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    splenic flexure syndrome
    stacy9237 posted:
    I was just dx with this syndrome. My Dr said there was nothing they can do for me. I am in so much pain under my left rib cage. It hurts to move and breathe. Does anyone out there have any advice on what I need to do to ease the pain.
    CalGal37 responded:
    Stacy, you're going to think I'm nuts, but I'm going to explain my rationale, so bear with me. Splenic flexure syndrome is a 'catch all' diagnosis for - you've got gas or distension going on in the 'kink' area of you large bowel up under the left side of the ribs. IF you doc has ruled out all forms of actual physical problems from that area, they they're forced to basically say - we don't know what we can do.

    You can try gas meds. And you should try some probiotics to see if that makes a difference (Digestive Advantage-IBS; Culturelle or FloraQ), but I'm going to make another suggestion - some visceral manipulation. And here's why - I just finished working with a fellow who had a similar symptom, although the doc hadn't labeled it 'splenic flexure.'

    There are several ligaments on that side of the body: the gastrosplenic, gastrolienic, gastrocolic, gastrophrenic and phrenicocolic. They hook the various organ 'together' and form barriers (in some cases) to the movement of infection from one place in the abdominal cavity to another.' So you've got links between the diaphragm, the stomach, the spleen, the upper corner of the transverse and descending colon, etc. When some kind of dysfunction occurs - in this gentleman's case a large inflammatory pattern across the whole of the abdominal region including both sides of the transverse colon and his levels of IgA were off the charts - it can affect the connective tissue in those areas. He said he had 'pain everywhere.'

    During one portion of our working together he commented, "damn, you're reproducing the gas pain I have.' I wasn't tinkering with anything to do with 'gas,' I was working with the organs and ligaments around his stomach. And a 'light bulb' went off in my head.........something along the lines of 'heck, why didn't I think of that before! That's GOT to be what some people are having problems with - the darned splenic flexure.'

    Look, I can't swear it's going to help, but it's worth a try as you're trying other things to try to reduce the discomfort.

    It only reinforced what I had found in my own case. I had had a small auto accident in/around the time my IBS kicked into full force and I was ready to die. One of the symptoms I had was severe 'hepatic flexure' pain - again attributed to gas. I don't tend to think that anymore. Instead I think it was tied into that accident and the seatbelt. Several years into the IBS, and after the accident, I had an osteopath work on me and he homed in on that area. Using some gentle, specific manual manipulation over the course of several months, he 'freed up' that area, and my hepatic flexure syndrome went bye-bye. That, and a number of other instances peaked my interest in a little known from of therapy.

    It's something you may want to check into. Not a pill, and not fast, but it may help.
    SUZANCKD2 responded:
    Stacy, I too was just diagnosed, but I guess by a better doctor. I have found on my own that a heating pad works wonders for the pain. My doctor said that this will go away, but in the meantime, add INSOLUBLE (not soluble) fiber to your diet. Also, eat slower to avoid swallowing air while eating and eat smaller meals to avoid build up in the colon. He also prescribed an anti-spasmatic that I put under my tongue to give immediate relief to unexpected attacks. I would suggest seeing a GI doctor. My regular doctor has missed this for many many years! Good luck!
    FiverFan responded:
    Hello, everyone!

    I was diagnosed with splenic flexure syndrome in 1998. At the time, I was also suffering from GERD, but medical treatment and a convivial divorce released me from a lot of stress.

    The SFS, though, has gotten worse, increasingly, over the years. I saw my GI doctor yesterday and he said, "Take Beano ... and cross your fingers that we'll find a cure in a year."

    I am on medical leave now because the pain is so crippling that I can't work at my desk. I am now seeing a psychologist and a therapist -- the latter suggested that I find an online support group.

    Is this a support group? If not, I won't waste your time any further. I really do need help. Pain is ruining my life.

    Best wishes to all of you!

    I'm Fiona, but call me FiverFan. Thanks in advance for anything you can suggest! (That includes changing my vegetarian diet. PLEASE, I am in agony and I need help.)
    FishOkinawa responded:

    I have had problems associated with pains in my abdomen that radiate into my chest. They make me nauseas and give me a headache. I have coronary artery disease so the doctor did keep focusing on my heart. All good. Upper GI. All good. Lower GI all good. They are now focusing on my intestines. From the research I have done I am not looking at Splenal Flexure Syndrome or some other cause of IBS. What helps me and which we came across because of my heart condition was nitroglycerin. I have pills and patches. The patches work well but are not 100% but the pills work within 3 minutes of the attacks.
    FishOkinawa responded:
    Ask your doctor to try you on nitroglycerin tablets or .4mg per hour transdermal nitro patches. It?s the only thing that keeps me functioning.

