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Splenal Flexure Syndrome (Page 1)

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I am creating this topic in order to bring together concise experiences, knowledge, and research regarding splenal flexure syndrome.


I am a 24 year old, fit male who has had similar symptoms for the past 3 years:

- mild to intense pain in upper left abdomen, just behind rib cage
- mild to intense pain on corresponding position in my back
- when intense, pain feels as if it penetrates through my body
- pain comes only during or after sleeping at night
- pain comes generally with gas
- pain intensity may be higher when larger quantity of food is eaten
- stretching and physical activity alleviates the pain more quickly


i have not been to see a doctor about this. From my first experiences with the pain, I associated the pain with lots-o-gas. At the time, I had just moved to guinea, africa, so I associated the increased gas with the change of diet. However, since returning home about 9 months ago, I still have had lots-o-gas, and a couple of nights each week the pain returns. I'm now used to it however, so it doesn't really affect my lifestyle.

After looking through the web pages, I think this may be splenic flexure syndrome. But, I can't be sure, there is hardly any info available on the web.

If anyone has stumbled across an effective treatment, please let us know.
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First Helper sassy5330
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replied September 28th, 2006
I am having the same problem, and I too wonder if I have this syndrome.

I am having pain in my upper left abdominal area, along with gas, and bloating.

Also in the area of the pain it feels like there may be a mass, or something swollen. Not sure if ti would be my spleen or what.

I am very worried. My initial fears were stomach cancer, I doubt thats what it is however the thought still scares me.
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replied April 22nd, 2011
Upper Left pain behind the ribs
I have the same thing. A high fiber diet and exercise if not in to much pain. Heating pad if in pain. but walk around as soon as you can. Take gas pills it can help to relieve the bloating and I sometimes rub the mass like thing and it moves around, it may hurt, and goes away sometimes. Lots of noise goes on too. LOL.. Good Luck.
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replied February 19th, 2007
Splenal Flexure Syndrome
My mother is a 67 year old woman who in the last year has been experienceing extreme discomfort in her upper left abdomal area with severe pain radiating through to her back. After 3 recent visits to the ER and the resulting gall bladder removal; the pain and discomfort persists. Last visit to IM doc says that she has costochondritis and splenic flexure syndrome. Basic advice was to apply heat and hope for the best. She has lost almost 25 lbs and is not about 110 pounds 5'5". Have you found any treatment that worked?
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replied July 2nd, 2008
Splenic Flexure Syndrome
Several years ago I experienced chest pains. Even though I was in my late 20's I tought it must be a heart attack or a pulled muscle. The pain was in my left side and would go through my chest and back on the left side. I immediately went to a local doctor who did chest x rays, ekg, etc. and concluded it wasn't my heart, but it must acid reflux. I was told to take prilosec. It did seem to help some. However, I have started having it again in my mid 30's more frequently (I have just started dieting on low carb diet...I'm not super overweight but was hoping to loose about 10-15 lbs). I thought again "maybe its the heart". However, I noticed the pain would go away after a bowel movement. So, my wife started doing research on the net for chest pains relieved by bowl movements and found Splenic Flexure Syndrome.
Then all my symptoms made sense. Apparently, Splenic Flexure Syndrome is a type of IBS (irritable bowl syndrome), although some Doctors consider it it's own condition. I found chats on this topic on IBS websites and on Chrone's Disease Websites (which is also a chronic type of IBS). This made so much sense since my grandmother suffered from Diverticulosis (similar to Chrones) and my Aunt is on disability for Chrone's Disease. I figure my doctor had been on the right track assuming it was a type of gastrointestinal type problem. I haven't been to the Dr. yet but am going to schedule an appointment soon just to rule out the heart again. However, I am trying to find out as much as I can about this condition in the meantime. Does anyone know if you can treat it the same way you do IBS? Can a regular Dr. treat it or should you see a specialist? If anyone has any info. on this condition I would love to know what you have. My symptoms have ranged from pain under the left ribs, all the way into the left chest and back. I have also had bloating/pressure feeling. The symptoms seem to disappear completely for awhile after bowel movements and gets worse after meals.
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Users who thank kracing for this post: Bailey2008  Barbara2 

replied January 18th, 2009
Splenic Flexure Syndrome Relief
I am a 52 year old healthy female, and a Registered Nurse, who started having similar symptoms about a year ago. The pain starts under the ribs on the left side and radiates toward the middle of my chest and into my back. It is accompanied by bloating and abdominal distention. Exercise, walking and stretching seems to help a little bit. Prior to this I was having bouts of acid reflux for which my Internal Medicine doctor prescribed Aciphex daily. The "attacks" got worse after my screening colonoscopy which was normal. My doctor diagnosed me with Splenic Flexure Syndrome and put me on Miralax (a light laxative)daily and recommended a high-fiber diet. He explained that this syndrome is caused when gas and stool are trapped and have difficulty passing through the splenic-flexure curve of the colon. This is also the area that causes the discomfort during a full colonoscopy (I stayed awake for my colonoscopy at my request so I know the discomfort quite well). The doctor said that 1-2 bowel movments a day will help. And he was right. If I get slightly irregular or constipated, I can almost guarantee I will have one of these "attacks." The symptoms get worse after large meals or with gas-producing foods.

