The appendix is a small outgrowth of tissue forming a tube-shaped sac attached to the lower end of the large intestine. Inflammation of the appendix presents itself in acute and chronic
forms and affects both the sexes equally. This disease accounts for about half the acute abdominal emergencies occurring between the ages of ten and thirty.
Causes and Symptoms
Appendicitis usually begins with a sudden pain in the centre of the abdomen. The pain may be preceded by general discomfort in the abdomen, indigestion, diarrhoea, or constipation. Gradually, the pain shifts to the lower right side, and is usually accompanied by a fever varying from 38°C to 39°C. Nausea is common and the patient may vomit once or twice. In the chronic state of appendicitis, the patient may suffer from recurrent pain in the right lower abdomen, constipation, loss of appetite, and mild nausea.
Appendicitis is initiated by the presence of an excessive amount of poisonous waste material in the caecum. As a result, the appendix gets irritated and inflamed. Inflammation and infection are caused by certain germs which are usually present in the intestinal tract.
Green Gram: Green gram is a proven home remedy f0r acute appendicitis. An infusion of green gram is an excellent medicine for treating this condition. It can be taken in a small quantity of one tablespoon three times a day.
Fenugreek Seeds: Regular use of tea made from fenugreek seeds has proved helpful in preventing the appendix from becoming a dumping ground for excess mucus and intestinal waste. This tea is prepared by putting one tablespoon of the seeds in a litre of cold water and allowing it to simmer for half an hour over a low flame and then strained it. It should be allowed to cool a little before being drunk.
Vegetable Juices: Certain vegetable juices have been found valuable in appendicitis A particularly good combination is that of 100 ml each of beet and cucumber juices mixed with 300 ml of carrot juice. This combined juice can be taken twice daily.
Buttermilk: Buttermilk is beneficial in the treatment of chronic form of appendicitis. One litre of buttermilk may be taken daily for this purpose.
Whole Wheat: The consumption of whole wheat, which includes bran and wheat germ, has been found beneficial in preventing several digestive disorders, including appendicitis. The bran of wheat can be sterilised by baking after thorough cleaning This sterilised bran can be added to wheat flour in the proportion of one to six by weight. Two or three chapatis made from this flour can be eaten daily for preventing this disease.
At the first symptoms of severe pain, vomiting, and fever, the patient should resort to fasting and nothing except water should enter the system. Fruit juices may be given from the third day onwards for the next three days. Thereafter the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for a further four or five days. After this tightly regulated regimen, he should adopt a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, arid fruits.
When the first symptoms of pain, vomiting, and fever occur, the patient must be put to bed immediately, as rest is of the utmost importance. A low enema, containing about half a litre of wart11 water, should be administered once every day for the first three days to cleanse the lower bowel if it can be tolerated with comfort.
Hot compresses may be placed over the painful area several times daily. Abdominal packs, made of a strip of wet sheet and covered by a dry flanel cloth bound tightly around the abdomen, should by aplied continuously until all acute symptoms subside. 136 ‘ when the acute symptoms subside by about the third day, the patient should be given a full enema, containing about three litres of warm water, and this should be repeated daily until all inflammation and pain have subsided.
In other words, the patient of appendicitis should adopt all measures to eradicate constipation. Once the waste matter in the caecum has moved into the colon and is then eliminated, the irritation and inflammation in the appendix will subside and surgical removal of the appendix may not be necessary.
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