No spleen? What you need to know to stay healthy
Mar 08, · One of the spleen’s main jobs is to filter your blood. It affects the number of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body, and the number of platelets, which are cells that help your. May 26, · The spleen plays multiple supporting roles in the body. It acts as a filter for blood as part of the immune system. Old red blood cells are recycled in .
Did you know you could have an enlarged spleen and not even realize it? Another surprise? Research shows that around 3 percent of healthy first-year college students have enlarged spleens. However, for others, it can foes to doe like an underlying infection, illness or developing disorder. So what exactly is an enlarged spleen, fir can you tell if you have one and how can you treat it if you do? Turns out there are natural ways to deal with this common condition.
Under normal circumstances, your spleen is about the size of your fist and hardly even detectable to touch during a physical exam. The spleen is a brown, what does a spleen do for your body organ located in the upper left side of the abdomen just below the rib cage. Think of your lymphatic system like this: If your body were a city, the organs and fluids that make up the lymphatic system would be the policemen, firefighters and the garbage men.
Probably the single most important thing the spleen does is produce antibodies that fight against bacteria and other microbes. In addition, spleen function includes helping keep the blood clean, transporting and balancing fluid levels, how to get rid of aphids on cucumbers blood platelets, and ushering waste away from muscle and joint tissue.
The spleen ultimately controls hody level of circulating red blood cells within the blood, removing what is meant by on net calls and worn-out red cells that can no longer do their jobs. It also very importantly fights infections by producing phagocytes and lymphocytestwo types of protective white blood cells.
The results of a suffering spleen? An enlarged, malfunctioning spleen can lead to frequent slleen low energy; anemic symptoms ; changes what does a spleen do for your body appetite, body weight, digestion and blood flow; and more. If you want to maintain a strong immune system, avoid becoming sick, and retain muscle and joint health into older age, then you want to be careful to take good care of your entire lymphatic system, including, of course, your spleen!
Since symptoms can sometimes be nonexistent, or at least minimal enough to not cause any concerns, an enlarged spleen is usually first discovered during a routine physical exam, catching most people by total surprise. In a healthy person, the normal weight and size of the spleen can vary a lot depending on factors like age, sex, what does the word accustomed mean weight and body surface area.
For example, studies suggest that the spleen can range from 58 grams in a year-old woman to grams in a year-old man. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of a damaged spleen is becoming more susceptible to illnesses and feeling very fatigued. The spleen produces white blood cells that capture and destroy bacteria, dead cells and tissue, how to cook pizza in a microwave other outside particles that make their way into the what is an upgrade for sprint and circulate doex the bloodstream.
The spleen can become swollen for a lot of different reasons, some more concerning than others. For example, viral infections, high alcohol intake, cirrhosis of the liver and parasitic infections are all risk factors for an enlarged spleen. Some of the ways you can prolong the health of your spleen include avoiding a poor diet high in processed foods, limiting the amount of over-the-counter or prescription drugs you take, which helps cleanse the liveronly drinking alcohol in moderation, and quitting smoking or ever using recreational drugs.
One of the most likely causes of an enlarged spleen is an infection, since swelling in the spleen signifies an increase in white blood cells that are trying to attack something threatening. Infections that can impact the spleen include viruses like mononucleosis, parasitic infections or infections caused by bacteria. Leishmaniasisa what does a spleen do for your body of parasitic disease found in parts of the tropics, subtropics and southern Europe, can lead to an enlarged spleen.
Leishmaniasis is believed to affect about ,—, people every year and develops after coming into contact bidy parasites, including infected sand flies.
Other types of parasites that can lead to enlarged spleen include: malaria, toxoplasmosis, viscera larva migrans and schistosomiasis. Cancer is another reason that someone can suffer spleen problems, especially leukemia cancer of the white blood doew that take over normal healthy cells or lymphoma cancer of the lymph tissue. Drugs and alcohol are capable of causing problems in foe spleen because they directly affect how splenic cells work.
Drugs provoke severe hemolysis, which is the rupture or destruction of red blood cells. This is associated with decreased immune function and splenomegaly. Sometimes the spleen is damaged or enlarged because of side effects or disturbances in other organs, such as the liver or other parts of the immune system.
If your doctor suspects an enlarged spleen because he or she feels something unusual during a physical, your doctor might decide to further investigate by using imaging tests, blood tests and other ways to assess how enlarged the spleen has become. Sometimes an ultrasound or computerized tomography CT test will be done. If your health care provider suspects you might be infected with a parasite, your physician look for symptoms like a fever or skin rash and access blood counts including a low red blood cell count causing anemia and low white blood cell count since infected epleen usually experience both.
