A lot of individuals have heard of an enlarged liver. There are probably a lesser number of individuals who know what an enlarged spleen is. Fewer still probably know about a disorder in which both of these health problems take place at the same time.
An enlarged liver is called hepatomegaly by doctors. Enlarged spleens are referred to as splenomegaly. Some individuals get both an enlarged liver and spleen at the same time, in which case the condition is called hepatosplenomegaly. Most people simply call the affliction enlarged liver and spleen disease.
It should be noted, however, that neither an enlarged liver nor an enlarged spleen are regarded as diseases themselves. Instead, they are a symptom of some other disorder.
So, what are the causes of enlarged liver and spleen? And how dangerous can they be?
In general, an enlarged liver is the result of an infection. It might also be due to toxins like illegal drugs, alcohol, or harmful substances in your environment. Often liver enlargement is triggered by some other medical condition. It could also be due to a metabolic condition.
An enlarged spleen, on the other hand, occurs because of conditions or diseases that cause destruction of red blood cells in the spleen.
Hepatosplenomegaly, the combination of enlarged liver and spleen, is ordinarily caused by a disease or condition concerning the kidneys, liver or red blood cells. These would consist of viral infections, such as chronic hepatitis C, cirrhosis, typhoid, kidney and liver infections and blood diseases. If an individual has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for example, the liver and spleen grow in size as the cancer progresses. This can trigger great suffering in the liver area. Certain hereditary disorders as sickle cell anemia also cause spleen and liver enlargement.
Enlarged liver and spleen can be not easy for doctors to diagnose for the reason that symptoms are few. Some clues do exist, however, and they can help your health care provider make a diagnosis. The clearest of these is soreness in the liver area and difficulty digesting large, fatty meals. Your may well need to undergo a few tests to get a definite diagnosis.
As mentioned above, symptoms of enlarged liver and spleen are usually not pronounced, so in many cases, you will not even know the enlargement is taking place. Mild pain when you touch or put pressure on the area around the liver may be one of the first distinguishable signs.
If you’re currently experiencing such pain, it’s best for you to give your health care provider a call. treatment will vary from one person to another, depending on the cause. Your doctor will focus on relieving the pain by lowering the swelling. Antibiotics will be a good idea in some instances, but not others.
You ordinarily do not have to worry about a spleen rupture. It can happen however, and if it does, there’s more often than not a severe blood loss. It can sometimes be life-threatening. For this reason, enlarged liver and spleen should be rapidly treated by a medical professional.