Splenic Flexure Syndrome

Written by Dr. Mary

What is Splenic Flexure Syndrome?

Splenic flexure syndrome is pain and discomfort that is felt at the upper abdomen. This is caused by distention or possible muscle spasm occurring in the splenic flexure of one’s colon. In anatomy, the splenic flexure is located between the transverse and descending colon. This digestive disorder is characterized by gas build up and it’s trapping inside the flexure. Discomfort is the most prominent symptom noted with splenic flexure syndrome. This has been noted as one of the subtype of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.


Splenic flexure syndrome

 

Picture : Splenic flexure is located between the transverse and descending colon.

Splenic Flexure Syndrome Symptoms

Those suffering from splenic flexure syndrome would complain of the following (mostly identify the discomfort at the upper area of the abdomen):

  1. Abdominal bloating. The most common symptom for splenic flexure syndrome. When one eat high amounts of fatty foods. Those who have underlying gastric problems are most likely to suffer from this manifestation.
  2. Spasms. These spasms are precipitated by the gas formation.
  3. Gas pains. This is due to the air being trapped in the affected area. When one swallows too much air while eating, drinking or just by talking is most probably a cause of the symptom.

Splenic Flexure Syndrome Causes

The condition splenic flexure syndrome is caused by the following:

  1. Most common cause is identified as excessive gas accumulation in the GI or gastrointestinal tract. This gas is basically trapped in the tract that provides the discomfort.
  2. Abdominal distention. This may still be triggered by gas accumulation or consuming of foods that are hard to digest.
  3. Unidentified infections. This may be a possible cause of splenic flexure as this can be highly irritating to the intestinal flora.
  4. Foods. Foods that are gas-causing are high sugar foods such as those contain lactose, fructose and raffinose. These are complex sugars that cause one to have gastric discomfort. Foods that are rich in starch, excluding rice, are common causes for gas formation. High-carbonated foods are also another cause.

Diagnosis for Splenic Flexure Syndrome

Direct diagnostic examination for splenic flexure syndrome is not yet out for use. Initially, assessment for identification of splenic flexure syndrome starts with data collection, a precise medical history is essential in the process. Gathering the client’s presenting symptoms shall also assist in the diagnosis of the problem. The review of the client’s diet or a 24-hour diet recall shall help in pointing out the cause of the symptoms. When the state of the condition has become to a severe point, one should rule out other possible causes of the condition. If one is suspected to have underlying conditions of the gastrointestinal system, one may undergo GI series, an x-ray view of the client’s esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestine.

Splenic Flexure Syndrome Treatment

Since gas is the most rooted cause of splenic flexure syndrome, alteration of one’s diet is recommended. As diet has been modified, strictly following the regimen shall assist in the process of treatment.

Providing medications for relief is also done. Here are some of the medical remedies for splenic flexure syndrome:

  1. Antacids. This can help in relieving stomach bloating and discomfort. Simethicone and activated charcoal are noted to reduce the symptoms of splenic flexure syndrome. Some digestive enzymes also play the role of antacids such as lactase supplements. These agents shall help foods which are hard to digest and those normally produce more gas than others. Maalox is a common drug provided in the relief of stomach discomfort, but is much more recommended when it contains amounts of simethicone. Gas formation in the stomach and splenic flexure shall then be relieved.
  2. Enzyme lactase. This is believed to aid in lactose digestion. This can be in liquid or tablet form.
  3. Digestive aids. Beano, a new drug, is known to contain sugar-digestive enzyme that helps in the digestion.
  4. Prokinetic drugs. This is most recommended as this can assist in digestion.
  5. One should avoid too much swallowing of air. This can be avoided by not opening one’s mouth in too much when talking or laughing. Less is much advised. One should also avoid chewing gums for this can facilitate gas formation. One should also avoid eating some hard candies. When eating or chewing food, one should not hurry but make sure that one has chew the food properly. When one has dentures, making it properly secured in the mouth is of help.

Diet

Diet modification is very much recommended to those who suffer from splenic flexure syndrome. The doctor shall advise the affect to ingest foods less which are gas formers. One is prescribed to take less food rich in fat, starch and sugar. Because of this, bloating of the stomach shall be avoided. Also following such diet regimen would help in the digestion of food. Taking of high irritating foods are also restricted such as spicy foods. Drinking of highly carbonated foods is also limited or restricted because these are known gas-formers. Intake of high fiber foods would help in the digestive process; this is much recommended by doctors. Instead of eating large meals three times a day, it is advised that one should have small frequent feedings.

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