Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. It occurs most frequently in people between the ages of 10 and 30. This potentially serious condition can become life-threatening if not treated promptly.
Common appendicitis symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Pain in the abdomen (stomach), first around the belly button, and then moving to the lower-right area
- Loss of appetite
It's important to keep in mind that not everyone will have all of the symptoms, especially children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Once a diagnosis of appendicitis is confirmed, surgery is typically required. If the diagnosis is uncertain, antibiotics may sometimes be prescribed if it is unclear whether the symptoms are being caused by appendicitis or something else, such as an infection.
(For more information on this condition, including what causes it, how a diagnosis is made, and other symptoms to watch for, click Appendicitis.)