Digestive System Diseases | Acute Appendicitis | Acute Cholecystitis | Acute Pancreatitis

Digestive System Diseases

Some of the digestive system diseases are:

  1. Acute appendicitis
  2. Acute cholecystitis
  3. Acute pancreatitis.

What is Acute Appendicitis

Etiology of this very common condition is still not clearly known. However diet (low residue diet), social status, familial susceptibility, obstruction of the lumen of the appendix with faecolith, foreign body, round worm or a stricture and indiscriminate use of purgatives are all incriminated. Though no age is exempt, it is rare before the age of 2 years. It becomes increasingly common during childhood and adolescence and the maximum incidence is noticed between 20 to 30 years.

Symptoms of Appendicitis

  • Clinically two varieties are known:  non-obstructive and obstructive (acute and gastrointestinal emergency).
  • Perforation of the appendix is the next emergency causing peritonitis. Fever is almost always present.
  • The sequence of symptoms viz. pain, vomiting and temperature is known as ‘Murphy’s syndrome’.
  • So far as the bowel habit is concerned constipation is usually accompanied.
  • Initial pain is visceral and felt on the midline irrespective of the position of the appendix, since developmentally the mid-gut is a median organ.
  • Obstructive type progresses very fast and gangrene and perforation are commonly seen in this type.

Treatment for Appendicitis

  • Appendisectomy (surgical removal of appendix) is the curative treatment.

What is Acute Cholecystitis

  • Fatty, fertile females of around forty years are the usual victims of acute cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation)
  • A previous history of belching and flatulent dyspepsia and now with severe pain in the right hypochondriac region radiating to the inferior angle of the right scapula or to the top of the right shoulder are probable indication of a case of acute cholecystitis.
  • Nausea, retching and vomiting, rise of temperature and an elevated pulse rate may be associated with this condition.
  • Jaundice may be present in only 1/4th of the cases.
  • Charcot’s triad i.e. pain, jaundice and rigor (due to inflammation of the gallbladder and or septicemia) is very characteristic of this condition.
  • Rigidity and tenderness is usually present.

Ultrasound and radioactive scanning are helpful in diagnosing this condition.

Acute Cholecystitis Treatment

  • Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of gallbladder) is the treatment for acute cholecystitis.

What is Acute Pancreatitis

  • This condition is seen over 30 years of age and men slightly dominate than the number of women.
  • Pain is felt over the epigastria in excruciating and agonizing in nature. It is the first in severity considering all abdominal cases.
  • It tends to pierce to the back or to the left loin, which becomes more severe when the patient lies down. The pain is constant in nature and not colicky.
  • Vomiting is projectile, profuse and follows pain. Shock and cyanosis are distinct feature of this condition.

2 Comments

  1. MT said:

    My 4 years old son has been complaining of an upset tummy for 2 weeks. It usually happened when he didn’t want to do things or when he is nervous. He just had a cold for a week. Now he has developed fever and his stomach is hurting. When I press, it hurts, but not on the right side. I am just wondering if the stomach pain is likely to be appendicitis since he has been complaining of stomachache and fever for some time.

    April 17, 2012
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Without guessing for the type of sickness that your child is suffering from, consult a pediatrician (child specialist). It is necessary to get your child physically examined. Because many time clinical examination is helpful in diagnosing appendicitis. Does your son pass normal stool as before, or his frequency has increased. It can also be a symptom of bacterial infection in the intestine other than appendicitis. Inflammation of appendix at the age of 4 is not too frequent. But it is not the rule. So the best thing is to consult a pediatrician.

      April 17, 2012
      Reply

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