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The Spleen Options
Daemon
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 12:00:00 AM
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The Spleen

Located under the diaphragm on the left side of the abdominal cavity, the spleen is the organ that filters out old red blood cells and foreign organisms infecting the bloodstream. Ordinarily, the spleen's manufacture of red blood cells is taken over by bone marrow after birth, but if bone marrow breaks down, the spleen reverts to its fetal function. When additional blood is needed, the spleen contracts, forcing stored blood into circulation. Why does the spleen sometimes need to be removed? More...
KSPavan
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 1:09:05 AM

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Article of the Day
The Spleen
Located under the diaphragm on the left side of the abdominal cavity, the spleen is the organ that filters out old red blood cells and foreign organisms infecting the bloodstream. Ordinarily, the spleen's manufacture of red blood cells is taken over by bone marrow after birth, but if bone marrow breaks down, the spleen reverts to its fetal function. When additional blood is needed, the spleen contracts, forcing stored blood into circulation.
taurine
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 6:08:28 AM

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Because is not ideal?

le vert est un nouveau noir
thar
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:14:27 AM

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In the Greek theory of medicine, inherited by Galen and rediscovered by later western medicine, the spleen was one of the four humours, producing black bile: melan-choler.
Melancholia. But not just sadness - also the source of bad temper! Boo hoo!

That is why losing your temper is called venting your spleen.
And being splenetic is being incoherently angry.

(Similarly phlegmatic from phlegm, sanguine from blood, choleric from choler, bilious from bile.)
Marek Guman
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:35:45 AM

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thar wrote:
In the Greek theory of medicine, inherited by Galen and rediscovered by later western medicine, the spleen was one of the four humours, producing black bile: melan-choler.


When you come to Greece Greeks say to you (very modestly) they invented things you wouldn't know they did - pizza, democracy (ok, I suppose everybody knows about this one), you name it (or at least the words for important things have origin in their language).
Day after day I'm getting convinced more and more that it is really true.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 9:37:50 AM

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The spleen plays important roles in regard to red blood cells (also referred to as erythrocytes) and the immune system.[2] It removes old red blood cells and holds a reserve of blood, which can be valuable in case of hemorrhagic shock, and also recycles iron. As a part of the mononuclear phagocyte system, it metabolizes hemoglobin removed from senescent red blood cells (erythrocytes). The globin portion of hemoglobin is degraded to its constitutive amino acids, and the heme portion is metabolized to bilirubin, which is removed in the liver.
thar
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 9:59:17 AM

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This is a pet peeve of mine. My opinion -
It is not so much that the Greeks invented so much, but that the Romans were so insecure they felt the need to idolise Greek culture and learning. (I mean, they even tried to insert themselves into the Greek 'creation myth', historically - how insecure can you get!) Then the later Europeans had this thing about how glorious the Romans had been, and the classical world in general. Again, a lack of confidence in their own cultures led them to idolise long-dead ones, not look at them critically as inventive in some areas and lacking in others.
Galen had some useful things to say about medicine, and the Greeks could do abstract maths - but their viewpoint of discourse and argument being the only way to seek truth, and their denial of the value of any sort of investigation or experimentation, led to a stagnant approach to medicine. This being taken up so uncritically by later western Europeans held back the practice of medicine in western Europe even as
those cultures progressed in engineering and other sciences.
Marek Guman
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 11:55:50 AM

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Thanks thar, this is very interesting point of view. I don't know much about history of medicine, I thought the progress of medicine was held back by superstitious beliefs in the medieval ages, like prohibited autopsies and similar things. I don't know to what degree this can be ascribed to Greek heritage in European culture.
thar
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 1:45:53 PM

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Yes - things like bloodletting, which persisted right up until the late 1800s. That was based on the idea of releasing the ill humours from the body. But when you are seriously ill the last thing you need is to be bled!
Or if that didn't work, make the poor patient vomit or give them a diuretic. Anything to get rid of those bad humours.
It might be useful in very, very limited circumstances (which are now treated by extracting blood) - but it was a basic tenet of western medicine for centuries totally without any evidential foundation - based solely on the writings of Galen and Greeks like Hippocrates. And it undoubtedly caused the deaths of countless people.

On bloodletting
Quote:
William Harvey disproved the basis of the practice in 1628,[2] and the introduction of scientific medicine, la méthode numérique, allowed Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis to demonstrate that phlebotomy was entirely ineffective in the treatment of pneumonia and various fevers in the 1830s. Nevertheless, in 1838, a lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians would still state that "blood-letting is a remedy which, when judiciously employed, it is hardly possible to estimate too highly",[22] and Louis was dogged by the sanguinary Broussais, who could recommend leeches fifty at a time. Some physicians resisted Louis' work because they "were not prepared to discard therapies 'validated by both tradition and their own experience on account of somebody else's numbers'."[23]

Bloodletting was used to treat almost every disease. One British medical text recommended bloodletting for acne, asthma, cancer, cholera, coma, convulsions, diabetes, epilepsy, gangrene, gout, herpes, indigestion, insanity, jaundice, leprosy, ophthalmia, plague, pneumonia, scurvy, smallpox, stroke, tetanus, tuberculosis, and for some one hundred other diseases. Bloodletting was even used to treat most forms of hemorrhaging such as nosebleed, excessive menstruation, or hemorrhoidal bleeding. Before surgery or at the onset of childbirth, blood was removed to prevent inflammation. Before amputation, it was customary to remove a quantity of blood equal to the amount believed to circulate in the limb that was to be removed.[24]


I don't blame anybody in the past (or now, because of course we are still doing things wrong, thinking they are right) for doing the best they can with limited knowledge, and relying on knowledge and theories handed down to them. But there comes a point in medicine in the use of bloodletting when it goes so much against the common sense conclusions people would come to if they weren't burdened by this inherited knowledge, that I just think - what blind idiotic morons! Whistle
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