Appendicitis: How to Tell if Your Child has it

Imagine one of your kids is sick with a fever, tummy ache, and vomiting.  Would you know if he had appendicitis?  Could you recognize appendicitis symptoms? Would you know whether you should take him to the hospital?  If you aren’t sure, watch this video and you will be much more confident.  Knowing how to tell whether or not your child has an appendix issue can be something anyone can become comfortable with.

In this video I explain:

  • Where the appendix is
  • What the appendix does
  • What the signs and symptoms of appendicitis are
  • When it’s time to go the hospital
  • The lessons we learned from our experience

My eleven year old son came down with what we thought was food poisoning.  However, thanks to my training as a chiropractor and the grace of God, I knew how to diagnosis appendicitis at home and was able to get him to the hospital before he was in any grave danger.  Many people have asked me how to know whether a person has a problem with their appendix.  It became obvious that there was a real need to educate people, especially parents, about how to recognize when the appendix is infected.

As we went through this experience, I was surprised at how much my perspective as a chiropractor was important.  I was able to improve my son’s care several times as I questioned the doctors.  It is beyond the scope of this article to teach you everything I know about lab tests, drugs, diet, examination and diagnostic imaging related to appendicitis.  I have included what I think are the most helpful things to know when a loved one is sick and you are trying to determine whether you should take them to the hospital.  If you are one of my patients, feel free to contact me if you have questions about a loved one.

Appendicitis in children is a scary thing, but knowing its signs and symptoms, and having an idea about when it’s time to go to the hospital, can make it a little less intimidating.

86 Responses to Appendicitis: How to Tell if Your Child has it
  1. Lynda Sims
    June 15, 2011 | 7:33 am

    Thanks for your very informative video on appendicitis! (Now, if I can just remember it all . . .)–kidding I did learn a few things, however.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      June 15, 2011 | 7:36 am

      My pleasure Lynda! All you need to remember is to look here when you need the info…or you can call me :).

  2. Kathleen C.
    June 15, 2011 | 8:51 am

    Thanks for this great info, Dr. K. I’m going to pass it on to my family!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      June 15, 2011 | 10:04 am

      Thanks Kathleen! That is exactly what I hope happens.

  3. Joyce
    June 15, 2011 | 10:47 am

    Thanks Dr Darryl..Thankfully we have never had this experience with any of our family…but will know where to look and who to call for info! Thankful for Ben’ recovery.The Lord is good!

  4. Bunny Howsmon
    June 17, 2011 | 10:57 pm

    Dr. Kilcup thanks for making the video. I know being at the hospital is stressful. everyone has an emergency kit at home but we should make one for when you go to the hospital. some of the things I have in mine, a copy of important phone numbers, a note pad and pen, phone battery charger, change for vending machine. couple days worth of my prescriptions. I have found the staff is usually very busy and when you can be there to help, they go out of their way for your loved one.

  5. Helen Lacayo
    June 25, 2011 | 3:23 pm

    Thank you very much for your very informative video. My son is 6 1/2 yrs old and he has some of the symptoms in the past. His regular pediatrician has warned me and now he had fever last night and today he complains of abdominal pain. It’s hard to make the call for the hospital but your video gave me a good idea of the signs when walking in pain and how to press on his belly. Thank you again!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      June 25, 2011 | 5:22 pm

      Helen I am so thankful for your comments. My purpose in doing this was for people like you.

      Blessing to you!

  6. mkfinch
    December 1, 2011 | 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the info. Very helpful. I may be taking my 9 year old son to the hospital if the pain moves down and to the right!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      December 1, 2011 | 1:40 pm

      Your very welcome. I sincerely pray that you your son does not need to go to the hospital!

  7. nienie
    January 6, 2012 | 12:07 pm

    Thankyou very much for posting this video it has helped me alot i was at the drs today with my 11year old son with afew of these symptoms she said he could have appendicitis but just to keep an eye on him so of course i have been worrying all day about how i will know when to take him to hospital Thankyou again for the great information.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 6, 2012 | 1:16 pm

      I am happy that the information is helpful. I sincerely pray that your son is fine.

      Blessings to you!

