Pain in the lower left abdomen often demands less concern but this is something which shouldn’t be ignored if the pain is persistent for more than a day or two. The abdominal or stomach pain in the lower left part of the abdomen is generally associated with digestive tract problems. It might also be due to problems with the reproductive system, urinary tract, blood vessels or body wall. The sudden pain cause discomfort, sensitivity & stiffness in the lower left abdomen.
Causes of Lower Left Abdominal Pain
Organs like the bottom edge of kidney left ureter, part of the colon, part of the bladder in the lower left abdomen are the continuation of the upper abdomen. In women, this might be the ovary and fallopian tube. There are many causes of lower left abdominal pain. Some causes aren’t harmful but others may demand immediate medical attention.
One of the most common causes of lower left abdominal pain is Diverticulitis. Diverticula or small pouches form in the weak areas of the large intestine, often referred to as the colon. Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula in the intestinal wall become infected and inflamed.
The risk of Diverticulitis is higher in adults. However young people can also develop this condition. People with Diverticulitis may feel sudden pain while having a meal or shortly after the meal.
Some of the symptoms of Diverticulitis are:
- Tenderness in the abdomen
The less common symptoms are diarrhea or constipation. Mild Diverticulitis can be treated by antibiotics and change in diet, but severe pain demands immediate medical attention.
When a person swallows air while eating, gas is often trapped in the digestive tract in the natural digestion process. The temporarily trapped gas then passes through the rectum or esophagus. It causes discomfort until it moves out of the digestive tract.
The causes of gas can be:
- Swallowing air
- Some foods taking longer to digest
- Eating foods that produce gas
If the gas pain is chronic along with other symptoms it is advised to see a doctor. Other symptoms may include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Blood in the stool
The build-up of acid after eating causes indigestion. This acid can irritate your stomach, bowel or esophagus. Mostly, indigestion pain occurs in the upper abdomen. In rare cases, indigestion can occur in the lower part of the abdomen. Most of the cases of indigestion are mild. The symptoms of indigestion include a burning sensation, discomfort, feeling bloated or gas.
When an organ pushes through the body wall, it causes hernia. Sometimes lump or bulge may appear near the groin. According to the underlying cause, different types of hernia may occur. Some additional symptoms of a hernia include:
- Increasing pain
- Pain while lifting an object
- Feeling of fullness
- The increasing size of the lump
- A dull aching
Most kidney stones occur due to the formation of calcium build-up in the right or left kidney. A person may not realize having developed a kidney stone until it starts causing pain.
Symptoms of a Kidney stone include:
- Frequent & painful urination
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) which causes chickenpox also causes Shingles. If a person had chickenpox previously, the virus stays dormant in their body for entire life. The virus reappears sometimes causing pain and rash around the abdomen. Vaccines will help reduce the risk of catching the disease later in life.
Symptoms of Shingles include:
- Pain if touched
- Tender skin
- Blisters and rashes
The sluggish bowel movement causes constipation. Many people face this problem these days. It causes annoying pain in the lower left abdomen as the waste products in the body are retained for longer. Lack of exercise & proper diet is the causes of constipation.
Symptoms of constipation include:
- Strain while passing stool
- Hard stool
- Feeling like the stool is not passing
- Fewer bowel movements
If the pain in the lower left abdomen persists, it is highly recommended to see a doctor. A variety of techniques like endoscopy, MRI scan, ultrasound can help explore and treat the underlying cause.
A proper diagnosis under a physician will help provide more focussed care.