What are the causes of Appendicitis?


Appendix in humans is an obsolete organ and serves no useful function. We, humans do not need appendix for any reason (I hope the organ will slowly disappear as humans evolve naturally in evolution). The appendix may not perform any useful function, but it does create serious medical emergency situation in humans by causing appendicitis (which is inflammation of appendix). Appendicitis is a medical emergency and need prompt and appropriate management to save the patient. Less than a decade ago, appendicitis was a surgical emergency too and emergency surgery used to be performed in patients suffering from appendicitis to save life of the patients. But these days appendicitis is mainly a medical emergency and with appropriate medical management, it no more requires surgery. But some cases still require surgery, which involved removal of inflamed appendix. The mortality in appendicitis is very high among untreated and inappropriately treated cases.

The causes of appendicitis, as is known to medical science are:

Acute appendicitis is most commonly due to primary obstruction of lumen of appendix. If the lumen of appendix is obstructed, it gets filled with mucus and swell, which put increased pressure on the walls of the organ, which cause occlusion of small blood vessels as well as there is obstruction to lymphatic flow of the organ. This causes ischemia or appendix and the organ dies. At this stage bacteria may leak out of swelled, inflamed, ischemic appendix or the organ may burst (rupture), and lead to peritonitis, septicemia and ultimately death.

Causes of obstruction of lumen of appendix include foreign bodies, worms, calcified deposits, inflammation of lymphatic system of appendix, and sometimes feces.

Several studies has shown that intake of inadequate fiber daily in diet is a causative factor of appendicitis. This is because, dietary fiber reduce transit time of intestinal contents.


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