral gastrointestinal infection. Eventually, what happens is that your appendix gets infected by bacteria, which causes it to swell.

Obstruction is the main reason that causes this condition and occurs when fecal matter gets accumulated. Worms, trauma, tumor, and enlarged lymphoid follicles are other obstruction factors. Hereditary factors are currently not mentioned in the list of the causes of appendicitis. While the surgical process is simple enough, it nevertheless can cause your body to undergo stress.

And if you are allergic to some of the medications used, before and during the course of the surgery, it can cause severe health complications. This is why you need to be totally upfront of all the substances you may be allergic to and if you are not sure, and then ask your doctor to run a full panel allergy test, which should help confirm your allergies. This may have a bearing on the medications you are prescribed as well as the surgery and postoperative care.

However, according to a Cambridge medical journal, appendicitis may be influenced by genetic factors, but no effort has been made to provide an estimate of the heritability accounting for these factors. The conditions that affect people at an early stage in life are often thought to be under a greater genetic influence than those with an older onset. The same can be estimated for appendicitis, but these assumptions still need to be rigorously tested for accuracy. 

Further studies need to be undertaken to understand the correlation between genetic predisposition and appendicitis. Moreover, it is important that you understand the fact that while you may be genetically predisposed to appendicitis if you have a family history of the same, this does not in any way make it certain that you will acquire it.

According to another research paper, during a study of the epidemiology of appendicitis, it was discovered that acute appendicitis is equally prevalent in men and women. The paper also put some light in the genetic factors that relate to the condition. But some other studies have also said that if you mother or father or anyone had the problem of appendicitis, then you need not worry since this problem is not genetic.

Because appendicitis has known causes, in the majority of cases, there is no hereditary connection. Moreover, since there is no solid evidence to support the statement that appendicitis is hereditary, it’s still a matter of research. But a tendency has been seen that the person who has an appendicitis problem usually has a close family member or members who have already been diagnosed with the same condition.

So right now, it would not be appropriate to rule out the fact that appendicitis is not hereditary, nor we can say it is hereditary. To reach a conclusive answer, further studies and research are required in this field, so that the questions arising regarding this problem can be resolved, and more proper measures can be taken to avoid this problem in the coming future.