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Syed Manzoor Ahmed

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What To Eat And What To Avoid In Appendicitis?

By Dr. Shekhar Takale +2 more

First, let’s understand what exactly appendicitis is.

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix that causes severe abdominal pain. Located at the end of the large intestine, the appendix is a small tube-like structure that has no discernible purpose. Infection usually results in inflammation of the appendix due to blockages caused in the blood supply for any reason. In India, approximately 0.34% of school-age children have suffered from Appendicitis. As for adults in India, approximately 0.25% suffer from Appendicitis.

What causes appendicitis?

Appendicitis results from a blockage within the appendix known as appendicitis lumen. When bacteria or viruses infect the digestive tract, they cause swelling of the lymph nodes, which squeezes the appendix and causes obstructions. As a result, the appendix becomes inflamed, under pressure or blood flow is impaired. Appendicitis may also be caused by trauma to the abdomen or genetic factors. An untreated obstruction could result in a ruptured appendix, resulting in major complications.


Did You Know?

  • Appendicitis usually affects people aged between 10 and 30 years. source: NHS
  • The appendix’s exact function is unknown, but its removal is not harmful. source: NHS
  • A small piece of poo or a swollen lymph node can block the appendix. source: NHS
  • The lifetime risk of appendicitis is 8.6% for males and 6.7% for females in the United States. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Appendicitis is slightly more common in males than females. source: niddk.nih.gov

What are the symptoms to look for?

  • Acute pain around the belly button and abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Low fever
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Uneasy in the abdomen and lower stomach

The pain of appendicitis may start in the center of the abdomen, may come and go, but within a couple of hours it may go to the right lower side of your abdomen suggesting a classical sign of appendicitis.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

What to eat and what to avoid in appendicitis?

A healthy diet can have a positive impact on your health. Including certain foods can be helpful in dealing with your appendicitis symptoms and help in lowering the pain. On the other hand, there are certain food habits that can make your Appendicitis worse and must be avoided. 

What are the foods to eat :

  • Fenugreek seeds: Fenugreek may help to lower pain by reducing the formation of mucus and pus within the appendix. Two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be boiled in one litre of water for about 30 minutes. Let it cool and drink it twice a day for faster results.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is known to help with the symptoms of appendicitis. Including buttermilk in your daily diet can help you. It is best to prepare buttermilk at home and drink a little regularly. 
  • Brown rice: Brown rice can help you improve your overall health and digestion. Switch to brown rice from white rice to see evident health improvement in you. 
  • Vegetable juice: Drink juices of vegetables like carrots, beetroots, and cucumber to lower the pain. Vegetable juices are a healthy source of essential nutrients and can be very good for your whole body. You can also combine vegetables like radish, coriander, and spinach to help you with the pain faster and better.
  • Ginger: Ginger is known for its medicinal properties. Its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying nature can have significant health benefits. Mix ginger with turmeric and honey and have it twice every day. This may also help with swelling, nausea, and other appendicitis symptoms.
  • Mint: It may help soothe a number of appendicitis symptoms, including nausea, vomiting or gas. Mint tea can be made by boiling mint leaves in water and drinking it three times daily. You can chew some mint leaves. 
  • High fibre diet- Fresh fruits, boiled sprouts, oats, etc., can be prepared with the least oil and spices. Khichdi, Dalia, and upama are some healthy and easy-to-digest food options. 

Getting it removed surgically may be important in certain cases where the pain is persistent, severe and associated with multiple repaired of vomiting and doesn’t resolve on its own.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

What are the foods to avoid?

  • Fried food: Fried, oily food can be bad for your digestive system. Avoid fried junk food as much as possible. Fried food can even worsen your appendicitis symptoms.
  • Alcohol: Quit alcohol. It is very important for appendicitis patients to quit or reduce their alcohol intake. Alcohol is bad for your health and can make your Appendicitis worse. 
  • Fatty food: Fatty foods can be very hard to digest. Avoid fatty foods and fatty meats to bring a change in your overall health. Fatty foods can be bad for your Appendicitis.
  • Sugar: Any sugar other than natural sugar from fruits can be bad for your health. Refined sugar can trigger your diarrhoea and can make your Appendicitis worse. Avoid foods like sweets and chocolates and reduce the intake of sugar in your regular diet.

Avoid these food habits to make your Appendicitis become worse. Speak to a doctor about what to eat and avoid during Appendicitis and post-surgery for recovery. Every person is different and dietary restrictions may vary based on your underlying medical conditions. 

In appendicitis the goal is early surgery, so once appendicitis is confirmed the patient should have nothing by mouth till surgery is finished. After surgery it is advised to have soft diet.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Key takeaways:

Appendicitis is a painful condition that needs immediate medical attention and surgery; however, there are certain foods that, if included in your regular diet, can help you deal with your Appendicitis better. A well-balanced diet is essential to keep yourself safe and healthy, including vegetable and fruit juices and protein can be good for Appendicitis. You should be sure to seek immediate help for Appendicitis because if it ruptures inside, the infection can spread and make things worse. Along with the above-mentioned foods, make sure to bring about positive lifestyle changes like quitting alcohol. 

Also Read: Is Beetroot Good for Diabetes? Unpacking the Research-Based Evidence

FAQs:

What foods can cure Appendicitis?

A healthy diet that includes vegetable juices and fruits can help you deal with your Appendicitis better and lower abdominal pain. However, these foods can never cure your Appendicitis. To get rid of Appendicitis completely and prevent any serious complications, you must opt for surgery or treatment as advised by a doctor. 

Should you eat with Appendicitis?

If you notice symptoms similar to Appendicitis, avoid unhealthy food. It is dangerous to eat and drink unhealthy or use pain remedies, antacids, laxatives or heating pads, which can rupture an inflamed appendix. Consult a doctor about the food that can be consumed when dealing with Appendicitis.

Is Egg good for appendicitis?

Eggs come under a soft diet which is easy to digest and good for Appendicitis. A soft diet includes foods such as milk, fruit juices, boiled potatoes or soups, in addition to eggs. 

Disclaimer:

The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.
Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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