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Appendicitis Paper, sans references
 
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Appendicitis Paper, sans references


Much of the formatting was lost and the references would not copy, but this is the body of the paper. Let me know what you think.

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APPENDICITIS

Disclaimer

This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or prescribe a course of action for any disease. The use or application of any of these procedures is the sole responsibility of the applicant. If you are sick, see a doctor.


Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review for the lay person different things related to appendicitis. The topics to be covered in this paper are shown below.

• Description of appendicitis
• Description of why a person should try to keep his/her appendix
• Prevention of appendicitis
• Symptoms of appendicitis
• Traditional treatment options
• Appendectomy


Description of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is an organ, about the size of the little finger that is located at the juncture of the small intestines and the large intestines. The inflammation of the appendix can cause slight to severe abdominal pain. Left untreated, appendicitis can become life threatening. In some cases, it is self-limiting, meaning the body will naturally take care of the inflammation as it commonly does with other types of inflammation throughout the body.


Why Should You Keep Your Appendix

There is some confusion over the importance of the appendix to human function. For many years, many scientists have referred to the appendix as a “vestigial” organ. That means it is an organ that was once needed in our ancestors, but no longer serves a function for people today. More recent research into the poorly understood human immunological system indicates that the appendix is a highly specialized organ of the immune system that is key to protecting the lower intestine.

Vestigial Organ View. In 1925 there were about 180 glands or organs (structures) in the body that scientists did not understand. It was believed that these organs were once important to our evolutionary ancestors, but no longer important to us as humans today. Among the 180 structures were the thymus, tonsils, adenoids, pyrrh’s patch, adrenal glands, and appendix. Over the past 75 years, that list of 180 has dwindled down to zero. Although there is now at least a small understanding of the function of all of these different structures, the notion that the appendix and many other structures are vestigial still persists today.

Immune System View. Most recent studies of the appendix list it as an important element of the body’s overall immune system. In 1976, Gastroenterology, said, “The appendix is not generally credited with significant function; however, current evidence tends to involve it in the immunologic mechanism.” In 1995, Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, said, “The mucosa and submucosa of the appendix are dominated by lymphoid nodules, and its primary function is as an organ of the lymphatic system.” In the Save Your Life Collection, Dr. Richard Schulze is quoted. “The appendix is a collection of lymph tissue. It is designed to excrete immune system material into the bowel. It detects if there is bacteria and/or fungus in the bowel. It detects something in the bowel, and it will excrete white blood cells and immune cells to destroy the infection… modern immunes studies out of UCLA Medical School textbooks say that when your appendix is removed, other parts of your immune system don’t work as well. They have even done studies showing that your spleen won’t work as well when your appendix is out…” David Christopher, MH, AHG, states that the appendix is an integral part of the immune system protecting the lower bowel. Specific examples include the increased rate of Crohn’s Disease and colon cancer among people who have had their appendix removed. In 2003 a study on Crohn’s disease was published showing that people who had had their appendix removed were 47 percent more likely to contract the disease than those who had not.

Although the function of the appendix is not completely understood, it has become much clearer that it is an important part of the human immune system and should be preserved if possible. The proper functioning of the human immune system is key in the body’s ability to preserve health from both acute and chronic ailments.


Prevention of Appendicitis

If a person can successfully prevent appendicitis and the potential removal of the appendix, then the integrity of the immune system can be maintained. In order to discuss the prevention of appendicitis, the causes of appendicitis must be discussed first. The causes of appendicitis are not known for certain. , The potential causes are many, including, but not limited to congenital malformation, genetic predisposition, blows, injuries, strains, indigestible food, foreign bodies, etc. The most commonly identified causes that are controllable by the person are both blockages of the appendix. The blockages are constipation and blockages by other foreign body (e.g. grape seed).


Constipation

Dr. Richard Schulze says, “The downsides of constipation are endless.” One of these downsides is appendicitis. Dr. Schulze said that appendicitis is advanced constipation. Medical schools teach that 80-90 percent of appendicitis is most likely caused be fecal matter associated with constipation. More indirect studies have shown that appendicitis may be linked to lack of fiber in the diet, which leads to constipation. With fecal matter entering the appendix and not being able to exit, or simply blocking the lymphatic fluids from exiting the appendix, the appendix becomes inflamed (appendicitis).

