Do you know where your spleen is?
It is about the size of your fist and is found in the upper left side of your abdomen, next to your stomach and behind your left ribs.
What does the spleen do?
The Spleen is the largest structure in the Lymphatic system. Despite being right next to your stomach your spleen does not play a role in digestion.
Red blood cell, platelet storage and iron metabolism – your spleen controls the level of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets (small cells that form blood clots).
Filtration - it screens and filters the blood and removes any old or damaged red blood cells whilst helping to maintain the levels of fluid in your body.
It prevents infection - by fighting off invading germs in the blood via the infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies.
What can go wrong?
Healthy spleens are soft and quite often get damaged after a car accident when the seat belt causes injury, especially common nowadays when there is so much traffic on our roads. Think of the remedy Bellis Perennis.
Occasionally we might get an enlarged or swollen spleen (Splenomegaly) after an infection such as tuberculosis, endocarditis, or it can become enlarged after an injury.
Swelling can also occur as a result of a disease such as cirrhosis, leukaemia or rheumatoid arthritis. An enlarged spleen doesn't always cause symptoms.
Viral infections such as mononucleosis and HIV, as well as parasite infections such as malaria and toxoplasmosis will put stress on the spleen.
What symptoms might we expect?
We may feel fell very quickly after a meal because if the spleen is enlarged it can press against the stomach leading to pain and an uncomfortable feeling behind the ribs.
Pain can sometimes radiate to the left shoulder.
We might become anaemic and therefore more tired than usual.
We may find we are more prone to infections or that we bleed more easily than normal.
If the spleen is ruptured we may also become confused and feel lightheaded or dizzy.
Once you have sought appropriate medical attention you may wish to use homeopathy to aid your recovery. Please seek the help of a qualified Homeopath because it is very important to treat the underlying cause.
A few of the Remedies
This is just a small selection of homeopathic remedies which have an affinity to the spleen:
Arsenicum Album – hardness and stitching pain.
Calcarea Carbonica – Distention of abdomen and bursting pain.
China – Tenderness – aching and stitching pain.
Ceanothus – Deep seated chronic pain worse in damp weather.
Conium – Heaviness and slowness of the bowel.
Helianthus – Nausea & vomiting, black stools.
Sulphur – Sharp pain on inhaling or coughing.
Natrum Muriaticum – Feeling of pressure, most often after malaria.