Health A-Z

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Symptoms

Symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Abdominal pain, usually starting just above the belly button and then moving to the right lower side of the abdomen

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Pain when the right side of the abdomen is touched

  • Low-grade fever

  • Inability to pass gas

  • Change in normal bowel pattern

If you have symptoms of appendicitis, do not take enemas or laxatives to relieve constipation: These medicines increase the chance that the appendix will burst. Also, avoid taking pain-relief medicines before seeing your doctor, because these medications can mask appendicitis symptoms and make diagnosis difficult.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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