Preventing Appendicitis through Preventing Constipation. Constipation can be prevented by proper diet, water intake, and exercise. If a person is achieving less than two bowel movements a day, he or she is in a state of constipation. Ideally a person will have one bowel movement for each major meal. A proper diet would minimize constipating foods that contain refined carbohydrates (e.g. white flour, sugar) and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (e.g. margarine, shortening), and processed dairy products (e.g. pasteurized cheese). A proper diet would also include adequate fiber from vegetables, fruits, and properly prepared grains. Adequate water (not soda, milk, or juice) intake is usually approximated by drinking ½ ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. The correct amount varies by individual, activity level, temperature, etc. For people not taking a vitamin supplement with riboflavin (B2), the best way to determine if a person is drinking the appropriate amount of water is to observe urine color. Urine should be lightly colored, not dark and not clear. If urine is dark, drink more water, if nearly clear, drink less water. Riboflavin supplements will usually turn urine bright yellow, even if the person is well hydrated. Exercise such as walking is important to aiding the peristaltic function of the intestines, which moves material through the intestinal tract. Exercise at least 20 minutes a day, preferably six hours each week, to ensure optimal functioning of the intestinal tract. Diet, water, and exercise can help to prevent constipation, which is the primary cause of appendicitis. If a person’s bowel is “lazy” and needs help beyond the three primary steps, herbal preparations including cathartic herbs like cascara sagrada, cape aloe, senna, turkey rhubarb, and others can help to improve peristaltic muscle tone and aid in regulating the bowel. Preparations that are on the market that are particularly helpful include, but are not limited to Dr Christopher’s Lower Bowel Formula and Dr. Schulze ’s Intestinal Formula #1.


Blockage by Foreign Body

In the second edition (1907) of The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, it states, “…prune-seeds, cherry-stones, grape-seeds, gall-stones, pills, fish bones, etc. [are controllable causes] of appendicitis. Blockage of the appendix by foreign bodies was a significant cause of appendicitis at that time. After the progressive constipation of the population at large over the course of the 20th Century, the relative frequency of constipation caused appendicitis increased and the relative frequency of blockages by foreign bodies decreased.

Preventing Appendicitis through Preventing Blockage by Foreign Body. To prevent appendicitis by blockage by foreign body, don’t swallow hard things that won’t be digested in your digestive system. Spit out the things mentioned above. Thoroughly chew nuts and seeds to ensure your digestive system can and will break them down so that they cannot become lodged in your appendix.

Preventing constipation and preventing the opportunity for foreign bodies to become lodged in the appendix will help to prevent appendicitis. These two steps are not 100 percent foolproof, but should go a long way towards reducing the probability of appendicitis in an individual.


Symptoms of Appendicitis

Conventional wisdom says that the key symptoms of appendicitis are pain in the lower right abdomen and an elevated temperature (fever). This may or may not be the case. When asked the question regarding where the human appendix was located, Steve Sample said, “Most people have their appendix on the right side, however, some people have it on the left. What I think you are actually asking deals with the fact that due to the poor nerve configuration in the lower abdomen, people perceive to feel an infected appendix on the opposite side of the body cavity than it actually is located.” For a more detailed description of the symptoms of appendicitis, consider the following quotation from The Eclectic Practice of Medicine:

Appendicitis occurs most frequently between the ages of sixteen and thirty, and among males more often than females, the ratio being four to one. Generally, however, the patient is seized with pain in the abdomen, sometimes in the region of the umbilicus [navel]; or it may be general at first, but soon locates in the right iliac fossa [lower right abdomen]. At the end of twenty-four hours the pain has become constant. The position at this time is dorsal and the right leg is flexed to take off the tension…Nausea and vomiting is an early and somewhat characteristic symptom. Fever develops early, though moderate in degree, the temperature rarely going over 103 degrees within the first forty-eight hours. In some cases no fever is present. Constipation is nearly always present, though there may be diarrhea. If mild, resolution will take place in a few days, by a subsidence of the fever, a yielding of the constipation, and the entire disappearance of the indurated mass in a week or ten days. [emphasis added] In severe cases, the patient grows rapidly worse, perforation occurs, with abscess formation or diffuse peritonitis.

