Anyone who has ever felt a twinge in their right side has probably wondered if it’s a symptom of appendicitis.\nFortunately, mild discomfort like this is usually just gas or another minor ailment. But in some cases, abdominal pain can be a sign that your appendix \u2014 the tube of tissue at the end of your large intestine \u2014 may be in trouble. Learn more about these critical appendicitis symptoms so you can get the help you may need.\nWhat Is Acute Appendicitis?\nIn the simplest terms, acute appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch on the right side of your lower abdomen that appears to have no purpose or function.\nAcute appendicitis typically occurs when a blockage in the appendix’s lining causes a bacterial infection, which in turn leads to inflammation. Left untreated, the appendix can rupture, spreading bacteria throughout the abdomen\u2014a medical emergency that can be life threatening. Anyone can develop acute appendicitis, but it’s most common in younger people between ages 10 and 30.\nAcute Appendicitis Symptoms\nDespite the seriousness of this problem, symptoms of appendicitis usually start out fairly mild. Over time, they can become severe. Watch for symptoms such as:\n\nSudden pain that starts near your bellybutton and shifts to your lower right abdomen\nPain that gets worse when you take deep breaths, cough, or sneeze\nAbdominal bloating\nNausea\nVomiting\nConstipation\nDiarrhea\nLoss of appetite\nLow-grade fever\n\nBecause such symptoms can also be signs of many other gastrointestinal problems \u2014 from gas to a stomach bug to chronic conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease \u2014 it’s important to pay attention to your general health so you notice any changes.\nFind an emergency room or urgent care facility near you with UPMC CareFinder.\nAppendicitis Pain or Something Else?\nWhat tends to make appendicitis-related pain different from other types of abdominal pain include:\n\nIt occurs suddenly\nIt gets worse over the course of just a few hours\nIt occurs before other symptoms, like bloating or nausea\nIt can be described as different from other pain you’ve experienced\n\nIf you suspect you or a loved one may be experiencing acute appendicitis, seek medical attention immediately. Treatment usually involves minimally invasive surgical removal of the appendix and a course of antibiotics to treat infection.