Abdominal pain, in a broad sense, refers to pain originating from any of the various organs within the abdominal cavity. While generalized pain in the abdomen is usually a symptom of minor problem, like indigestion, localized pain can hint at some serious health issue, and therefore should not be ignored.
In men, the causes of lower left abdominal pain range from relatively harmless conditions, like constipation and gas, to fatal complications, such as kidney infection and colon cancer. While the pain is acute in most of the cases, it may persist for a longer period at times. In such circumstances, it is wise to consult a doctor as the chances of this pain being a sign of some underlying health problem cannot be ruled out.
Pain in Lower Left Abdomen
In most of the cases, the person suffering from abdominal pain is not able to detect where exactly the pain is originating from. It may so happen that the pain is caused as a result of some damage caused to a particular organ located in the abdominal cavity, while the person may conclude that the pain is originating from some other organ. In the field of medicine, this is known as 'referred pain'. It is very difficult to diagnose the exact causes of pain in lower left region of the abdomen, unless it is accompanied by other symptoms.
Kidney StonesOne of the most prominent causes of chronic pain in lower left abdomen is the presence of kidney stones. These are basically small, hard mineral and acid salt deposits on the inner surfaces of the kidneys. The waves of pain radiating towards the sides and lower abdomen can be very severe. In this case, the pain is at its peak when these stones are actually passed out of the body through the urinary system.
Kidney InfectionsOther than kidney stones, pain in this region can also be attributed to kidney infection at times. Such infection usually starts with bladder and goes all the way to the kidneys. Other than severe pain in the abdomen, kidney infection is also characterized by frequent urination, burning sensation while urinating, hematuria, etc.
DiverticulitisDiverticulitis is an infection caused due to the formation of one or more diverticula in the digestive tract. Diverticula are basically small pouches, which form in various parts of the digestive system; most often in the large intestine. The person suffering from this condition is also likely to experience tenderness in the abdomen and bloating alongside abdominal pain.
Colon CancerThough the chances are relatively less, pain in lower left abdomen can also be a symptom of colon cancer. Colon, a part of the large intestine, is located in the lower part of the digestive system. In this case, the pain will be accompanied by symptoms of colon cancer, like rectal bleeding, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, etc.
CystitisCystitis is basically a urinary tract disorder, typically characterized by inflammation of the bladder due to bacterial infection. Other than the severe pain in lower abdomen, the symptoms of this condition include frequent urge to urinate, burning sensation in urinary tract, and discomfort in the pelvic region.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)Inflammatory bowel diseases, like the Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can also trigger pain in the lower left region of the abdomen. Abdominal pain is, in fact, one of the initial symptoms of the Crohn's disease, and hence plays an important role in the diagnosis of this condition. In case of inflammatory bowel disorders, severe pain is often accompanied by chronic diarrhea, vomiting, rectal bleeding, etc.
Other ConditionsOther than all these conditions, those who suffer from kidney stones or enlarged prostate are also vulnerable to bacterial infection of the urinary tract, which can trigger pain in lower left abdomen. Though bladder infections are more common in women, such infections in men cannot be ruled out. Relatively less harmful conditions, like food poisoning, gas, or constipation can also trigger sudden bouts of pain in this region.
In course of diagnosis, the pattern of pain, patient's medical history, and lifestyle are taken into consideration. The doctor may also recommend a few other tests, like an x-ray of the stomach cavity, to rule out certain disorders. While some of these causes of abdominal pain can be treated with antibiotics, others are relatively serious and require surgical intervention. If the discomfort caused persists for a long time, one should immediately seek medical help, lest the condition can transgress into chronic condition, which can be even more difficult to treat.
Disclaimer: The HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.