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Appendicitis Symptoms in Adults

Updated June 13, 2017

Appendicitis symptoms in adults typically start suddenly and continue to develop over a period of several hours. Although anyone can have appendicitis, it occurs most frequently in people 10 to 30 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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Appendicitis, if not treated, can lead to a very serious condition called peritonitis. Awareness of appendicitis symptoms is crucial to obtaining early treatment.


According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain that typically starts in the region of the navel. The pain gradually moves lower and to the right and settles in the lower right abdomen.

Time Frame

The time it takes for the initial pain of appendicitis to spread and settle in the lower right abdomen is usually several hours.


Other common symptoms of appendicitis include fever, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Constipation or diarrhoea and difficulty passing gas may also be present, and the area where the pain settles may be tender when touched.


Adults over 50 years of age and pregnant women are not likely to display the usual symptoms of appendicitis, according to the University of Michigan Health System.

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About the Author

Linda Hinkle

Linda Hinkle has been a writer since 2004. She spent 29 years teaching mathematics in public high schools and now maintains a private tutoring practice. In addition to writing about education and parenting issues, she writes mathematics assessment and test prep items. Hinkle is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, where she earned a bachelor's degree in education.

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