Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Spleen/Liver Enlargement HELP!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 23 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • March 18, 2007
  • 04:28 AM

Hello,
I am quite nervous about my health right now. Recently I was told I have an enlarged liver and spleen. This was seen on an ultrasound. I had a CT but the results still have not been reported... its been 2wks. Anyways, the second week of Feb. I caught some sort of flu... horrible diarrhea, vomiting, fever and dehydration. Since then everything has cleared up except for the fever and nausea. I have begun to have night sweats as well. I am still very fatigued. Additionally, I have lost 10lbs and am not very hungry/ cannot eat very much. I had the initial ultrasound 2-3 wks before I got the flu. It was initially done for upper abdomen pain.

I have seen a GI doc about the enlarged liver and spleen. But he thought nothing of it. He told me the pain I feel in my upper abd/rib cage area is a misplaced rib. He told me to take Ibuprofen. Though I have been taking Tylenol for back pain and the side pain for a while with no relief. He rushed me out of his office with out considering the weight loss or fevers. Both things I see a smoking whistles something is not right. I am pretty sure he didn't even look at the radiologist report. I literally left the office in tears. I am to see another GI this week. But I am so nevous; I just wish I knew what was going on and why I feel so yucky!

Thank God I have a great PCP who's advocating for me and was livid when she heard about the GI. I'm young and I just wish I felt better. Please let me know if you have any ideas or things I should look out for.

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23 Replies:

