(Horrible visual, i know, but learning isn’t always beautiful right? :))
When my niece went into the hospital this week for symptoms of appendicitis, I couldn’t help but wonder about this part of our body that is so easily rid of these days. Well, her’s had burst and had to be removed. But what is it that causes appendicitis? Is the appendix really unnecessary? And my last question: is there a way to prevent my kiddos from this surgery and painful recovery?
I started my search reading Prescription for Natural Healingby Phyllis A. Balch, CNC. It’s a rather new edition to our bookshelves, but has been a great resource since my son’s recent spat with febrile seizures. Then I went to the Internet and found some similar information on medicinenet.com.
The facts seemed to be about the same in that appendicitis is caused from a blockage in the large intestine, followed by an inflammation of the appendix. They both agreed that the appendix can be healed at times and obviously in other cases it bursts and bacteria (fecal matter) is spread into the abdominal cavity, that causes peritonitis (a collection of infected pus—gross huh?).
They also pointed out that it is worse for children. That although uncommon in elderly, mostly because the symptoms are milder and antibiotics usually take care of the problem before it is found.
In Prescriptions…it stated that although we used to believe that the appendix was not an important part of our body, that recent beliefs have changed (this seems to make sense to me…why would it be there if it wasn’t doing something?). When a fetus is developing, “the appendix contains endocrine cells that manufacture hormones and other important body chemicals.” And in young adults, the appendix aids the functioning of the immune system (something we all need help with…so I definitely don’t want my kiddos to lose theirs anytime soon.)
Balch goes on to point out that appendicitis is mostly caused by an improper diet, where one is not receiving enough fiber. She recommends that in order to avoid appendicitis, to “avoid refined and fried foods, and limit your intake of cooked animal proteins to one serving a day.”
So where should my family be getting their fiber? According to Balch, “the typical American diet is lacking in fiber”…hmmm
Balch’s list of high-fiber foods to include in our diet:
- whole-grain cereals and flours
- brown rice
- fresh fruit
- dried prunes
- seeds (especially flaxseeds)
- fresh, raw vegetables
I can definitely see an area that i can improve our diet…I’ll have to start looking up recipes for lentils. 🙂