What Are the Causes of an Enlarged Liver & Spleen?

Written by rose kitchen
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An enlarged liver and an enlarged spleen, also referred to as hepatosplenomegaly, is a condition in which both the liver and spleen become enlarged. This condition is actually a symptom and can be caused by more than a thousand different diseases, disorders and conditions. Many of the causes of an enlarged liver and spleen are not very popular, but there are some common causes.

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Chronic Hepatitis C

Chronic hepatitis C can cause an enlarged liver and spleen. Hepatitis C is transmitted by infected blood and is defined as a viral liver infection. Hepatitis C can cause several symptoms, but many of these symptoms are directly related to the spleen and liver problems caused by the disease. These symptoms include yellowing of the skin and eyes, abdominal pain, fever and dark urine.

Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis of the liver can cause an enlarged liver and spleen. Cirrhosis of the liver can be caused by a number of things including excessive alcohol consumption, viral hepatitis and certain genetic diseases. When cirrhosis of the liver occurs normal, healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. When the scar tissue begins to take over, the liver will not be able to function properly due to blocked blood flow. Cirrhosis of the liver has many symptoms, but many of these symptoms are directly related to the spleen and liver problems caused by this disease. These symptoms include stomach problems, loss of appetite, swollen ankles, yellow eyes and skin, abdominal swelling, dark urine and fluid retention.

Leukaemia

Leukaemia can cause an enlarged liver and spleen. Leukaemia is a type of cancer that occurs in the blood cells. In most cases, it affects the white blood cells. In addition to the liver and spleen becoming enlarged, they can also become tender in leukaemia patients. Other kidney and liver ailments such as infections can occur as well.

Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkins lymphoma can cause an enlarged liver and spleen. Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is a type of cancer called lymphoma that affects the lymphatic system and the body's lymph nodes. Because the liver and spleen can become enlarged as the cancer progresses, pain can result. Kidney and liver infections may also occur in the later stages of the disease.

Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell anaemia can cause an enlarged liver and spleen. Sickle cell anaemia is a form of anaemia resulting from a genetic disease. This disease causes the red blood cells to form improperly. Because this disease can cause an enlarged liver and spleen, other symptoms associated with the liver and spleen can occur. These symptoms include yellow eyes and skin and abdominal pain.

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