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Pain in Lower Left Abdomen

Pain in Lower Left Abdomen
Kidney stones, diverticulitis, constipation, etc., are the most common causes of pain in lower left side of the abdomen. Here is more information on the causes and treatment for the same.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2018
Abdominal pain can either be a symptom of some disorder or a transient condition in itself. There are some vital organs located near the abdomen. Therefore, a disorder that occurs in any of these organs can result in pain in the abdomen. The pain can be of varying types, chronic or acute, depending on the cause.

Lower stomach pain is commonly found in females, compared to men, because the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the womb are located in the lower abdominal area. Therefore, any disorder in these organs can also result in lower abdominal pain in women.

Causes and Treatment

Pain on lower left side of abdomen is prominently caused by indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Apart from these, there are several other conditions that can cause this symptom.

Constipation
Constipation is a term used to describe two conditions: passing very hard stool, or inability to pass stool on a regular basis. A diet that lacks fiber, stress, and dehydration, are the most common causes of this. Pain in the abdomen, cramps, discomfort, etc., are the symptoms of constipation.

Treatment: Making changes in your diet, drinking adequate amounts of water, using laxatives, etc., can help in treating constipation in minor cases. In severe cases, if bowel obstruction is diagnosed, surgery may be required.

Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease is characterized by inflammation of the intestines. Crohn's disease is chronic and is not easily diagnosed. You may experience a long-lasting pain on the left side of the abdomen, when suffering from this disease.

Treatment: There is no permanent cure for Crohn's disease. But, medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics; diet, lifestyle changes, surgery, etc., can help in providing relief from the symptoms of this disease.

Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis is a disease of the large intestine. Tenderness and pain in the lower abdomen are the most common symptoms of diverticulitis. This disease is usually observed in older people, above the age of 60.

Treatment: In minor cases (where pain is milder, and no complications are observed), medications, antibiotics, and following a proper diet can be helpful. In case any complications like bowel obstruction are observed, the doctor will advise hospitalization and surgery.

Ectopic Pregnancy
Pain in the lower left abdomen during pregnancy can be a prominent symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. Apart from ectopic pregnancy, it can also be caused due to other factors like ligament pain due to the enlarging uterus, luteal cysts, etc. Although abdominal pain is not always related to ectopic pregnancy, consult the doctor if this symptom is observed during pregnancy.

Treatment: Medicines like Methotrexate can help in treating early cases of ectopic pregnancy. Whereas, if identified in later stages, a surgery may be advised.

Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a disorder observed only in women. In this condition, the tissue (endometrium) that lines the uterus grows outside the uterine cavity. This leads to pain, irritation, development of adhesions, etc. Pain during menstruation and urination, including symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, etc., are observed.

Treatment: Endometriosis treatment methods include use of medication to ease pain and other symptoms, with the use of hormonal medication to reduce the growth of the endometrium. In severe cases, a surgery or even hysterectomy may be required.

Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are formed when there is a high level of calcium or uric acid in the body. Dehydration is also one of the major risk factors that cause this condition. Depending on the location of the stone, pain can be experienced in the lower left or lower right side of the abdomen. Apart from abdominal pain, other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, groin pain, fever, etc., are also experienced.

Treatment: Smaller stones pass on their own. The doctor will advise you to drink fluids, or prescribe medications. On the other hand, a surgery helps to get rid of larger kidney stones.

Ulcerative colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are quite similar to each other. Ulcerative colitis is marked by inflammation, ulcers, and sores in the inner lining of the colon and rectum. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Rectal bleeding, abdominal cramping and pain, weight loss, etc., are the symptoms of this condition.

Treatment: This is a chronic disorder, and hence, the symptoms appear slowly. Treatment options include anti-inflammatory medicines, antibiotics, painkillers, etc. Severe cases are treated with surgery. This condition is treated like an autoimmune disorder, and hence, immune system suppressors may even be prescribed.

Apart from the above mentioned ones, other causes include disorders like gastroenteritis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, bladder infection, menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, food poisoning, pelvic inflammatory disease, bowel cancer, transverse colon volvulus, etc. Lower abdominal pain in men can be a symptom of prostate disorders, seminal vesiculitis or urinary tract infection. It should be noted that sexually transmitted diseases can also cause abdominal pain.

The nature and characteristics of pain help in diagnosing the exact cause of the discomfort. Therefore, the patient should clearly explain to the doctor whether the pain is dull and aching, or sharp and persistent, acute or chronic. A physical examination, X-ray, medical history, etc., will be helpful in diagnosing the underlying causes.

Things to Remember

► Since most of the causes of abdominal pain are related to food, it is advisable to follow a healthy and a balanced diet every day in order to keep these diseases at bay.

► Secondly, regular exercise can also help in the prevention of several diseases and disorders related to the abdomen.

► Having a fiber-rich diet and drinking adequate amounts of water (plain drinking water) is essential to avoid stomach problems.

► It is recommended to consult a doctor if the pain lasts for more than a couple of hours, or is accompanied with other symptoms.

► If you suffer from diarrhea or constipation frequently, you can maintain a food diary and keep away from foods that trigger these conditions.

Lastly, remember that nearly all the diseases can be effectively treated with the help of traditional as well as advanced treatment methods. It is for the doctor to decide, depending on the cause and severity of the health condition. Take care!

Disclaimer: This information is meant for educational purposes only. It is not to be used as a substitute for doctor's consultation and treatment.
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