Article about appendix How many got it out???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by namow, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. namow

    namow New Member

    I found this article and it makes sense to me that some part of my body is necessary, no part is useless!

    By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

    WASHINGTON - Some scientists think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut. That's the theory from surgeons and immunologists at Duke University Medical School, published online in a scientific journal this week.

    For generations the appendix has been dismissed as superfluous. Doctors figured it had no function, surgeons removed them routinely, and people live fine without them.

    And when infected the appendix can turn deadly. It gets inflamed quickly and some people die if it isn't removed in time. Two years ago, 321,000 Americans were hospitalized with appendicitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The function of the appendix seems related to the massive amount of bacteria populating the human digestive system, according to the study in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. There are more bacteria than human cells in the typical body. Most of it is good and helps digest food.

    But sometimes the flora of bacteria in the intestines die or are purged. Diseases such as cholera or amoebic dysentery would clear the gut of useful bacteria. The appendix's job is to reboot the digestive system in that case.

    The appendix "acts as a good safe house for bacteria," said Duke surgery professor Bill Parker, a study co-author. Its location — just below the normal one-way flow of food and germs in the large intestine in a sort of gut cul-de-sac — helps support the theory, he said.

    Also, the worm-shaped organ outgrowth acts like a bacteria factory, cultivating the good germs, Parker said.

    That use is not needed in a modern industrialized society, Parker said. If a person's gut flora dies, they can usually repopulate it easily with germs they pick up from other people, he said. But before dense populations in modern times and during epidemics of cholera that affected a whole region, it wasn't as easy to grow back that bacteria and the appendix came in handy.

    In less developed countries, where the appendix may be still useful, the rate of appendicitis is lower than in the U.S., other studies have shown, Parker said.

    He said the appendix may be another case of an overly hygienic society triggering an overreaction by the body's immune system.

    Even though the appendix seems to have a function, people should still have them removed when they are inflamed because it could turn deadly, Parker said. About 300 to 400 Americans die of appendicitis each year, according to the CDC.

    Five scientists not connected with the research said that the Duke theory makes sense and raises interesting questions.

    The idea "seems by far the most likely" explanation for the function of the appendix, said Brandeis University biochemistry professor Douglas Theobald. "It makes evolutionary sense."

    The theory led Gary Huffnagle, a University of Michigan internal medicine and microbiology professor, to wonder about the value of another body part that is often yanked: "I'll bet eventually we'll find the same sort of thing with the tonsils."

    [This Message was Edited on 10/05/2007]
  2. Goldyfm

    Goldyfm New Member

    I lost mine at 16 years of age. I have always wondered if there may be a connection between appendectomy and IBS as I started in my early 20's with that malady. I agree that maybe we live in a more sterile environment especially when it comes to food preparation and refrigeration. How many remember your mothers or grandmother leaving Sunday dinner out all afternonn and only put it away after supper? I do.

    I also remember my grandfather had appendicitis in his 60's but they were unable to operate as he had a serious cardiac problem and was a brittle diabetic. They pumped him full of antibiotics for weeks. I was surprised they could do that even at that time. So I was terrified when I had to have mine removed.

    Okay, now I have strayed. Count me as appendixless!
  3. Achyten

    Achyten New Member

    Hi there,,, I just had my appendix removed about 6 months ago, if that.
    My appendix was full of gangrene,,so the surgeon told me.
    I was in so much pain after the surgery, and hadn't had my usual pills that I take on a day to day basis,, including a pain pill. Mind you, this was early in the morning,, and had surgery at 1 AM. I didn't get my night pills either before the surgery,, and had nothing for pain by 6AM.
    I couldn't believe that I sat up and shook the nurse by the her shoulders...I was so desperate
    for relief,,, and the nurse hollered at me " Don't you EVER touch me again"!!!
    I laid back down and started to cry,, told her I had fibromyalgia. Then she took me and hugged me,, and said " I"m so sorry". I got a shot of something for pain,,,thank God!
    But here I am rattling on,,, so sorry.
    I still worry,, wondering if they got all the gangrene out or not. I feel tenderness there yet.

    Hugs, achyten
  4. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    I still have mine. I've used an old herbal remedy over the years that has saved me several times with that. Blackberry leaves in a tea form, if you drink it as soon as you feel the pain and drink several cups that day, it will go away. Blackberry leaves have the ability to kill the bad bacteria. An even stronger herb is Bilberry. Bilberry is the only thing that kills bad food poisoning for me. Bilberry contains a pigment that inhibits bacterial growth in the intestines.

    What I've found over the years is that diet definitely plays a large role in inflaming the appendix. Seeds and nuts are bad for it. Chestnuts around Xmas time are a huge culprit, I've long since stopped eating them.

    Mostly, I cook my own food and eat at home whenever I can. And I stick with a plain diet as often as I can.

    I still have my tonsils, too. I've never believed in having those removed. I've always felt they serve a function.