In the medical consultation, it is common for people to come reporting pain in the abdominal region, according to medical criteria this represents a condition that must be fully evaluated before sending the patient back home.
There are many causes related to pain in the left side of the lower abdomen due to the organs or the portion of them that are located there, sigmoid colon, left spermatic duct in men and, in women, the fallopian tube and the left ovary. Other times, the pain is usually reflex or radiating despite the fact that the affected organ is not in this region proper, as is the case with the kidneys.
Any condition that affects any of these viscera, will be reflected mostly with pain in this area. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will describe what are the causes of pain in the left side of the lower abdomen. Continue reading!
Table of Contents
Pain in the left side of the lower abdomen from intestinal inflammation
This is the main cause why lower left abdominal pain can occur, it is a fairly common condition in the population due to diet disorders and its impact on the motility and sensitivity of the intestine, being influential also hormonal alterations, work stress -family and genetic factors.
The IBS is the most accepted concept of this condition, which includes symptoms such as abdominal pain constant, asymptomatic periods, periods of constipation, diarrhea or manifestation periods both for different time period.
In addition, the typical abdominal pain , diffuse or localized in the abdominal portion called the lower hemiabdomen, can be colicky, stabbing or oppressive and tends to be mild to moderate in intensity. Usually relieved after evacuating.
The onset of this abdominal pain usually occurs after the intake of some food and changes in the frequency and consistency of bowel movements. On the other hand, another symptom that the doctor may show is distention or swelling in this area of the abdomen.
To prevent this condition , it is recommended:
- Balanced diet based on protein, fiber and low in fat.
- Avoid eating flatulent foods, such as cabbage and legumes.
- Avoid the intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Increase your water intake throughout the day.
- Have a continuous eating habit and at the same time every day.
- Exercising regularly.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid drinking coffee.
Without a doubt, the doctor, after evaluating the patient, will give the appropriate diagnosis and indicate the necessary treatment, which usually includes spasmolytic drugs to relieve pain, prokinetics to stimulate intestinal motility, laxatives or antidiarrheals if necessary. , probiotics and, ultimately, antidepressants when they define that the cause is related to mood and stress.
Lower left abdominal pain due to diverticulitis
Another condition in which left lower abdominal pain manifests is diverticulitis . There is the formation of small bags located in the descending and sigmoid colon, these are nothing more than herniations of the mucosa of the intestine precisely in areas where there is intestinal weakness due to lack of muscular layer.
The place where there may be more diverticula is in the sigmoid colon, hence the presence of pain and greater sensitivity in this area. These formed pockets become inflamed and can even become infected.
The presence of several diverticula in the same area can lead to the appearance of bleeding within the large intestine due to the irritation of a blood vessel. If not treated in time, it can lead to complications such as abscesses and intestinal obstruction.
Risk factors related to diverticulitis are believed to be:
- Lack of exercise.
- Consumption of some medications such as NSAIDs.
- Smoking habit
Likewise, this condition is more common in men than in women and usually presents after 50 years of age.
The diagnosis will be obtained after specialized evaluation and the indication of some paraclinics such as:
- Abdominal and pelvic tomography.
- Bone scan.
The treatment is based according to the symptoms and complications of the patient and may include:
- Medical rest.
- Oral antibiotics.
- Liquid diet.
- In severe cases, it will require the use of intravenous antibiotics, abdominal surgery for the surgical resection of this portion of the colon.
Cyst on the left ovary
On the other hand, in the case of women, having one or more cysts on the left ovary tends to be a common cause of lower abdominal pain. Remember that cysts are sacs of liquid content that are located within or on the surface of the ovary.
When the cyst is large enough or when there are several of them, there is usually severe lower abdominal pain , in addition to abdominal heaviness and bloating, frequent urination, loss of appetite and irregularity in the menstrual cycle.
This condition is very common and occurs when during the ovulation stage, frequently, when the follicle does not release the egg and it continues to grow, called a follicular cyst. On the other hand, the corpus luteum cyst forms when the follicle has prepared for conception and produces progesterone and estrogen and fluid accumulates in it. These are the most common types of ovarian cysts, there are other less frequent ones:
- Dermoid cyst.
- Cystadenomas cyst
Common ovarian cysts are usually harmless and disappear on their own, they rarely need treatment, they are less common during menopause and, if they do appear, there is a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.
The doctor, when making the diagnosis, will have to wait if the cyst disappears or its symptoms worsen, depending on this he will indicate the treatment if necessary, generally, it includes oral contraceptives for a certain time to regulate the levels of hormones and calm the symptoms. In extreme cases, surgery will be necessary to remove the cyst.
Lower abdominal pain from ectopic pregnancy
It refers to the fertilization and implantation of the ovum in the fallopian tube instead of in the uterus.
As the days go by, the embryo will begin to grow in this wrong area producing pain of mild to moderate intensity, many times, it tends to break the fallopian tube and manifest itself with intense pain of a stabbing or oppressive nature, internal bleeding that implies abdominal pain diffuse, increased tenderness in this area, nausea, vomiting, vaginal bleeding.
