When a person experiences left abdominal pain, it affects structures such as the left kidney , the ureter, the stomach , the descending colon , the sigmoid colon, the left side of the bladder , a part of the abdominal aorta and the left part of the peritoneum. .
In women, these structures also include the left ovary, the fallopian tubes and a part of the uterus.
- 1 Organs that cause pain on the left side
- 2 Diaphragm
- 3 Diseases of the male reproductive organs
- 4 Diseases of the blood
- 5 Upper left abdominal pain after eating
- 6 Pain in the left side when running or walking fast
- 7 Treatment for pain on the left side
- 8 Natural remedies for pain on the left side of the abdomen
Causes of pain in the left side
The pain in the left abdominal part can have different causes.
Some causes can not be located well and the affected area can be found far from the organ that causes the discomfort.
Below is a list of the most common causes of pain in the upper left side:
- The causes that develop in the thorax are due to cardiac and / or respiratory disorders.
- Abdominal causes are rupture of the aorta, disorder or anomaly in the spleen, gastric ulcer , diseases of the kidneys, diseases of the colon, problems in the pancreas, contraction of the diaphragm or peritonitis .
- Other medical causes include diabetic ketoacidosis , septicemia, hypercalcemia, Schönlein-Henoch purpura.
To cure these diseases you should consult your doctor to prescribe the necessary tests and the most appropriate treatments.
Most frequent causes of abdominal pain on the left side
Since many abdominal organs are on the left side of the abdomen, there are many diseases and injuries that can cause abdominal pain in that area.
Next, information about the most frequent causes is presented.
The acute pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas due mainly to excess alcohol.
Some medications and injuries can also cause acute pancreatitis . The symptoms are abdominal pain, vomiting , diarrhea , fever and nausea .
The pain on the left side can also mean that the patient suffers from splenomegaly , that is, an abnormal enlargement of the spleen . The infections viral, bacterial and parasitic causes splenomegaly, although the leukemia and liver cirrhosis can also produce an increase in spleen size.
The gastroenteritis is another common cause of abdominal pain in the left side.
Also known as stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis, this inflammation of the stomach has its origin in a virus or a bacterial infection.
Viral germs usually come from contaminated food and water.
In addition to abdominal pain, symptoms of gastroenteritis include nausea, vomiting, dehydration , diarrhea, and loss of appetite .
The gastroesophageal refluxproduces a feeling of heartburn or discomfort after eating, especially when lying or when bending forward.
The chest pain can make us to wake up at night and symptoms may be similar to those of a heart attack.
The IBS affects the lower intestinal tract and causes pain in the intestine.
The irritable bowel syndrome can be characterized by cases of diarrhea or constipationand affects people of any age, although the most affected group is adolescents.
The pyelonephritis is a kidney infection caused by bacteria.
Fever, chills and vomiting accompany abdominal pain.
Renal infections should not be confused with kidney stones , since the causes are different and the treatments change.
The pneumonia is another common reason why abdominal pain and suffering can be caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi.
The swelling appears in the lower left part of the lungs and also causes pain and shortness of breath.
Other common symptoms are chest pain, fever, chills and cough.
Disease polycystic kidney . You can also experience acute abdominal pain due to polycystic kidney disease, in which painful cysts develop in the kidneys.
This can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure and kidney failure.
The food poisoning is caused by eating contaminated food or drink and produces abdominal pain within 48 hours after ingestion.
The symptoms are vomiting, nausea and fever.
Meteorism Excess gas can get trapped in the large intestine or stomach and cause abdominal pain and discomfort. Abdominal swelling and cramping are other associated symptoms.
By expelling intestinal gases, the pain is reduced by meteorism .
Organs that cause pain on the left side
The stomach is a cavitary organ located between the last part of the esophagus and the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. It is subject to different diseases that are usually associated with corrosive gastric ferments that it secretes and retains.
Among the diseases of the stomach that cause pain in the left part of the abdomen are:
The spleen is the largest structure of the lymphatic system, filters blood and removes cell debris and foreign microorganisms.
Although the removal of the spleen does not involve life problems, it plays several important roles in the body.
Splenic diseases that can cause left abdominal pain are:
- Splenic infarction
- Rupture of the spleen, which usually occurs in traffic accidents
- Spleen enlargement ( splenomegaly )
The diaphragm is the most important muscle for breathing and separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity.
