Not much is known about this organ, and not only to the common man, but also to doctors: science does not stand still, but the spleen is still shrouded in a dense cocoon of secrets and mysteries. Why does the spleen hurt, how to recognize this particular organ? How dangerous are violations in his work and is it possible to live without him?
Where is the spleen, what role does it play?
It is a mistake to assume that the spleen is related to the digestive system: despite the fact that it is located exactly opposite the liver, in the left hypochondrium, i.e. belongs to the abdominal cavity, its functions from the digestive extremely far. This body, which is not vital, resembles a small hemisphere, which occupies a zone from 9 to 11 ribs.
It is noteworthy that as a person matures, the spleen gradually reduces its weight from the original 250 g. In the body, it contacts (through contact) with the diaphragm and the posterior wall of the stomach, as well as the pancreas and large intestine, as a result of which the pain in this area is often difficult to accurately identify. It is also impossible to feel it if the organ is not enlarged for a specific reason.
- Some doctors say that the removal of the spleen can go almost imperceptibly for the body, since the functions it performs can be distributed among the rest of the organs.
How true such a statement is still not exactly known, but it does not mean that the spleen, unlike, for example, the appendix, is completely useless, and any problems that may arise with it will not affect the human condition. This cannot be challenged, at least for the reason that an organism deprived of the spleen is much more susceptible to infection, since its protection is greatly weakened.
- According to scientific research, the task of the spleen is the accumulation of platelets, as well as the synthesis of circulating lymphocytes and antibodies, which makes it a filter for a number of bacteria, allowing them to attribute immunomodulatory properties to this organ.
- At the initial stage of the formation of the organism (in childhood), the spleen participates in the process of blood formation, as a result of which it carries out prevention of blood diseases (especially anemia), as well as bone marrow. At the same time, for the fetus inside the mother, the spleen is the same organ that produces blood cells, and after the baby is born, this function gives the bone marrow. She herself continues to play only the role of "overseer" and in rare cases can produce certain types of leukocytes, and even more rarely - red blood cells. But the latter is peculiar in the majority of cases only to serious diseases, in which synthesized cells, in addition, are also “born” dangerous for the organism.
- The older a person becomes, the less “creative” functions remain in the spleen, and subsequently it “changes qualifications”: now its walls, covered with red pulp, work to absorb red blood cell debris and elements foreign to the human body. Thus, the organ becomes a utilization cemetery, cleansing the body of unwanted cells and elements - for example, iron remaining from hemoglobin.
It cannot be said that the spleen completely loses the ability to synthesize blood cells, but this ability remains for a critical minute, when, for example, with a large blood loss (and not always open), the body has to urgently produce a portion of red blood cells to maintain life in the body.
How are problems with the spleen? In fact, violations of the work of this organ are not always accompanied by painful sensations: for example, an abnormal hematopoietic process can be recognized by unpleasant smell from the mouth, internal bleeding and problems with the gums. Moreover, in most cases, the disease of the spleen is not the primary violation, but a consequence of a disease, which, again, complicates the diagnostic procedure.
How to recognize pain in the spleen?
The main question that torments women and men is how a spleen hurts: the symptoms are often so similar to the pain in the pancreas, the colon, and other organs lying nearby that it is almost impossible to identify the actual "culprit" of poor health. In most cases, doctors diagnose not according to the nature of the pain, but according to the conditions accompanying it, as well as from the results of the survey, which include not only ultrasound, but also a detailed blood test.
- Pain in the left hypochondrium above the navel - the most frequent version of the problem is with the spleen. It should be borne in mind that in most cases the sensations are not the same throughout the entire time, but they are intensified during movement, change of body position. But almost always it is comparable to sharp blows: dull, aching pain to the spleen is usually not peculiar and speaks about the problems of the gastrointestinal tract.
Pain sensation can spread almost throughout the body, and this will be one of the signs that the problem is in the spleen. The left side is mainly affected, and there can be a return only in the back, as well as the presence of an "echo" in the sternum, groin and shoulder. In rare cases, the distribution of pain is horizontal, i.e. reaches even the right hypochondrium.
Why does the spleen hurt women?
The most common cause of pain here is not the disease itself, but mechanical damage and other external influences. For example, a blow to the abdominal cavity is likely to respond with pain precisely in the spleen, and not in the other organ. In addition, doctors note the possibility of damage to the spleen in a fall, a car accident and even a puncture, which can be diagnosed far from immediately, but almost always accompanied by internal injuries and a subsequent increase in the organ. Such his susceptibility to external factors is explained by the close proximity to the skin. To diagnose the severity of the problem, tissues are examined for hematomas and bruises.
- Closed spleen injuries are often characterized by changes in the strength and localization of pain: it can be given to the spine, the entire surface of the back, scapula, collarbone, but always has the greatest intensity on the left side. The pain itself is acute, but not long, arises "flashes." She may be accompanied by a drop in blood pressure, a change in the rhythm of the heartbeat, chills, sweating. If this is followed by a loss of consciousness, even heart failure becomes possible, which can be fatal.
Separately, it should be noted pain in the left hypochondrium during excessive (unusual for the body) physical exertion: it is also a spleen, and most often this symptom is not dangerous, because even a healthy person is inherent. A prerequisite for it is a bad warm-up or an excessively high pace of exercise, work at the limit of forces, which leads to an acceleration of blood circulation, to which the body has not had time to adjust. To relieve the condition, it is enough to take several deep breaths with pressure on the pain area. Doctors do not express concern about this, if a person is devoid of cardiac pathologies.
In addition, there is an extensive category of problems of the spleen, accompanied by pain, but not generated by external mechanical effects. How dangerous are they?
- The lion's share of pain in the spleen is due to blockage of the main (main) vessels, which leads to changes in the blood circulation process. The less food enters the body, the more actively tissue necrosis occurs, and with a significant increase in the area affected by necrosis, the doctor diagnoses spleen infarction. In such a situation, a person experiences a sharp and sharp pain, which is aggravated by inhalation, coughing, movement. As the state of health worsens, vomiting opens and the temperature rises. Clinical examination demonstrates a decrease in the level of white blood cells. The only solution may be surgery to remove a deceased organ.
- Inflammatory processes in the spleen are rare, and their symptoms are almost identical to the sensations arising from inflammation of the cecum: subfibril temperature, vomiting, epigastric pain and left hypochondrium. The pain can be given to the right side, if the inflammatory process comes from the liver; at the same time jaundice and skin itch will become additional factors. Without examination (mainly represented by ultrasound), the diagnosis cannot be made. Treatment with the preservation of the diseased organ is possible, most often based on antibiotics and analgesics, as well as magnetic therapy.
- An abscess or accumulation of pus, caused either by a complication of infectious diseases of the abdominal organs, or by blood infection, or by the consequence of missed injuries that caused the deposition of blood clots. A small purulent focus is often eliminated on its own, but larger ones may condone damage and rupture of the walls of the spleen. The pain in this case is not localized, but diverges to the groin and shoulder, may be accompanied by shortness of breath, a feeling of heaviness in the chest.
It is also necessary to mention the possibility of pain in the presence of cysts and other tumors, some of which have skin reactions in the lower abdomen among their symptoms. In addition, being an organ involved in the blood circulation process, the spleen can be susceptible to tuberculosis infection, as well as congenital abnormalities: for example, deformity leading to necrosis.
In conclusion, it should be said that if the spleen hurts, taking analgesics is prohibited, as well as using them externally. The only thing you can do is to apply a cold object to the localization of pain in order to relieve your condition, after which you should immediately consult a doctor. Any independent intervention in the problem may entail an incorrect diagnosis and cost you not only health, but also life.