  8. iona
    January 19, 2012 | 10:58 am

    i have had a stomach ache for about a week now, hurts a little more to the right, but no rebound pain. painkillers dont help, not hungry and no fever. do you think i have appendicitis

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 19, 2012 | 1:38 pm

      Hi Iona,

      Sorry your having this stomach pain. It is really hard for me to answer your question without seeing you. Like I said in my video these are guidelines. I recommend seeing a physician. Good luck!

  9. Jodie
    January 30, 2012 | 9:36 pm

    Hi there
    My son (4) has been complaining of a upset tummy for 2 weeks or a little more. Most of the time it was when he didn’t want to do things or seemed nervous. He has just had a cold for about a week now (thought it was getting better)and has developed a fever and is saying his stomach is hurting. I press on it and he does say it hurts but not on the right. Im just wondering if the stomach pain is unlikely to be the appendix since he has been complaint for awhile now or if I should be really worried now that he seems to have a fever….i plan to call the doc in the morning but was just wondering if you had any advice. I tend to be one of those panicky moms that gets worried easily.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 30, 2012 | 10:19 pm

      Jodie I can feel your worry. I know that feeling. You know I can’t give you an answer that is well informed. From what you have said I am not gravely concerned. I can’t tell you what to do. I will pray for you and your son. Let me know what happens. I do care.

  10. Wendy
    March 10, 2012 | 8:13 pm

    Hi Dr.Kilcup,
    My 7 year old daughter (who by the way)never complains about anything, and thank God is hardly ever sick. While eating dinner tonight, she starting complaining of tummy pains and it is now 10pm and she is still in pain. Her pain seems to go in waves. Writhering around in extreme like pain for 5 minutes then it goes away for 5 and so on…Is the pain with appendix normally constant? or can it go in waves like this? Your video was very useful and I was so happy to find it. So thoughtful of you to do this for people. I just did the rebound test on her? I asked her if it hurt when i pushed on her belly and her reply was,”when it comes back up”…I think we may be going to the hospital tonight…thanks again for your wonderful video… :) Wendy

  11. Dr. Kilcup
    March 10, 2012 | 9:20 pm

    You are very kind Wendy. I sincerely hope that your daughter is not having appendicitis. If I were to “GUESS” based on what you have shared I don’t think her appendix is causing her pain. Please let me know how it turns out.

  12. Susan
    August 29, 2012 | 10:40 am

    My 11 year old son started having stomach pains a week(8/21 ago yesterday. He was at football practice and when it first happened. He came over to me during the water break almost in tears(mind you he’s not one to cry or ever complain that something hurts). I asked what was wrong, he replied “his stomach was hurting really bad”. I really thought he probably was getting a virus. He continued to complain of stomach pain, always more severe during football practice. So, on Friday(8/24), I took him to his pediatrician. His pediatrician thought it was just a virus as well. Last night the pediatrician said to give him Phillips Milk of Magnesia and see if that helped. As of this morning he still is having stomach pains. No other symptoms.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      August 29, 2012 | 11:02 am

      I’m sorry to hear about this Susan. Outside of the information in the article and video I can’t offer more help. If you have any concerns that your pediatrician is missing something get another doctor involved.

      Please let me know what happens.

      Dr. Kilcup

  13. charlie williams
    September 6, 2012 | 1:47 am

    Thanks for this terrific video. I watched it because I’m trying to decide whether my 7 yr old daughter has a virus or something more sinister. She’s booked in to the Dr this morning but I wanted to go in armed with info as I am suspicious that many appendix are removed unnecessarily and I am v v keen to avoid this, obviously. Her pain is sometimes severe and then appears to ease, often after vomiting. She has had no diarrhoea but then she hasn’t eaten for 48 hours. I am not after a diagnosis from you, naturally, but could you suggest some positive/negative foods that could help? I know how important diet is and the food in uk hospitals (which hopefully we will not be subjected to)is CRAP. Cheers! Not a worried mother, but this time a bit concerned… Charlie Williams

    • Dr. Kilcup
      September 6, 2012 | 3:30 pm

      Wow Charlie from the UK! I’m sorry your daughter has been sick. I’m glad my video is helpful. The most important thing is to keep your daughter hydrated. Even if she can only handle sucking on ice it is important that you keep giving her fluids. Fruit juice, bananas, apples and rice would be the kinds of things I would give her now.

      Let me know what happens!

      • charlie williams
        September 8, 2012 | 3:26 pm

        Thanks, Darrell, for your helpful reply. I must update you with news of Nancy. After 2 days of (in my view, and I am her mother and also as a mother of 4 have seen a LOT of tummy bugs) average tummy bug symptoms, i began to get suspicious. Having done my research and this site was an important and helpful part of that, I called the doctor as I was convinced she had Appendicitis. In a nutshell, the doctor whizzed us off to hospital (I had packed a bag in case)in an ambulance and then Nancy underwent several hours of tests (a lot of painful prodding by strangers progressing up the food chain to the High Priest Consultant surgeon who, interestingly, made Nancy prod herself…) She was white, shut off from the world and in deep pain. As she had not eaten properly for 48 hours she was dehydrated and had a high temperature so before they would anaesthetise, they put her on a UV drip. She responded immediately and so BANG, the whole process started. I should explain that my biggest fear is that they would open her up and there would be a perfectly healthy little appendix. Not so. It had perforated and her stomach was full of pus. She was washed out with 10.5 litres of water and the horrid Gentromicin beads (nasty antibiotic) that I am deeply suspicious of were put in. It turns out that being a little trojan isn’t always a good thing. As a result, she is currently on morphine and antibiotics by IV. On a positive note, she is progressing really well. No temperature, and today, less than 48 hours after the op, she ate some food (it was 2 days prior to the op when she last ate and she has a body like a whippet anyway). As I suspected, their food was rubbish. They offered cordial but I checked the bottle and it was chock full of terrible ingredients. This is a hospital! My dog would turn his nose up at the stuff they offer sick kids. People; take in your best sustenance! My pal Charlotte made her green soup (spinach, watercress, garlic, etc)and I gave her water first then organic rice milk. She had a banana this evening! (Deliberate as her potassium read as too low)Also I am trying to get her to take child’s Floradix as it is packed with goodness especially Iron. I will tackle rebuilding the liver (after the drugs) once she is out of hospital. I have no real advice to parents; inform yourselves, feed your children well, even massage their feet when they are sleeping. (I checked a reflexology chart and tried to stimulate the bowel that way as i couldn’t massage her tender tummy)We are not out of the woods yet as she is still septic but the signs are quite promising. We shall see. I look forward to tomorrow when she may make it into a chair and be wheeled out of the room to look at the fish in the tank! Your words of advice really really helped me. I send my best wishes to all parents out there reading this. Trust your instincts. Thanks, Darrell. All the best, mate. Charlie

        • Dr. Kilcup
          September 10, 2012 | 8:41 am

          Charlie thank you so much for the update. Your daughter is very blessed to have a father like you. I pray that your daughter will continue to improve.

  14. michelle
    December 21, 2012 | 8:25 pm

    I just stumbled across this video as im concerned this may be what is going on with my 4 year old. He woke up this morning saying his tummy hurt and has been complaining all day and nite. He says it hurts on his belly button and that his stomach feels hot. He says he doesnt want me to touch it because it hurts so bad. Im just confused because sometimes he seems okay. He hasnt been eating or running around but when he is playing wii he seems like the pain isnt terrible. We have an appointment in the morning and im hoping for good news as christmas is just a few days away and he is looking forward to celebrating!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      December 24, 2012 | 6:40 pm

      How did your young man do Michelle?

  15. Cristina
    January 8, 2013 | 1:44 am

    I have a daughter who will be 3 in Feb and for a few weeks now she has not been wanting to eat, some days she had diarrhea off and on, she has vomited 2 different days in a weeks time and she is warm but no fevor, she cries like she is in pain but she doesn’t know how to tell me, and sometimes she doesn’t want me to touch her. it’s been 3 weeks of the same stuff and i’m not sure what i should do. About a month a go she went 5 days with out pooping BUT then we finally got her to poop, now it’s like she is constendly sick do you know why maybe?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 17, 2013 | 4:47 pm

      Cristina I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner. How is your daughter?

  16. Lucy
    January 31, 2013 | 2:46 pm

    My son is 12 and we took him to the e.r last night. He has alot of pain just as you show. They did a ct scan and blood work. Everything came back ok. No fever just lots of pain. They sent us home. Said to take Motrin, Tylenol as needed for pain. Even with these there’s pain even to the touch. The hospital we went to said they usually don’t deal with children. Because nothing has changed I feel they may have over looked something. Do you believe this may be appendicitis?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      February 4, 2013 | 4:42 pm

      Lucy how is your son? There is no way I can give advise on a specific patient through this connection. The info on the video is as good as I can do without seeing someone.

