Spleen pain is not considered to be a common problem. Every person has heard of it but not a lot of people know what its purpose is. People should also know that the spleen is located in the upper-left part of the abdomen and that it is protected by the rib cage. There are lots of functions, some of which are quite important, that spleen aids in.
People should also know that the spleen is a part of the lymphatic system. This system is important for the carrying of clear fluid that contains protein molecules, glucose, urea and salts, among other things. This clear fluid goes throughout the entire body. The purpose of the spleen is to get rid of the infection causing foreign bodies. The spleen will also remove all the damaged and worn out red blood cells as well. The normal size of the spleen is usually not bigger than a fist and it can rupture if it gets too big. In most cases a ruptured spleen is a sign of some disease or disorder. It is not uncommon for people to experience severe pain if their spleen becomes enlarged.
Causes of spleen pain
One of the reasons why the spleen can get easily damaged is due to the fact that it is a soft and spongy organ. An enlarged spleen needs to be taken care of because it will filter both the damaged and the normal red blood cells, apart from causing discomfort and pain. There are lots of causes that might lead to enlargement of the spleen and some of the most common are pressure or clots in the lymphatic vessels, certain viral infection like mononucleosis for example, bacterial infection like syphilis and parasitic infections like malaria. Apart from these, some of the other causes are too much pressure on the liver or liver disease, leukemia, cancer of the white blood cells, Hodgkin’s disease, a metabolic disorder of any sort, amyloidosis, an injury or physical trauma, a cyst near the spleen and an inflammatory disease like arthritis for instance.
In most cases a person will not notice any symptoms unless the spleen is close to a rupture. However, a person should go to the hospital if he or she experiences strong pain while breathing deeply, pain in the upper-left part of the abdomen, sudden weight loss and chronic fatigue and restlessness.
The treatment will be determined by the cause. Certain tests like blood tests, an ultrasound and a CT scan will be performed in order for the cause to be determined. It is important that a person goes to the hospital as soon as possible because it is best that the condition is treated in its early stages.