Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

What is appendicitis?

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a small, finger-like tube located where the large and small intestine join. The appendix has no known use in the body.

It is not known why the appendix becomes inflamed in some people. However, when the appendix becomes inflamed, it requires immediate medical attention.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

Symptoms include:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Pain when touched on the lower right side of the abdomen.
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness, usually in the center of the abdomen above the belly button, then shifting to the lower right side of the abdomen. The pain increases when moving, taking deep breaths, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Fever, usually low-grade (under 100 degrees).
  • Inability to pass gas.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Lack of appetite.

Note : Not everyone will have all of the symptoms.

If you have symptoms of appendicitis, it is important that you do not take laxatives or enemas to relieve constipation. These medications could cause your appendix to burst. You should also avoid taking pain medications that could mask the symptoms the doctor would need to know about to diagnose the condition.