It is a fairly common condition in the fertile age of women and, if not treated in time, it can involve a serious health problem. The only way to know for sure the presence of an ectopic pregnancy is through specialized medical evaluation that involves a pelvic examination, blood tests, or ultrasound.
The alarm symptoms include:
- Severe pain in the lower abdomen on the side of the affected tube.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
The treatment will require:
- Methotrexate injections to end the growth of the embryo in the uterine tube.
- Surgical treatment by laparoscopy.
For more information, see the article Ectopic pregnancy: symptoms, causes and treatment .
Pain in the left side of the lower abdomen from kidney stones
The increased concentration of calcium in the urine, some types of cancers, having a family history of kidney stones, the intake of some foods, are just some of the causes related to the presence of stones or stones in the kidneys.
As the name implies, they are small stones that form at the kidney level. Sometimes they may be too small to be seen, but when they increase in size and leave the kidneys and travel through all the urinary tract, they can become trapped in some portion of the path and cause typical kidney pain.
Although it is true that kidney pain is located in the lumbar region, it can easily radiate to the abdominal part , especially to the lower left area in the event that the stone has formed in the left kidney. The pain is intense and intermittent.
In this case, other symptoms may also appear such as:
- Stomach ache.
- Red or bloody urine.
- Feeling of wanting to urinate constantly.
- Burning when urinating.
- In addition to the simple fact of the presence of kidney stone, if there is an infection, the urine may be cloudy and foul-smelling and the person tends to report fever.
Lower abdominal pain from fibroids
The fibroids, leiomyomas or myomas are tumor growths that develop in the wall of the uterus. Generally variable in size, in some women they can grow slowly over a few years and in others develop rapidly. They are certainly not cancerous tumor growths.
Its common symptoms include:
- Pain in the lower abdominal-pelvic area, which can manifest itself on the left or right side.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Back pain.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Rarely, spontaneous abortions.
Uterine fibroids are not a rare condition, in fact, they are quite common and are usually common between 30 and 40 years of age.
The most relevant risk factors for suffering from uterine fibroids are:
- Having a family history of fibroids or fibroids.
- Consumption in excess of red meat.
- Vitamin D deficiency.
- Be black.
The diagnosis and treatment is purely medical and it is likely that depending on size, age, general health and symptoms, it is necessary to use ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain. Hormonal contraceptives are probably indicated and, ultimately, the practice of some surgery.
Other causes of pain in the left side of the lower abdomen
Here are other less common causes of pain on the left side of the lower abdomen:
Intestinal obstruction is a partial or total blockage where the free transit of the contents of the intestine is prevented and can affect any portion of the intestine. In this case, for the pain to occur in the lower left abdominal area, the intestinal blockage would be around the descending and sigmoid colon.
Generally, it is related to previous surgical interventions, hernias and tumors. It is characteristic of this injury to present severe pain, loss of appetite and inflammation.
The diagnosis of an obstruction in the intestine is purely medical and a physical examination, X-rays and, occasionally, abdominal ultrasound will be necessary to make the diagnosis. Often the treatment will be surgery to clear the site of the obstruction.
Menstrual pain, in addition to manifesting in the area known as the lower belly, can also radiate to the lower left or right abdominal area.
They can appear one day before, during and after the menstrual period disappearing, approximately, between the second and third day of menstruation. In addition to this, you may experience headache, nausea, and the need to urinate frequently. This set of symptoms is what is called premenstrual syndrome .
Pelvic inflammatory disease
One of the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease is pain in the lower abdomen. This condition is an infectious process of the female reproductive organs , including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
In addition to presenting pain in the lower abdomen, the presence of irregular vaginal bleeding and vaginal secretions may be associated.
For the pain to spread to the lower left abdominal part, the infection must be severe and spread to the ovary forming what is known as oophoritis. If there is also an accumulation of pus in the fallopian tube, what is known as an ovarian tube abscess will form.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is common in sexually active women, especially in those under 35 years of age who are not using any barrier contraceptive method. In addition, women who have had a history of pelvic inflammatory disease or who have suffered from a previous sexually transmitted disease represent a risk factor.
The inflammatory process of the intestine is known as Crohn’s disease , the most common area that is affected is the ileum, colon and rectum, manifesting with symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain in the affected area, in this case if the descending and sigmoid colon is compromised, the pain will be especially in the lower left abdominal region.
It occurs at any age, especially between 16 and 40 years of age. The cause of appearance is not known exactly, but the main theory focuses on immunological or bacterial factors.
There is no definitive cure for Crohn’s disease, but drugs can treat and alleviate the main symptoms. This includes prednisone, immunosuppressants, and anti-inflammatories. In severe cases, emergency surgery is indicated if there are serious complications such as intestinal perforation.
As has been described, there are multiple causes of pain in the left side of the lower abdomen, all of which require timely medical attention for effective improvement.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Pain in the left side of the lower abdomen: causes , we recommend that you enter our category of Digestive system .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.