What Causes Abdominal Pain on the Left Side?
Pain, regardless of where or how strong it is, is always a symptom of something – even if it’s not important. You shouldn’t obsess over it or try to self-diagnose it. But you also shouldn’t ignore it. Whenever you have a concern or a problem, the best thing to do is consult your doctor.
But what if you’re having pain on the left side of your abdomen? Today we’ll focus on that, considering that it’s so common, to try to figure out the cause. Again, pay attention to your health and if you’re in doubt, your doctor is the only one who can give you the proper diagnosis.
You’re feeling pain on the left side of your abdomen – what’s causing it?
We wanted to share this article today with you for a reason. Pain on the left side of the abdomen shouldn’t be ignored or overlooked. If any of the following symptoms occur together, you should be concerned:
- Constant pain. This isn’t something that’s limited to one particular day, or that shows up for a few hours and then disappears until next month. Pain on your left side that persists on a regular basis or turns up right after you eat is something you should consider important.
- But how does it feel? It feels like a hot disc inside you, and is a very dry, sharp kind of pain. You may have some slight discomfort that comes and goes, which may be due to a build up of gas. But this pain is obvious, and it’s nearly impossible to put it out of your mind.
- If you take painkillers to try to alleviate it, sometimes your pain will disappear, but it will return in full force within a few hours or the following day.
- Abdominal pain on the left side is one of the most common kinds of pain that doctors hear about from their patients. Like we said earlier, most of the time this is due to an excess of gas in the region. But because this part of the body is also where your pancreas, stomach, left kidney, and liver are contained…it’s something that you simply can’t ignore.
Let’s consider some of the possible causes.
Next to gas, this is the most common cause, hence its importance. Pancreatitis usually manifests itself in such an intense way that immediate hospitalization is needed.
You’ll usually feel very intense abdominal pain accompanied by fever, vomiting, and heart palpitations. Pay attention to any little symptoms throughout the day that might provide some clues.
Think about how your digestion is – after eating, do you feel very full, heavy, and have pain on the left side? If the pain is really sharp and accompanied by these other symptoms, odds are you need to see your doctor.
2. Intestinal obstructions
Watch out carefully for any obstruction of the intestine. If you have a blockage of your colon or small intestine it could end up being a serious medical emergency.
Why do obstructions occur? Basically it’s a blockage that won’t allow any foods or liquids to pass, and the symptoms are very obvious. In addition to abdominal pain on your left, you’ll have a fever and will be unable to pass gas or have a bowel movement.
We’ve talked about diverticulosis before on this blog. But what is it? Inflammation occurs in the digestive tract, creating pus-filled sores that will cause you a lot of pain.
You’ll experience bouts of diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, extreme inflammation, and possibly even rectal bleeding. It’s important to keep this in mind. We suffer bouts of diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, heavy swelling and may even rectal bleeding. It is important to keep in mind.
4. Kidney stones
Sometimes kidney stones won’t have any symptoms, particularly while they’re still forming. But eventually they will reach a size that’s large enough to cause you pain.
That pain may be located on your left side, but remember that your kidneys are located closer to your back. And pain could just as easily appear in the same spot but on your right side.
5. Ovarian cysts
Women suffer from these from time to time, and they can appear in the left ovary. But what does it feel like? You might have eaten very little, but already feel feel. There’s a sharp pain on your side that’s sometimes accompanied by irregular menstrual cycles, pelvic pain, nausea, vomiting, and general abdominal discomfort.
6. Other less significant causes: food poisoning, gas, stress…
- These are the more common causes for abdominal pain and they’re not nearly as serious. But although they’re not as “severe” as pancreatitis, for example, it doesn’t mean they’re not important. Not at all.
- Some foods just don’t sit well with your body, and you’ll know it. Your body will defend itself. In cases of food poisoning, you’ll experience severe abdominal pain on your left side that’s usually accompanied by vomiting.
- An excess of gas is also fairly common, and although it might seem strange, it tends to accumulate on one side of the abdomen or the other.
- And what about stress? How can stress be localized in one part of the body? Remember that stress can manifest itself in physical ways, causing indigestion and stomach irritation…so don’t rule it out as a potential factor.
To wrap this up, just remember that if you have any of the above symptoms and are concerned, go see your doctor – that’s the only person who can give you the proper diagnosis. Never try to treat yourself, and always follow the advice of a medical professional.