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(also visceroptosis), the abnormal downward displacement of one or more internal organs. Splanchnoptosis is usually a condition of the abdominal organs —the stomach, intestine, kidneys, liver, and spleen. More common in women, it occurs in persons with weakly developed abdominal and pelvic muscles or visceral ligaments. Splanchnoptosis develops as a result of constant physical overexertion, rapid loss of weight, and, with women, heavy physical work soon after childbirth. The symptoms include abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, and functional disturbances of the abdominal organs, including lack of appetite, nausea, eructation, heartburn, and constipation. The abdominal pain is caused by such anomalies as a stretched ligament of a prolapsed organ or a kink in the intestine; it usually intensifies after eating, long walks, and physical exertion, but passes when the patient is horizontal or presses the lower part of the abdomen upward.
Splanchnoptosis is prevented and treated by observing a healthy daily routine, slowly eating regular and wholesome meals, and avoiding retention of waste materials; special exercises and hydrotherapeutic procedures are also recommended, and wearing a supportive bandage is sometimes necessary. When complications arise, surgery is indicated.
V. S. IAKOVLEVA