I hope this helps.
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replied February 15th, 2009
Splenic Flexure Syndrome...

Also, walking is the only thing that keeps me from having to use medication at all.

Cutting down on meat and adding more vegetable protein.

If you HAVE TO HAVE SUGAR, balance it with protein.
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replied February 23rd, 2009
Splenic Flexure syndrome
If you've had medical tests to eliminate serious problems then keep a food diary and note when problems are worse. Try to follow an IBS diet temporarily to see if it alleviates symtoms at all.Because everyone is different you will determine what does and does not work for you and what compromises you are willing to make. Yoga and walking will help if you are physically able,also not eating right before bedtime. Digestive enzymes and L glutamine(an amino acid)and fennel tea available from health food stores will help with digestion, indigestion and gas.Lastly a heating pad to help alleviate the pain when it occurs and massages if you can afford them.
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replied July 30th, 2009
splenik flexure syndrome
My boyfriend has had these problems for a few years now, and this seems to fit the bill in every way. Does anyone have any suggestion of high fiber things that one could eat outside of grains?
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replied October 6th, 2009
I eat a high fiber diet with lots of fruit like prunes and figs and plenty of veggies. I don't eat any grains at all. I have regular BMs twice daily with no problems.
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replied October 26th, 2009
Splenic Flexure Syndrome
I had a very hard time with splenic flexure syndrome a while back. I saw several doctors before I was diagnosed. Ever since I started eating a high fiber diet, my symptoms have disappeared. I exercise daily, which also helps eliminate some of the gas build-up. (Yoga or pilates really helps get the air out.) I highly recommend adding fiber to your diet, starting with Fiber One cereal in the morning. Nature's Own makes a great natural wheat bread that has 6 grams of fiber per slice. Quaker makes an instant oatmeal that has 10 grams per package. You can also take fiber supplements but you will get much more fiber from foods. You will definitely want to increase your water intake when you increase your fiber intake.
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replied November 4th, 2009
Splenic Flexure Syndrome
My son has the same symptoms and he's 18 years old. He did test positive for the Heliobactor virus a couple months ago and they gave him the prevpac and a prescription for prevacid. Seemed to help the first month but the pain came back. Seems like it happens about every six weeks. They switched the medicine to protonix. He went to a specialist today who said that he could possibly have this. I went to the store and got him some branflakes and FiberONE bars.. That's what the specialist recommended!! FIBER FIBER FIBER.. Needs to be regular (which he never has been)
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replied November 5th, 2009
I have had similar pain for 5 years in my left upper quad under my ribcage, which is always worse an hour or so after eating. Exercise or bending also makes the pain worse. My symptoms were diagnosed as possibly being splenic flexure syndrome, as all else had been ruled out...... OR so I was told by my doctors.

But I had been on a high fiber diet for over 30 years and always had regular normal BMs twice a day, so I knew the illness was nothing to do with lack of fiber. In fact the more fiber I ate the worse I felt. So I had to keep reducing the amount of fiber in my diet as the years went by, to stop the pain getting worse.
But the shortness of breath was getting very debilitating and preventing me leading a normal life.

Then it reached crisis point where I had to cut out nearly all vegetables in order to stop the pain from being severe. Now I am on a minimum residue diet, and the reason for this is food gets stuck in my small bowel because I have a stricture (narrowing of the bowel wall).

The correct diagnosis finally dawned on my gastroenterologist after 3 yrs of tests. An u/s scan
was repeated, but this time it was done by a very experienced radiologist who found I had massive inflammation in the small bowel, which is likely to be due to the years of eating high fiber foods which could not get throught the stricture easily. Over the years with the chronic inflammation the stricture has got worse.

I am now waiting for more invasive tests to locate the position of the stricture and then it will likely need surgery. Meanwhile I am on a mostly liquid diet.