  • My husband had very nearly the same symptoms. He was in the hospital for it twice as he got very dehydrated. After having lots of tests, they still have no diagnosis. They even did a liver biopsy but with no conclusive results. He saw an infectious disease doctor who did more tests. Still no cause. The infectious disease doctor says it must be an autoimmune disease and sent us to a rheumatology doctor who tested him for rheumatoid arthritisis with no conclusive results (his symptoms didn't even indicate ra). He has relief temporarily from the symptoms from prednasone but if he goes off it he gets sick again. Even taking the prednasone, he overworked himself this weekend and he can feel his liver hurting again. He has been tested for chirrosis, hepititus, hiv, malaria, brucellosis, pancreatic disorders, cancer, I think lupus. Still no dx.I think that he caught some sort of bacterial (mycobacterium or a zoonic bacteria) from inhaling the dust when he spread fertilizer in the garden. The doctors won't even consider it though.Most replys I got said to look into Lyme disease but we live in Florida and Lyme disease is even more rare than mycobacterium.I don't have any answers and can only commiserate with you. Especially about the doctors who will NOT listen. Good luck.
    PuzzledWife 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for replying! I still have not heard from my doctor, and its becoming very frusterating! The pain seems to be getting worse, and I am still not hungry at all. When I do eat, the pain becomes more intense. About lyme, I am from the Arizona, so there is probably zero chance I have it. I hope you get some answers soon!
    kaywhy? 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • kyj, have you had a test for mononucleosis? Some of the main symptoms are swollen glands, fever, sore throat, and enlarged spleen and/or liver (I had both with my mono). The viral infection lasts about 2-3 weeks but it can take many more weeks before the spleen and liver return to normal size and function. Have your blood checked; if the WBC (White Blood Cell) count is extremely high (mine was twice the normal level) then it is QUITE possible you have mono/Epstein-Barr Virus.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I submitted a reply a few minutes but it hasn't shown up yet. The medical term for your condition is "hepatoslpenomegaly". Wikipedia lists a variety of possible explanations:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HepatosplenomegalyMy comment (from the earlier reply) was the possibility of mononucleosis, because of the recent fever you had, though if your liver and spleen were enlarged for a long period of time BEFORE the fever then it probably has nothing to do with mono. You might want to have a blood test however. Just a warning though: From my experience with mono (I had hepatosplenomegaly) the doctor warned me against any kind of drinking, heavy lifting, and ANY contact sports because of the possibility of rupturing the organs.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you! Actually, I have had my blood checked for mono and I believe it came back negative. I never really had any other symptoms, such as a soar throat or swollen glands. I did get the results back from my CT and they confirmed that the spleen and the "left lobe" of the liver was enlarged. I'm confused about how only part of my liver is enlarged and how that can happed? I am not sure about the rest of the blood tests I had. I will be seeing another GI next weds. but if I cannot make it untill then my PCP will admit me. :(
    kaywhy? 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you! Actually, I have had my blood checked for mono and I believe it came back negative. I never really had any other symptoms, such as a soar throat or swollen glands. I did get the results back from my CT and they confirmed that the spleen and the "left lobe" of the liver was enlarged. I'm confused about how only part of my liver is enlarged and how that can happed? I am not sure about the rest of the blood tests I had. I will be seeing another GI next weds. but if I cannot make it untill then my PCP will admit me. :(
    kaywhy? 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • My husband had very nearly the same symptoms. He was in the hospital for it twice as he got very dehydrated. After having lots of tests, they still have no diagnosis. They even did a liver biopsy but with no conclusive results. He saw an infectious disease doctor who did more tests. Still no cause. The infectious disease doctor says it must be an autoimmune disease and sent us to a rheumatology doctor who tested him for rheumatoid arthritisis with no conclusive results (his symptoms didn't even indicate ra). He has relief temporarily from the symptoms from prednasone but if he goes off it he gets sick again. Even taking the prednasone, he overworked himself this weekend and he can feel his liver hurting again. He has been tested for chirrosis, hepititus, hiv, malaria, brucellosis, pancreatic disorders, cancer, I think lupus. Still no dx.I think that he caught some sort of bacterial (mycobacterium or a zoonic bacteria) from inhaling the dust when he spread fertilizer in the garden. The doctors won't even consider it though.Most replys I got said to look into Lyme disease but we live in Florida and Lyme disease is even more rare than mycobacterium.I don't have any answers and can only commiserate with you. Especially about the doctors who will NOT listen. Good luck.Are you sure it's the liver? What about the gallbladder? That can be quite painful and often overlooked.....
    JetSkiChic 12 Replies Flag this Response
  • It's not his gall bladder - that came back negative. His throat wasn't sore and he didn't have swollen glands (anywhere). They tested for everything they could think of but all was negative (cancer, hepititus, pancreatic disorders, gall bladder, heart problems, chiroisis, mono, malaria, lupus, brucellosis, hiv, and others I can't even remember). They haven't tested for Lyme (we are in Florida and Lyme isn't prevelant here), mycobacteria or any zoonic diseases (other than brucellosis because I insisted) because they consider them to be too rare and unlikely that he would contract them. They haven't done a bone marrow aspiration either. He goes back to the rheumatoid doctor later this month. He has also signed up with the VA as we heard that they have a really good rheumatoid docter at the VA facility. He is feeling okay as long as he stays on a low dose of Prednasone (it suppresses the symptoms) but if he overdoes the physical activity, his liver hurts. And he still has night sweats but no fever (probably because of the prednasone). Thanks for the response. Kaywhy? try some prednasone. It really helped his appetite (couldn't stop him from eating!) and his fatigue. He was also given medicine in case he felt nauseous. Hope you feel better soon.
    PuzzledWife 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'll ask about that! But its not necessarily that I have lost my appitite, more so, I get terrible pain after I eat. So I just don't want to eat to aviod the pain. I guess in the long run, I have lost my appitite...Anyways I definately could use some help with the fatigue. I was given phenergan to help with nausea. This makes me REALLY tired and basically puts me to sleep. I hardly take it b/c I need to function during the day.
    kaywhy? 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • He had pain too when his liver and spleen were enlarged because there was no room for the food in his stomach. They gave him some drug to help the food move through his system quicker in the hospital. The drugs for nausea in the hospital put him to sleep too but the one he now has doesn't make him tired. I don't have the name with me now but when I get home I'll post it. The prednasone eased the inflammation of his liver and spleen so he didn't feel so full and didn't get so much pain. It may not be right for you but at least you can ask.
