The symptoms of appendicitis can vary. It can be hard to diagnose appendicitis in young children, the elderly, and women of childbearing age.
The first symptom is often pain around the belly button. Pain may be minor at first, but becomes more sharp and severe. You may also have a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and a low fever.
The pain tends to move into the right lower part of your belly. The pain tends to focus at a spot directly above the appendix called McBurney's point. This most often occurs 12 to 24 hours after the illness starts.
If your appendix breaks open (ruptures), you may have less pain for a short time and you may feel better. However, the pain soon gets worse and you will feel sicker.
Your pain may be worse when you walk, cough, or make sudden movements. Later symptoms include:
- Chills and shaking
- Hard stools
- Nausea and vomiting