Category: 

What Is Splenic Flexure Syndrome?

A human colon.
Prunes should be avoided by those with splenic flexure syndrome.
Bloating can be a sign of splenic flexure syndrome.
Splenic flexure syndrome can be classified as a subtype of irritable bowel syndrome.
Article Details
  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Extremely hot chili peppers can produce a very mild hallucinogenic effect.  more...

September 21 ,  1939 :  US President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged Congress to repeal the Neutrality Acts.  more...

Splenic flexure syndrome describes a digestive disorder characterized by gas becoming trapped inside of flexures located inside the colon. While gas symptoms are normal in humans, this particular digestive disorder produces excessive gas and other symptoms considered to be abnormal. Such causes a great deal of discomfort and irritation to individuals afflicted with this condition. Splenic flexure syndrome is at times classified as a subtype of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and, in some, the symptoms that characterize splenic flexure syndrome is actually caused by IBS.

The splenic flexure is an area of the large intestine located right next to the spleen. When this digestive disorder flares up, a person experiences pain in the upper left side of the abdomen. Due to the close proximity of the splenic flexure to the heart, the painful symptoms of splenic flexure syndrome may cause some to believe that a heart attack is occurring.

Symptoms of splenic flexure syndrome include bloating, colon spasms and uncomfortable gas pains from air being trapped in the colon’s flexure. Air finds its way and becomes trapped in the splenic flexure due to swallowing air while talking, eating or drinking, or by consuming foods that do not digest well. When food is not digested or is not properly absorbed, it travels to the large intestine and is broken down by bacteria that are naturally present there. During this process, gas is created.

Ad

Abdominal bloating is the most commonly occurring symptom of splenic flexure syndrome. While an excessive amount of fatty foods can cause temporary abdominal bloating, individuals with gastroenterology problems experience it more often due to increased movement and abnormal contractions, which occur in the intestinal muscles as the result of a digestive disorder. Normally, bloating is relieved by a bowel movement or by passing gas through the rectum or through the mouth. In cases of splenic flexure syndrome, however, gas does not pass as easily, which causes varying levels of pain and discomfort in individual sufferers.

In order to reduce gas associated with splenic flexure syndrome, health experts recommend avoiding foods naturally known to cause excessive amounts of gas. A few of these foods are Brussels sprouts, beans, broccoli, cabbage, dairy products, prunes, apples, corn, peas, processed breads and cereals, and potatoes. Certain medications commonly used to treat IBS may also be prescribed for relief from gas that accompanies this syndrome.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon336972
Post 4

Is there any help for someone having this problem due to chronic sinus drainage?

anon288883
Post 3

I have been dealing with this problem since 2002. I had my spleen removed in 2005 because doctors thought that was the problem. I've had numerous colonoscopies and other scopes. I went online myself again in March of this year and read about Splenic Flexure Syndrome. I have all the symptoms. It is extremely painful. I went to my doctor and told her what I have. She put me on Bentyl. It has helped tremendously. I still have days where the spasms are bad but all in all, they are not as often. I just have to avoid certain foods.

bear78
Post 2

I read that 70% of the gas found in our intestines is due to swallowing air. Food is responsible only for the remainder.

I'm sure that not eating certain foods that cause gas would help people who have this syndrome. But since most of that gas is actually swallowed, is there a way to prevent these patients from swallowing so much air?

Maybe helping them be more cautious about how they eat and drink and not allowing smoking and chewing gum might help.

candyquilt
Post 1

We have a close family friend who is a doctor and originally from South America. He told me that back home, he has personally met and treated many patients with splenic flexure syndrome who were previously diagnosed with heart disease.

They did fluoroscopic testing on the patients and found out the real problem. It's so amazing how doctors were able to misdiagnose so many patients because of the familiar symptoms of heart disease. And all that time, those patients followed special diets and worried about a heart attack!

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email