    PuzzledWife 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • To both Puzzled Wife and Jaywhy? Were either you or the husband taking any medications at all prior to having the symptoms of hepatosplenomegaly? DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Nothing other than tylenol. I asked my doctor if this could cause the enlargement, but she said I'd have to be taking more than 4000mg a day. I don't take that much ever, but I have been taking it regularly for 2 years for a back injury.
    kaywhy? 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • My husband takes generic Celexa for depression and has for years. He also was drinking very heavily for over a year when he got sick (a lot of rum and maybe 2 beers every day). The immediate diagnosis was cirrhosis or alcoholic liver because of the alcohol abuse. We did think he had the flu when he first got sick and he was taking ibuprophen for a couple days before he was admitted to the hospital. The liver biopsy confirmed that it was not alcohol related. They didn't say if the mix of alcohol and ibu may have caused it. We listed all the meds he took and I was very honest about the amount of alcohol he consumed.He still takes Celexa but takes only an aspirin if he has a headache. If his liver hurts, he takes the prescribed pain pill. He didn't drink at all for over two months and now has no more than 2 beers a day if even that.
    PuzzledWife 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Puzzledwife, it's probably useless to say this now, but I don't think it is advisable for someone on antidepressants to consume alcohol. Heavy drinking can cause a lot of problems because alcohol tends to sterelize/poison the body. Also, if I recall correctly you are never suppose to have alcohol while taking any kind of NSAID (like Ibuprofin) because it can in fact, cause significant damage to the liver.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I reminded him often that it wasn't advisable (it says so on the label) to drink while taking celexa as well as asked him if his doctor knew how much he drank (and she didn't). I didn't realize that taking over the counter drugs and alcohol was as serious as it is. I nagged him that the alcohol was going to ruin his liver. That's why I was very surprised when the liver biopsy came back and confirmed that it was not alcohol related. Kaywhy, the liver doctor said that any OTC pain reliever is not good if your liver is compromised (even aspirin) whether alcohol is consumed or not.
    PuzzledWife 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Really? I didn't know that. I knew it could cause liver damage if consumed too much. The incompetent GI doctor I saw actually advised me to take ibuprofen... I haven't though. Mainly because I know it can cause bleeding and that would not be good. I guess I will try not to take any tylenol. Does anyone know of a pain reliever I can take that will be safe for my liver? I cannot think of any.
    kaywhy? 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • Enlarged liver and spleen, for longer than 2-4 weeks, is a sign of the beginning of end stage liver disease. Make sure your doctors check your liver enzymes (bilirubin, etc) to rule out end stage liver disease. End stage liver disease can be caused by alcohol, but can also be caused by auto-immune liver diseases and Hep-C. I have primary sclerosing cholangitis, which is an auto-immune disease that closes the bile ducts. I was diagnosed with enlarged spleen/liver and have constant pain under my rib cages (so I can relate to your situation - it sucks!). My best advise for you is to be referred to an actual liver specialist to rule out auto-immune liver diseases or Hep-C. Especially if you have itching along with your fever. If you have itching along with your other symptoms, you may have an infection of the bile duct or a bile duct disease. That can be very serious and needs immediate attention.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, thank you! I am seeing a GI/liver specialist on wednesday so I will make sure to mention that to him. I do have a question: I have had a rash for about a year and a half. It comes and goes and is always located on my chest and neck. It looks like hives. But there is no pattern of its onset. Not due to stress, heat, new detergent/new anyother substance, allergies... Do you think this has anything to do with my enlarged spleen/liver? & does anyone know why the CT would say my left lobe of my liver is enlarged versus the entire liver?
    kaywhy? 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • kyj, have you had a test for mononucleosis? Some of the main symptoms are swollen glands, fever, sore throat, and enlarged spleen and/or liver (I had both with my mono). The viral infection lasts about 2-3 weeks but it can take many more weeks before the spleen and liver return to normal size and function. Have your blood checked; if the WBC (White Blood Cell) count is extremely high (mine was twice the normal level) then it is QUITE possible you have mono/Epstein-Barr Virus.Wow! I have been miserable for over a month with EBV, pain in my upper abdomen/lower chest (feels like lump of bread stuck in my throat). My WBC has gone from 11.4 to 14.7 in three weeks. I am constantly in pain, sore, muscle aches, neck pain (front and back). They are sending me to Hematologist, Cardiologist, etc. Could this all be from EBV??!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Aside from a possibilty you have a issue with your gallbladder. You might want to seriously consider taking a look at the pancreas. What you describe sounds all to familiar to me. My wife has had symptoms very similar to yours and after sveral trips to various docs and research of my own in conjunction with some imaging up turns a psuedo cyst on her pancreas (a sign of pancreatitis). Unfortunately hers is idiopathic (she does not drink alcohol). In your case since the current bout may have passed your serum amylase and lipase levels may be normal. Liver enzyme tests could also run high..... I have never posted on a board such as this but somehow feel compelled through our frustrations with some imcompetant healthcare providers....just my two cents Hello, I am quite nervous about my health right now. Recently I was told I have an enlarged liver and spleen. This was seen on an ultrasound. I had a CT but the results still have not been reported... its been 2wks. Anyways, the secondl cannot eat very much. I had the initial ultrasound 2-3 wks before I got the flu. It was initially done for upper abdomen pain. I have seen a GI doc about the enlarged liver and spleen. But he thought nothing of it. He told me the pain I feel in my upper abd/rib cage area is a misplaced rib. He told me to take Ibuprofen. Though I have been taking Tylenol for back pain and the side pain for a while with no relief. He rushed me out of his office with out considering the weight loss or fevers. Both things I see a smoking whistles something is not right. I am pretty sure he didn't even look at the radiologist report. I literally left the office in tears. I am to see another GI this week. But I am so nevous; I just wish I knew what was going on and why I feel so yucky! Thank God I have a great PCP who's advocating for me and was livid when she heard about the GI. I'm young and I just wish I felt better. Please let me know if you have any ideas or things I should look out for.
    slackgrab 2 Replies Flag this Response
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