I have an enlarged spleen, it measures right now at 16.3cm. I have had one CT scan and two ultrasounds. The most recent ultrasound (last week) said that I have Moderate Splenomegaly. I am always tired, have pain in my left side and nausea alot. I have been dealing with this for 10 months now. I seen the NP today, and she asked me how big they would let it get, I said that is what I was going to ask you. I am scared and frustrated. I have searched and searched online to see how big they will let it get before they do anything, and I have been coming up empty handed. I was wondering if I should go to the ER, if that would do me any good. Cause she said it would take me a month to get into to see a Gastroenterologist. I can't go for a second opinion anywhere, cause my medical is covered by the state where I live. I really need some help please. May God bless you all and thank you for your time.
Two causes of an enlarged spleen that come to mind right of the bat:
1. Infection. The spleen is an immune-system organ, if you will. So infections can cause it to become enlarged. One infection that is notorious for causing splenomegaly (enlarged spleen) is infectious mononucleosis.
2. Portal hypertension. In other words, the vein that leaves your spleen combines with the vein from your intestines (forming the "portal vein") and goes into your liver. If for some reason the pressure in that vein is too high (known as "portal hypertension") it can cause blood to back-up into your spleen. The result is an enlarged spleen. The primary cause of portal hypertension is liver problems, but it could be due to 101 other things.
Do you abuse alcohol? Abuse any drugs (perscription, over-the-counter, illegal)? Any history of heart problems or liver problems?
Mandy, there are a number of causes for an enlarged spleen, so the cause of the problem should be investigated. Contributing factors include: viral infections, bacterial infections, parasitic infections, cirrhosis and other diseases affecting the liver, various types of hemolytic anemia, blood cancers, metabolic disorders and pressure on the veins in the spleen or liver or a blood clot in these veins.
It's not unusual for a month-long wait to see a GI person, so if there's a wait of a month to see a gastroenterologist, get put on that list today and get the ball rolling. As the spleen enlarges, it's functioning of getting rid of the older red blood cells can be compromised and it can also start to degrade the newer red blood cells too, which is not in your best interest. So you need to get things started.
I don't believe going to the ER will do you much good unless the problem is very acute. The ER will probably tell you to see a GI person as soon as you can and send you home again - unless it's an emergency and you need to have that spleen removed immediately.
I have never abused alcohol or any drugs, be prescription or recreational drugs. I have no history of Heart problems, my mother does though. The ultrasound that I had done last week found Increased liver echogenicity with fatty infiltration/chronic parenchymal disease suggested, Correlation with lab assesment is suggested. Moderate Splenomegly. Also Bilateral Echogenic renal pyramid suggestive fro medullary sponge kidney. Other than that I have never had any problems with my liver.
How are you suppose to know if it acute or not? I have been having abdominal pain on my left side and nausea. I have had 3 normal bowel movements today and I just went a 4th time, but now it is diaherra. I also have been really tired all the time, but the last blood work I had done at the end of last month shows that I am anemic. What should I do?
By the way, for an acute emergency (splenic rupture) look for the following: low blood pressure, rapid pulse and abdominal pain. Then, lay on your back and raise you legs. If that position produces a pain at the tip of your left shoulder, it may be significant for splenic rupture. You may even notice bruising on your left side several hours after a rupture. These are the signs of a significant acute emergency.
Thanks for those tips. the only thing that I will not be able to tell is the low blood pressure. I do not have a blood pressure machine at home. But the others I can look for. I already have abdominal pain, but how do I check for rapid pulse? I am going to try laying down and see what happens.
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