      I do care, and I sincerely hope everything great.

  17. Anisa
    March 14, 2013 | 7:33 am

    I think I have been experiencing appendicitis and have been having a lot of similar symptoms, and have a cyst as well on my ovaries only the cyst part showed up for my CT scan, I was in the hospital for a couple days and now am home but in such severe pain still :( and don’t know what to do

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 14, 2013 | 10:19 am

      Anisa sounds like you should go back to the hospital. You are obviously not getting better. Being in severe pain is a sign something is very wrong.

  18. Kaite
    March 22, 2013 | 8:55 am

    Hi. My son is having diarrhea, loss of appetite, and is nauseous. He has a minor sharp pain on lower right abdomen. He has tenderness rebound and it is tender to touch. He has no fever. If I press on his left side, his right side gets worse. Could this be appendicitis?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 22, 2013 | 9:00 am

      Kaite from what you described it is possible.

      Let me know how things turn out.

  19. Mary Anne
    March 22, 2013 | 6:01 pm

    Hello Dr. Kilcup, thank you for your video. I am worried that my daughter, Alex, has appendicits. I know that you can’t diagnose her on the Internet, but I would like to get your opinion on her. Day 1: lost her appetite Day 2: had diarrhea, had some vomiting Day 3: has diarrhea, feels nauseous whenever she eats or drinks
    She does not have a fever. Today her pain started in her belly, and it is dull. Now it is in her lower right abdomen and sharp. She says it’s about moderate pain. She does have tenderness rebound, and it is rather worrying.
    If she does need to go to a doctor, what are some dos and donts? I heard that you can’t take pain medication, I also heard you can’t take laxatives because it may cause your appendix to rupture.
    What are some signs and symtpoms of a ruptured appendix?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 22, 2013 | 6:26 pm

      Mary Anne I know that worried feeling. I am happy to give you help.

      From what you describe I do think there is enough of a chance that Alex might have appendicitis that I would want a CT scan.

      Generally when the appendix ruptures the actual rupturing hurts but then the pain is less. After the rupture a fever will climb and the entire abdomen will become very rigid and painful.

      Let me know how it goes.

  20. Brianna Dummar
    March 24, 2013 | 9:10 am

    Thank you for your video and willingness to answer questions. I have a 4 year old that has been having severe stomach pain and I took her to urgent care. The doctor pressed really hard all over her abdomen and it didn’t hurt at all. We got home she was fine. Now every time at the start of a meal she says her stomach really hurts and screams. I’m not sure it’s appendicitis just because her belly isn’t tender. I’m at a loss as what it could be, any thoughts? Thank you so much in advance for your help.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 24, 2013 | 11:04 am

      Your welcome Brianna. It sounds like your daughter has something wrong in her stomach. Most likely a virus. I would keep her hydrated and not force her to eat. Organic apple juice diluted 50% with pure water would be great for her to drink. If that helps just give it time. If it doesn’t there is so much more that ought to be investigated but it is beyond what I can do like this. If you can’t get the help that you need call my office and we can set up a phone consultation. (602) 864-0304.

      I’d love to hear how things turn out.

  21. Rebecca
    March 31, 2013 | 1:17 pm

    Thank you, Dr. Kilcup! Very informative. :) My son has a bizarre habit; he eats popcorn kernels. My husband claimed that eating popcorn kernels can block the appendix, leading to appendicitis. Is this true? Or is it an old wives tale? Thank you in advanced.

  22. Kayleigh
    March 31, 2013 | 2:49 pm

    Thank you for this information, Dr. Kilcup. I love popcorn, and I was wondering, can popcorn kernels really block the appendix? Or is that just an old wives tale? Thank you in advanced. :)

  23. Dr. Kilcup
    March 31, 2013 | 3:37 pm

    Rebecca and Kayleigh I have no idea if popcorn kernels can block the appendix! I have never read or heard of that.

    What is it about the kernels you like? Do you chew them or just swallow them?

