Understanding Lower left Abdominal Pain

Pain in lower left abdomen is a lot more prevalent among young adults, especially women. A number of factors can contribute to this type of pain; these are kidney stones, kidney infection, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disorder, constipation, and also stress experienced on the skin area and muscle groups located on the left abdomen.

As the name implies, lower left abdominal pain affects the left abdomen, from just right below the chest through to the belly button.

Pain could be induced when there are infections or disorders on any of the structures or organs located on that particular area. In addition, lower left abdominal pain could also be experienced even when such affected structures or organs are found far from the abdomen, or could even be propagated from other body parts adjacent to the abdomen. For example, both central abdominal pain and right side abdominal pain are known to cross over and cause lower left abdominal pain.

Consistent with any of our body parts, pain in lower left abdomen is very often the result of disease in one of the organs situated there. The following is a list of structures and organs that can be found in the lower left abdomen:

  • the spleen
  • left edge of the liver
  • stomach
  • the main pancreas body and tail
  • the descending colon
  • left half of large intestine
  • left kidney
  • sigmoid colon
  • left ureter
  • left adrenal gland
  • left ovary in women
  • less fallopian tube in women
  • muscle lining on the left wall of the abdomen
  • skin on top of left abdomen
  • nerves on the left side of the abdomen
  • blood vessels found on the left abdomen, which include the aorta.

On the other hand, structures that are not located there but are still capable of inflicting pain in lower left abdomen are:

  • heart
  • left half of the diaphragm
  • lower part of the left lung.

In the case of Situs Invertus, certain structures (e.g. the appendix) that would normally exist on the right side of the body could actually be found on the left. For individuals with this medical condition, the usual factors for their pain in left abdomen are really those that are responsible for right side abdominal pain among the rest of us. This article works on the assumption that readers are not in any way affected by Situs Invertus.

What follows are some typical reasons for lower left abdominal pain:

  • Stomach ulcer
  • Gastritis
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach tumor
  • Pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Ruptured or twisted ovarian cyst
  • PCOS or Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Ectopic pregnancy

The above list provides a snapshot of what could be the likely cause of the pain in lower left abdomen. In fact, if we were to explore all the possible reasons for that pain, the list could have gone on and on. But you get the idea that there are simply too many possible causes of lower left abdominal pain.

In the final analysis, to develop a better sense of any pain in left abdomen (and to facilitate more effective diagnosis from your doctor), you will need to be able to single out the portion of the affected area. Essentially, there can be two types:

  • Upper left abdominal pain, when the pain felt extends upwards from the belly button, on your left abdomen.
  • Lower left abdominal pain, when the pain felt extends downwards from your belly button, on the left abdomen.

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