Splenic Flexure Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Prevention

Splenic flexure syndrome is a chronic disorder producing symptoms of pain which is caused by trapped gas in the bends of the colon or splenic flexure. The splenic flexure is situated next to the spleen and a section of the large intestine or colon.

Gas is a normal and healthy part of the digestion process. For instance, the average adult passes gas between 13 and 21 times every day. However, if gas builds up in your digestive tract and you’re unable to expel it, you may start to feel discomfort and pain.

This syndrome forms one of the clinical manifestations of the irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is the 2nd most frequent reason for missing work, and at least 20 percent of the people in the United States have it.

Symptoms of Splenic Flexure Syndrome

  • Pain – it is the presenting characteristic in the majority of sufferers affected with this condition, especially the left epigastric zone being the most usual site of origin. This pain may radiate upward to the left shoulder, and inner aspect of the left arm and occasionally mimics angina pectoris.
  • Flatulence – it is characterized by the increase in the frequency of gas passing through the rectum. Moreover, if you chew gum, smoke tobacco, suck hard sweets, wear loose-fitting dentures, or don’t chew your food enough, you are inclined to swallow more air, which will also lead to flatulence.
  • Increased heart rate – this may happen due to the fact that your vagus nerve controls your involuntary actions (including – breathing, heartbeat, and digestion), and the gas pressure may stimulate this nerve and cause an increased heart rate.
  • A presence of a palpable mass.
  • Diarrhea, bloating, and cramps.
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Causes

Abdominal distention

It is a term usually used to refer to swelling or distension of the abdomen and not of the stomach itself. When this medical term is utilized in this manner, various conditions and diseases can cause abdominal distension; however, it is more usually caused by overeating.

Constipation

A more solid consistency of stool in the descending colon obstructs normal gas movement and is another factor for this syndrome.

Medicines

Antacids, antihistamines, antidepressants, opiates (codeine and morphine), antibiotics (according to a JAMA study on probiotics and antibiotic-associated diarrhea, nearly 30% of the people who ingest antibiotics report suffering from diarrhea or some other form of gastrointestinal distress).

Excessive Gas Accumulation

Another usual cause of this condition is an excessive gas accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract since this gas is trapped in the tract and leads to the discomfort.

Swallowed Air

Every time you drink or eat you swallow air, especially when you eat too fast. Also, you may swallow air when you are nervous, chew gum, or drink through a straw.

Food Poisoning

It may lead to excessive gas production and diarrhea. This may happen due to bacterial infections caused by agents such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens, Yersinia, Vibrio cholera, and Shigella.

Treatments

Your doctor may give you some nonprescription medicines which can relieve symptoms of pain. Rarely, surgery may be performed to prevent perforation or to remove an obstruction.

He may also recommend you to avoid foods that have high-fat content, dairy products, and foods which that can cause gas.

Note – for some people this may mean cutting out healthy foods, like – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.

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Prevention

Avoid Painkillers

Try to avoid using ibuprofen, aspirin, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as much as possible and usually try to fix the cause of the pain, not the symptom.

Herbal Remedies

Make a habit of drinking a cup of water with a drop of peppermint extract as well as teas with peppermint, ginger, fennel, anise, or chamomile after a meal. This will relieve the discomfort that you are experiencing.

Note – peppermint is the best for people with excessive gas since it contains methanol, an antispasmodic medicine that reduces the gases quickly.herbal tea

Decrease In Salty Foods

If you consume too much salt (it is usually 40 percent sodium), your body retains onto more fluids to help you maintain the proper sodium balance in your body, that can ultimately lead to bloating. More importantly, regularly consuming too much salt might increase your risk of stomach cancer.

Lower Your Stress Levels

Hormonal changes due to stress may also cause some bloating. Also, stress can occasionally lead to a poor digestion that can also lead to bloating and gas. Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation which is one of the best methods for lowering your stress levels.

Stay Hydrated

Because water is a natural way to help reduce toxins and flush out your intestines as well as it helps lower bloating, gas, and abdominal pain, it is recommended to drink plenty of water or other clear fluids.

Probiotics

Probiotics hold the key not just to a stronger immune system and better health, but also for treating mental health illness, digestive issues, and neurological disorders. They are generally found in fermented foods or taken as supplements. According to studies, Align, a probiotic supplement, can bring real relief for all of the major irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

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Avoid Dairy Products

Individuals who don’t produce sufficient of the enzyme lactase (catalyzes the breakdown of milk sugar) have difficulty digesting lactose, that is known as lactose intolerance. Bloating and increased gas are two symptoms of this condition. For example, in the US about 53 percent of Mexican Americans, 15 percent of white Americans, and 80 percent of African-Americans have it.

Physical Exercise

It seems a little counterintuitive but stretching and moving when you have uncomfortable bloating and painful gas can actually be really beneficial.

Consume High-Fibre Foods

Oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth, red kidney beans, cooked barley, lentils, green peas, pears, apples, bananas, chia seeds, flax seeds, and other plant-based foods are essential to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

Note – suddenly increasing your dietary fiber intake can cause gas until the good bacteria in your large intestine which break down fiber adjust to the growing amount of fiber.

Potassium Rich Foods

Lower than acceptable potassium levels in the regular diet may contribute to water retention, a condition in which the human body hangs on to excess fluid. The signs and symptoms of this condition include puffiness, swelling, stomach bloating, and discomfort.

Foods high in potassium include – pistachios, sweet potatoes, avocado, winter squash, pomegranate, apricots, white beans, Swiss chard, kale, peaches, raisins, mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, prunes, bananas, coconut water, acorn squash, beet greens, red kidney beans, carrots, chickpeas, lentils, and tomatoes.

References

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02886727
https://www.drugs.com/dict/splenic-flexure-syndrome.html
https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-

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