Lower Left Abdominal Pain
Also known as left lower abdominal pain, this pain in lower left abdomen is a cause of discomfiture for quite a significant number of people irrespective of their gender all around the world. Abdominal pain being quite a common problem, lower left side abdominal pain is actually experienced just under the waistline, below the umbilicus. Pain in lower left abdominal area is common among men and women especially the aged. It is sometimes noticeable in children as well. It is basically caused by an injury or problems related to the internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, sigmoid colon, intestines, spleen, pancreas, aorta and other abdominal blood vessels, uterus and ovaries in females and the genitourinary organs of men which actually stay protected within the walls of the abdominal muscles. Left sided lower abdominal pain or lower left quadrant abdominal pain is also accompanied by nausea and back pain.
Symptoms of Lower Left Abdominal Pain – In Men, Women & Children
In this case pain on the left side of the abdomen being the most common symptom may be classified on the baisis of the nature of the pain as severe or very sharp lower left abdominal pain. Other signs of pain in the lower left abdomen may be swelling of the abdomen, acidity and formation of gas, loss of appetite, loss of weight, high fever, nausea and vomiting, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, bloody stool, and rectal bleeding. Such symptoms are usually triggered by latent causes which may be associated with problems related to internal organs.
Causes of Lower Left Abdominal Pain – In Men, Women & Children
For those enquiring as to what causes lower left abdominal pain, must be acquainted with the fact that the causes depends on the age, gender and the site of pain.
- Food Poisoning – Intake of junk food or unhealthy food items may result in food poisoning which may not only cause vomiting and stomach upset but pain on the lower left side of the abdomen as well. Lower left abdominal pain after eating rich and spicy food stuffs is quite common.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – The leakage or rupture of the abdominal aorta that is responsible for carrying blood from the heart to the abdomen may cause severe central and lower left abdominal pain and lower back pain. It is specific to women and may be accompanied with low blood pressure, paling of the skin, and a chill feeling.
- Crohn’s Disease – It is a chronic digestive and inflammatory bowel disease. The exact cause of this disease is still unknown. It is known to affect our sigmoid or descending colon and may also cause ulcers due to the attack on the healthy tissues by a faulty immune system, thereby causing chronic lower left abdominal pain.
- Constipation – Chronic constipation especially affecting the left side of the bowel may be responsible for lower left abdominal pain. In such cases, it becomes extremely difficult and agonizing for the patient to pass faces. Lower left abdominal pain and constipation is common for all people of all age groups including children.
- Bowel Obstruction or Trapped Wind – If the bowel is obstructed on the left side due to excess wind being trapped in the bowel or the stomach, pain in the lower left abdomen is bound to occur. It may also be the reason for intermittent lower left abdominal pain. Intermittent noises may be made by the bowel in order to relieve the pain which is commonly known as farting or borborygmy in medical terminology.
- Sigmoid Volvulus – It is a condition of large bowel obstruction caused due to the torsion or the twisting of the sigmoid. It is mostly experienced by women, especially the aged. The disease is characterized by obstruction of the bowel, distended tummy, and sudden and sharp lower left abdominal pain in women.
- Transverse Colon Volvulus – The twisting of the sigmoid involving the transverse colon may lead to cases of intestinal obstruction which may be another cause behind lower left abdominal pain.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – It can be defined as an on-going disorder of the gut’s function which is characterized by intermittent cramping of the stomach and the abdomen, gas formation, bloating, hardening of the stool, or diarrhea. It is one of the most common reasons causing IBS lower left abdominal pain in women.
- Henoch-Schönlein-purpura – This disease which is characterized by the occurrence of cold and fever, emergence of skin spots and rashes, joint and kidney problems may lead to lower left abdominal pain, especially in children and men.
- Kidney Stone – The formation of stones in the kidney and its accumulation in the ureter may be cited as a cause for lower left sided abdominal pain. The nature of such a pain is usually severe and its extent can be gauged from the fact that it forces the patient to roll and pace around so as to get relief from the unbearable pain. It also causes excessive vomiting, and frequent urination. It is also responsible for causing thigh lower abdominal pain and pain on the tip of the penis thereby, precipitating lower left abdominal pain in men.
- Hernia – Lower left abdominal pain and hernia can be associated together when the linings of the intestines becomes weak. It is not only seen in men and women but also is also one of the primary reasons causing lower left abdominal pain in children. It may also obstruct the easy passage of stool from the bowels.
- Urinary Tract Infection – Bacterial penetration into the kidneys and the bladder may lead to the infection of the urinary tract. The signs of such an infection include frequent urination which may be painful; the urine may also be associated with a burning sensation and may be cloudy in nature, a chilly feeling accompanied with high fever, and lower left abdominal pain.