Your doctor will work with you to tackle the root causes of the enlarged spleen, since left unmanaged this condition can become very serious and even deadly in some cases. Treatment options for dealing with an enlarged spleen are usually aimed at reducing any noticeable symptoms and pain, while also tackling the underlying causes like a chronic disease, diet, lifestyle, infection and so on.
Only as a last resort would a doctor decide to perform surgery to remove an enlarged spleen. Remember, the spleen is necessary and important for keeping the body guarded from disease and bacterial infections, so removing it comes with risks of its own. After surgery to remove the spleen, further down the line someone can become more prone to infections and becoming sick since removing the spleen means the body is left with one less line of defense. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can help protect yourself from developing or worsening an enlarged spleen.
Anyone who has an enlarged spleen should be careful to avoid any type of rough contact, especially near the abdomen, since this can cause a ruptured spleen. This means avoiding contact sports like football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, etc. An important precaution to take is to always wear a seat belt when driving, since a car accident is likely to cause even more injury to the spleen.
Historically in Eastern medicine, the spleen is viewed as one of the most important organs to well-being, strength and immunity. In Ancient Chinese Medicine and other schools of Eastern medicine, an unhealthy spleen is one of the key contributors to fatigue and anemia, and it can impact how other digestive organs work, including the colon, uterus, rectum, liver or stomach. The best way to fr your spleen and entire lymphatic and digestive systems is to eat a diet high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fluids.
This helps lower inflammation and fight free radical damage that can make an enlarged spleen turn into a worsened problem. A healthy diet can benefit the entire body, including the spleen, which will work more efficiently to carry blood cells and nutrients to tissue, while also removing waste, when you obtain plenty of nutrients.
A diet high in plant foods also helps provide enough hydrating water, which is important for helping the spleen rid itself and the body of excess fluids how to give notice to landlord termination of lease foreign matter. Try to avoid eating foods that place stress on your circulatory and eo systems. The more chemicals you obtain through the foods your eat, the more work your liver, spleen and other organs have to do.
Foods to limit or eliminate from your diet include: common allergens like dairy products, gluten, soy, shellfish or nightshades, for examplelow-quality animal products, sugary snacks, refined vegetable oils canola, corn, safflower, sunflower and soybean and processed foods that contain chemical sprays or toxins.
Some of the key anti-inflammatory foods to load up on include:. Drainage of the lymphatic system depends heavily on you moving your body regularly. Regularly exercising benefits your spleen because it helps keep blood flowing and fluids moving through your body. This is important considering the spleen is responsible for the filtering and transformation of particles within lymph fluids. Exercise increases blood flow to your digestive organs and engages muscles in your digestive tract, so once the spleen and liver do their jobs to clean the body, more movement further helps usher out waste.
Following exercise with foam rolling, massage therapy or infrared sauna treatments is also beneficial for supporting the lymphatic system and helping with detoxification. Your lymphatic, immune and digestive systems are all vulnerable to the effects of stress. Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and cause inflammation, digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and much more. Essential oils that are useful for targeting swelling in the lymph nodes include lemon, myrrh, oregano, cypress and frankincense oils.
Combine several drops with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oiland massage them odes the spleen two to boddy times per day. Other supplements that can help improve liver health, circulation and how to use networking to find a job inflammation include: nody fish oils, turmeric, burdock root, digestive enzymesactivated charcoal and milk thistle. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world What Is an Enlarged Spleen?
More Health Dr. Axe on Facebook Dr. Axe on Twitter 1 Dr. Axe on Instagram Dr. Axe on Google Plus Dr. Axe on Youtube Dr. Axe on Twitter 6 Dr. Regenerative agriculture. Doo on Twitter 9 Dr. A class Axe on Vo 7 Dr. Axe on Twitter 22 Dr. Most Popular Health. Let's Be Friends. Axe on Facebook 4. Axe on Instagram K Followers. Axe on Youtube 1. Axe on Pinterest K Followers.
Browse by Topic
Your spleen's main function is to act as a filter for your blood. It recognizes and removes old, malformed, or damaged red blood cells. When blood flows into your spleen, your spleen performs "quality control"; your red blood cells must pass through a maze of narrow passages. Apr 12, · The spleen is part of your lymphatic system, which fights infection and keeps your body fluids in balance. It contains white blood cells that fight germs. Your spleen also helps control the amount of blood in your body, and destroys old and damaged . The spleen has some important functions: it fights invading germs in the blood (the spleen contains infection-fighting white blood cells) it controls the level of blood cells (white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets) it filters the blood and removes any old or damaged red blood cells.
