What does Pain in the Left Abdomen Mean?

What does Pain in the Left Abdomen Mean?

The lower left abdominal region is a complex structure that contains several organs connected elaborately.

In the lower-left part of the abdomen, you can find the left kidney, left ureter, colon, bladder, blood vessels, and nerves. In women, you’ll find the left fallopian tube and ovary. The complex arrangement makes it prone to inflammation, obstruction, or injury.

Left Lower Quadrant Pain

The lower left side of the abdomen is the last part of your colon, and for women, the left ovaries. Minor discomfort in this region is usually nothing to worry about. It will heal and make you feel comfortable on its own.

If you have anxiety associated with an accident or injury, go to local emergency services right away. Likewise, attempt urgent medical attention if you feel pressure or pain in your chest.

Rush to urgent care or an emergency room if you have:

  • Fever
  • Abdomen Swelling
  • Bloody Stools
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice

Pain in Lower Left Abdomen Causes

Causes of pain in the lower left part of the abdomen may vary, as some might be a simple pain, while others can be serious, as in the case of an infection.

Without further ado, here are the eight most common causes of pain in the lower left abdomen. 

1. Constipation

The first and most common cause of left abdominal pain is constipation. Constipation occurs when a person finds it hard to pass a stool or have less than regular bowel movements. When stool moves slowly through the GIT or cannot be eliminated from the rectum, it causes pain in the colon located in the lower-left abdomen. The common causes of constipation are dehydration, poor diet, and lack of exercise.

2. Kidney Stones

The presence of calcium buildup in the kidney causes kidney stones. We all have two kidneys located at the left and right sides of the abdomen. But when there is a calcium buildup in the left kidney (kidney stones), it can cause pain in the lower left part of the abdomen. A person may not realize they have a kidney stone until it causes serious issues, such as seeing blood in the urine or having pains while urinating.

3. Internal Obstruction

Intestinal obstruction is a condition whereby food substances cannot travel through the digestive tract when taken into the body. This blockage can pose a severe threat as it might result in frequent pains while urinating, defecating in the lower-left part of the abdomen; Nausea and Vomiting are other effects. Intestinal blockages are more common in older people and are usually caused by other illnesses like diverticulitis or colon cancer.

4. Gas

Is it possible to swallow air? Yes. When a person swallows air while eating or during natural digestion processes, gas is frequently caught in the digestive tract. This is possible if you overeat, chew gum, and also smoke often. Gas in the abdomen is usually not a problem and will pass through either the rectum or the esophagus, but it can cause discomfort when it becomes stuck in the digestive tract.

It can be caused by:

  • swallowing more air than usual
  • overeating
  • smoking
  • chewing gum
  • not able to fully digest some foods
  • consuming gas-producing foods

Gas regularly isn’t dangerous. But consult a doctor if you have the following symptoms:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • weight loss
  • heartburn
  • blood in the stool

5. Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is simply the condition whereby people have problems digesting milk and dairy-based products like cheese and yoghurt. This is caused by the deficiency of a digestive enzyme – lactase. Lactase is a digestive enzyme that helps in the coagulation and breakdown of lactose milk. When this occurs, it results in abdominal pain accompanied by belching, bloating, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

6. Indigestion

Indigestion occurs when acid accumulates after eating. The acid can be accumulated by overeating, eating too quickly, excessive consumption of spicy and fatty foods, and in other cases, can be caused by medications. Abdominal pain, burning sensation, discomfort, heartburn, bloating, or gas are signs of indigestion.

Symptoms include:

  • heartburn
  • feeling bloated
  • passing gas
  • nausea or vomiting

Consult with the doctor if signs of indigestion worsen.

7. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a persistent gastrointestinal disease that can only be diagnosed when other possible reasons for a person’s symptoms have been ruled out. The cause of irritable bowel syndrome hasn’t been understood completely, but a diagnosis is often made by ruling out the possible signs of bowel syndrome. Symptoms of IBS included intestinal disorder causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

8. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis develops when the intestinal wall’s diverticula become infected and inflamed. It develops in vulnerable sections of the large intestine, known as the colon, and is mainly found in adults. The number of diverticula grows as a person gets older. Due to this, older people are more likely to suffer from diverticulitis, while younger people can also get it.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal tenderness

9. Hernia

A hernia is the outcome of an internal organ or extra body part pushing through the flesh or tissue surrounding it. A lump or bulge may grow with some hernias.

Other symptoms may include:

  • The growing size of the bulge
  • developing pain at the site
  • pain when lifting
  • a dull ache
  • a feeling of fullness

Final Thoughts

Abdominal pain might be due to several reasons, but the most common reasons are the causes mentioned above. If you notice persistent pains, you should visit a doctor or physician to get a better diagnosis and treatment.