Unusual abdominal pain may be a benign sign of trapped gas or a stomach bug, but it also could signal a serious condition such as appendicitis. Evaluate your pain to determine if you need to head to Katy ER to have your appendix checked.

One in 20 people in the United States gets appendicitis in their lifetime. Sudden abdominal pain is one symptom, and there are also other symptoms that indicate this serious condition, which requires immediate care.

Oftentimes, your distressing stomach pain is related to a passing virus, food poisoning, trapped gas, or menstrual symptoms. But when it’s sharp and painful, you may worry that it’s signaling something serious — such as appendicitis.

A medical emergency that needs immediate care from the doctors at Katy Emergency Room, appendicitis means your appendix is inflamed and will eventually burst. The eruption spreads pus and infectious material into your abdominal cavity, causing a potentially serious inflammation of your abdominal cavity lining. It can be fatal if not treated.

Diagnosing appendicitis can be challenging, as the symptoms of this condition mimic those of many others, including gastroenteritis. However, the team at Katy ER is skilled at differentiating between a stomach bug and a life-threatening illness.

Classic symptoms of appendicitis

Suspect appendicitis if your pain is dull and near your navel. It may grow sharp and move to the lower right abdomen. You lose your appetite and may suffer nausea accompanied by vomiting. You may have some abdominal swelling and be unable to pass gas. A fever often happens along with the pain, usually running 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Appendicitis usually occurs in people ages 10-30. It’s very rare for it to occur in children younger than 2. In children under 2, the main symptoms are stomach distension and vomiting.

Less common symptoms

Not every person experiences appendicitis according to textbook symptoms. You may feel a dull pain in your stomach as well as anywhere in your lower abdomen, back, or rectum. You may vomit prior to experiencing abdominal pain and have severe cramps. Painful urination, constipation, or diarrhea and gas also may occur.

See Katy ER specialists right away

If you do experience symptoms of appendicitis, don’t try to resolve them at home with antacids, laxatives, calming food, or heating pads. These strategies can cause your appendix to rupture.

If your abdominal pain suggests appendicitis, head to Katy ER right away so a doctor can perform a physical exam and possibly run a urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection. You also can expect to have blood tests and a rectal exam. You may undergo an ultrasound and possibly a CT scan.

Treatment options

Appendicitis requires surgery to remove the inflamed organ. If it turns out you don’t have appendicitis, the Katy ER team makes sure you get just the right treatment to ease your pain and get you feeling your best as fast as possible.

Katy Emergency Room, a Village Emergency Center facility in Katy, Texas, is open for walk-in patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We never close, not even on holidays. A private, freestanding emergency room, Katy ER offers all of the same services and care as a hospital emergency room but with little or no wait time.

If you or a loved one has serious abdominal pain, head to Katy ER. The team can confirm or rule out appendicitis, helping ease your mind and putting you on track to recover and regain optimal health.