Upon inspiration, the abdominal contents descend and the thoracic cavity expands.
On the left side, the most important feature is the opening of the diaphragm that allows the esophagus to attach to the stomach.
Among the diseases of the diaphragm is the abscess, ie the accumulation of purulent material below the diaphragm.
The diaphragm may be contracted or retracted and may press on the abdominal organs, such as the stomach and liver, which may cause difficulty in digestion and discomfort.
Diseases of the male reproductive organs
- Disorders of the testicles
organs In women, gynecological disorders are a frequent cause of lower left abdominal pain, especially when associated with ovulation and the rule.
Pregnancy can be the triggering cause of pain due to the expansion of the uterus and its contractions.
The causes of pain on the left side of women are:
- Rupture of an ovarian cyst
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Inflammatory disease of the pelvis
- Spontaneous abortion
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Uterine fibroids
blood vessels The abdominal blood vessels are the abdominal part of the aorta and the inferior vena cava that carry blood to the heart.
Among the possible diseases are:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Atherosclerosis or embolism of mesenteric arteries
- Hereditary angioedema
- Púrpura de Schönlein-Henoch.
Diseases of the blood
- Sickle cell anemia
Most skin diseases produce itching. Pain can occur with the following diseases:
- Herpes zóster
- Dermatitis worsened by an infection or the appearance of an abscess
Upper left abdominal pain after eating
After eating, heartburn is a likely cause of pain from gastric acid.
Foods with a lot of acid, such as tomato or Mexican food, can cause heartburn. You can reduce this disorder by avoiding these foods or by taking an antacid.
ulcer A gastric ulcer is a lesion inside the wall of the stomach.Burning pain is typical of ulcers, especially if it manifests between one meal and another. The symptoms of gastric ulcer are eructation, vomiting and fatigue. One of the complications of ulcers in the stomach is the perforation of the stomach wall, since food can come out.
Diverticulosis and diverticulitis
The diverticulosis is a disease which can occur under abdominal pain due to stomach cramps or spasms. Diverticulitis occurs when an inflammation of the diverticula accompanied by a possible perforation occurs. In this case, the pain is felt right in the upper part of the affected bowel.
A strange satiety after eating can be the symptom of a stomach cancer, which can cause pain in any part of the stomach and even move.
Excessive belching and bloating are other symptoms of this serious illness. The stomach pain continuous or unexplained should be analyzed by a physician to rule out serious causes.
Pain in the left side when running or walking fast
The appearance of an acute and fatiguing pain in the left part of the abdomen, just below the thorax, is common in athletes who run a lot.
This pain is common in runners but the cause has not yet been found.
According to the results of a study carried out by DP Morton, the most reliable theories are “diaphragm ischemia” and “ligament stress of the viscera”.
In short, the most likely cause is that, when running, the amount of blood that reaches the diaphragm, the muscle between the lungs and the stomach, is reduced. On the other hand, the continuous movements of the trunk produce stress in the smooth muscles of the internal organs.
Treatment of pain on the left side of the
foot The pain on the left side when running can be so intense as to force the person to stop running.
However, some experienced runners claim that by exerting direct pressure on the affected area, pain can be reduced without stopping altogether.
If we slow down for a moment or if pressure is exerted on the affected area, the pain can disappear quickly, so we can get back to running.
Treatment for pain on the left side
As the causes of pain in the left abdomen can be serious, the first thing to do is go to the doctor or to the emergency room.
There, the doctor palpates the area and assesses the level of pain.
If it is acute, the doctor may request a diagnostic test of the stomach and intestine to determine if there is cancer or obstruction.
If the diagnosis shows the presence of diverticulitis, the doctor prescribes a liquid diet and antibiotics . Thus, the patient must remain hospitalized for several days.
Although ulcers are often cured with medications or a change in diet, some cases are serious and require surgery.
In case of ovarian cyst or tumoror Fallopian tubes, a biopsy is usually useful to check if it is carcinogenic.
In some cases, if the tumor is dangerous to our life, the doctor performs a hysterectomy .
Natural remedies for pain on the left side of the abdomen
To relieve pain in general, you should:
- Place a bottle of hot water or a device that produces heat on the affected area.
- Find a comfortable position and relax.
- Take pain medications without a prescription that do not cause irritation in the stomach.
- Wear clothing that does not squeeze.
- Avoid intense physical activity.
- Eat only what you can without pain.