What causes Lower left abdominal pain?

lower left abdominal pain
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Overview

Lower left abdominal pain can be due to several medical conditions. It can be from bloating, flatulence, and constipation to serious reasons like appendicitis, gastritis, IBD, and other female-related problems. All of them can be treated after a careful diagnosis with a healthcare provider and getting well-suited medication prescriptions as per the nature and severity of your medical condition. In case of severe and persistent pain, it is essential not to overlook it and get a well-needed medical checkup for a timely diagnosis. 

Lower left abdominal pain causes and treatment

Lower left abdomen pain can arise from simple causes ranging from gas formation (bloating) to indigestion. In the case of diet, your stomach is not usually used to it. It goes away on its own and doesn’t require treatment. However in case of pain in the lower abdomen accompanied by fever and nausea can be an indication of serious underlying medical conditions leading to this pain. It can be stabbing and stays for longer periods. Some of the most common yet serious medical conditions that can lead to pain in the lower left abdominal area are : 

  • Appendicitis 
  • Diverticulitis 
  • Kidney stones 
  • Constipation 
  • Stomach ulcers 
  • Disturbed menstrual cycle in women.

  1. Appendicitis 

Pain due to appendicitis occurs in the right side and rarely two inches left to the belly button for several reasons and can lead to serious medical illness. It can only be treated after the proper diagnosis of a healthcare provider and surgical treatment to remove inflamed appendicitis. 

It can cause serious and stabbing pain and disrupt daily activities, including walking or sitting. 

Some of the most common symptoms of appendicitis are: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Inability to pass gas

Treatment options: 

Treatment Options for appendicitis include pain medications like NSAIDs ( acetaminophen and Tylenol) to cope with the pain until the surgical procedure is performed for appendix removal. There is no other treatment option for appendicitis, and surgical procedure has to take place at the right time. 

  1. Constipation 

Constipation is also one of the most common causes of lower abdominal pain, accompanied by pain in the anal area due to difficulty passing the stool. It also also sometimes causes anal cuts due to extreme dryness. Major causes of constipation are dehydration and consuming a diet low in fiber. Rarely can genetics also cause constipation; however, prescription and treatment options are available for each cause. 

Treatment options:

For constipation, after a needful consultation from your healthcare provider, you will be prescribed prescription medications called laxatives that will cure not only the pain but the passing of stool as well. Some of the majorly described laxatives are: 

  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Magnesium Citrate
  • Magnesium hydroxide

  1. Diverticulitis 

Diverticulitis is an inflammation of diverticula pouches in the large intestines. Its symptoms start to appear in the early 40s and affect middle-aged people. It can cause moderate to severe lower left abdominal pain and can only be treated with medications. 

Treatment options:

Diverticulitis is an abnormal growth of a colon bacteria for which antibiotics are prescribed. Some of the majority of prescribed medications for diverticulitis are: 

  1. Kidney Stones 

Kidney stones can also be one of the major causes of persistent abdominal pain. Depending on the position and size of a kidney stone, there could be a number of reasons for its development and a number of treatment options. Getting medical consultation, examination, and treatment is essential for effective treatment. 

Treatment options:

The best and most recommended options for kidney treatment are diuretic medications that help flush the stone if smaller stones are in the kidney. 

In the case of larger stones, different laser procedures are performed according to the diagnosis and recommendation of a healthcare provider. 

  1. Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis 

Stomach ulcers and gastritis can be major causes of persistent abdominal pain. Various factors contribute to their development, and treatment options vary based on the specific condition and severity. Stomach ulcers are caused by continuous smoking, drinking, and exposing yourself to medications for an unnecessary period. At the same time, the main contributing factors for gastritis are alcohol consumption, bile reflux, and many more. Seeking medical consultation, examination, and appropriate treatment is crucial for effective management.

Treatment options:

As per the severity and nature of a medical condition, the lower left abdomen for stomach ulcers can be treated by medications including: 

  • Antibiotics 
  • Thiazide diuretics 

  1. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can also lead to persistent abdominal pain. Multiple factors contribute to its development. Lifestyle factors, such as diet and stress, can trigger IBD symptoms. Seeking timely medical advice, thorough evaluation, and effective treatment options are essential for effectively managing IBD symptoms and improving quality of life.

Connect with an online healthcare expert for pain management in lower abdominal pain!

Treatment options:

For treating IBD, doctors prescribe Metronidazole and Ciprofloxacin antibiotics along with Aminosalicylates and other related medications to effectively treat the IBD. Prescription medications change according to the nature and severity of the infection that varies from person to person. 

  1. Women issues

In women, several reasons can lead to persistent and severe abdominal pain in the lower left regions. Some of the major causing agents are : 

These underlying medical conditions in women can greatly affect fertility. While occasional discomfort might not signal any issues, persistent and severe pain should not be overlooked. If experiencing severe and consistent pain, seeking a medical diagnosis and treatment plan from your healthcare provider is important. 

Treatment options:

For the treatment of women’s health problems, your doctor will prescribe you medications depending on the nature and severity of the cause leading to pain in the abdomen. 

Usually, pain medications like: 

  • NSAIDs ( acetaminophen, Tylenol) will be recommended. 
  • Other fertility medications like progesterone medications will be recommended to you.  

How do we diagnose the cause of lower left abdominal pain? 

Lower left abdomen pain for shorter periods of time doesn’t indicate a medical condition. If the pain persists for longer periods, it needs a medical diagnosis. 

Only a healthcare provider can diagnose the cause of lower abdomen pain after the physical examination and necessary imaging tests.  

Consult a doctor

Get connected with an online doctor for abdominal pain in the lower left region and get the well-needed diagnosis and consultation. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat the underlying medical condition effectively. 

FAQs about lower left abdominal pain

Should I go to the ER for lower left abdominal pain?

If the pain in your abdomen is severe and persistent, and it’s difficult to touch, it’s high time to go to the ER, as it indicates a serious medical condition that needs urgent care. 

Can appendicitis start on the left side?

Appendicitis usually starts in the lower right side of the abdomen, but it rarely goes to the right side. It feels like a stabbing pain that comes and goes inconsistent waves. Getting connected with a doctor at the right time can give an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options. 

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Bodmer, Nicholas A., and Kiran H. Thakrar. “Evaluating the patient with left lower quadrant abdominal pain.” Radiologic Clinics 53.6 (2015): 1171-1188.
  • El Hakam, Mustafa Z., Ala I. Sharara, and Victor Chedid. “Persistent left lower abdominal pain.” Gastroenterology 138.1 (2010): e5-e6.
  • Siosaki, Marcos Duarte, et al. “A differential diagnosis in chronic lower abdominal pain.” International Journal of Surgery Case Reports 3.10 (2012): 504-506.

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