Splenic Flexure Syndrome

Splenic flexure syndrome is a disorder, which is characterized by gas being trapped inside the colon in the flexures. Gas can at times be uncomfortable and could easily cause an embarrassment if you are in public. A splenic flexure syndrome will put you into that uncomfortable feeling as the gas causes discomforts. The process may occur in various forms such as gas pains. The pain may at times be so severe that one feels like their appendix is ruptured.


While the symptoms of having gas are common especially in people with digestive disorders, at other times, they can be abnormal. Splenic flexure syndrome may at times be classified as a subtype of irritable bowel syndrome — while at times, the symptoms may be caused by the irritable bowel syndrome itself.

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What is splenic flexure?

The splenic flexure is found in the large intestine and is located right close to spleen. When you have this digestive disorder and it flares up, you experience pain that tends to be felt in the abdomen on the upper left side. The close proximity of splenic flexure to heart may make one believe that they have a heart attack when the painful symptoms of the disorder occurs.

Splenic Flexure Syndrome


Abdominal distention and muscle spasms are considered a cause of this syndrome. This condition is well known for its discomforts it causes. The bloating or gas and muscle spasms in colon as well as upper abdominal discomforts are caused by the gas that is trapped at splenic flexure in colon. The pain is usually excruciating and debilitating often mimicking a heart attack.


Symptoms of splenic flexure syndrome

At first, it is easy to confuse splenic flexure syndrome with simple gas, however, as the intensity increases; that is when you discover it is not just another gas in the stomach. While it may not be a life threatening condition, the discomforts and irritation it causes can be unbearable. The most common symptoms are pain, distended drumming, and bowel irregularities.


At first, many people think that it is a severe gas sort of, however, as it continues to increase, the pain is concentrated next to the upper left side of abdomen. The pain can be felt more intensely when you bend or twist the abdomen. People who have office jobs that allow them to sit for long hours could easily be disabled by the pain since it can manifest itself when you sit down.

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In some cases, your area of the abdomen on the upper left side can become tender and distended. Even a slight touch can be uncomfortable. When you tap the abdomen, you can create a hollow sound, which sounds like you are thumping a ripe watermelon. The sound may also be caused by overreacting since the stomach becomes distended as it provides the hollow sound effect. Splenic flexure syndrome may also cause irregular bowel movements. Some people may have severe bloat accompanied by diarrhea and other people may constipate.


Causes of splenic flexure syndrome

A number of situations can cause the likelihood of having splenic flexure syndrome including food, poisoning, air and disease. When the bacteria that break food release a large amount of gas in digestive tract, it can cause the disorder. The gas may be released when the body has problems with some foods especially those, which are allergens.


Short chained carbohydrates, which tend to drag water with them, may also cause bloating. Food poisoning may cause digestive and intestinal problems. When you have bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, they can contribute to development of this syndrome.


Eating too fast may also create an effect caused by swallowing air. The air tends to sit in splenic flexure and unable to move out thereby accumulating over time. When you eat, you should ensure you take your time. People with certain diseases such as ulcerative colitis could also experience splenic flexure syndrome.


Treatment of splenic flexure syndrome

The treatment of this disorder varies depending on what is causing it. A few changes in habits and use of over the counter medicines can help relieve the symptoms. Many doctors may not be able to offer cure for this disorder. It is one of the cases where only the symptoms are treated.


Many of the people who have this disorder have discovered ways of coping and living through the experience. The medications, when used, they help to treat the discomforting symptoms. Medications can help alleviate the gaseous feeling or bloated effects. Medicines also help loosen the stool thereby making the bowel move down.


With spasms, antispasmodic drugs can help in calming the storm you have. Diet may also assist if the cause is from certain foods you are taking. Keep track of the foods you take and how the flare-ups occur, and if there is a correlation between some food and the bloating experience, you can do away with those foods and consider other alternatives.

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