What is the cause of pain in the lower left abdomen What is the cause of pain in the lower left abdomen

What is the cause of pain in the lower left abdomen?

 

Gas may cause lower left abdominal pain but could also indicate a more severe condition like IBD or a hernia. The appropriate treatment plan varies depending on the source of the discomfort.

You should visit your doctor if you have persistent or chronic pain in your lower abdomen. If the pain is sudden and severe, especially in your lower left abdomen, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

People who experience discomfort in their lower left abdomen may struggle with a medical issue. It will cover the potential causes of this pain, available treatments, and when to seek medical attention.

Causes of lower left abdomen pain

Abdominal pain in the lower left region can have a variety of causes, some of which are more common than others. While most cases are benign and not severe, some may require medical attention. While 'stomach pain' is often referred to as abdominal pain, this type of pain can come from organs other than the stomach.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is when the diverticula, or small pouches, in the intestinal wall become inflamed and infected, causing pain in the lower left abdomen.

Diverticulitis is a condition that causes sudden and severe pain in the lower left abdomen, which may start mild and worsen over several days. Other symptoms may include

  • Constipation or diarrhoea,

  • Fever and shivering,

  • Nausea or throwing up,

  • Occasionally, the presence of blood in stool.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis may include difficulty with bowel movements, feeling hot or cold, feeling sick or vomiting, and sometimes finding blood in one's stool.

Celiac disease

People with celiac disease cannot process gluten, a protein in wheat that is also present in many other foods and healthcare products. This condition can cause inflammation in the digestive tract and have long-term health consequences.

Celiac illness occurs as a result of an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. People with celiac disease experience digestive issues when they consume gluten, as their immune system attacks the small intestine. Celiac disease can cause long-term gastrointestinal damage if left untreated.

Celiac disease may cause the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea

  • Fatigue

  • Pressure and gas

  • Weight loss

  • Pain in the abdomen

  • Bloating

If someone suspects they may have celiac disease, they should consult their doctor. If the diagnosis is confirmed, they must eliminate gluten from their diet to prevent symptoms from occurring.

Gas

It is expected to experience gas in the digestive tract, and common symptoms of this include:

  • Bloating or swelling in the abdomen

  • Passing gas

  • Burping or belching

Gas is usually not a significant problem and can be eliminated from the body either through belching or flatulence. Common causes of gas include:

  • Excessive eating

  • Chewing gum

  • Certain bacteria in the stomach

  • Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IB)

  • Undigested foods

  • Digesting foods that are prone to releasing gas

  • Swallowing air

  • Smoking

Those experiencing bothersome symptoms of gas, a sudden change in symptoms, or additional symptoms such as abdominal pain should speak with a doctor.

Indigestion

Symptoms of indigestion, which affects the gastrointestinal system, may include abdominal pain, typically in the upper part of the abdomen. Other common symptoms include a feeling of fullness, bloating, and nausea.

Generally, indigestion is a minor issue that does not lead to more severe problems.

  • Gas

  • Slight pain or discomfort in the abdomen

  • A burning sensation

  • Bloating

  • Uncomfortable fullness after eating a meal

  • Heartburn

Individuals may wish to attempt to alleviate their indigestion symptoms using over-the-counter medications.

If indigestion persists for more than two weeks or other symptoms present, it may indicate a more serious medical condition, and people should seek medical advice. These symptoms may include:

  • Black, tar-like stool,

  • Vomiting blood or enduring continuous vomiting,

  • Unexplained loss of weight,

  • Intense or persistent abdominal pain,

  • Challenges with swallowing,

  • Chest pain, jaw pain, neck pain, or arm,

  • Breathing difficulties,

  • Excessive sweating,

  • Jaundice

Shingles

Following a about of chickenpox, the virus causing the disease remains in the body for the remainder of the individual's life. The virus can sometimes reactivate, leading to a painful rash and discomfort around one side of the abdomen. This virus is the same one responsible for chickenpox.

Doctors typically recommend antiviral medications for shingles treatment, such as valacyclovir and acyclovir. Furthermore, oatmeal baths or cool cloths may relieve the pain and itching caused by the condition.

IBS

Individuals with IBS may experience chronic gastrointestinal distress, which may manifest in the form of:

  • Constipation or diarrhoea

  • Bloating

  • Abdominal pain

  • Gas

  • Changes in bowel movements

Changes in the nerves and muscles of the gut can trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Relaxation techniques and regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, causing symptoms to worsen. Additionally, dietary adjustments such as increasing soluble fibre and avoiding foods that trigger IBS can help treat IBS.

