Symptoms - Appendicitis

Appendicitis often starts with a pain in the middle of your tummy that may come and go.

Within hours, the pain travels to your lower right-hand side. This is where your appendix usually lies. The pain can become constant and severe.

Pressing on this area, coughing or walking may all make the pain worse.

If you have appendicitis, you may also have other symptoms, including:

When to get medical help

If you're experiencing tummy pain that's gradually getting worse, contact your GP immediately. Any condition that causes constant severe tummy pain needs urgent medical attention.

You can confuse appendicitis with something else, such as:

  • gastroenteritis (stomach infection)
  • severe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • constipation
  • bladder or urine infections
  • Crohn's disease
  • pelvic infection

If your appendix bursts, it can cause peritonitis. This is a serious infection of the inner lining of the tummy (abdomen).

Read more about how appendicitis is diagnosed

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.

Page last reviewed: 22 December 2020
Next review due: 22 December 2023

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