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Merck Manuals Shares Three Signs to Identify Appendicitis

·3 min read

Physician breaks down when stomach pain should mean a trip to the doctor

KENILWORTH, N.J., Aug. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Appendicitis is the most common cause of sudden, severe abdominal pain in the United States. It's most common in adolescents and individuals in their 20s, but overall, more than 5% of the population will develop the condition at some point in their lives. If left untreated, appendicitis can lead to a ruptured appendix, which is a life-threatening emergency.

MerckManuals.com (PRNewsfoto/MerckManuals.com)
MerckManuals.com (PRNewsfoto/MerckManuals.com)

In a new editorial on MerckManuals.com, Dr. Parswa Ansari, Hofstra Northwell-Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, details what patients need to know about the diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis.

Ansari also shares three signs that he says patients and parents should watch for in differentiating appendicitis from other causes of stomach pain, such as food poisoning or indigestion.

1. Intense Pain Comes Before Nausea or Vomiting

Pain is the most common symptom of appendicitis. Unlike other kinds of stomach pain, the intense discomfort caused by appendicitis almost always comes before nausea or vomiting.

2. The Pain Moves from the Belly Button to the Lower Right Side

After a few hours, nausea typically passes, and the pain shifts to the lower right portion of the abdomen. This area is tender to the touch when a doctor or someone else presses it, and the pain may actually increase after that pressure is released.

3. The Pain Lasts More Than a Few Hours

If the pain lasts more than five or six hours, it's worth visiting a healthcare professional to rule out appendicitis. If nausea, vomiting, or fever is present, go to the emergency room. If it's just pain, calling a primary care physician is a good first step.

You can read more about appendicitis in Dr. Ansari's editorial on MerckManuals.com.

About The Merck Manuals and MSD Manuals

First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Merck Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the world's most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. As The Manual evolved, it continually expanded the reach and depth of its offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical information to a wide cross-section of users, including medical professionals and students, veterinarians and veterinary students, and consumers. In 2015, The Manuals kicked off Global Medical Knowledge 2020, a global initiative with the goal to make the best current medical information accessible by up to three billion professionals and patients around the world by 2020. The Manuals achieved that goal, and today its medical information is available in more than 241 countries and in 13 languages. It's continuing its ambitious mission through outreach, education and creating new reliable medical resources. For access to thousands of medical topics with images, videos and a constantly expanding set of resources, visit MerckManuals.com or MSDManuals.com and connect with us on social media: For Consumers in the U.S. and its territories: Twitter and Facebook. For Professionals in the U.S. and its territories: Twitter and Facebook

About Merck

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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SOURCE The Merck Manuals