There are many different reasons why abdominal pain may happen. While it could be from pulling a muscle or overexercising, abdominal pain can also be caused by problems like an ectopic pregnancy, kidney stones, irritable bowel syndrome or ovarian disorders. Luckily, the location means that appendicitis is probably not the cause of your abdominal pain. If you are experiencing lower left abdominal pain, the following reasons are the most likely causes.
Common Causes of Lower Left Abdominal Pain
Often, women may expe3rience lower left abdominal pain because of ovarian or reproductive issues. Diverticulitis can causes pain in this location. It can bring on sudden, intense pain or it can have a gradual onset. In addition, diverticulitis can lead to vomiting, changes in bowel habits, cramps, fever or chills. This condition is caused when some of the tissue bulges through the left bowel walls. It can also cause diarrhea that is spotted with red blood and swelling in the affected part of the abdomen.
2. Urinary Tract Disorders
When you have an infection in your urinary tract, you may feel pain when you urinate or it may feel like you have to urinate all the time. This type of infection is actually more common in women than men because the urethra is shorter in women and thus more prone to infection. If the infection remains untreated, it can rapidly spread among the bladder, kidneys, ureter and urethra. As it spreads, it can cause debilitating pain and ongoing complications. Because of this, it is extremely important that you seek medical treatment right away. If the cause is bacterial, then your doctor will give you antibiotics to treat the infection. In addition, he or she may also recommend drinking cranberry juice and extra liquids to help your body flush out the bacteria naturally.
If the infection ends up spreading to your bladder, it can end up causing a medical ailment known as cystitis. This condition can cause severe pain in the lower left quadrant of your abdomen. Likewise, you may frequently feel the urge to pee. You may feel a burning sensation when you urinate and intense pelvic pain.
3. Female Reproductive Problems
Some reasons for lower left abdominal pain are exclusive to women. Several different medical conditions like endometriosis, PCOS or an ectopic pregnancy can lead to this type of pain. Endometriosis is a condition where uterine tissue begins to grow outside of the uterine cavity. This can cause symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, irritation, pain during urination and the growth of adhesions. Likewise, the woman is likely to experience increased pain during menstruation.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg is fertilized and implanted in the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus. As the egg starts to grow, it can lead to severe pain in the abdomen on the side where the egg was released. This condition can be life threatening, so it is important to seek medical care immediately if you think that an ectopic pregnancy is possible.
Women may also experience ligament pain from luteal cysts. If they are pregnant, the expansion of the uterus can lead to additional pain as well. Some women may also experience extremely severe pain because of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a condition where small cysts grow in the ovaries. These cysts can cause symptoms like irregular periods, abdominal pain, excess hair growth and weight gain. From time to time, the cysts may also rupture. This rupturing leads to a pain that is, according to sufferers, similar or worse than the pain of child birth. Your doctor can perform an ultrasound to look for the cysts, or they may test your blood sugar levels to see if you have developed insulin resistance (a common symptom for PCOS sufferers).
4. Bowel-Related Problems
There are a number of different bowel conditions that can end up causing abdominal pain. Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis are all possible problems. Irritable bowel syndrome can be particularly hard to get a diagnose for, so you may have to ask your doctor about this possible cause if your symptoms match up. With irritable bowel syndrome, your bowels cause an abnormal gut contraction. In addition to other symptoms of the disease, you may experience abdominal cramping, nausea, irregular bowel movements, increased flatulence and passing stools that contain mucus.
One of the first indications of Crohn’s disease is abdominal pain. Contractions of the bowels can end up causing acute pain. Symptoms like vomiting, acute pain in the abdomen, rectal bleeding and vomiting are all common symptoms of this medical condition.
Constipation is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain. Basically, your body is continuously straining to pass waste out of your body. This is generally caused by eating foods with a low fiber content, not drinking enough water, skipping meals or eating dry foods. Start by drinking more water and eating plenty of fiber to help alleviate the condition. If you regularly experience constipation, you should make sure that your diet is full of high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and oatmeal. If this does not help, go to your doctor to see if an underlying medical condition could be causing your constipation.
6. Kidney Disorders
Different kidney disorders can end up causing abdominal pain. Kidney stones can cause pain in the left quadrant. These stones can develop due to dehydration. When you do not have enough liquid in your body, it leads to overly high levels of uric acid and calcium. Once the kidney stones develop, you may experience symptoms like groin pain, lower left abdominal pain, vomiting, fever and nausea.
An infection in your kidneys could also lead to similar symptoms. Often, a kidney infection is caused by an infection in the bladder or urinary system. Once the kidneys are affected, you may experience hematuria, pain during urination and burning sensations during urination. To prevent long-term complications, it is important to seek medical treatment right away if you believe that you may have a kidney infection.
Treatment Options for Lower Left Abdominal Pain
Obviously, your first goal is to figure out the cause. If you are experiencing a medical condition or an infection, you should go to the doctor. If your abdominal pain is caused by constipation, you should start by changing your eating habits. Make sure to drink eight glasses of water every day to limit constipation and flatulence. Fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables can also help your digestive system to function properly.
Certain physical exercises can also help your abdominal muscles relax and can help reduce pain. Yoga is an excellent exercise for relaxing your muscles while helping your digestive system work properly. You should avoid putting too much pressure on the abdomen while you are in pain, and you should make sure that you get plenty of sleep each night so that your body can fully recover.
Remember: Medical Help Is Always Available
When in doubt, always go to your doctor to be checked out. At the very least, call your doctor’s office, describe your symptoms and ask if they think that you should come in to the office, make an appointment or go to the emergency room. Symptoms like blood in your vomit, a lack of bowel movements, vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain during a pregnancy, sudden pain or blood in your stool are all signs that you should immediately go to your doctor’s office or an emergency medical center.