The spleen sits under your rib cage in the upper left part of your abdomen toward your back. It is an organ that is part of the lymph system and works as a drainage network that defends your body against infection.
Your doctor's most important tool for diagnosing the cause of your diarrhea is the information you provide. You will need to inform the doctor about recent travel and whether other people in your family are ill.
Providing details about the stool may be embarrassing, but they are very important, such as frequent presence of blood or mucus; how watery it is; how long you've had diarrhea; whether you are also experiencing severe urgency, abdominal pain, or pain in your rectum; and whether it occurs...
White blood cells produced in the spleen engulf bacteria, dead tissue, and foreign matter, removing them from the blood as blood passes through it. The spleen also maintains healthy red and white blood cells and platelets; platelets help your blood clot. The spleen filters blood, removing abnormal blood cells from the bloodstream.
A spleen is normally about the size of your fist. A doctor usually can't feel it during an exam. But diseases can cause it to swell and become many times its normal size. Because the spleen is involved in many functions, many conditions may affect it.
An enlarged spleen is not always a sign of a problem. When a spleen becomes enlarged, though, it often means it has been doing its job but has become overactive. For example, sometimes the spleen is overactive in removing and destroying blood cells. This is called hypersplenism. It can happen for many reasons, including problems with too many platelets and other disorders of the blood.
Causes of an Enlarged Spleen
An enlarged spleen can be caused by infections, cirrhosis and other liver diseases, blood diseases characterized by abnormal blood cells, problems with the lymph system, or other conditions.
Here are some common causes of an enlarged spleen: