The news is in and after years of uncertainty, scientists are closing in on the reason all of us humans are born with an appendix. Long regarded as pointless, or a remnant of the evolutionary process, new research from America’s Midwestern University, has indicated your appendix could be acting as a kind of storeroom for the multi-level home that is your gut: stocked up with good bacteria that’ll make you better again when you get sick.
Turns out we might bloody well need the thing.
And I, like lot of people don’t have one.
I get that we don’t have any other treatment for appendicitis right now. Another thing scientists aren’t too sure about by the way, it might be a blockage of poo. Yep, poo. Deal.
But we do know that if an appendix ruptures and you don’t want to die, the only thing to do is whip that bad boy out.
My issue is that my doc decided to take my appendix out – just in case.
I was 18 and I’d been experiencing severe abdominal pain intermittently for about 2 years. The latest episode, the worst by far, was an up all night with my head/bottom in the loo the kind of nightmare. Gross, I know, but you need the details.
Mum took me to the hospital. The thing about these episodes is that they always stopped suddenly. I’d have an agonizing few hours then, it was like it never happened. The same happened this time. By the time I was being seen by a surgeon, I was feeling kinda.. peachy.
All the same I’d been having these attacks for a while now and it was kind of annoying. We wanted answers, my doctor wanted to help, and it was decided that they’d go in and remove my appendix anyway.
My intermittent stomach pain did stop after that, so it’s fair enough to conclude that my appendix was the issue. However, my appendix never ruptured, and now we know what it does to support gut health – I’m left to wonder: am I worse off without it?
No need for too much detail here, but twenty years later I’m managing several incurable auto-immune diseases. Science is getting closer to understanding the full extent of how important gut health is to overall wellness.
How many other people are sick because a piece of their insides was removed, “just in case”?
Hopefully this research has scientists closer to finding an alternative cure for appendicitis. I’m genuinely excited about it.
Maybe it’s the much talked about fecal transplant – or “poo-fusion”? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google it. You won’t be disappointed.