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A burst appendix can be a life-threatening condition that often occurs if a bout of appendicitis isn't treated, usually with surgery. Appendicitis is caused by a blockage inside of the appendix. The condition can happen at any age, but most often occurs in people between the ages of 10 and 30, according to MayoClinic.com. You can't really prevent appendicitis, and eating spicy foods alone won't cause your appendix to burst.
Your appendix is a small pouch attached to your colon, but it doesn't have a specific purpose. Appendicitis causes the appendix to become inflamed and filled with pus, according to MayoClinic.com. The condition causes pain that originates near your belly button or on the lower right side of your abdomen. The pain might start out as mild, but will get more severe and sharp as time passes. If the infection isn't dealt with soon after the pain starts, the appendix could rupture, which often causes the pain to diminish. However, the pain usually returns and causes additional symptoms such as chills, fever, nausea and vomiting, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The cause of appendicitis isn't always easy to determine, but it's sometimes caused by a blockage. If a piece of food or fecal matter gets caught in the opening of the cavity near your appendix, it can cause inflammation and infection. In rare cases, a tumor can cause appendicitis, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports. Appendicitis can also develop as the result of another infection such as a gastrointestinal virus, according to MayoClinic.com. If appendicitis isn't treated, it can lead to a rupture. A burst appendix will cause your the lining of your abdomen to become infected, which is a more serious condition.
What Spicy Food Can Do
Although it's conceivable that a piece of spicy food could cause a blockage that leads to appendicitis, it's not the spicy food itself causing the condition. Spicy food can lead to other conditions, however, that can be uncomfortable and might mimic the early signs of appendicitis. Eating spicy foods, such as chili, hot peppers or salsa, can lead to indigestion. Indigestion can cause severe pain in the area between your breastbone and belly button, as well as nausea. The pain can be so uncomfortable that it might be mistaken for appendicitis or a burst appendix.
Tips and Considerations
If you suspect that you have appendicitis or a burst appendix, seek emergency medical attention immediately. These conditions won't go away on their own and require medical treatment.
If you're prone to painful indigestion after eating spicy foods, limit how often you have them. It will save you both discomfort and the worry that your appendix has burst.