First of all, how does one know it’s the spleen that is hurt? Abdominal pains and chest pains are hard to diagnose without a complete investigation of whatever is ailing the patient. Any pain that is felt by the patient specifically in the upper left side of the chest may be commonly associated with diseases of the colon or the spleen. If the pain is nearer to the ribs, then the organ affected may be the spleen. The spleen may be enlarged or may be the seat of an infarction.

How big should my spleen be?

The spleen is an important organ in the digestive system. It’s found under your ribcage, next to the stomach, on the left side of your abdomen. It’s a soft, spongy organ that performs many functions:

  • filters out and destroys old and damaged blood cells
  • prevents infection by producing white blood cells called lymphocytes
  • stores blood and platelets which help your blood to clot
  • acts sometimes as an intermediary between your immune system and your brain

Normally, your spleen is about the size of a fist, but a number of conditions from infections to liver disease and some cancers can cause an enlarged spleen, or splenomegaly. Sometimes, a person with an enlarged spleen will not show symptoms. The condition is often discovered only during routine medical examination. When the doctor finds out about it, the patient is required to undergo imaging and blood tests to determine its cause.

Spleen Why Does my Spleen Hurt?

Symptoms of Splenomegaly

Although an enlarged spleen may not show symptoms, some people have reported experiencing the following:

  • Pain in the left upper abdomen that may spread to the left shoulder
  • Feeling full without eating or after eating only a small amount because the enlarged spleen may be pushing against your stomach
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Easy bleeding

What can cause the spleen to swell up?

An enlarged spleen may begin to filter normal blood cells aside from abnormal ones, which can reduce the number of healthy cells in the blood. It can also trap blood platelets, which eventually will clog the spleen and interfere with normal functioning. An enlarged spleen may even outgrow its own blood supply, which can damage or destroy sections of the organ.

When the spleen swells up, the change in size may be caused by the following:

  • Viral infections, such as mononucleosis
  • Bacterial infections, such as syphilis or an infection of your heart’s inner lining
  • Parasitic infections, such as malaria
  • Cirrhosis and other diseases affecting the liver
  • Various types of hemolytic anemia, which is a condition characterized by premature destruction of red blood cells
  • Blood cancers, such as leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease
  • Metabolic disorders, such as Gaucher’s disease and Niemann-Pick disease
  • Pressure on the veins in the spleen or liver or a blood clot in these veins

See your doctor immediately!

Although people with an enlarged spleen generally feel no pain, they have reported feeling something on their left side that shouldn’t be there. It’s a general feeling of discomfort and can affect eating and sleeping habits. If you start feeling pain on the left side of the abdomen, right under the rib cage, then it’s time to see the doctor and have your self tested.

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Categories: Health

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