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What causes discomfort in abdominal region ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi, I am a female aged 51 and I have been suffering from discomfort on upper left hand side of my abdomen. I have a feeling of bloatedness and discomfort. I have visited my doctor who sent me for blood tests and a Pelvic ultrasound scan. Blood tests showed a slightly high Chlorestoral level, slightly high blood pressure and a fatty liver and evidence that I was in the midst of my menopause. The ultrasound detected Fibroids on my womb. I explained that I had still discomfort so was sent for another ultrasound this time on my abdomen. I was diagnosed with an enlarged spleen (12 inches) and Gall Stones. The scan did not seem to show problems with Liver and Kidneys. I have been sent by my GP for further blood tests but obviously worried in the meantime about the enlarged spleen. Can you advise please on possible causes and the likely diagnosis and anything that would help in the meantime while I wait for the results
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 56 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
Enlarged spleen on ultrasound scan without any associated lymph node swelling is commonly due to a long standing fever or infection or malaria, typhoid fever, infectious mononucleosis, etc.
Spleen may be enlarged in some blood disorders like sickle cell anaemia or thalassaemia but all these are usually associated with an enlarged liver also.
All these disorders can be ruled by some simple blood tests which your physician has already prescribed.
The other causes of splenomegaly might include some cancers, leukaemias, melanomas, metabolic diseases, lymphomas, etc.
All these need to be ruled out under careful physician follow up.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes discomfort in abdominal region ? 6 hours later
REgarding Infections I had a urine infection in October 2009 which was a particularly bad one with associated fever so much so that my husband had to take a urine sample to the GP as I was too unwell to get to the surgery. The GP presribed antibiotics and asked as a follow up for two separate urine samples to be done two weeks apart. I did the first one but as I was feeling somewhat better unfortunately I did not do the second one.

I have had several bouts of discomfort in the same area since and also discomfort around the vaginal area that I thought I could self treat with Canestan duo. On each occassion it has settled things down but I do feel very uncomfortable at the pit of my stomach first thing of a morning even though I have visited the toilet several times in the night (due to the Bendrofluamethiazide).

I have commented about my urine being very strong and the GP has corrected me that Canestan Duo was not the correct thing to treat an infection (I was advised it is for THrush type symptoms, but I explained that it had given me some relief).

My urine is very strong and dark (not the normal 'straw' colour' and quite smelly.

In recent days (which may be unconnected) I have been experiencing bad taste in my mouth that I can only describe as a 'metallic taste'.

I question whether this could be the underlying cause of the enlargement of the spleen and could it have caused irrepairable damage or is it treatable?

I realise that the blood test results will be more conclusive. Under the recent series of tests etc I have not been asked by my GP to do a urine test. Would asking for one to be done assist the diagnosis. (on a separate issue I have had a recent smear test which was ok and normal)

Regarding your possible diagnosis of Malaria/ other tropical diseases, in the past 4 years the only overseas travel I have made outside to UK is to France (several times each year) so would it be safe to exclude this as a possibility.

Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 28 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

Urinary infection however strong or recurrent it might be is least likely to cause an enlarged spleen. It would be a good idea to get a Urine test and urine for culture and sensitivity to see if there is any bacterial growth, done to know the cause for the dark coloured and foul smelly urine. Only the specific blood tests that your physician has ordered will help to reach a diagnosis.

Getting a card test done for malaria antigens would be recommended and you can discuss it with your treating physician.

Sincerely hope it will help.

Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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