Signs of Appendicitis
Many women who develop the condition during pregnancy do not experience the common appendicitis signs. Pregnant women who experience pain on the right side of their abdomen should contact a doctor immediately. Women who are in their third trimester are at a higher risk of appendicitis.
Because they generally cannot communicate their symptoms with their parents or doctors, infants and young children are usually more difficult to diagnose with appendicitis. Without a clear explanation of symptoms, doctors must rely on a physical exam and less specific symptoms, such as vomiting and fatigue. While toddlers with appendicitis may have trouble eating and may seem unusually sleepy, children with appendicitis may have constipation or small stools that contain mucus. Although signs of appendicitis vary widely among children, parents should contact a doctor immediately if they think that their child has appendicitis.
(Click Appendicitis in Children for more information.)
Many older adults with signs of appendicitis don't know that they have a serious problem until their appendix is close to rupturing. The elderly often experience less fever and less severe abdominal pain than other patients who have the condition. Older patients should call a doctor immediately if they are experiencing a slight fever and pain on the right side of their abdomen.
Patients with certain medical conditions may not experience the common appendicitis signs. These conditions may include:
- HIV or AIDS
- Organ transplants
- The use of immunosuppressive therapies, such as steroids
- Cancer (or the use of chemotherapy).