Spleen: what is it, the functions, the diseases
Careful attention to the signals that our body gives is always a guarantee that it is possible to recognize serious diseases in time and prevent their consequences. How to recognize the signals about the disease of the spleen, what to look for in this state, and why this organ is so important, it is worth investigating in more detail.
Why do I need a spleen?
Every person is more or less familiar with the anatomy and roughly imagines the significance of an organ. Many people vaguely imagine the importance of such an organ as the spleen: the functions in the body that it performs for most people remain a mystery.
This organ is the largest element of the human lymphatic system, and to say quite simply, it is the largest lymph node. The work of the spleen is to perform a hematopoietic function, restore and purify blood cells.
A natural process is the withering away of certain blood cells, after which the spleen is replenished. What are antibodies to viruses, today almost everyone knows - without them our body can not resist the virus disease. But the fact that their development - first of all, the merit of the spleen, many forget and do not pay due attention to the health of this body.
How does the spleen look and where does it stand?
Where is the spleen in a person, you need to know everyone to pay attention to the alarming symptoms and not to confuse the problems in this body with the digestive system.
This organ is located in the left part of the abdominal cavity, slightly behind the stomach and immediately below the diaphragm. Immediate proximity to the stomach sometimes hinders the recognition of the symptoms of spleen diseases - a person believes that he simply overeat or got indigestion.
In appearance it looks like a slightly flattened oval, purple or dark purple. A healthy spleen does not exceed 12 centimeters and 150 grams in weight in terms of its size: if the weight of this organ is much higher and the dimensions are increased, it is a question of pathological processes, as a result of which the spleen is enlarged. The photos located in this section will allow you to see what the body looks like and where it is located.
Vital functions: what does the spleen do?
Every day our bodies do inconspicuous for us, but very laborious and important work. No exception and the spleen: what is the blood formation, what are the processes occurring in the spleen, can be understood from its main functions:
- Lymphocyte production. These cells are the basis for the production of antibodies to fight against viruses and infections, so the role of the spleen in the work of the immune system can not be overemphasized.
- Blood filtration. The spleen removes damaged, deformed or old red blood cells, in exchange for them producing new ones.
- Blood supply. In the spleen, in the process of producing new cells, a certain reserve is created. It becomes necessary in traumatic situations associated with a sharp loss of large amounts of blood.
- Accumulation of iron. During the filtration of blood in the spleen, not only the removal of harmful organisms occurs, but also the deposition of useful substances. One of the most significant is iron, the stock of which is processed by the body into hemoglobin, necessary for oxygen supply to all tissues and organs.
What is the disease of the spleen?
Most often, the body reacts to infections and malfunctions in the body by its size, which results in splenomegaly, or enlarged spleen. What is a phenomenon present in the body, a person may not know, but a running process always requires treatment.
In addition, the spleen can be subjected to abscesses, the appearance of cysts and tumors, as well as infarctions of varying severity.
Affect the health of this organ and age-related changes - the spleen can atrophy during the aging process.
Also a frequent reason for going to the doctor is a violation of the spleen as a result of its twisting - the so-called splenic twist. Only a surgeon can diagnose and treat such a phenomenon.
How to understand that there is a problem: symptoms of spleen disease
In diseases of this organ, there is rarely a pronounced pain syndrome, so it is difficult to diagnose problems at an early stage. Nevertheless, knowledge of the peculiarities of the location of this organ will allow one to listen to oneself and determine where the spleen hurts.
The reason for examining the spleen can be frequent and severe leakage of infectious diseases, chronic cardiovascular diseases, as well as chronic or recurrent inflammatory processes in the body.
The poor condition of this organ can also be indicated by a blood test: reduced hemoglobin, insufficient number of red blood cells and lymphocytes should be a reason for a more detailed examination.
A common phenomenon - splenomegaly can be accompanied by a visible increase in this organ when the spleen starts to bulge from under the left rib. What the disease really is, the therapist can confirm on the examination: he will visually assess the degree of organ enlargement and with the help of palpation will determine its condition. After this, an additional examination may be required to prescribe the treatment.
How is the spleen monitored for prevention and treatment?
The simplest and most accessible methods for examining the spleen are an examination with a therapist and a clinical blood test.
Based on these simple actions, the therapist can determine whether the organ is enlarged, and whether it is doing its job properly. If necessary, additional diagnostics can be assigned.
Also the condition of the spleen can be assessed using ultrasound of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract. Such a survey can be carried out along with a blood test for preventive purposes once a year. Ultrasound is absolutely safe and can reveal a problem at an early stage.
If suspected of having a tumor in the spleen, an X-ray examination, an MRI and an organ puncture can be prescribed. The last procedure is rather complicated and is assigned only as a last resort.
How to protect and whether it is possible to do without it?
The most radical method in the fight against diseases of the spleen is its complete surgical removal. This body does not carry vital functions, and a person after such a procedure is able to live for many more years. But do not minimize the importance of the spleen - after its removal, the body's protective functions are significantly reduced, the person is much more prone to viruses and infections, as well as complications after any illness.
In some cases only a part of the body can be surgically removed, while it is noted that after the operation the spleen is able to restore its original size somewhat.
Most often, surgical removal is resorted to after bruises and other abdominal area injuries. The spleen is irretrievably injured, until the organ is ruptured, and its urgent removal is required to preserve human life.
In order to prevent problems with the spleen, various bruises and strokes in the abdomen area should be avoided, and in case of a similar situation, do not hesitate to consult a doctor.
The normal functioning of the organ is also promoted by a healthy lifestyle: proper nutrition, moderate exercise for a good cardiovascular system, and support for immunity in the form of vitamin and immunomodulating drugs.
Attentive attitude to your health and the state of all its organs is the guarantee of a long, healthy and happy life!