Abdominal pain can be considered as one of the most common physical discomforts. Almost everyone of you must have experienced it at some point of time during your life. From babies to older people, everyone goes through occasional bouts of stomach pain. There are several causes why abdominal pain originates in the first place. It is mostly aggravated after eating. However, lower left abdominal pain after eating is quite unusual.
Abdominal cavity consists of various organs such as spleen, liver, kidneys, aorta, intestines, appendix etc. Abdominal pain can originate as a result of abnormal functioning of any of these organs. However, there aren't many organs in the left lower quadrant of the abdominal cavity. Therefore, pain on lower left side of the abdomen is pretty rare after eating. There are some conditions that are known to induce this kind of pain after eating, which are as follows:
Lactose intolerance is a condition, in which, body is incapable of producing an enzyme called lactase, which is required for the breaking down of lactose. Lactose is a milk sugar, found in all dairy products. When you experience abdominal pain after eating dairy products, then most likely it is due to lactose intolerance.
Celiac disease is a condition, in which, the body is incapable of breaking down a type of protein called gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, and other such cereals. When these food items are consumed, it often results in severe abdominal pain in lower left quadrant.
Blocking or clogging of the intestines often results in abdominal pain. The reason is blocked intestines disrupt the flow of fluids, solids, and gases in the stomach. This causes pain in the intestinal region, which often aggravates after eating.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), wherein, food passes the digestive tract a bit too fast or too slow. As a result, the person often experiences alternate bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Thus, if you experience pain and feel the urge to empty yourself immediately after eating, you can attribute it to irritable bowel syndrome.
The wall of colon consists of small, out pouches. Obstruction or inflammation of these out pouches results in the condition known as diverticulitis. Mostly, older people are likely to suffer from this condition.
Abdominal pain after eating can be mild as well as severe. However, severity is not necessarily proportional to the gravity of the underlying condition. On the contrary, a severe cramp-like pain is often due to harmless condition like gases or bloating, while a life-threatening condition like cancer may induce mild or no abdominal pain. Severe pain that starts and stops suddenly is mainly due to kidney stones or gallstones. Also, the pain may be localized or generalized, meaning, it restricts itself to a single organ or spreads throughout the stomach. Gases, bloating etc., result in generalized pain, while abdominal pain after drinking alcohol is mostly due to liver dysfunction. In women, lower left abdominal pain and nausea are the major premenstrual symptoms.
Abdominal pain that erupts after eating, may subside quickly or remain for several hours, depending upon the underlying cause. However, if you frequently experience it or the pain is unbearable, it is wise to consult a doctor.