Appendicitis can strike without much warning and leave you in excruciating pain. Since this swelling of the appendix is often spotted too late, surgical removal of this vestigial organ is often the first line of treatment. If it bursts, it becomes life-threatening as the infection spreads to the abdomen.
Natural therapy can be used mainly in a supportive capacity to ease associated symptoms rather than as a cure or treatment once appendicitis has already set in. It can help with healing or to ease pain and swelling after, but not in lieu of, urgent medical care. That’s because some pain alleviation methods may cause an inflamed appendix to rupture, complicating things further. While there is no solid clinical data to back certain diets or lifestyle changes to prevent appendicitis, you can prevent some of the possible causes like inflammatory bowel disease with natural remedies.
Meditation can be a simple yet effective way to overcome the pain associated with appendicitis and the surgery thereafter. As one study of subjects undergoing abdominal surgery found, practicing meditation and jaw relaxation techniques helped significantly lower the subjective measures of pain as well as anxiety. However, it is worth noting that while subjective responses or the people’s perception of pain went down, the physiological responses were not significantly different as a result of the meditation. As such, meditation may have more of a psychological effect on easing pain than a physical one. Acupuncture offers another avenue for postoperative pain management in the case of an appendectomy. It first made waves in the mainstream media in the West in the context of an appendectomy back in the 1970s. On President Nixon’s tour of China, a reporter suffering from gas pains linked to appendicitis found tremendous relief from acupuncture.Forty-five years on, today, one ongoing trial is looking specifically at the benefits of electroacupuncture in improving gastrointestinal motility recovery and in limiting the pain experienced in the aftermath of a laparoscopic surgery. With such alternatives gaining ground, you may no longer have to rely solely on painkillers, which can be potentially addictive, to ease the pain after surgery.
Turmeric is another anti-inflammatory whose use in Ayurveda is renowned. The active constituent curcumin helps to boost the body’s immune response while also easing swelling from inflammation, and thereby easing pain. It is also indicated in the case of gastric trouble and may, therefore, be helpful in dealing with overall healing related to an inflamed appendix as well.
Fiber: While there is no consensus on a preventive diet for appendicitis, statistics seems to favor those who have a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables with plenty of fiber. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), consuming a diet low in dietary fiber and high in refined carbohydrates may increase the risk of developing appendicitis. Getting in large amounts of fiber can help lower fecal viscosity and increase the velocity of “stool transit time,” both of which can help reduce the chance of an obstruction developing in the appendix.
Yogurt: Calcium- and protein-rich yogurt, which is also probiotic, is considered a good food, if you have appendicitis.
Vitamins: The appendix can become inflamed due to a swollen lymph node caused by an upper respiratory tract infection. To improve overall immunity, consume foods rich in essential vitamins and other nutrients. If you are prone to respiratory infections, especially in months where seasonal variations in temperature can result in infections, it is a good idea to up your intake of vitamin C through lemons and other citrus fruit. According to Ayurveda, appendicitis is a vrana-shotha or an inflammatory condition that causes swelling. One way to reduce the chances of developing blockages is to consume foods that help the body rid itself of toxins and which keep bowel movements regular.
Fenugreek: Consuming water in which fenugreek seeds have been boiled is an Ayurvedic detox remedy. Fenugreek seeds have been found to help in the case of inflammatory bowel disease. The steroidal saponins in the seeds are believed to influence the body’s inflammatory response. They prevent waste accumulation and help the body get rid of excess mucus.
Water: Staying hydrated is also important as water intake is an important part of good gut health.