When I was a young man, I remember appendicitis being quite common among young adults and the cure was an appendectomy. Patients had to have their appendix removed surgically. In fact, all of a sudden, the symptoms of appendicitis became a common ailment of many people, and the pain was said to be extreme, so some had theirs removed as a preventive measure.

For generations the appendix has been dismissed as useless. Doctors assumed it had no function and surgeons routinely removed it. In “The Story of Evolution,” Joseph McCabe argued that the vermiform appendage is the shrunken remainder of a large and normal intestine of a remote ancestor. And Darwin proposed that the appendix was used for digesting leaves as primates. He further postulated that, over time, we have eaten fewer vegetables and evolved, causing this organ to be smaller to make room for our stomach.

However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that the appendix does in fact have a significant function as part of the body’s immune system: it produces and protects good germs for your gut.

Your appendix is a finger-shaped pouch that projects out from your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen. The small structure has no known purpose, but that doesn’t mean it can’t cause problems. Appendicitis is a condition in which the appendix becomes inflamed and filled with pus.

Despite a marked decline in associated mortality over the past 50 years, rates of perforation remain unchanged because they are influenced strongly by factors untouched by the intervening technological advances.

The main symptom of appendicitis is pain that typically begins around the navel and then shifts to the lower right abdomen. The pain of appendicitis usually increases over a period of six to 12 hours, and eventually may become very severe.

Anyone can develop appendicitis, but it most often strikes people between the ages of 10 and 30. Appendicitis is one of the most common reasons for emergency abdominal surgery in children.

Ref: Family Health

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