The appendix is located near the large intestine and is a small pouch that is quite thin and about five to ten cm long. The role of the appendix is uncertain. There are theories that suggest that it is a vestigial organ. This simply means that it may be an organ that is simply leftover after evolution and that it does not play an important role today.
Another theory is that the appendix may play a role in nurturing and cultivating beneficial bacteria that serves an important function in the body such as fighting off bad bacteria. It may also produce digestive enzymes and hormones that are quite useful.
Even though the true function is questionable, it is known that the appendix can be removed without causing any type of harm to a person. In fact, there are times when it becomes inflamed or swollen due to an infection and needs to be removed. Here are some early symptoms of appendicitis that you should be aware of.
1. Abdominal Pain
Pain in the abdominal area is the most common symptom that a person will experience when they have appendicitis. This pain is caused by the organ becoming swollen. Typically, the pain associated with the appendix will start in the belly button area. It will then move down and end up in the lower side area of the abdomen. The pain will take about twelve to 24 hours to make the journey from the belly button to the lower side.
One of the problems with this symptom is that any type of inflammation can cause discomfort and pain. The pain and discomfort are the body’s main way of letting you know that something is wrong and that you need to take it easy. If you are experiencing abdominal pain you can take some ibuprofen or another painkiller to help alleviate some of the pain. You may also apply heat to the area or take a warm bath.