  24. Ashlyn
    March 31, 2013 | 5:03 pm

    Hey. My name is Ashlyn and I am 13 years old. I have been having on and off pain in lower right abdomen. It is always sharp and minor, and I know it is not ovaries. I have also been having a cramping aching feeling around my belly button for two weeks. Today I had to force myself not to vomit in my bed. No fever. I know you can’t diagnose me over the Internet, but do you know what it might be? What are some dos and donts? I also have a burning, aching, pressure headache if that helps.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 31, 2013 | 5:09 pm

      That is a tough one for me Ashlyn. You really need to be seen by a doctor to figure this out. I wish I could help you more. Let me know what happens.

  25. Kayleigh
    March 31, 2013 | 5:08 pm

    I don’t know, it just tastes good! I swallow them. I swallowed about 15+ today.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 31, 2013 | 5:11 pm

      This is kind of a gross question. Do you poop them out?

  26. Kayleigh
    March 31, 2013 | 5:13 pm

    I started today. It was about two hours ago. I have pooped, but no kernels were in there. I just started getting a minor pain near McBurney’s point.

  27. Kayleigh
    March 31, 2013 | 5:14 pm

    It feels sort of like someone is stabbing me
    With a butter knife or a pine needle. LOL

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 31, 2013 | 5:16 pm

      How do you know about McBurney’s point? If you ate the kernels two hours ago I wouldn’t expect to see them in your poop until tomorrow. Maybe the kernels are popping inside. 😉

  28. Kayleigh
    March 31, 2013 | 5:18 pm

    I know where McBurney’s point is. My mom is actually in the hospital right now because her appendix ruptured a few days ago.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 31, 2013 | 5:20 pm

      Good Grief! Did she swallow kernels?

      Seriously tell her I’ll be praying for her and you. Let me know how you both end up.

  29. Kayleigh
    March 31, 2013 | 5:26 pm

    I don’t know what happened! A few nights back she took some pain killer, and looked like she was going to cry. She did that walking thingy that Benjamin did. My dad asked her if she was okay and what was up. She told him she was ovulating but she’s be fine. Early the next morning she was screaming in pain, had a high fever, and was vomiting a lot. My dad took her to the ER. They ran some tests, and they decided to remove her appendix. She did eat some popcorn for a few days before the happened. Thanks, I will. You’re really nice. :) I’m sorry about my wringing, I’m only 10.

    • Miranda
      March 31, 2013 | 6:16 pm

      Kayleigh, I know you are 10, but please stop going around the internet worrying people.

  30. Miranda
    March 31, 2013 | 5:34 pm

    I am sorry about that, Dr. Kilcup. Kayleigh is my 10-year-old daughter who likes to exaggerate. I am not in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. I told her that my appendix almost ruptured when I was 13, and she turned that into a whole new story. Once again, I am very sorry.

  31. Miranda
    March 31, 2013 | 6:14 pm

    Hi, Dr. Kilcup. Kayleigh, my 10-year-old daughter, likes to exxagerate. I am her mom. I am not in the hospital from a ruptured appendix. I told her when I was 13, my appendix came close to rupturing, and she turned it into a completely new story. I went to take a nice, hot bath, and I come back seeing her typing comments on this! I told her she can’t do it again, and I’m sorry that she caused so much worrisome in you. She is sorry, to.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 31, 2013 | 6:32 pm

      No Worries! I do this because I love people and I want to help. I happy to interact!

      Blessings to you all.

  32. Kayleigh
    March 31, 2013 | 7:10 pm

    Do you even love atheists? I am not atheist, but I’m just do wondering.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 31, 2013 | 7:49 pm

      Kayleigh I would LOVE to meet you someday. I am not an atheist either. I love Jesus with all my heart. I have friends who are atheists and I love them …just like Jesus did when he was here. I have lots of friends who don’t believe what I believe about lots of things. God loves me and forgives me even though I’ve done lots of bad things. I want to be just like Jesus and love people like He did. Does that make sense?

  33. Kayleigh
    March 31, 2013 | 8:00 pm

    Yeah, it does! It would be cool to meet you some day!

  34. Anna
    March 31, 2013 | 8:24 pm

    Hi, I am totally freaking out here. I had a sudden aching pain just above my belly button a few hours ago. It moved down to my lower right abdomen. I feel nauseous. The pain is sharp and is getting worse by the second! I had a low grade fever but it’s going down. Could this be appendicitis? Oh my gosh, I’m terrified!

