Spleen pain symptoms may not always be the easiest to pin-point, which is why it helps to understand what to look for. The spleen is an important organ that is susceptible to becoming enlarged as a result of numerous infections, disorders, and cancers. We are going to talk about some of the spleen pain symptoms that accompany such illnesses as well as the treatments available.
Before we talk about the pain symptoms of spleen illness, we are going to take a brief look at the role the spleen plays in the body. The spleen lies just beneath the rib cage on the left side, is about the size of a fist, and is a member of the lymph system. This means that it is one of the instruments the body uses to fight infections. It also helps the body to filter out toxins and helps keep an even balance of the body’s vital fluids. The spleen is very helpful in getting rid of the old or “rogue” cells within the body and aids in producing and regulating red and white blood cells. As you can see, the spleen does quite a lot for the body; however because these tasks can be completed by other organs, it is possible for the body to function properly without the spleen.
Certain illnesses can cause the spleen to become enlarged, which is called splenomegaly. Splenomegaly is not a disorder in itself, but merely a side effect or a symptom of another disorder. Unfortunately, the number of possible illnesses behind the spleen pain symptoms is quite large. When the spleen is suffering, possible symptoms include fever, overall weakness of body and immune system, mouth/legs/feet sores, palpitations, and easy bruising. A person whose spleen has become enlarged will usually have a low blood cell and platelet count. This is because the spleen starts hoarding all of the blood cells and platelets within itself, in turn making it grow larger and larger. Eventually, the spleen will become so blocked up that it cannot perform its duties properly. Typically, a patient with an enlarged spleen complains of a feeling of “fullness” or general pain in the upper left side of the back or stomach. The spleen lies right next to the stomach making it more difficult to determine whether the cause is indeed the spleen or the stomach.
Sometimes the spleen itself can become damaged or rupture as a result of an accident. In this case, symptoms are likely to be much more severe, such as prominent pain in the upper left side of the abdomen, pain in the left side of the back, low blood pressure, and even pain in the left side of the chest. In this case, the spleen itself will need to be treated. In days of old, doctors simply removed the spleen altogether, but this can mean a particular susceptibility to infection throughout the remainder of the patient’s life.
In modern times doctors prefer to try to treat the spleen and only remove it if absolutely necessary. For minor injuries, blood transfusions usually help aid the spleen in repairing itself. A surgical procedure will usually be performed to try to repair serious damages.
If the spleen has become enlarged, the doctor will have to find out what the underlying disorder is before treatment can be given. Possible disorders that cause the spleen to enlarge are vast, but some of the most common include hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, pancreatic cancer, AIDS, liver disease, and mono. After the doctor has performed the tests necessary to pinpoint the problem, he or she can recommend the best treatments from there.
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