What’s an appendix and why is it important?

There are a couple of organs most people don’t really know much about, and among these I think appendix stands out the most. This is a single piece of your body that is fairly small, at about worm size, and represents the part where your thin diameter digestive tracts transform into the final, wide one. There isn’t really that much about this part of your digestive system to analyze. This is considered to be a leftover from our grass eating cousins which has been made obsolete with the help of evolution. Usually people experience inflammation problems with their appendixes, which then mean they need to have it removed. Fortunately, this is not a problem since appendix does not really have any real function.

Inflammation of your appendix

Being a separate part of you digestive tract, your appendix tends to gather seeds and other smaller food particles which are then being collected in a single area. Over time, this food and other particles start to rot, which means inflammation is inevitable. Preventing this to happen is impossible and it all depends on the angle which your appendix is positioned. Some people have extremely small appendixes, almost to the point where they are at a couple of millimeters in length up to dozens of centimeters. The longest appendix ever measured was from a person in Croatia, ranging at 12-13 cm approximately. This person’s appendix needed to be removed obviously, and this is the biggest appendix removed so far. It’s to be expected that over a couple of more generations, the appendix will completely disappear, as it was gradually reducing in size over the last centuries. It used to be a whole intestine system dedicated for digestion of raw food, but since we got used to processed and cooked food, over time it lost its function and there was no need for it to do its job. It still represents a mild threat to people in working conditions, as the inflammation itself can feel rather unpleasant and painful. It’s important to act as soon as you feel any pain in that area in order to get your appendix removed before the content spills all over your intestines, which can then cause serious infection problems that are especially hard to deal with.

Other causes of inflammation

Bacteria are widely spread all over our digestion systems. Most of them are very beneficial and simply keep our digestion going forward; however people with long appendixes can easily suffer from inflammation caused by these bacteria. The content processed by digestive bacteria is supposed to get out of the digestive system as soon as possible, and if it finds its way to the appendix itself and stays there, it can severely damage the outward shell of the gut, causing inflammation to occur. Fortunately, inflammation usually sets in in a couple of stages so it’s rather easy to spot an inflammation and get proper steps done in time. There isn’t much you can do really, other than go under an operation to have your appendix removed. Today this can be successfully done in any well equipped hospital and is considered to be one of the most common procedures. The risk of permanent injuries or other infections caused by content spillage is minor, and even if it does occur, it’s possible to clean everything up relatively easy. Whatever the case, do not wait too long to get your appendix removed, because if it bursts you can experience excruciating pain all the way up to the operation itself, and it’s best to avoid this to happen.

About the author

Rani Vyas

Rani Vyas

I'm a Medical Consultant Doctor with a keen interest in Medical bioinformatics and genuinely intriguing way of presenting boring medical knowledge in an enchanting and eye catching way.

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