It seems that the only we mention the appendix is when we have to remove it. However, why do we need this organ?
The appendix is a sac which is tube-shaped and it is joined to the lower end of the large intestine. “Vermiform appendix” is its medical term. For many years people rendered this organ useless. Charles Darwin and a number of other scientists believed that the appendix is a vestigial organ which helped in the digestion of tree bark in the past. Since people no longer consume tree bark, the appendix is believed to be unnecessary. Nevertheless, a recent study has proven quite the opposite.
It is possible that the appendix produces and also protects beneficial probiotics in the digestive system. The human digestive system contains beneficial bacteria which is essential for proper food digestion. These bacteria are destroyed by diseases, and in cases like this the appendix can be used as a stockpile for bacteria. When the immune system starts fighting the diseases, the bacteria re-colonizes the digestive system.
Conventional medicine treated the appendix as useless organ for a very long time. However, according to recent evidence, it may actually play a vital role in the evolution of the immune system. To be more precise, it has been proven that lymphoid tissue builds up in the appendix following birth. As a consequence, the appendix aids the growth of B lymphocytes and also promotes the antibodies production. The appendix created molecules which promote the changing of position of lymphocytes to different body areas.
In reference to current research on this topic, the appendix is a reserve for useful gut flora. It was already been mentioned that the appendix stores the beneficial bacteria in case of diseases.
Moreover, it has been proven that people without appendix are 4 times more prone to Clostidium difficile colitis. This occurs when there are low levels of gut flora. This condition could be the explanation of the relationship between healthy probiotic levels and the appendix.
However, in spite of the fact that the appendix plays crucial role in the human body, it is also responsible for appendicitis. Appendicitis is a condition which begins with a pain in the mid part of the abdomen. The pain can come and go. In a matter of few hours the pain intensifies and it has an effect on the lower right-hand side. The pain can become more intense with pressing the area, coughing or walking.
Some of the most usual symptoms of this condition are high temperature (fever), flushed face, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea and feeling sick. Approximately 300 to 400 people in America die from this condition each year, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.