Spleen pain symptoms

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the effects of an enlarged spleen--known as splenomegaly--is pain in the left side of the abdomen, next to the stomach, where the spleen is positioned. Although not all people experience symptoms when they have an enlarged spleen, some people can have one or several symptoms at once.

Pain and Other Symptoms

The abdominal pain an enlarged spleen causes may spread to your left arm or shoulder. Eating very little, but still feeling full, can point to spleen enlargement. This happens when your spleen grows to the point of pressing on your stomach, causing you to feel full.

The Spleen in Action

Your spleen does more than you think. It filters out tired blood cells, helps your blood clot and produces white blood cells, the bodies infection-fighting cells.

Causes of Spleen Enlargement

Viral, bacterial and parasitic infections can cause your spleen to enlarge. Blood cancers and diseases of the liver can also produce enlargement of the organ.

Blood Issues

Some people with an enlarged spleen experience some blood issues. If you bleed easily, or experience anaemia, you may have an enlarged spleen.


Health care professionals target the underlying cause when treating splenomegaly. Infections are treated with antibiotics. Removal of the spleen, or splenectomy, is done only in serious cases, although a person can live without the organ.


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About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.