CHENNAI: The spleen is an organ in the upper far left part of the abdomen, to the left of the stomach. Spleen’s major roles are to create, to store, to filter blood and generate immunological responses. Old red blood cells are recycled in the spleen; platelets and white blood cells are stored there. The other foremost task that the spleen performs is to boost the immune system and stimulate sweat glands. Enlarged spleen leads to hypersplenism. Enlarged spleen can cause pain and an uncomfortable feeling of fullness. Splenomegaly is a dangerous condition as the spleen can tear or bleed.
Dr Kapali Neelamegam, Oncosurgery, Fortis Malar, says, “One of the primary functions of the spleen is to destroy mature red blood cells, stimulate the body and nerve, normalise the functions of the heart and brain. Diseases related to the heart will develop if the spleen is not maintained healthy. Sometimes it can cause high blood pressure leading to attacks. It destroys unwanted microorganisms in the blood and stimulates kidney functioning. Similarly, the spleen also acts as an organ to filter out foreign substances from bloodstream.”
“Ruptured spleen is a situation when there is an internal bleeding in the spleen. Certain diseases like malaria and infectious mononucleosis make ruptured spleen more likely as they cause the spleen to swell. Thrombocytopenia is a condition when the spleen stores too many platelets. Splenic Infarction is a condition that occurs when the blood supply to the spleen is reduced,” he added.
Symptoms of ruptured spleen include a fast heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, weight gain and terrible pain in the abdomen, dry and stiff tongue. Other symptoms include pain in the whole body, swelling of legs, feeling tired all the time and jaundice. Sometimes there can be increased blood pressure and urinary incontinence. Many disorders, infections, injuries and diseases can cause problems in the spleen and healthy maintenance of spleen will help to lead a healthy life.