    Write me if you wish to hear a long story.

    Good luck Jeff
    anncole responded:
    just today got diagnosed for Splenic Flexure Syndrome. my doctor gave me bentyl (dicyclomine) (ive been having pain since nov and they just now figured it out...he thought it was my kidney until i got an xray (i tried everything to find out was wrong) and i told my doc maybe i just have a crack in my left rib somehow....luckily i mentioned that otherwise i would still not know why im in sooo much pain! i dont know if it works yet since i got it today but i thought i would just let you know. oh he told me to start taking pericolace at night.

    i kind of think its weird that he said there nothing he could do.
    mrrosema responded:
    After a bunch of antibiotics last fall for upper respiratory infection i got sfs. Am on anti-spasm meds, have found that laying down and/or intentionally altering my breathing rate helps. Area impacted seems to be getting smaller but no less painful, hope it may shrink to nothing but from rest of posts obviously thereis no clear prognosis. I get same pain every day from 3-5PM. Am wondering what osteopath did for Calgal37 in more detail and if that Osteopath has any other evidence of help from this.
    calgal37 replied to mrrosema's response:
    Mrrosema, first of all if you were on a batch of antibiotics last fall, make sure you first try to supplement with probiotics. Many find that that skewing antibiotics do to the bacteria/flora in the GI tract can cause intense pain and dysfunction.

    I believe there are some papers published on visceral manipulation now. Check PubMed for abstracts and references to papers. You can check out practitioners of Visceral Manipulation at the Barral Institute website. You may want to contact the institute to get a referral to someone who may be able to help you.
    natcolley replied to CalGal37's response:

    Can you be more specific as to what manipulations you are suggesting? Is this an up and down motion? Deep pressure? Where? For how long? etc. Thanks.
    calgal37 replied to natcolley's response:
    Nat, it's not easy to describe. The motions are specific to the structural attachments of the ligaments that 'hold' the splenic flexure in position. Each person can be a bit different structurally, so the manipulation if 'felt' while the fingers and hands are in the correct position. They're not very deep at all, and the time frame is specific to the 'feel' of the restriction and the rate of relaxation.

    Sorry that I can't be more specific, but each individual is not the same. And the mainpulations should only be done by an experienced therapist.
    GirlRunn replied to calgal37's response:
    Definitely go to an osteopathic doc - - he did the same thing..."the manipulations"...and I was cured for about 6 months. 6 months was AMAZING - - I was sick with stomach cramping every 3-4 days and to go 6 months pain free felt like a miracle to me! Now, whenever any stomach symptoms occur, I call him up and I am cured for another lenghty period of time! I strongly encourage you to seek out a osteo-doc and ask for manipulations! Good luck!
    woofwalker responded:
    I read an article that if you lie down and gently rub your upper stomach from side to side it assists the movement of your digestive system, it worked, and also assists the gas moving down the digestive sytem.
    Gram1988 replied to woofwalker's response:
    Just found this thread. I have suffered from the described pain since 1997. The first doc said sore ribs (yeah, right), and my current doc just keeps saying, "There is nothing in the upper left quandrant, so it wouldn't do any good to do any test." Basically, just live with it. I also have a muscle jumping sensation in the same area, sort of like a slow eyelid twitch. That part is not painful. I have IBS and never know when something is going to set that off, and also acid reflux, treated with Omeprazole. Wondering if anyone else has the muscle twitch?
    frizzyredhead responded:
    If you have not had a contrast ct of your abdominal area or a colonoscopy then you should insist on this. you may have diverticulits flare up in the splenic region of your colon. This is a very painful condition. The CT scan can be a screening test to see if there are diverticuli in the splenic region of your colon. You can talk to you doctor about trying a course of antibiotics and flagyl for diverticulitis to see if this help clear the symptoms. These meds have their own side-effects> A colonosocopy cannot be performed unless the doctor is sure there is no inflammation or infection present.

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