You pay special attention to your heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain, but do you know anything about your spleen? On the left side of the rib cage is a small organ that few understand why it is there or what its purpose is in their system.
The spleen is responsible for filtering your blood.
Think of it like an airport scanner trying to detect anything terrible that could affect the safety of a flight. Each of your red blood cells goes through this verification system to make sure they are viable. Anything that is damaged is removed from this organ and sent through the body’s filtering process.
Anything useful that is in the blood, such as iron, is recirculated to the body. Without this organ, your blood is not as clean as it should be. Therefore, it helps to keep it working in the best way. Now, you can live without it, and many people don’t have this structure as it has been removed for your safety.
When there is an infection in the body or the blood has a disease, it swells because it is fighting too many toxins. How to know if this organ is inflamed, and if it is enlarged, dangerous and requires immediate medical attention?
Ten Signs You Have Splenomegaly (Enlarged Spleen)
When your spleen is beyond normal limits and swollen, it is called splenomegaly. Usually you will not have any symptoms that let you know that there are problems within this organ. But a doctor can detect the enlargement during a routine exam. Since this organ is so small, a doctor cannot feel it by palpating this area, but if it is enlarged, they may feel some tenderness and a slight difference in this region.
To accurately diagnose splenomegaly, imaging tests are required. To treat the problem, you must discover the underlying cause that is causing it to swell. While some are so damaged that they need to be surgically removed, this is rarely the case. Here are some signs that your spleen is swollen and not working properly.
1. No symptoms
In most cases, you will not have any signs that this organ is larger than average. Since it does not cause a missed heartbeat or other major difficulties, it is not an easy problem to identify. Even for doctors to corroborate a problem, they must rely on tests to check for any size abnormalities.
2. Pain in the left shoulder
It seems strange that you can develop pain in your left shoulder when this organ is not working properly, but the pain often radiates from the abdomen region. Most people are not going to assume they have a problem with this organ when they have shoulder discomfort, so it is not usually considered a problem when there is pain in this area.
3. Fullness in the abdomen
When diseases or infections are present in the body, this organ works quickly to flush out toxins and purifies the blood. If toxins are abundant, the organ will swell. It can cause pain and fullness on the left side of the abdomen or on both sides.
Don’t let it confuse you because it can also seem like a gallbladder problem if you have eaten excessively. Remember, the gallbladder is on the opposite side of your body, just below the liver.
4. Feeling full without eating
Since the pressure in the abdomen area has already increased, even the slightest intake of food can make it worse. Also, you may have the feeling that you have eaten a huge meal even if you haven’t had a bite. Stomach problems should be investigated as there are many causes, but it can certainly be splenomegaly.
One hundred and one things can cause make you feel fatigued, and you’re not going to assume the spleen is responsible for any of that. However, when your blood contains toxins, many of your organs work overtime to clean your system. Its defense system is very complex and helps everything run smoothly.
Your body may respond to the infection or disease present, or it may also respond to overtime that your organs are working to clean things up.
Anemia is a condition of the body caused by low levels of iron. There are numerous reasons why you may have low iron levels in your body. Still, it is the organ responsible for filtering toxins and returning iron to bodily dysfunctions. It can be a sign that it is swollen and not working properly.
If you suffer from frequent infections or have an autoimmune disease, it can lead to splenomegaly. When the blood is constantly full of toxins and diseases, this organ can enlarge in response to its overworked state.
8. Easy bleeding
It’s called thrombocytopenia when it bleeds too fast, and the spleen can swell because it traps too many blood cells within its walls, which can cause this common problem. Signs of enlargement can manifest as nosebleeds, heavy mensural cycles, and a tendency to bruise easily. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Thrombocytopenia means that the body has a low platelet count and many things in the body can cause it.
9. Pains when breathing
If you have sharp, stabbing pains when you breathe, it may be a sign that you have splenomegaly. However, many other things can cause breathing problems, even a heart attack. Imaging tests are essential to confirm the diagnosis.
10. Full bladder and intestines
All the extra pressure and redness produced by this organ can cause bladder and bowel problems. Elimination of toxins from the body are filtered through the liver and down through the kidneys and other wastes. It is not abnormal for these areas to be affected.
The many causes of enlargement
One of the most common conditions that cause this swelling is mononucleosis. Some people say that this organ is so swollen that they can feel it, but this is usually not the case. Some clinicians may feel it during a routine exam by palpating the area using Castell’s sign or Traube’s spatial maneuvers, depending on I tell myself.
This organ should be about 11 cm long and about 7 cm wide. Anything that exceeds this standard limit is considered extended. Now, outside of mononucleosis, other things can cause it to swell. Any metabolic disorder that affects the liver can also affect this organ.
However, Gaucher and Niemann-Pick diseases are also known to cause this common problem. If you live in or visit an area where malaria is prevalent, you may develop splenomegaly. Also, any infection or disease in the body that affects the blood cells can also affect the spleen.
An emergency situation
While most causes of splenomegaly are not alarming, it can turn disastrous in an instant. Any rip, tear, or rupture of this organ can be a serious medical emergency. If you have been diagnosed with enlargement, then you cannot play contact sports, you need to be careful when carrying heavy things, and even be careful when wearing a seat belt.
This organ is most fragile when it is congested and can rupture, causing all the toxic chemicals it contains to be released into the body. You can die from a rupture, so if you feel like something is not working properly or you have medical issues, as mentioned above, then it is imperative to seek medical attention.
Final thoughts on an enlarged spleen
Each of your organs does important work to keep your body healthy. When one of the organs is compromised due to disease or illness, it generates a chain reaction that affects the other organs. When you have chest pains, you will automatically assume it is your heart or your acid reflex. But few will think that their spleen is behind it.
Even a member of the medical community cannot look at it and identify that this organ has problems. Although they may feel extensions of the upper limits, it is not always possible. Fortunately, using imaging tests and blood tests to check liver function, they can determine the health of this organ.
If your spleen is damaged and needs to be removed to save your life. But the good news is that you can live without it. Since the liver is an important part of your lymphatic system, it will pick up where this organ left off. When there is a trauma or its the body is sick, removing it may be the only option you have left.
According to Harvard Medical School, the rest of your lymphatic system will speed up to compensate for the loss of one of its components. Still, if possible, it is essential to try to save this organ by being very careful and making sure not to cause further trauma to an already compromised region.