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 31, 2013 | 8:36 pm

      Wow Anna I’d give it overnight and see if it gets worse or better. My initial impression is that it is more likely a intestinal bug. Yes it COULD be appendicitis. Don’t hesitate to go to the ER if you are too worried. Let me know how you do!

  35. Shawna
    April 23, 2013 | 12:50 pm

    Hi! My daughter is complaining of a stomach ache after she eats and has been having diarrea off and on for the last three days. No fever but threw up twice two days ago. One minute her bowels are solid and yellow and the next they are runny. She s sleeping right now but when she wakes up ill check her lower abdomen. If its not her appendix could it be a gluten allergy?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      April 23, 2013 | 2:31 pm

      Sorry about your daughter Shawna. It could be a gluten allergy…and it may not have anything to do with a gluten allergy. I wish I could tell you more but there are so many possibilities that at the very least I would need to talk with you. Take the information in the article and video and go from there. If you would like to make an appointment to speak with me over the phone we can do that. The biggest thing is to keep her hydrated. Dehydration is my largest concern right now.

  36. Anna
    June 21, 2013 | 8:01 pm

    Hi, Dr. Kilcup. Thank you for your willingness to answer our questions. What exactly causes stone to go into your appendix instead of where it should go? Could lazy bowel syndrome do it? I can’t find anything anywhere, so if you could please explain the process an risk factors, that would be greatly appreciated. :)

    • Dr. Kilcup
      June 21, 2013 | 8:36 pm

      Anna believe it or not I enjoy helping people and this is a great way for me to do that.

      You ask a great question. The answer is no one knows which is why you couldn’t find anything. :(

      I think the best we can do is do what makes for good health in general. Eat right, sleep right, drink right, and get the nutrition that makes for great health.

      If you look more at what I’ve written there is a lot of good information to help you get and stay healthy.

      Does that help?

  37. Anna
    June 21, 2013 | 8:55 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to ready comment and reply. Could the blood supply being cut off cause appendictis? If so, what can cause the blood supply to get cut off? I’m just wondering because I just heard my mom needs an appendectomy. :(

  38. Anna
    June 21, 2013 | 11:16 pm

    Sorry, I should have been more specific. What I mean, is, can blood supply to your appendix get cut off and cause appendicitis? If so, how? Thanks. :)

    • Dr. Kilcup
      June 22, 2013 | 8:04 am

      Hi Anna,

      If you just switched it you would be right. The appendicitis can cause the blood supply to get cut off. This is one reason it has to be removed.

      As the appendix gets inflamed it gets bigger. The increase in size begins to compress the artery to the appendix.

      The infection in the appendix is the cause for the inflammation.

      Does that make sense? I like the way you think!

  39. Anna
    June 25, 2013 | 8:25 pm

    Yeah, it makes sense. Thanks!

    By the way, I have a crazy cousin (LOL) who for whatever reason likes to tie a jump rope around her lower abdomen every day. Even though the rope is above her shirt it always causes a mark because she ties it so quickly. Will this affect her appendix in any way? She is having therapy right now.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      June 25, 2013 | 10:06 pm

      Anna it sure isn’t going to help anything! Your cousin should use rope for making tents or something!

  40. Anna
    June 25, 2013 | 8:53 pm

    Tightly, not quickly. You have to love autocorrect :p

  41. Valerina (Valerie)
    July 17, 2013 | 8:44 pm

    Dear Dr. Kilcup,
    What are some things that cause the appendix to swell? Can infections do it? Can constipation really cause appendicitis? Thank you for posting this video, and your will to answer questions and help people. You are an absolute saint!
    Valerina (Valerie)

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 17, 2013 | 10:11 pm

      Valerie its my pleasure. Yes infection can make the appendix swell. I personally think when the colon is not healthy in any way it is more likely to get appendicitis. Things like antibiotic use and poor diet are hard on the colon.

      I just posted a great article on my facebook page about what the appendix is for. If you’re on facebook check it out.

      Blessings to you!

  42. Valerina (Valerie)
    July 23, 2013 | 12:54 am

    Thank you! Blessings to you, too. Your article is very interesting.

