Your appendix is a tiny sac that extrudes off the first part of your large intestine. It is shaped like a finger and is generally located in the lower right of your abdomen.
Sometimes the appendix can become infected with a condition known as appendicitis, which if not treated may leak an infection into your abdominal area and cause death. To reduce the risk, a surgeon usually removes an infected appendix.
You may have appendicitis if you experience
- abdominal pain, especially in the lower right of your abdomen
- low appetite
- vomiting and/or nausea
If you experience these symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately because only a doctor can diagnose if you have appendicitis or another illness that may share these symptoms, based on your health, medical history, a physical exam of your abdomen and rectum, and blood tests to see if you have an infection.
Because untreated appendicitis can cause death, you should not delay in seeking emergency medical help. Do not try to treat yourself using pain relievers, laxatives, heating pads, or other home treatments.