Appendicitis is caused by an obstruction of the appendix due to inflammation of the appendix wall. It can also be caused by hard stools called fecaliths, or by calcified deposits called appendicoliths.
There are a variety of tests and procedures to diagnose appendicitis. The first is a physical exam to assess your pain. The doctor will apply gentle pressure, and the appendix pain will often feel worse when the pressure is released. This probing lets
the doctor know that the tissue lining the abdominal wall is inflamed.
The doctor may also check for guarding of the appendix. Guarding is when the abdominal muscles stiffen in response to the pressure on the appendix. The last physical test is a digital exam of the lower rectum.
When it comes to blood tests, the doctor will look for high white blood cell counts to determine if there is an infection. They may also recommend a urinalysis to rule out a urinary tract infection or kidney stones.
A CT scan is usually the most accurate way to diagnose appendicitis. However, your doctor may recommend other imaging tests like an abdominal x-ray, ultrasound,
or an MRI as well.