Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you have appendicitis for a long period of time?"
I?ve had an achy feeling in my abdomen for around two weeks. It won?t go away and now I?m worried. Could it be appendicitis or am I just crazy? Can you have appendicitis for a long time and now know it?
Abdominal pain like what you are experiencing is common and can be caused by many different problems. Acute appendicitis is a syndrome where the appendix becomes inflamed and needs to be removed to prevent a total rupture. The symptoms of acute appendicitis are fever, abdominal pain, nausea and loss of appetite. The abdominal pain is typically located just underneath the belly button, then moves to the right lower quadrant of the abdomen. The pain is often severe enough that many people go to the emergency room and end up having the appendix removed the same day. Your feeling of belly pain is very unlikely to be acute appendicitis unless all of those symptoms I mentioned above are true for you. There is an entity known as chronic appendicitis which can cause lower abdominal pain for weeks without the fever. However, this is not that common and would only be considered if there was no other possible explanation. Other possible causes of your symptoms include gastritis, and ulcer, a gall bladder stone, or just indigestion. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your description of your symptoms and decide if there is something concerning going on. From there, your doctor may initiate treatment, order some imaging of your abdomen such as a CT scan or ultrasound, or may refer you to a gastroenterologist.
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