What Causes Appendicitis?

What Causes Appendicitis?


Appendicitis is a common emergency needing immediate attention. According to the Global Health Data Exchange (1990-2019), in 2019 there are 17.7 million case (incidence of 228/100,000) with more than 33,400 deaths (0.43/100,000). However, this data also showed that the death rate from appendicitis infection decreased globally but its incidence increased with highest number at the 15-19 year old group.

Appendicitis has a significant sign which is pain at the lower right quadrant, the location of the appendix itself. This pain can be mild but can also be severe and demands emergency surgery.

Besides the complaint of stomach pain, other symptoms such as fever also caused by infection. Diagnosis starts from taking the patient’s history, physical examination, to supportive examination including abdominal x-ray and ultrasound, also blood tests to see leucocyte level.  

Afterwards, a surgery is needed to remove the infected appendix. If the appendix has already burst and infect the surrounding area, then the area must all be cleared for infection. Prior to surgery, the patient must be given antibiotics and continue after surgery.

Maybe the main question is what causes appendicitis? The cause is still unknown but most probably to be multifactorial; obstruction of the digestive tract, dietary, or familial factors.

Eating certain food will not directly cause blockage of the intestines or colon. For example is food that are not properly chewed which can be hard to digest and cause blockage or inflammation. There are reported cases of appendicitis which are caused by seeds of vegetables and fruits such as cocoa, orange, melon, barley, oat, fig, grape, date, cumin, and nut. Meanwhile, a study of Indonesian children in North Sumatra in 2014 reported lack of fiber in diet as the cause of appendicitis.

Results for this cause of appendicitis from previous studies are still undefinitive concerning certain food groups to avoid. However, managing risk factors, increasing fiber intake, and preventing colon obstruction are most recommended. 



  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/29522789
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00268-021-06077-5#
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/appendicitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20369549
  4. https://www.claritysurgicalny.com/blog/can-spicy-foods-cause-your-appendix-to-burst
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1562475/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609170/
Reviewed by:
Ditinjau oleh:

Dr. Eddy Wiria, PhD

Co-Founder & CEO Kavacare