What Does Lower Left Abdominal Pain Mean?
Lower left abdominal pain can indicate various underlying conditions or illnesses. The most common of which are diverticulitis or a case of indigestion. However, this pain can be the first sign of a more severe condition. Continue reading to find out about the range of different causes.
Causes of pain in the lower left abdomen
Diverticulitis, one of the most common causes of lower stomach pain, is an infection of pouches in your intestines. Symptoms can range from severe, which is possible ruptures in your bowel, to mild – you can manage it with home remedies.
Here is a list of symptoms that could indicate diverticulitis:
- Left lower abdominal pain is constant and has persisted for more than a few days
- Nausea and vomiting
Contact your doctor if you think the lower left abdomen pain you experience is due to diverticulitis, and the pain has persisted for multiple days. Diverticulitis can become incredibly serious if left untreated. If there is evidence of perforation in your colon, fistulas, rectal bleeding, or abscesses, surgery will be considered.
Another common cause of pain on the left side of the stomach is indigestion. This term describes general discomfort felt in your stomach rather than a specific disease. Some symptoms include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Gurgling stomach
As compared to diverticulitis, indigestion can be much milder. Most of the time, the symptoms will go away on their own. Various home remedies can act as effective treatments for indigestion.
3. Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hard objects caused by chemicals in your urine. These can be extremely painful, especially when you are passing them. However, if they are found early enough, there will usually be no lasting damage to your body. Surgery might be recommended if doctors find evidence of common urinary tract infections or other complications.
There are a variety of factors that cause kidney stones. Here are some of them:
- Diets that are high in protein, sodium, and sugar
- Family history. If you have a family history of kidney stones, you are medically more likely to develop them as well
Shingles is a painful rash related to the varicella virus. This virus causes chickenpox, leaving an inactive form of shingles in your body. You can only get shingles if you have already previously contracted chickenpox. These rashes can be anywhere on your body in cluster strips or blisters. Currently, there is no cure for shingles. But there are different treatment plans to manage the pain and minimize other complications. In addition, there are vaccines available that can prevent the chances of you catching chickenpox or shingles.
A hernia is when one of your internal organs or fatty tissue protrudes through abdominal muscle or connective tissue. The most common hernias are femoral, inguinal, umbilical, and hiatal. These can be caused by weakening your connective tissue or muscles due to pregnancy or birth, physical assertion, and frequent coughing. With adult hernias, surgery will usually be the only way to treat hernias as there is a low chance it will go away on its own.
6. Menstrual Cramps
For women, one of the most common causes of lower abdomen pain is menstrual cramps. These usually come during or around your period and go away with time. However, if you are experiencing intense pain, talk to your gynecologist.
7. Lactose Intolerance
People who are lactose intolerant cannot digest lactose in milk. When they do, they experience bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Lactose intolerance affects about 65% of the human population. This condition isn’t severe, as avoiding dairy products will usually be enough to treat lactose intolerance.
8. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a digestive condition that affects the large intestine. This syndrome can cause a variety of different symptoms. A person with IBS will experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps, and uncontrollable bowel movements. Usually, IBS is manageable with a controlled diet, stress management, and exercise. However, if your discomfort becomes severe, contact a gastroenterologist to talk about your digestive health.
When should I worry about left side pain
You should worry about your lower left stomach pain if:
- The pain persists for more than a few days
- It is so severe that you wake up in the middle of the night
- It is severe enough to make a significant negative impact on your day to day activities
Although many common causes for lower left side pain can resolve on their own, the more serious ones will not necessarily go away and can become worse if left untreated. Also, even if you are experiencing less severe causes like IBS or lactose intolerance, consult a doctor to help relieve this pain if lower left abdominal pain keeps persisting.
When to see a doctor
Suppose you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above. In that case, it is time to see a doctor to get a treatment plan for your pain in the lower left abdomen, especially if your ability to live out your day-to-day life is affected. Seeing how there are many different causes for your pain, it is better to consult a doctor for a diagnosis. You can find a primary care doctor through Tripment Health, an affordable self-pay healthcare marketplace for in-person or telehealth visits. The doctor can ensure that this pain is not indicative of more severe underlying conditions.
A variety of other factors will affect your diagnosis. This can include past medical history, diet, living conditions, and family history. You should consult with a doctor for an official diagnosis as it is not always accurate if you try to self-diagnose. These doctors might take diagnostic imaging tests like MRIs, CT scans, or ultrasounds to accurately diagnose the stomach pains in your lower left side.
To not irritate or increase lower left abdominal pain after eating, stay away from spicy foods, continue to drink lots of water, and rest regularly. Usually, it is good to pay attention to your body and note when the pain subsides and if anyone caused that relief. However, since there are various causes, some extra measures might have to be taken. You can visit our Tripment Health website to find a doctor that can give you a diagnosis and more information about your treatment plan.
Hopefully, through this article, you understood the causes of bottom left stomach pain. This pain can be due to various reasons, so it is essential to understand your symptoms and what might be causing them to prevent further complications and discomfort.