Appendicitis Symptoms in Overweight Women

Updated March 23, 2017

Acute appendicitis has clear symptoms, even in extraordinarily overweight women. This is the form of the illness that is more painful and is far easier to detect. It develops rapidly and causes serious discomfort. In contrast, chronic or atypical appendicitis can have almost no symptoms, especially in the overweight and the elderly, and often leads to death.


In most cases, overweight women are no less likely to notice the symptoms of acute appendicitis than any other group of people. Men are more likely to develop appendicitis, as are children between 13 and 15 years of age. Elderly people who have incurred some sort of significant illness are more likely to develop an infection of their appendix.


Chronic appendicitis--the type that is so difficult to detect in overweight women--is not a severe infection of the organ, but rather a recurring inflammation that may develop into a life-threatening infection. Abdominal pain may be present, but not in quantities that would be unusual to the patient in question. Diabetes and HIV can increase the chances of someone developing chronic appendicitis. Signs of acute appendicitis can also include severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty walking, standing, balancing or concentrating, and a complete lack of interest in food.


Overweight women can protect themselves from appendicitis by eating a diet high in fibre, treating any diabetic condition if present, and making an effort to lose more weight. Even without these prevention mechanisms, being alert to the pain of the body and knowing about the possibility of developing appendicitis is enough to help medical professionals treat the illness. Abdominal pain, even if it is chronic and from other sources, is a sign of bodily distress and should be taken seriously. One excellent method for highlighting the symptoms of appendicitis is to apply strong pressure on the lower right section of the abdomen and then to release it suddenly. If the pain is shockingly intense, then it is a strong sign of the presence of appendicitis.


Approximately 5 to 7 per cent of people develop appendicitis throughout their lives. The appendix is a small vestigial organ attached to the large intestine that performs no discernible function. Chronic abdominal pain, especially in the lower middle and lower right stomach, is a clear sign of appendicitis or chronic appendicitis. Overweight adult women generally have little to fear from chronic appendicitis, as it is relatively rare in adults relative to the rate that it affects children. Chronic appendicitis only affects 1 per cent of appendicitis sufferers. The pain in this instance is less severe, and the nausea and appetite loss may be nonexistent or only fleeting and slight.


Appendicitis is always treated by surgery. Surgeons make an incision to remove the inflamed appendix, and in cases in which it has perforated, they clean up any stray mass that may be remaining in the stomach and causing infections. The earlier the person enters treatment, the less likely that a severe infection will develop that may require further treatment. Overweight women are not more likely to develop appendicitis or chronic appendicitis than other groups, but weight gain does have a marked numbing effect on the body, which makes it more difficult to track the symptoms accurately.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

John Hewitt began freelancing in 2008, writing about subjects ranging from music to stock trading, the energy industry and business. His ghostwritten work has appeared all over the Web. He attended New York University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in history.