- Kidney Infections – Also known as pyelonephritis, the infection of the kidneys may be responsible for causing lower left abdominal pain. In this case the symptoms are fever and vomiting, a burning sensation while urinating, back pain, and hematuria.
- Psoas Abscess – The infection of the kidneys or the urinary tract can affect the muscle floor of the lower left abdomen, thereby leading to the formation of pus in the affected area causing lower left abdominal pain and swelling. Along with pus formation, some other symptoms such as loss of weight and appetite, over sweating and back pain.
- Heartburn – Heartburn and the formation of gas in the stomach due to indigestion may contribute to stomach upset which may cause a churning pain on the lower left side of the abdomen. It is usually a cause for constant lower left abdominal pain in children.
- Diverticulitis – One experiences fever, digestive disorders, lower left abdominal pain and nausea and bloating in case of the inflammation and infection of the small pockets belonging to the sigmoid colon, called the diverticula. It may be caused by the intake of low fiber diet and bacterial infection of the colon. Diverticulitis is mostly observed in senior citizens.
- Cancer – The probability of sharp and intermittent or constant lower left abdominal pain is significantly high in case of bowel, bladder, colon, uterine, ovarian or kidney cancer. The cancerous growth of tissues may be indicated by the loss of appetite and weight, change in the habit of emptying the bowels, constipation, sickness accompanied with weakness. It may also trigger rectal bleeding.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – Uterine, ovarian and fallopian infection caused by harmful bacteria are together known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which may be a contributing reason for lower left abdominal pain in women. It is basically caused by the spread of STD from the cervical and the vaginal region to the lower abdominal region. It also leads to increased vaginal discharge along with severe abdominal pain.
- Ectopic Pregnancy – Dull lower left abdominal pain along with vaginal bleeding may be caused in case of ectopic pregnancy. It is basically due to the implantation of the fertilized egg in a place other than the womb or the uterus. Such abnormal pregnancy usually takes place in the fallopian tubes. Lower left abdominal pain during pregnancy may also be associated with symptoms such as feelings of weakness and tenderness, dizziness, spotting, and pain. Growth of the fetus in the tube causes it to rupture, thereby leading to profuse loss of blood manifested by severe vaginal bleeding which may be life threatening.
- Endometriosis – The abnormal growth of womb cells and tissues outside the uterus in the fallopian tubes and or other abdominal organs leads to endometriosis. If the pregnancy happens to develop in the left tube or ovary, or the left portion of the large bowel, it may lead to lower left abdominal pain and complications involving the inflammation and the irritation of the implants. It may also lead to abnormal and heavy bleeding from the vagina, and other problems related to fertility.
- Ovarian Cyst – Lower left abdominal pain in early pregnancy may be caused by the rupture or torsion of an ovarian cyst. The nature of the pain caused by the same may extend from a mild to a severe one. Nausea and vomiting, and excessive sweating occur hand in hand with severe lower left abdominal pain in early pregnancy.
- Uterine Fibroids – The abnormal growth of uterine muscles leading to the formation of hard muscular balls or womb stones may be the cause for lower left abdominal pain in women. Such a condition is known Fibroid and women who undergo menstruation or irregular bleeding are the greatest sufferers of this disease.
Picture 2 – Uterine-Fibroids
Source – primehealthchannel
- Peritonitis – The inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity may be the reason behind lower left abdominal pain in men.
- Testicular Torsion – the twisting of the testicles may cause lower left sided abdominal pain in men which is usually painful in nature. The inflammation of the testicular tubes, known as epididymitis may also cause lower left abdominal pelvic pain in men.
Besides these, gastroenteritis and appendicitis may result in lower left sided abdominal pain in men, women and children.
Diagnosis of Lower Left Abdominal Pain
Lower left abdominal pain can be diagnosed with the help of blood tests such as CBC to find prove the occurrence of an infection, a urine test to ascertain the effect on the kidney, and other imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan and an MRI scan.
Treatment for Lower Left Abdominal Pain
The treatment for abdominal pain of any kind depends on the underlying cause, age, gender and site of pain. Mild cases of lower left abdominal pain in children and women are dealt with antibiotics, pain medications, relaxation and physical therapies. Severe lower left abdominal pain associated with other kinds of problems such as kidney stones can be treated with surgical operations. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), namely Ibuprofen and Naproxen are also prescribed in severe cases but with certain important preventions and warnings.
The success of the treatment depends on the kind of treatment that one undergoes, the regularity followed in case of the prescribed medications, as well as the association of the disease with other chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer. It is important to undergo the treatment for lower left abdominal pain under the aegis of authorized health care professionals.