Enlarged Spleen – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

It is an organ that is part of the lymph system and helps in network drainage that protects the body against infection.

It comes under your rib cage in the upper left part of the abdominal region towards your back. It maintains healthy red blood, white blood cells and platelets that help in blood clotting. Lymphocytes in the spleen engulf dead tissues, bacterias and foreign matter eliminating them from the blood as blood passes through it. The spleen helps in filtration of blood therefore, removing the abnormal blood cells from the blood.

Causes of Enlarged Spleen

An enlarged spleen can occur due to infections, liver diseases, cirrhosis, and diseases of blood featured by abnormal cells of blood, lymph system problems or other conditions.

  • Infections can be Viral infections such as mononucleosis, parasitic infections like toxoplasmosis and bacterial infections like endocarditic(an infection of valves of heart)
  • Cancer caused due to Lymphoma (cancer of lymph tissue such as Hodgkin’s disease) and Leukemia(a cancer in which white blood cells replace normal blood cells)
  • The cancer that has spread to the spleen.
  • Occurrence of cyst, a noncancerous fluid filled sac.
  • Inflammatory diseases like sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Trauma like injury during contact sports
  • Diseases like Gaucher’s disease, amyloidosis or glycogen storage diseases.
  • A large abscess or a pus filled cavity caused by a bacterial infection.

Symptoms of an Enlarged Spleen

The symptoms of enlarged spleen are rare in nature and people can get known to them during a physical exam

  • Unable to eat large meals.
  • Feeling pain in upper left side of the abdomen and can spread to left part of shoulder and makes a person uncomfortable.
  • Other signs include loss in weight, frequent infections, easy bleeding,fatigue,jaundice and anemia

Treatment of enlarged spleen

Avoid playing contact sports. Contact sports can rupture spleen and can lead to bleeding and can be life hazardous. It can lead to serious complications and might require surgery of spleen (removal of spleen).vaccines and other medication is required when the spleen gets removed from the body as certain bacteria’s cannot be eliminated after surgery.