How to Prevent Appendicitis Naturally

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a hollow organ located in the right lower quadrant of the belly, which contains both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. [1]

There is still debate regarding the purpose of the appendix, with some saying it may have immunoprotective functions acting as a lymphoid organ and others saying that it acts as a storage vessel for healthy gut bacteria.

Whatever its purpose, it is crucial to make sure it stays healthy.

Inflammation of the appendix can be either acute or chronic. If left untreated, it can cause terrible abdominal pain. In acute appendicitis, the appendix may burst, leaving the bacteria in it to spill into the abdominal cavity, which can cause severe problems and pain, and even death in some cases. In chronic appendicitis, the appendix lumen gets obstructed, bacteria build-up, and cause acute inflammation ushering in the piercing of the appendix. This leads to abscess formation and bacterial release. 

Appendicitis is a prevalent health problem. About 300,000 hospital visits yearly in the United States are appendicitis-related issues. The incidence is about 233 per 100,000 people, with a slightly higher predisposition for males than females. The data for the United States tells us that it is the most common cause of abdominal pain. Around 8.6% of males and 6.7% of American women will have appendicitis at some point in their life. Appendicitis usually results in surgery when left untreated. [2-3]

The main problem with appendicitis is that you rarely notice you have it. The symptoms are seldom noticeable, and most people find out they have it when it’s too late and when surgery becomes necessary. That’s why you need to try to do what you can to prevent appendicitis from happening in the first place.

Naturally Preventing Appendicitis

With specific changes in your lifestyle, you can effectively lower your risk of developing the disease.

The best way of preventing appendicitis to date is consuming a fiber-rich diet. Much research has been conducted on the relation between high fiber intake and appendicitis. Most of it has shown that a fiber-rich diet can significantly lower the risk for appendicitis. People who eat more fiber rarely develop appendicitis than those who eat less of it. [4-10]

In general, it’s recommended for adult males to eat around 38 grams of fiber per day and about 30 grams of fiber per day for older men. As for women, the general recommendation is 25 grams per day and 21 grams for older women. 

A diet is considered fiber-rich and good for appendicitis prevention when you eat these foods regularly:

  • Vegetables and fruits (if possible with the peel — such as apples, cucumbers, pears, and potatoes)
  • Lentils, beans, peas, and sprouts
  • Oats
  • Whole wheat, rice, and other whole grains
  • Fenugreek seeds — the herb has long been thought to provide several health benefits and is found to be useful for appendicitis prevention. Due to linolenic and linoleic acids, fenugreek seeds have significant anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities. They prevent mucus-forming around the appendix, thereby avoiding infection. Only 11.1 grams of fenugreek seeds contain 3 grams of fiber. Boil two spoons of fenugreek seeds in one liter of water for half an hour, or buy fenugreek tea. [11]
  • Flax seeds – Flaxseeds are a rich source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid having similar effects on appendix health as fenugreek seeds.

Some minor changes to lead you to follow a more fiber-rich diet:

  • Cook and bake with 100% whole wheat flour instead of regular flour
  • Add legumes or sprouts to your salads
  • For dessert, opt for unsweetened tapioca cooked with soy milk or a piece of dark chocolate with over 90% cocoa.
  • When eating soups, you can always sprinkle some wheat germ or oat bran over them.

To conclude

Having a healthier diet with lots of fiber-rich foods and low in refined, processed foods makes you more likely never to develop appendicitis. 

All references are found at this link: I keep this list updated. 

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