For a long time, medical doctors and scientists thought the appendix was an “extra” organ without any real function. Recent research has helped researchers discover the true purpose of this organ.
The appendix attaches to the beginning of the colon. It is about four inches long. It acts as a reservoir for beneficial gut bacteria – nature’s probiotic – that can be released after we consume lots of fiber-filled food.
Though fruits and vegetables are extremely good for us to eat, they also contain cellulose that is not digested form the body, but excreted. This cellulose can also take lots of good gut bacteria with it, though. The appendix is the body’s “back-up” beneficial bacteria storehouse.
There is also research which suggests that the appendix may support the immune system in other ways to ward off disease and fight foreign invaders.
When we eat in a way, or live a lifestyle that doesn’t promote good gut health, we may end up with an infected or inflamed appendix. This is what causes appendicitis.
When you have this condition, your appendix becomes swollen, red, and inflamed, and sometimes filled with puss. It can be very painful.
What Causes Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is often caused by a pathogen (bad bacteria) that invades the body when good bacteria isn’t prevalent enough to overcrowd the bad bacteria. These pathogens are more likely to occur when we:
- Eat inflammatory foods.
- Don’t get enough sleep and are constantly stressed (this cause inflammation).
- Have a hard stool (infected with pathogens) stuck in the colon.
- Have a stomach infection which then moves to the appendix.
You may also have worms, enlarged lymphoid follicles, or a tumor if you have appendicitis.
Symptoms of Appendicitis
This ailment happens most often to younger people, between the ages of 10 and 30. It is more common in males than in females. Symptoms include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Mild cramping
- Tenderness on your right side
- A swollen belly button
- Pain in the sides, or back, especially when you move or cough
- Loss of appetite
- A low-grade fever
Allopathic Cures for Appendicitis
The most important thing you need to know should you suspect you have appendicitis is not to take a laxative or have an enema. This can cause your appendix to burst.
Diagnosis and treatment for appendicitis in allopathic medicine will usually involve taking a urine and fecal sample, as well as ruling out an ectopic pregnancy in women.
In almost all cases, at least if treated with traditional allopathic medicine, surgery will be prescribed. The type will depend upon the severity of your symptoms. If it is suspected that there is a pus-filled area in the appendix that hasn’t yet ruptured, you may first be given antibiotics.
To drain the pus, a tube in then placed under your skin, and then you are usually scheduled for an appendectomy, where your appendix is removed in surgery.
If the pus has already ruptured, you will usually be schedule for a surgery as soon as possible, since the complications can be challenging. The fecal matter and other bad bacteria can leak into your gut causing all kinds of other problems.
Laparoscopic surgery is also available, and is usually less invasive, as it requires smaller incision, and reduces the recovery time.
In some rare cases, your doctor may play a wait and see game and see if your appendicitis gets better without surgery. This will usually only be the case if your pain is minimal and your symptoms are few. If this is the case, you will be given antibiotics and a liquid diet until the infection passes.
The trouble with these “cures” for appendicitis is that they don’t resolve the underlying conditions which likely led to the appendix being compromised. The body needs healthy bacteria to fight diseases and pathogens. By administering antibiotics, the infection may temporarily be resolved, but those antibiotics will likely kill off all the good bacteria as well.
Bad bacteria are also becoming more and more resistant to antibiotic treatments.
Finally, the cost of lost work, recovery time, and the surgery for appendicitis itself can be very expensive. An emergency appendectomy can cost between $55,000, and $200,000 once all the lab tests and hospital bills have been pain.
Natural Cures for Appendicitis
Once appendicitis is diagnosed, it is usually considered a medical emergency. If the appendix bursts it can lead to a serious infection and even death. However, should you have to have an appendectomy, you can request intravenous Vitamin C (20 grams every 24-hour period) to be administered. It will help your recovery time significantly.
Healing Touch and Reiki
Reiki and therapeutic touch, forms of energy medicine can also help to reduce recovery times after surgery.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Appendicitis
Appendicitis is seen from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective as the accumulation of three things:
It is also considered that there may be pathogens in the stomach or gut that are causing appendicitis symptoms. Herbal remedies are sometimes prescribed to get rid of the pathogens (bad bacteria or viruses.)
There are usually two types of TCM prescribed for those who suffer from appendicitis. In one case, acupuncture is used for emergency pain control. In another, acupuncture, herbs, and other traditional modalities are used to expedite healing after an appendectomy.
Some people choose to combine TCM herbal remedies and acupuncture with traditional drug therapies, and others choose to use TCM alone.
Lifestyle Changes for Those Who Suffer from Appendicitis
If you want to avoid having to have an appendectomy, there are several, standard lifestyle choices you can make to minimize its probability.
Your diet has a big part in reducing inflammation in the body and encouraging good bacteria to grow in the gut an appendix instead of bad bacteria. You should avoid processed foods, refined sugar and carbohydrates, unhealthy oils, soy, dairy, and gluten. Also, steer clear of alcohol, quit smoking if you smoke, and get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.
Foods that are Beneficial to Avoid Appendicitis:
- Aloe Vera
- Chia Seeds
- Red Leaf Lettuce
- Mung Beans
- Dandelion Leaves and Roots
Reducing stress is also key to promoting your immune system’s overall functioning and lowering cortisol levels. This stress hormone is linked to chronic inflammation in the body.
Practices that Lower Stress:
- Mindful Breathing Exercises
- Yoga Nidra
- Positive Affirmations
- Spending time in Nature
- Qi Gong
- Tai Qi
- Increasing your Consumption of Antioxidants and Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Get Plenty of Sleep
The body simply can’t get rid of toxins and pathogens at the same time that it takes out the trash. When we sleep massive amounts of metabolic and environmental toxins are removed from the body. If you are waking up tired every day, it may be a sign that your body is too toxic, and it is having a hard time doing all the restorative up-keep it needs to do nightly. At least 8-9 hours are required for most adults to wake up refreshed and to maintain good health.
Cleanse Your Colon
While you can clean your colon the easy way by eating right and drinking plenty purified water every day, sometimes a colon cleanse of greater intensity is required.
All those billions of beneficial bacteria living in the digestive tract are important for keeping your appendix healthy, but also helping your body digest nutrients, maintain a balanced pH, controlling your hunger, and even counteracting dangerous bacterial pathogens.
If you aren’t pooping 2 to 3 times daily, then your colon is not healthy. You should need to eliminate approx. 10 minutes to 30 minutes after every meal if your colon isn’t backed up.
You can try a salt water cleanse, or schedule an appointment for a coffee enema and cleanse at a reputable colon cleansing clinic to make sure that your digestive tract is in top form. Make sure to check ratings online or get in-person recommendations before you book a colon cleanse.
After any colon cleanse, you should pay attention to a strict diet for at least a week, and replace healthy gut bacteria with probiotics and probiotic-rich foods.
If the colon is healthy, it is very likely the appendix will stay healthy, too.
To keep your appendix healthy, you can take the same steps that you would take to keep your entire digestive tract healthy.
If you are already having symptoms of appendicitis, however, please see a medical professional as soon as possible to avoid a ruptured appendix, and more serious complications.
Prevention of appendicitis is the best course of action, though. By following the protocols listed above, you can minimize your chances of having to undergo and expensive and invasive surgery.