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Any medical term that ends is Ďcitisí means it is an inflammation or infection of the root word. In this case it means an infection of the appendix.

There isnít much written about appendicitis in the self help books. This is because once you have appendicitis there isnít really anything you can do about it at home. The best thing to do is to see your doctor. You may need emergency surgery.

For years the medical profession has been telling us that the appendix is a useless organ. It is part of the lymph system, but is attached to the large intestine or colon just about where it attaches to the small intestine. It is a sack like organ that resembles a finger in appearance.

It has been found that the appendix is very important to the developing child. Before birth the organ contains endocrine cells that manufacture hormones and other important body chemicals. Even up to young adulthood the appendix is believed to play an important part in maturing the B lymphocytes and in producing an antibody called immunoglobulin A. As the person matures other organs seem to take over these functions and the appendix seems to shrink in size.

You get an infection of the appendix mainly through improper diet. One of the key components of your diet for protecting your appendix is fiber. A diet lacking in fiber can allow blockages in the colon, which back up into the appendix. This allows bacteria to grow in this small sack. If enough inflammation and bacteria occur the appendix can rupture, allowing fecal matter and bacteria into the abdominal cavity. This is turn can cause major infection, and even death.

Symptoms of appendicitis include severe abdominal pain that begins close to the navel and moves toward the right lower abdomen. Any movement that moves the stomach area tends to make the pain worse. This would include taking deep breaths, coughing, sneezing, moving or touching the area. Other symptoms that can occur are diarrhea, swelling of the area, a mild fever, and constipation, inability to pass gas, painful urination and blood in the urine.

Because most people that get appendicitis are in their teens and early twenties it is thought that the chances of getting it diminish with age. People can be confused as to the source of their pain, thinking instead they may have a bladder infection, kidney stones, or an ovarian cyst.

It is easier to prevent appendicitis than it is to recover from it. Preventing appendicitis will lead to better overall health. Eating a well balanced diet that contains fiber is a good start. One nutrient that seems to feed and nurture the appendix is L-Arginine. This is an amino acid that the body makes in small amounts. You can also obtain it by eating peanuts. Zinc is essential mineral for our immune system.

Other ways to protect your appendix is to make sure you are digesting what you are eating. I do this by taking a plant enzyme supplement with every meal. This keeps particles of food from blocking the opening between the appendix and the colon. Along with a good quality source of fiber they also help to keep the bowels moving, again avoiding the fecal matter backing up into the appendix.

A strong immune system is a must in preventing any infection. Eating right and taking the proper supplements have been shown to be helpful in boosting your immune system.

If you are successful in protecting yourself against appendicitis you will probably never even know it. What you will be doing by eating a proper diet, exercising, and getting proper supplementation is improving your overall health. This is turn can lead to greater productivity and enjoyment of life.

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Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy, copyrighted 1999 Times Media Private Limited and 2004 Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Private Limited. Publish by Ulysses Press
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