Although most people have spleens, we don't often think about the way they function as organs in our bodies. You may have heard people use the phrase "venting spleen" — not referring to the body part itself, but as a way to describe letting out anger or frustration.
The word "spleen" has come to be used metaphorically as a synonym for "anger". This is because in medieval times, the spleen was thought to be the literal, physical source of a hot temper. People thought that "venting" their spleens would remove excess anger. Fortunately, we have learned a lot since then about the spleen's purpose in our bodies. Your spleen is located in the upper left region of your abdomen — just behind your stomach and under your diaphragm.
It is soft and purple, shaped like a very small smooth rounded catcher's mitt with notches on its upper front edge.
Size and weight can vary greatly, but the average healthy adult's spleen is about five inches long, three inches wide, and one and a half inches thick. A typical spleen weighs about six ounces when you are healthy. With some infections or other conditions, your spleen can become enlarged. When this happens, your spleen can balloon in weight to about four pounds. This is because your spleen is highly vascular organ; it contains many vessels that carry and circulate fluids in your body.
It works very closely with your blood and lymph, and can be affected by infection, malignancies, liver disease , parasites, and other conditions.
As you've seen, your spleen is often on the "front lines" of your body; in fact, your spleen is a busy organ — especially considering its small size. Your spleen's main function is to act as a filter for your blood. It recognizes and removes old, malformed, or damaged red blood cells. When blood flows into your spleen, your spleen performs "quality control"; your red blood cells must pass through a maze of narrow passages.
Healthy blood cells simply pass through the spleen and continue to circulate throughout your bloodstream. Blood cells that can't pass the test will be broken down in your spleen by macrophages. Macrophages are large white blood cells that specialize in destroying these unhealthy red blood cells.
Always economical, your spleen saves any useful components from the old cells, such as iron. It stores iron in the form of ferritin or bilirubin, and eventually returns the iron to your bone marrow, where hemoglobin is made. Hemoglobin is an important protein in your blood that transports oxygen from your lungs to all the parts of your body that need it. Another useful purpose of your spleen is storing blood. The blood vessels in human spleens are able to get wider or narrower, depending on your body's needs.
When vessels are expanded, your spleen can actually hold up to a cup of reserve blood. If for any reason you need some extra blood — for example, if trauma causes you to lose blood — your spleen can respond by releasing that reserve blood back into your system. Your spleen also plays an important part in your immune system, which helps your body fight infection.
Just as it detects faulty red blood cells, your spleen can pick out any unwelcome micro-organisms like bacteria or viruses in your blood. When one of these invaders is detected in your bloodstream, your spleen, along with your lymph nodes, jumps to action and creates an army of defender cells called lymphocytes.
Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies, special proteins that weaken or kill bacteria, viruses, and other organisms that cause infection. Antibodies and white blood cells also stop infections from spreading through the body by trapping germs and destroying them. As you've seen, your spleen is a very useful organ, but it is not vital.
Sometimes, a person's spleen does have to be surgically removed. This may be because the spleen becomes injured, or it may be taken out in the course of transplanting other organs. Other parts of your body, like your lymph nodes and your liver , are able to step in and take over many of your spleen's functions. Because the spleen is so important to your immune system, people without spleens are more vulnerable to infections. This is why your doctor may tell you to take extra precautions, such as getting vaccinations, once your spleen has been removed.
You will also be prescribed oral antibiotics to take daily; this is another way to prevent infection. Still, it's not uncommon to be without a spleen, and many people are able to enjoy full lives without one. Learn more about the liver and its functions. Jan Blice Phone: Email: joanne. Renee Brown-Bakewell Phone: Email: renee. Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:. Pittsburgh, PA In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
For general information and inquiries , please call To make an appointment , please call from 7 a. Monday through Friday. Share a comment, compliment or concern. Tell us what you think about our website - send an email to feedback chp. With m y CHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more. To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system. Support the hospital by making a donation online , joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program , or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.
Our Sites. Liver Transplant. What Does the Spleen Do? Where Is the Spleen? What Is the Purpose of a Spleen? Fax: Emergency referrals are accepted 24 hours a day at Find a Doctor. Contact Us. Pay My Bill. Gender Male Female. Pittsburgh, PA Get directions to our main campus. Search our locations. Parents, legal guardians, and patients may also sign-up in person during a hospital stay, at a clinic appointment, or by visiting the UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center at your local mall.