Definition

Hypersplenism is an overactive spleen. The spleen is an organ found in the upper left side of your belly area. The spleen helps filter old and damaged cells from your bloodstream. If your spleen is overactive, it removes the blood cells too early and too quickly.

The spleen plays a key role in helping your body fight infections. Problems with the spleen can make you more likely to develop infections.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hypersplenism can be caused by:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Lymphoma
  • Malaria
  • Tuberculosis
  • Various connective tissue and inflammatory diseases

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Enlarged spleen
  • Low level of one or more types of blood cells
  • Feeling full too soon after eating
  • Stomach pain on the left side
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