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Causes for Left Side Abdominal Pain

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Authored by Darlene Zagata in Diseases
Published on 07-18-2009

Pain located anywhere in the body can be a cause for concern especially when you do not know the cause. There are many possible causes of left side abdominal pain such as ulcer, heartburn, gastritis or even muscle strain. There are several other possible causes for pain in this area of the body. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional disorder, meaning the bowel does not function properly. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome often include bloating, abdominal cramping, flatulence and alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation.

Kidney infection is a form of urinary tract infection which causes pain and discomfort. Kidney stones which are hardened masses formed from urinary minerals may also cause left side abdominal pain.
An ulcer is a lesion that forms in the lining of the stomach. An ulcer can cause pain and/or burning sensation in the abdomen.

Diverticulitis is another possible cause for pain in the left quadrant of the abdomen. Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the diverticula ( small pouches) along the wall of the intestines.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes and/or ovaries. This condition could be the cause of left side abdominal pain in women.

Pancreatitis which is an inflammation of the pancreas could also be a possible cause for pain in this region of the abdomen.

Gastritis is an umbrella term for several conditions that may cause inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Symptoms of gastritis may include bloating, vomiting, nausea, burning pain and abdominal discomfort.

Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which the embryo develops outside of the uterus, often in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancy is a possible cause of left side abdominal pain in females of child bearing age.

Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which ulcers form in the lining of the rectum and colon and bleed. The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain and diarrhea stools containing blood.

Ovarian cyst is another condition which may cause left side abdominal pain in females. A cyst is a fluid filled sac that may develop in or on an ovary.

These are just a few of the conditions that may cause left side abdominal pain so it is best left to a physician to diagnose the exact cause of the pain. Left side abdominal pain may also result from injury or muscle strain following exertion such as strenuous exercise or activity, as well as lifting a heavy object. While some conditions such as gastritis or irritable bowel syndrome are not life threatening, others such as an ectopic pregnancy requires medical diagnosis and treatment as it is a potentially life threatening condition. There are many possible causes of left side abdominal pain.

The average person would not be able to determine what is causing the pain and should not try to self-diagnose his condition. If you are experiencing left side abdominal pain or pain in any other area of your body, it is important to seek medical attention. A proper diagnosis must be made by a qualified health care provider to ensure you receive proper medical treatment for the underlying cause of the pain.

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