Doctors aren’t exactly sure what the appendix is for, but they do know that it can cause a lot of problems if it becomes inflamed. Appendicitis – an inflammation of the appendix – can lead to painful appendicitis symptoms and even cause the appendix to rupture. (1) As the inflammation worsens, appendicitis symptoms become more severe. Appendicitis can occur when the appendix or digestive tract becomes obstructed or inflamed from an infection. If the appendix bursts, the infection can spread into the bloodstream. Appendicitis treatment requires emergency medical care. Doctors may administer antibiotics or perform surgery to remove the appendix.
If you suspect you’re suffering from appendicitis, please go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible, especially in light of how severe its effects can be. The strategies outlined in this article won’t make your appendicitis go away – they will simply serve to make the recovery process more pleasant and swift.
With that said, be sure to check with a medical professional before employing these strategies. This is true especially if you plan to employ them in the place of medications your doctor has prescribed you. It’s always great to receive specialized advice for your care, which your doctor will be able to provide you.
Appendicitis Symptoms in Children and Adults
- Appendicitis symptoms may first appear as sudden pain that begins at the belly button then shifts to the lower right abdomen (2)
- Sudden pain that begins on the lower right side of the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever of around 100 degrees that increases
- Abdominal bloating
- Inability to pass gas
- Right side of the abdomen that is tender to the touch
Natural Recovery Methods for Appendicitis
Laparoscopic surgery requires a patient to limit activity for three to five days. (3) An open appendectomy requires a patient to limit activity for 10-14 days. However, there are several natural ways you can help boost your recovery after appendicitis.
1. Follow Your Surgeon’s Recommendations
Your surgeon’s recommendations are best for your own health and safety. Be sure to take the time needed to heal. Move slowly and avoid carrying or picking up heavy objects. Resting will help your incision site stay clean and dry.
If your doctor has prescribed you antibiotics or any other medications, be sure to check with them before stopping taking those medications as they’ll know your specific needs.
2. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy may work as a natural appendicitis treatment by stimulating relaxation, reducing pain and promoting better sleep. Try lavender essential oil to reduce mental stress and anxiety. (4) To help reduce pain, use a combination of rose essential oil and lavender oils.
3. Take Bromelain
According to a study conducted at the University of Texas Advanced Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration Laboratory, bromelain can speed healing. (5) The study found that a supplement containing Vitamin C, grape seed extract, rutin and bromelain supported faster healing and reduced redness and swelling in participants. Take 1,000 milligrams of bromelain three times a day.
4. Consume Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps the body metabolize the anesthetics used during surgery. Taking 2,000 milligrams a day of a high-quality Vitamin C supplement can help speed healing. You can also add plenty of Vitamin C foods to your diet, including guava, oranges, red and green peppers and papaya.
5. Apply Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be used as an appendicitis treatment to help prevent scarring. Once your stitches or staples have been removed, gently massage coconut oil around your scar. As a result of doing this, the nutrients in the oil will help moisturize and nourish your skin to prevent bacteria.
6. Consume Probiotics
Probiotics fill the gut with healthy bacteria, which helps prevent any harm caused by the anesthetics and antibiotics from the surgery. Choose a high-quality probiotic supplement or add plenty of probiotic foods to your diet, such as kefir, sauerkraut and apple cider vinegar.
If you have a hard time getting a hold of those foods, you can also take a probiotic supplement. This isn’t quite as good as getting probiotics from food, however, for a few reasons. For one, the healthy bacteria in probiotic supplements may die by the time you get around to taking the supplement.
Also, probiotic supplements typically contain just one type of probiotic bacteria, while probiotic food will contain several types.
7. Take Glutamine
Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is known to support gastrointestinal health. Research has shown that glutamine can help reduce the risk of infection after surgery or injury. (6) Take 2-5 grams of glutamine twice per day, along with a Vitamin B12 supplement.
8. Practice Guided Imagery
Guided imagery may help control pain after surgery or injury. Children who experience anxiety after surgery may find guided imagery especially helpful. Further, it’s known to relieve anxiety, reduce pain and improve sleep quality. (7)
Guided imagery can mean different things in different contexts. Olympic athletes, for example, often use guided imagery to visualize themselves performing a gold medal-winning feat in the moments before they attempt to do just that.
In this context, however, you’ll want to envision a calm, relaxing scenario. It goes beyond vision, though; you also need to use words and thoughts to conjure up sensations regarding how this scenario or setting feels, smells or even tastes.
For example, a relaxing scenario could be envisioning yourself lying on a beach drinking pineapple juice. Don’t just envision this scenario – describe it to yourself (even just in your head; it doesn’t have to be out loud) with full details of smell and taste.
Doing this right – which will inevitably involve some trial and error and experimentation – can take your mind away from the pain of recovering from appendicitis. Surely you’ll agree, that’s a great thing!
9. Focus On Healthy Liver Function
The anesthetics used during surgery can negatively effect the liver. Avoid consuming too much caffeine and alcohol after the surgery. Further, focus on liver-healthy foods such as tea, grapefruit, berries, cruciferous vegetables and beetroot juice. (8)
10. Consume Zinc
Studies have shown that a zinc-deficiency can interfere with the healing process. Take a high-quality zinc supplement or implement more zinc-rich foods into your diet such as pumpkin seeds, chickpeas and flax seeds.