I am posting my story in case there is anyone who has similar pain to me, and is finding that a high fiber diet does not help them. Hopefully it might point someone in the right direction so they do not have to suffer miserable pain for 5 years like I have. Small bowel diseases are still not easy to diagnose, and strictures are very hard to recognise with most of the usual tests.
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replied October 25th, 2012
I have suffered from this condition for over 30 years. I also have had to resort to a liquid diet. Doctors in Houston have never hears of SFS, some say it doesn't exist. It causes an obstruction at my splenic flexure but doctors just say I have total colonic dismotility.

Has anyone seen a doctor who recognizes this condition? I am getting desparate?
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replied November 16th, 2009
Splenic Flexure Syndrome/Distention
Hi, my husband has been experiencing similar GI symptoms for the past 6 years. They seem to have gotten worse over the past year with the onset of upper left quadrant distention and pain, which his family Dr assumed was a mass (luckily it wasn't, but it scared the crap out of us!!). My husband does not eat the best diet, and although he has had a history of constipation in the past, he now has been having 1-3 BM's a day for a couple years.

I found a preview of an older medical book called Principles of ambulatory medicine that describes splenic flexure symdrome (the first time we've ever heard of it). It describes hyperactivity of the bowel which can cause the build up of gas in the colon flexures. Apparently peristalsis is a very delicate process, so any dysfunction wreck havoc.
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replied November 26th, 2009
I too have similar pains in my gut (however not localized to the upper left side of my intestines) and tried a high fibre diet for a month. The pain and bloating only got worse. I then went to see a naturopath who has suggested an anti-anxiety medicine approach - she has recommended St John's Wort. Has anyone had any success with this? I am wary of this approach as st john's is normally taken as an anti-depressant.. thoughts?
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replied December 10th, 2009
Can anyone help or relate to this?
This string is so helpful. I am a 46 y/o very healthy, but recently have had an increase in gas and a slight pain in my left side - sometimes low, and at others higher underneath the rib cage or around the back. This is not debilitating and it even comes and goes. My Doc found no blood in my stool an I am trying to avoid going for a colonoscopy or other invasive tests. My stomach seems to growl loud and often. I have acid reflux and take Prevacid. Other than all that I feel fine, so this really has me wondering if I have this Splenal issue you all talk of. Can anyone make sense of any of this or relate? Thank you!
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replied February 19th, 2010
I talked to my doctor about this as I was suffering miserable day in and day out were pain killers didn't work that well anymore. Your intestines are clamping down and or moving in reverse in certain area. They have a medication for us called Bentyll. By pure accident I discovered something that actually works better on me. I pray that it helps all of you. Edenfield 12 year old aged Scotch. No joke! I had one shot and within an hour all air had evacuated me. I take two to three shots a week and have 80% less air pockets.
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replied April 6th, 2010
hello
I have also had the same problem. started out with left side hurting like a trob on lweft side and behind my back. went to er and doctor said it was splenic flexure syndrome. sometimes it just totaly hurts and and have to use heating pad at times. there are times when it feels like my insides are on total fire and all i can do is just lay with an ice pack on stomach and one behind my back.
been looking for things to eat that will help . think i have some ideas thanx for this website. lost 28 lbs in a month because couldnt eat. my doctor said not to eat greasy foods, caffeine, asprin, soda,spicy foods.
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replied May 18th, 2010
splenic flexure syndrome
First let me say I hope We can all figure this out... Can anyone tell me if when you breath in you feel like theres a bubble blowing up then you breath out and it gos down feeling on you left side feels like under the left rib cage.
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replied May 29th, 2010
Permanently cure constipation and excessive gas problems
I read all the posts here and I believe I have found a solution that will fix all these problems including constipation, pain on left side, trapped gas and bloating, and even diarreha problems. I you want to find out about a diet program that will permanently cure all these problems then just purchase and read this book. I suffered for over 40 years with these problems and this book has really changed my life. The book is titled: "Cure Constipation Now" written by Wes Jones M.D. If you read the book and seriously commit to his fiber program it will change your life too.
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replied June 20th, 2010
A small solution?
I have been suffering with this for years. It used to be that I could go to bed and wake up and the pain would be gone, but not so anymore. I wake up with the pain now. I wish there were a surgery to fix this issue, my life would be so much better.
But, one thing my dr. suggested and it does help quite a bit, is pepogest. it is usually found at natural food stores and vitamin shops. it's in with the acid reflux products. I guess peppermint is a natual intestinal muscle relaxant. I'm all out and haven't purchased any lately and I'm miserable not having it around. After having to leave work early last night because I coudlnt' stand the pain, I'm going to get more pepogest today.
Hope this info helps someone Smile
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