Splenic Flexure Syndrome | Symptoms, Treatment, Diet & Relief

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Gas pain is often associated with short-term pain and is cited as a “passing” problem.

Instead, it can have long-term consequences for patients who are slow to react or let it simmer for too long.

Medical professionals have spent years understanding the intricacies of Splenic Flexure Syndrome and feel it is one of the most disregarded medical concerns by patients.

It’s important to better recognize and understand what Splenic Flexure Syndrome is all about, so immediate action is taken by all involved.

This article should give you more information on this condition.

What is Splenic Flexure Syndrome?

Let’s start with a simple question of “what is it?” to get a feel for the condition.

This is a condition found in the upper abdomen and is often compared to gas pain. It feels as if a “bubble” has collected in the middle of one’s body and is refusing to go away.

The name is given for where it’s located in the human body.

The spasms and distention start to occur in the splenic flexure and therefore, the condition’s name comes from where it is found.

The pain can vary for this condition based on the patient’s medical history.

What Is the Splenic Flexure?

To know whether or not you have this issue, you must first understand exactly where in your body this section of the intestine is.

The splenic flexure​ is located on the right side of your large intestine and is the sharp, abrupt curve that makes the second final turn before waste reaches your rectum.

Its location is what makes you feel as though you have a pain in that specific area.​

It is also known in medical terms, as the “left colic flexure”.​

Is it the Same as Irritable Bowl Syndrome?

Splenic Flexure Syndrome is often confused with another intestinal issue called IBS, but are they the same thing?

SFS is generally thought of by a lot of physicians to be a sub-type of IBS whereby gas buildup in the splenic flexure causes severe spasms in the bowel.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to have been any serious research since 1970 about this syndrome.

However, sufferers can take some solace in the fact that extensive IBS research has been done and it certainly cannot hurt to subscribe to an IBS diet that focuses on reducing the consumption of foods likely to produce gas or induce bowel spasms.

Symptoms of SFS

What are the symptoms of this condition?

What should a patient look out for if they’re feeling general discomfort in the upper abdomen?

  • Discomfort & Nausea In The Upper Abdomen
  • Abdominal Spasms
  • Frequent Passing Of Gas
  • Constipation/Diarrhea (Will Vary)
  • Abdominal Distention

When searching for these symptoms, it’s often a combination of 2-3 in each patient. It’s important to seek medical assistance regardless of how many symptoms are being seen.

A guaranteed symptom will be underlying pain in the upper abdomen (left side) as this is where the splenic flexure is located.

It is the first symptom a person is going to note if they are feeling pain.

Does it Cause Weight Loss?

There is a possibility that this syndrome might cause a loss of weight, however, this is usually a rare thing.

However as we have stated, there really has not been the same kind of research done on it when compared to IBS. As a result of them being somewhat similar in terms of symptoms and areas affected, we can assume a level of connection between the two.

The main reasons behind any weight loss are mainly due to extreme abdominal pain causing the sufferer to skip eating, therefore resulting in a lower calorie intake.

What Does The Pain Feel Like?

Generally, you will find some of the pains feeling similar to IBS. This means that you might feel:

  • Cramps, cramping feeling
  • Stabbing pains
  • Sharp pain


A medical professional will go through a series of tests to ensure the condition is as they believe it to be. They will also be testing for various other conditions a person can have with similar symptoms.

The diagnosis will include:

  • Physical Examination
  • Assessment Of Medical History
  • X-Ray (If Required by Radiology)
  • Assessment Of Past 24 Hours (Dietary Intake)
  • Gastrointestinal Test

Depending on the symptoms and what is occurring at the time of one’s visit, a set of steps such as the ones above will be followed for a definite diagnosis.

This is done to not only know what is going on but rule out similar conditions.


A patient will often ask their doctor as to what is the reason for this condition.

The causes will vary.

  1. Intake Of Gas-Forming Foods
  2. Gas Trapped In Gastrointestinal Tract
  3. Distended Abdomen

The most common cause will come from a heavier intake of gas-forming foods and is the first one cited by patients.

However, there are many who deal with all causes.

This is a condition one starts to notice immediately if it has come about due to poor dietary choices. This is why the diagnosis includes a 24-hour recall of what one has consumed.


What is the treatment for this condition so that a person can get back to their daily routine without discomfort or a distended abdomen?

  • Prescribed Digestive Aid Medication
  • Modification Of Diet
  • General Antacids

Can Probiotics Help With This Condition

Well, to be entirely honest with you, there is no sufficient evidence to show that probiotics have any effect on anyone!

However…there is a small ray of light at the end of the tunnel.​

 You see, there have been studies that have shown that probiotics do have a small effect on alleviating IBS and ​Splenic Flexure Syndrome, but the exact mechanism is still not fully understood.

If the condition is minimal in its symptoms, a doctor will stick to the antacids and modification of diet.

However, for those who are noticing severe symptoms and are in tremendous discomfort, prescribed medication is the route to take. It is the one way to ensure the short-term pain goes away.

Splenic Flexure Syndrome Diet Ideas

Inevitably, there are going to be some things that you should seriously consider avoiding if you don’t want to make your issues worse.

That said, below are some suggestions about what foods you should avoid and seriously consider cutting out from your usual diet: 

  • Stay clear of onions and pulses because these an cause bloating which might exacerbate the syndrome. However you don’t need to cut them out completely, just be more conscious about eating.
  • Try to lower your intake of fruits that contain stones, (citrus is not a problem).
  • Milk…this is something that really pains some folks. However to maintain a healthy intestine, you should limit your intake to around half a pint / day, (lactose free is fine).
  • High fat dairy
  • Very fatty meats, e.g. heavily marbled beef etc.
  • Spicy chilli – it really affects the gut
  • Coffee.


However, the best long-term solution will always be a modification in one’s diet along with a higher amount of water intake.

This is a medical condition, which continues to impact more and more people due to the poor dietary choices made in one’s day-to-day routine.

It is recommended to remain on top of this as a person before it causes issues and to act quickly if the problem does creep up and create trouble.

Do not let it settle in as the problem will only worsen with time and get harder to manage.

Speak with a medical professional and have an immediate set of tests run to see what is going on and whether it is Splenic Flexure Syndrome or IBS.

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