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The body’s lymphatic system fights off infections and maintains the balance of fluids, and the spleen is its largest organ. About the size of an adult’s fist and purple, the spleen is located just under the rib cage, in the upper left part of the abdomen. The spleen controls both white and red blood cell levels. Not only does this organ help protect the body against germs and infections, but it also regulates red platelet counts that allow clotting. Spleen pain can be an indication of a variety of issues.

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1. The Helpful, But Not Essential Spleen

Around 740 pints of blood flow through the adult spleen every day. Because a human can live without a spleen, the medical community once believed that the spleen was an unnecessary organ. That opinion has changed, however. The spleen produces red blood cells in early life. Even though the bone marrow takes over that role as the body ages, the spleen continues to help fight off infection. Any pain in the left rib area or upper abdominal area could be a sign of infection or another condition affecting the spleen.

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