    If someome washes out “good” bacteria in the large intestine, does that increase your risk for appendicitis?

    Thank you, Dr. Kilcup! You are a true gift from God..

  43. Morgan
    July 28, 2013 | 7:56 pm

    Can the first symptom of appendicitis be diarrhea?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      July 28, 2013 | 8:56 pm

      Yes….BUT almost most of the time anyone has diarrhea they don’t have appendicitis. Does that make sense?

  44. Elisabeth Z
    August 10, 2013 | 11:10 am

    OK, I posted that before I was finished. Oops. Anyhow, I doubt this is related to the appendix, but I was wondering if you had any idea what it could be. My son had some lettuce a good 26 hours ago in a sandwich, and some more 20 hours ago. He is now complaining of watery diarrhea that is sudden and has lettuce it. It is quite frequent.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      August 10, 2013 | 12:44 pm

      Elisabeth it doesn’t sound like appendicitis. Time will tell. The lettuce could have had some bad germs giving your boy a touch of food poisoning.

      Keep him well hydrated and see how he does. Apply the things you learned in the video and go from there.

      Does that make sense?

  45. Elisabeth Z
    August 19, 2013 | 1:22 pm

    It does. I am sorry to get to you so late.

    My son has been feeling well after that day until today. He complains of a minor dull ache in his navel. He says it has been coming and going all throughout the day. He has also told me that he has felt nauseated all day and that his nausea gets worse if he drinks anything, even water, and when the navel pain comes about. The nausea is discouraging him from eating or drinking very much. He says he wishes he would throw up because he thinks he’ll feel better if he does. His bowels have not changed (no constipation or diarrhea). He says (this is gross) that his anus get moderately itchy every time he passes a bowel movement. He has a reputation for almost never complaining of feeling unwell.

    Could the bug that may have been in his lettuce still there? How can I make him feel more comfortable? He hates going to doctors which is why I don’t want to take him there unless it is necessary.

    Thank you for your time and answers, Dr. Kilcup. It is much appreciated.

    • Dr. Kilcup
      August 19, 2013 | 5:00 pm

      Elisabeth, sounds more like your son may have a parasite. If he continues to have these kinds of symptoms I can help you get the proper lab work and tx if necessary.

  46. Elisabeth Z
    August 20, 2013 | 11:37 am

    Thank you very much!

  47. Susanne
    March 4, 2014 | 8:02 am

    Thank you for this thorough video!! Glad your son is fine now.
    I have two little girls and I am glad to have this resource to check if they have concerning symptoms down the road. I had my own appendix out at 19, but unfortunately it was atypical. I went to the hospital because I was in pain that grew from uncomfortable in the middle of the day to strong in the evening. They did tests and exams, but they weren’t sure. The pain wasn’t even in the typical area. At one point the doc even told me “That can’t hurt that badly” (which in the aftermath made me quite upset). In the middle of the night (Christmas Day then), because I vomited, they decided to operate. My appendix was perforated and had leaked out. Later it was explained to me that my appendix was scarred from several small infections and therefore the symptoms were not typical.
    Do you know if the tests in the hospital nowadays are certain, or is there still this gray zone where they don’t know for sure?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      March 4, 2014 | 8:07 am

      Wow Susanne I’m glad your ok! The diagnostic tests that are most helpful are the CT scan and the white blood cell count.

  48. Olivia
    January 12, 2016 | 12:30 am

    Day before yesterday my 8 year old started complaining of a stomach ache like she needed to throw up that’s when it all started… Yesterday nurse gave her tums and two hrs later she was throwing up again but no fever… We can’t get her to eat anything all she has done is sleep and when she wakes up all she does is throws up and says her tummy hurts really really bad… She says it hurts her whole stomach but mostly the right side … She has a low grade fever of 99.6…. She went back to sleep if she had a appendicitis would she be sleeping so much?

    • Dr. Kilcup
      January 12, 2016 | 10:44 am

      Hi Olivia,

      I’m sorry about your daughter. I know how that feels. I bet your stomach is sick for her. I honestly can’t tell you one way or the other about the likelihood of appendicitis. Yes she could sleep this much with appendicitis, but the most likely thing is that your daughter has the flu. The biggest thing now is keeping your daughter hydrated. Please let me know how it goes.

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