The lower left abdominal region is a complex structure that contains several organs connected elaborately. The abdominal cavity contains the body’s vital organs. Any damage, infection or injury to these versatile organs in the abdomen can lead to abdominal pain.
Organs in Abdomen
The abdomen is the section between the chest and pelvis. Organs in the abdomen are tightly arranged. It consists of the liver, pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract.
Organs in Left Abdomen
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.
Lower left abdominal pain
Pain in the lower left abdomen is commonly no cause for concern, but one shouldn’t ignore it. Some signs of pain in the lower left abdomen maybe not be very strong and gentle, such as gas pain or constipation. It can also be more serious, as in the case of an infection, diverticulitis, endometriosis etc. To understand the cause of abdominal pain for better treatment, it is necessary to determine what kind of pain you’re suffering.
Type of pains can help in determining the possible cause. Moderate pain can be from common causes like gas, constipation, menstruation pains etc. Similarly, severe pain can be from infections, kidney stones or any underlying diseases which needs urgent medical care.
In rare events, pain on the left side of the abdomen can also be a sign of a heart attack. Although, there are accompanied by other symptoms like chest pain that spreads to the stomach, nausea, tingling in the arms etc.
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. Left lower quadrant (LLQ) pain is abdominal pain that is principally in the lower half on the left-hand side. It is also known as left iliac fossa (LIF) pain, although this means pain in a smaller space in the lower-left edge of your stomach.
Rush to urgent care or an emergency room if you have:
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.
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. Intestinal 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.
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.
Gas can be caused by:
- swallowing more air than usual
- 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:
- weight loss
- blood in the stool
What you can do to relieve gas
- Have a nice work
- Cardio exercise
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid carbonated beverages.
- Drink liquids at room temperature, not too hot or too cold.
- Avoid foods known to cause excess gas.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners.
- Eat slowly and chew your food well.
Natural remedies to relive gas
- Peppermint tea.
- Chamomile tea.
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.
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.
Indigestion Symptoms include:
- feeling bloated
- passing gas
- nausea or vomiting
Consult with the doctor if signs of indigestion worsen.
What to do to relieve indigestion
- Avoid late-night eating.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- Chew or eat food with month close.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to 4 ounces of warm water and drink to q.uickly relieve indisgestion problem.
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.
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.
The symptoms of diverticulitis are:
- Severe abdominal pain and cramping on the left side.
- Chills or fever
- Constipation, thin stools, or diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding (rare)
What you can do?
If you feel that you have diverticulitis consult the doctor immediately. The doctor will suggest antibiotics to treat and keep you on a liquid diet.
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
People who have chickenpox can suffer from shingles later in their lifetime. This is caused because of the varicella-zoster virus which remains in your body.
The shingles infection can produce a painful rash that looks like a line of blisters wrapping around one side of your body. Whereas few people are affected with pain but no rash.
Shingles symptoms include:
- Burning, numbness, or tingling
- Touch sensitivity
11. Celiac disease
Celiac disease is a chronic condition that happens in the digestive tract when a person cannot digest gluten. Gluten is a protein that exists in wheat and is available in several foods and healthcare products.
When a person has celiac disease, their immune system affects the intestine, creating a variety of digestive problems and vitamin insufficiencies.
Symptoms of celiac disease may include:
Children with undiagnosed celiac disease may also suffer from malnourishment and growth impediments as a result of the condition.
Pain in lower left abdomen Female
Some conditions of lower left abdominal pain only concern women. Some conditions can be serious or need medical attention. While some conditions are common.
12. Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
Cramps normally occur before and during your menstrual period. Although the pain can vary from moderate to serious. But it will fade away with time. Menstrual cramps aren’t usually dangerous.
Speak with your doctor if:
- Severe cramps stop your daily activities
- Symptoms get worse over time
- If you are 25+ and your cramps are severe
Similar tissue which typically stuffs in the lining of your uterus also develops outside the uterus causing abdominal pain.
Some other symptoms are:
- severe menstrual cramps
- discomfort with sex
- painful bowel movements or urination
- difficult menstrual periods
- spotting between periods
14. Ovarian cyst
An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with fluid inside or on the outside of an ovary.
Most cysts don’t exhibit symptoms and go away without treatment in a few months. A massive cyst can create discomfort. It may also touch on your bladder and make you urinate frequently.
A cyst that breaks can cause serious problems, such as severe pain or internal bleeding.
Seek medical help if you’re feeling:
- immediate severe abdominal pain
- pain with fever or vomiting
- signs of shock
- fast breathing,
- lightheadedness, or weakness
15. Ovarian torsion
Massive ovarian cysts make the ovary shift position in the body. This increases the danger of ovarian torsion, severe twisting of the ovary that can rip off the blood supply.
Ovarian torsion happens with pregnancy or the treatment of hormones to improve ovulation.
Seek a medical emergency if you feel an abrupt, severe pain in your abdomen with vomiting.
16. Ectopic pregnancy
In an ectopic pregnancy, a fertilized egg embeds itself before it enters the uterus. This normally occurs inside the fallopian tubes attaching the ovary to the uterus.
Symptoms can include:
- a missed period and other pregnancy signs
- abdominal pain
- vaginal bleeding
- watery discharge
- pain with urination or bowel movements
17. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is a disease of the female reproductive system. It’s usually caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like chlamydia and gonorrhoea, but other kinds of infections can also lead to PID.
Some of the symptoms include:
- abdominal pain
- vaginal discharge
- pain or bleeding with sex
- a burning sensation with urination
Causes of pain in left abdominal pain in men
18. Inguinal hernia
An inguinal hernia is the result of fat or a part of the small intestine forcing through a vulnerable area in the lower abdomen. This can occur in women but are more common in men.
Some signs are:
- a small bump on the side of the groin.
- Pain in the groin during physical activity.
- Swollen or enlarged scrotum
19. Testicular torsion
Testicular torsion happens when a testicle rotates, twisting the spermatic cord that carries blood to the scrotum. The decreased blood flow prompts sudden and usually hard discomfort and swelling. Testicular torsion can occur at any age. Testicular torsion needs emergency surgery.
Some symptoms include:
- Severe scrotum discomfort and swelling
- abdominal pain
Should I go to the ER for lower left abdominal pain?
Seek immediate medical care and visit urgent care or an emergency room if you feel pressure or pain in your chest. Also if have the following symptoms:
- abdomen swelling
- bloody stools
- nausea and vomiting
- unexplained weight loss
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.