Is it possible to feel like you have appendicitis and have all of the symptoms without actually having appendicitis? When I was in my early 20s, almost 20 years ago, I had severe pain in the right-hand side of my abdomen near my rib cage. I felt feverish, that portion of my stomach was rippling, and my roommate immediately rushed me to the hospital. We all felt that this was going to be a classic case of appendicitis. In the end, the medical diagnosis that my doctors gave to me was shocking, and not related to common conditions that mimic appendicitis. In fact, I required no treatment at all.
False appendicitis feelings
When you have appendicitis, the general pain is agonizing. You may also have a sharp pain any time you move your abdomen. You might not be able to pass gas, empty your bowels, or may feel nauseous. It is also common to have a fever. The reason that you have these symptoms is due to inflammation of a small part of the intestines called the appendix. If you do not seek medical care, an abscess in or around your appendix can burst and cause a severe abdominal infection. In some cases, it can be fatal.
Illnesses can mimic appendicitis
Many things that can feel like appendicitis are in fact mimicking this condition. For example, you can have powerful gas that causes extreme discomfort such as diverticulitis. You can also have conditions like colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and other intestinal disorders. When they told me I did not have appendicitis, I was expecting to hear one of these diagnoses. Nevertheless, I found that I had one ailment that affected people from my ethnic group that I had never heard of.
Appendicitis pain and Southwest Asian heritage
When I told the doctors my medical history, I mentioned that my father was from the Middle East. One of the doctors on my team was also Middle Eastern. I was lucky that she was present because she gave me a diagnosis that considerably improved my overall health for years to come. As it turns out, one of the lesser-known reasons that you can have appendicitis-type pain is due to a fairly-benign genetic illness called Familiar Mediterranean Fever. While there are not medicines for this illness, outside of colchicine, most people do not take medicine for it and simply adjust to living with the symptoms.
Never assume it is not appendicitis
Although I only get Familiar Mediterranean Fever attacks in my abdomen every few years, it is still not a very good idea to assume that I do not have appendicitis. After all, appendicitis can be fatal, and self-diagnosing is dangerous. While it may be an expensive annoyance to visit the emergency room for nothing, any time I feel feverish, in pain, nauseated, and see my stomach rippling on the right-hand side, I go to the emergency room and double check to make sure it is not appendicitis. In the end, it is better to veer on the side of caution with appendicitis symptoms when your life could be at risk. If you suspect you have appendicitis, go to the emergency room immediately.