In a nutshell, the symptoms are not as precise as conventional wisdom dictates. Here are the general symptoms:
• Mild to sharp pain in the abdomen, frequently starting in the region of the navel, but could be anywhere between the left and right side. The pain is typically somewhat sharper than is experienced with stomach flu or food poisoning.
• Nausea and vomiting is typical
• Constipation is typical but diarrhea could also be present
• A moderate fever may or may not be present, but is most common
• As the appendicitis progresses, the pain usually will “settle” in the lower right abdomen
• When afflicted by appendicitis a person typically receives some relief from the pain by pulling the right leg up towards the chest, bent at the knee


Traditional Treatment Options for Appendicitis

Today, the standard treatment for appendicitis is the surgical removal of the appendix. Rarely, if ever, will a conventional physician suggest an alternative course of action. However, approximately 100 years ago, physicians were very clear that appendicitis could usually be treated successfully without surgery. William Fox, MD said, “Whilst we would not undervalue the help thus afforded by, or underrate the successful results attained by, the skillful surgeon, we are confident that too little attention has been given to this dangerous disease, and are certain that by prompt energetic treatment the number of cases demanding surgical work would be few and the mortality reduced.” Rolla L. Thomas, MS, MD, said, “Although a grave disease, I am satisfied that a large percent will recover if not subjected to the use of the knife. Where perforation and abscess formation occurs, the only recourse, and the one the promises the only relief, is operation; but these will be found few in number if the patient be seen early.” In more current times, Dr. John R. Christopher, Dr. Richard Schulze , and Sandra Ellis, MH, have shared significant empirical evidence of the successful application of the principles and treatments that were well understood by physicians of a century ago. , ,


Early Treatment Options

A review of the references listed in the section above and other references presents some common threads or common approaches to dealing with the early treatment of appendicitis. Shown below are some of the more common steps and options for each step, which have traditionally been successfully in treating appendicitis if the patient is attended to early in process.

• Stop eating foods and drink only liquids, significant amounts of pure water and fresh juice, including the use of prune juice. This will aid in clearing out potential blockages.

• Enemas will help to clear the bowel and the blockage which may be causing the appendicitis. Elimination of the cause will help the body to naturally take care of the inflammation. For instructions on how to prepare and utilize enemas, please see Dr. John R. Christopher’s book, Home Herbal Health Care.
- Fleet enemas are convenient, but less effective than other options
- Warm water enemas will help to eliminate the blockage ,
- Herbal enemas will help to eliminate the blockage and help the bowel relax and reduce the spasms of pain. Herbal enemas with catnip, spearmint, white oak bark, bayberry, or wild alum root may be particularly helpful. ,

• Fomentations or poultices can help the body to remove the blockage as well as relieving some of the pain associated with the appendicitis. For instructions on how to prepare and utilize fomentations and poultices, please see Dr. John R. Christopher’s book, Home Herbal Health Care.
- Castor oil fomentations help the body to remove the blockages that can cause appendicitis.
- Hot and cold fomentations will help ease the pain and help the body resolve the blockage. ,
- Herbal fomentations of mullein and lobelia will help to ease the pain and help the body resolve the blockage. ,
- An herbal poultice of mullein and lobelia, mixed into a paste with slippery elm bark or cornmeal for overnight usage.
• The internal usage of tincture of lobelia (approximately 6 drops) will help to calm pain and spasms. The external usage of several drops of tincture of lobelia in the region of the appendix will also aid in relieving the pain.

• Gentle massage of the area of the appendix can help to remove the blockage. Dr. Schulze said, “I like to do a light massage, and you are doing the massage from the hip bone towards the navel or groin. You are going from the lower right hand side up towards the center, and from your pubic bone are up towards your center. You can actually drain it a little bit. Just lightly, with the palm of your hand.

• Take raw garlic, six cloves daily, and an Echinacea tincture combination such as Dr. Schulze’s Echinacea Plus to help ward off infection.


When to Go to the Hospital

Most of the doctors are clear that if early treatment does not help, surgery becomes a necessary step. , , The exact point at which it can be determined that the early treatment has succeeded or failed is hard to determine. Sandra Ellis said that if the fever spikes, infection has set in and needs attention of the doctor. This is the clearest indication in the review of the literature. Dr. Christopher simply says, “This approach should relieve them, but if not, be sure to see a physician.” The amount of time to continue with the early treatment is not measured in specific blocks of time. It may be minutes, hours, or days. If treatment is early and aggressive, surgery may be avoided. If the early treatments do not produce the results needed, promptly go to the hospital.


