The abdomen is the area between the pelvic bone and the breastbone. The area below the navel is known as the lower abdomen while the area above it is referred to as the lower abdomen. The abdomen is the largest body cavity and consists of many vital organs such as kidneys, pancreas, and liver and so on.
Any problem in these organs can cause abdominal pain. Abdominal pain can either be a transient condition or a symptom of a given disorder. The pain can be chronic or acute based on the cause. Lower left abdominal pain can be caused by a number of factors. This article highlights the common causes of this condition and the treatment options available.
Causes and symptoms of lower left abdominal pain
Constipation: Constipation refers to the condition in which one passes hard stool or is unable to pass stool regularly. The most common causes of this condition include stress, dehydration and intake of a diet without fiber. The symptoms include abdominal pain, cramps and discomfort among others.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, may also cause left abdominal pain. In fact, abdominal pain is an initial symptom of the Crohn’s disease; hence helps to diagnose this condition. Inflammatory bowel disorders cause severe abdominal pain accompanied by chronic vomiting, diarrhea, rectal bleeding and so on.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: This is a gastrointestinal tract problem characterized with abnormal gut contraction. Its common symptoms include lower abdominal pain, flatulence, abdominal cramping, irregular bowel movements and passing mucus coated stools.
Urinary Tract Infection: If abdominal pain on the left side is accompanied with painful urination or repeated urge to urinate, then infection of the urinary tract is certainly the cause of the pain. These infections include microbial infections on the excretory system, which includes bladder, kidneys and urethra or ureter.
Diverticulitis: The colon walls of older people usually get weakened thereby leading to the formation of pouches that bulge out from the colon lining, called diverticula. This inflammation of the diverticula is referred to as diverticulitis. The common diverticulitis symptoms include tenderness and lower abdominal pain. This condition often affects older people; above 60 years of age.
Ectopic Pregnancy: Lower abdominal pain on the left side during pregnancy can be caused by an ectopic pregnancy. Besides ectopic pregnancy, the condition may also be triggered by other factors such as ligament pain due to luteal cysts, enlarging uterus and so on.
Endometriosis: This condition affects only women. It involves the growth of endometrium (the tissue lining the uterus) outside one’s uterine cavity, thereby leading to irritation, pain, development of adhesions and so on. Other symptoms include pain during urination and menstruation, diarrhea, constipation and so on.
Kidney Stones: A high level of uric acid or calcium in the body can lead to the formation kidney stones. This condition can also be caused by dehydration. One can experience pain on the lower right or lower left side of the abdomen. Besides abdominal pain, you can also experience other symptoms such as fever, groin pain, vomiting and nausea among others.
Kidney Infections: Apart from kidney stones, abdominal pain may also be caused by a kidney infection. Such infection may start with the bladder and then spread to the kidneys. The severe abdominal pain can be accompanied with frequent urination, hematuria, burning sensation when urinating and so on.
Colon Cancer: Though rare, colon cancer can also cause lower abdominal pain. Other colon cancer symptoms include abdominal discomfort, fatigue rectal bleeding and so on.
Cystitis: This is a urinary tract disease characterized by bladder inflammation due to bacterial infections. Apart from causing severe lower abdominal pain, other symptoms of this disorder include burning sensation when urinating, discomfort in the pelvis and frequent urge to urinate.
Ulcer: The major causes of ulcers are bacterial infection, stress and smoking. If ulcers affect the left side of the gastrointestinal tract lining, it may cause mild to severe lower abdominal pain in left.
Gastritis: Gastritis refers to the inflammation of the stomach lining, thereby causing many symptoms which include lower abdominal pain in either the right or left side, depending on the affected side.
Ovarian Cysts: In some cases, cysts can be formed in the female ovaries. The presence of ovarian cysts in a woman’s left ovary can cause mild to severe abdominal pain on the left side. An ovarian cyst is a common cause of abdominal pain in women.
Pancreatitis: Pancreas is a body organ with a tube-like shape, positioned behind the stomach with the head lying on the right side of the body and the tail extending towards the left side. Therefore, pancreas inflammation can lead to pain on the left abdomen.
Here is the Gastroenterologist Dr. John Haydek explains how to recognize the issues related to the stomach, colon and muscles can all affect the left side of your torso.
Things to Remember
- Since many abdominal pain causes are associated with food, following a healthy, balanced diet daily will help to keep this disease at bay.
- Maintaining a regular exercise regimen will also play a great role in helping to prevent many abdominal-related diseases.
- Intake of a fiber diet and drinking plenty of water is essential if you want to avoid stomach-related problems.
- It is advisable to consult your doctor if the abdominal pain lasts for several hours or exhibits other symptoms.
- If you experience frequent constipation or diarrhea, you can make a food diary and avoid foods that cause such conditions.
Treatment of lower abdominal pain in left
Never ignore any kind of abdominal pain as it can indicate the existence of a serious disorder or disease. The doctor would advise you to go for MRI and X-ray tests in order to diagnose the condition. With prompt treatment, all the aforementioned causes can be cured. In most cases, lower abdominal pain in left can be cured through medications.
Surgery is another treatment option but it’s rarely needed. The treatment of kidney stone and ectopic pregnancy should be considered as an emergency to help reduce pain. But urinary tract infection, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation may be treated through medications and drugs.