What causes spleen pain? Can spleen pain symptoms be indicative of an underlying systemic infection? This article has all the answers and more.
The spleen constitutes an important part of the immune system. It works to destroy old and worn out red blood cells and produce new ones. As it is actively involved in fighting infections, there are high chances of the spleen malfunctioning, which leads to a lot of pain and discomfort.
There are various causes which can trigger the sensation of pain. These include sepsis, systemic infection, splenomegaly, ruptured spleen, etc. Hence, one needs to identify the various symptoms to be able to reach a diagnosis with the help of certain tests.
Symptoms of Pain in Spleen
- Spleen pain itself is a symptom of an underlying issue, and there can be more such signals accompanying it. This includes a pain that may initially be restricted to the upper left region of the abdomen, which later spreads to other parts, resulting in a radiating pain.
- If there are splenomegaly and hepatomegaly, that is, enlarged spleen and liver, then the person may feel full after eating a very small amount of food or may experience pain in the spleen after eating. This usually happens because the enlarged liver and spleen tend to press on the stomach, due to which the appetite of a person gets significantly reduced.
- Another symptom is that once the pain becomes radiating in nature, it may be observed that the person becomes highly susceptible to contracting infectious diseases. This is because although a person can survive without the spleen, it still remains an important part of the immune system. Hence, such a person has higher chances of contracting infections and so, needs to be extra careful and ensure that he takes adequate precautions so as to prevent them. Thus, he will need to regularly get himself vaccinated or needs to be under antibiotic cover.
- Sometimes, spleen pain symptoms may also be accompanied by abdominal pain and chest pain. The chest pain especially mimics pleuritic pain which is experienced when the stomach, bladder, or bowels are full. The area around the upper left part of the body may also be very tender on touch or may be slightly swollen as well.
- Back pain may sometimes accompany the symptoms. Back pain or swelling on the left side of the center of the back can occur due to a ruptured spleen.
- The chest pain, when accompanied by a slight amount of shoulder pain could be indicative of being one of the symptoms of spleen pain. There may be stress on lungs during breathing and the movement of the ribs and lungs may eventually cause pain due to tenderness in the region of the spleen.
- Another possible symptom that may be seen is low blood pressure since one of the functions of the spleen is to help produce red and white blood cells. In the event of an infection or rupturing of the spleen, blood may spill into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to severe pain and is one of the emergency conditions that one needs to deal with. This can lead to dangerous fluctuations in the blood pressure along with the pain.
Spleen pain during pregnancy is especially indicative of a severe infection which may end up being life-threatening for the mother and child. Hence, this is a serious symptom which needs to be investigated on a priority basis so as to prevent the chances of any further complications.
This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.