Appendectomy

If traditional early treatment options fail to yield the desired results, a visit to the doctor’s office or emergency room will often culminate with a surgery to remove the appendix. This surgery is called an appendectomy. An appendectomy is considered to be a common, routine surgery. Although all surgeries carry significant risks, a common appendectomy is not considered to be any more risky than the norm.

A visit to the doctor’s office or to the emergency room will include several questions regarding the symptoms mentioned above, including questions about pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fever, etc. The examining physician will push on several areas of the abdomen to determine where the pain is. In some instances, the physician may request further diagnostic procedures to help determine what the problem is. Women in particular can benefit from further diagnostic testing. In a recent study, women who did not have an ultrasound or CT scan prior to surgery increased the instance of surgery by 400%. This did not hold true for children and men. If you are a woman, request the diagnostic testing to ensure that you do not needlessly have your appendix removed.

If you have an appendectomy, it will be done under a general anesthesia. In other words, you will be “put out.” The surgery may be done as a traditional incision, usually from one to three inches in length or laparoscopically, meaning that instead of an incision, two or more very small incisions are made, then a camera is used to guide the surgeon in the procedure. The lapraroscopic method minimizes scarring, but the gases injected into the abdomen to facilitate the surgery can cause some discomfort for several day or more. The post surgical stay at the hospital will likely be 24-48 hours. You will be given pain medication and encouraged to get up and walk around as soon as possible. Moving around will help prevent some potential problems. Even though it will hurt, get up a move around per doctors directions, but don’t overdo it.


Post Appendectomy Aids to Recovery

There are several things which a person can do to improve the recovery from surgery. The steps below will both ease and speed recovery.

• With abdominal surgery, avoiding constipation is a priority. Straining at stool can and will be very painful. In order to avoid the pain of straining, bowel movements are often avoided. “Resisting the call of Nature” will lead to constipation, which in turn leads to autointoxication with waste that should be eliminated. To keep bowel movements easy during the healing process, avoid constipating foods, eat primarily vegetables and fruits, and use cathartic herbs such as Dr. Christopher’s Lower Bowel Formula or Dr. Schulze’s Intestinal Formula #1. For children, Dr. Schulze’s Intestinal Formula #3 can be used. To start things off, take twice the recommended dosage. Back off of as abdominal pain subsides and bowel movements are normalized.

• Use Dr. Christopher’s Complete Tissue Formula (BF&C), both internally and externally to speed the healing process of the tissues damaged in the surgical procedure. The internal formula comes as a capsule or can be made in the form of an herbal tea. It is typically taken in capsule form. Take four capsules, three times a day. Externally, the most convenient to use preparation is in ointment form. A fomentation can be used as well. Once the surgical dressing is removed (usually 24-48 hours), generously apply Complete Tissue Ointment to the area of the incision(s) 3-5 times per day. It may be covered lightly with gauze, which is taped in place, to protect clothing from the ointment.

• Walk, move, get fresh air, and keep direct pressure off of the incision(s) (e.g. tight fitting waist bands). This will aid with many aspects of recovery.

• There are several other herbal remedies that can help with recovery. Tincture of wild yam, an effective herbal anti-inflammatory and can be taken 1-2 droppersful 5X a day. Three to six cloves of garlic per day will help to prevent post surgical infection, which is a very real risk with all surgeries. Cayenne and ginger tinctures, to tolerance, 5X a day will help to promote circulation and energy. An Echinacea combination, such as Dr. Schulze’s Echinacea Plus will help to bolster the immune system to ward off potential post surgical infections.

These steps will help to speed recovery and to improve the overall recovery from an appendectomy. A person who has their appendix removed will have to devote additional attention to bowel health for the rest of their life. Avoiding constipation is a priority. Seasonal Bowel Cleanses are critical as well. For specific insights into bowel health and maintenance, read Dr. Schulze’s, Healing Colon Disease Naturally.


Summary

Appendicitis is a potentially life-threatening health issue and should be treated as such. The appendix is an important part of the immune systems and should be preserved if possible. Although current standard medical practice for appendicitis is the immediate removal of the appendix, there are tried and tested traditional treatment options that may help the body to resolve the appendicitis by itself. Doctors of a century ago knew that the aggressive use of these traditional approaches would eliminate the need for surgery in most cases. These traditional treatments are things that can be done at home by people who are prepared. If the traditional treatments do not bring about the desired results, a person should promptly see their doctor or go to the hospital. If a person has an appendectomy, there are several things which he or she may do to aid in recovery from surgery.
 

 
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