- People with certain medical conditions
- Women who are pregnant
- Children (see Appendicitis in Children)
- The elderly.
Pain in the abdomen can be an early symptom of acute appendicitis. The pain may first appear around the belly button and then move to the lower-right area of the abdomen.
(Click Early Appendicitis Symptoms for more information.)
Other common symptoms include:
- Pain that intensifies when moving, taking deep breaths, coughing, or sneezing
- Loss of appetite
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Inability to pass gas
- Low fever that begins after other symptoms
- Abdominal swelling
- Feeling like a bowel movement will relieve discomfort.
These possible symptoms of acute appendicitis can be caused by other medical conditions, however. Therefore, people who have these symptoms should see a physician immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.
(Click Appendicitis Symptoms for more information.)
In order to make a diagnosis, doctors will likely need to perform a physical exam, ask for a medical history, and order certain tests.
Tests that are used to make an acute appendicitis diagnosis can include:
- Laboratory tests
- Imaging tests (computed tomography scan, ultrasound, x-ray)
(Click Diagnosing Appendicitis for more information.)