Pain is the most common symptom of appendicitis. It often starts near the navel, or belly button, and might come and go for a while. It then usually moves low down to the right in the abdomen (tummy) and becomes more severe and more constant. It usually hurts to walk or cough.
Other common signs and symptoms of appendicitis are:
- fever (high temperature)
- an abdomen which is tender to touch, especially low on the right
- nausea (feeling like throwing up)
- loss of appetite (not feeling like eating)
- vomiting, although usually only once or twice
- diarrhoea or constipation
Young children can find it hard to say where the pain is, and all you may know is that they are sick. The pain of appendicitis is usually in the centre or on the right side of the abdomen (tummy) but can be either side. Your doctor can help determine the cause of the symptoms.
If you think that you or someone in your care may have appendicitis, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible.
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Last reviewed: September 2018