Hernia

A hernia occurs when a body part or organ protrudes through the abdominal wall. It is typically indicated by a bulge in the midsection or near the groin area.

If a person experiences any signs or symptoms of a hernia, they should consult a doctor. The doctor can identify the type of hernia and determine the appropriate treatment. The type of hernia will depend on the underlying cause.

A hernia can cause the following symptoms:

  • A noticeable protrusion in the abdominal or groin region,

  • Pain or persistent ache around the herniated area,

  • Pressure sensations at the hernia site,

  • Heightened discomfort during abdominal straining.

Inguinal hernia

An inguinal hernia occurs when the abdomen protrudes contents, such as intestine or fat, in the groin area. These hernias are more common in males but can also occur in females.

An inguinal hernia should not be left untreated, as it can lead to severe complications. Therefore, anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical advice from a doctor to ensure they receive a proper diagnosis. Surgery is usually required to repair an inguinal hernia.

Constipation

It is known as constipation when someone cannot pass a stool or pass hard stools infrequently (less than three times a week). This can be due to a lack of exercise, dietary fibre, fluids, certain medications, or irritable bowel syndrome. Constipation can be alleviated by making dietary changes, exercising regularly, and increasing fluid intake.

Constipated individuals typically have difficulty passing stools and may experience discomfort or pain in the abdomen.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones form due to the buildup of calcium in either the right or left kidney and often go unnoticed until they block part of the kidney or cause intense abdominal pain as they pass through.

Intestinal obstruction

An intestinal obstruction occurs when the passage of food is blocked in the intestine. This can be caused by hernias or other medical conditions affecting the intestines, requiring immediate medical attention.

Intestinal obstruction is a serious condition that can be a greater risk for those with IBD, colon cancer, or abdominal surgery. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact a doctor right away:

  • Inability to pass stool

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Swollen abdomen

  • Loud noises from the stomach

  • Vomiting

Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy refers to when the egg is implanted anywhere other than in the uterus. In most cases, the egg attaches to the fallopian tube, causing the tube to burst as the pregnancy develops. This can be a serious and life-threatening situation.

There are several symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, including:

  • Slight abdominal or pelvic discomfort or cramping,

  • Lower backache,

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding.

People with ectopic pregnancy may experience severe abdominal or pelvic pain, shoulder pain, and dizziness. These symptoms can become severe and require immediate medical attention if left untreated. Ectopic pregnancies are medical emergencies requiring prompt treatment.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is an often-encountered disorder that affects women. It occurs when endometrial tissue, similar to the uterus's lining, expands beyond this area. Irregular menstrual cycle irregularities, hereditary issues, or issues with the immune system may cause this condition. The primary sign of endometriosis is pain, which may include menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, and lower back and pelvis pain.

Diagnosis

To diagnose abdominal pain that is ongoing or severe, a physician can use a variety of methods to determine the potential cause and the best treatment plan. These methods include:

  • CT scans,

  • Ultrasound imaging,

  • MRI scans,

  • Physical assessment,

Endoscopy involves inserting a tube with a light and camera down the throat to capture images of the lower abdomen.

If abdominal problems are suspected, a primary care physician may need to be consulted multiple times and monitored closely. Upon diagnosis, they may refer the patient to a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist, who is better equipped to provide more specific treatment.

Treatment

Different treatments may be recommended depending on the underlying cause of the pain. Consulting with a doctor is the best way to determine the most appropriate course of action for relieving the pain.

An infection in the lower left abdomen, such as diverticulitis, may necessitate taking medications and a break from physical activity. Other structural problems, like a hernia or an intestinal obstruction, may require surgical intervention.

For constipation and gas, dietary modifications and laxatives may be necessary. For chronic lower abdominal pain, like that associated with IBS or IBD, dietary management is usually required to reduce symptoms over an extended period.

People with food intolerances, like lactose intolerance, must avoid consuming the offending food to manage their symptoms.

When to contact a doctor

If anyone is experiencing abdominal pain that is persistent or severe, it is crucial to speak with a doctor. Additionally, it is necessary to consult a doctor if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • Blood in faeces,

  • Persistent diarrhoea, constipation, or alterations in bowel habits,

  • Unexplained loss of weight.

If an individual suffers from chronic or persistent pain, a doctor should be consulted to identify the source and create a plan for managing the pain.

Summary

Individuals may suffer from lower left abdominal pain due to various causes. These can vary in severity, from being a temporary issue to indicative of a long-term medical condition. Speaking to a healthcare professional is important if the pain is persistent or intense.

Depending on the source of the problem, treatments may involve changing lifestyle, taking medications, or having surgery.

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