What is causing my left side pain?
Pain or discomfort in the left side of the abdomen is that which is felt in the stomach on the left side.
This is a common problem but it can be difficult to diagnose, as this area contains many important organs including the spleen, stomach, left kidney. A lot of digestive problems can also be blamed for this problem.
Which digestive conditions can cause pain?
Constipation, IBS, and Gastroenteritis
Pain in the left side of the abdomen can be a sign that there is something wrong with your digestive system.
The pain or cramping may be associated with constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or gastroenteritis. where there is irritation or inflammation in the lining of your stomach or small intestine.
Short-term digestive problems such as constipation or gastroenteritis can be treated at home, but it is important to monitor your symptoms. And if the pain doesn’t go away, see a doctor.
IBS, constipation, gastroenteritis can also cause pain on the right side of your abdomen.
If the sacs in your small and large intestine become infected, it causes a condition called diverticulitis which is accompanied by pain in the lower left side of the abdomen, high fever, diarrhea. Causes nausea, vomiting, and blood in the stool.
Intermittent cramping pain in the left side of the abdomen can also be a symptom of diverticulitis.
You will notice that your pain gets worse when you eat or soon after you finish eating.
This problem is very common in Western countries, affecting 50% of people over the age of 50, and may be associated with a lack of dietary fiber.
It is usually harmless and some people do not experience any symptoms, but some people with diverticulitis may feel persistent, mild pain in the lower left side of the abdomen.
See a doctor if you think you have a chronic condition such as diverticulitis. Treatment may vary depending on the severity of your symptoms. Diets that contain a good amount of high-fiber foods such as whole-grain bread, beans, and brown rice may help.
Can pain also be a sign of a kidney problem? Can pain also be a sign of a kidney problem?
Pain in the left side of your abdomen can be a sign that your left kidney is infected.
A kidney infection usually occurs when a bacterial infection travels through the abdomen to the kidneys and causes mild pain in the side of your abdomen.
Other symptoms include lower back pain, nausea, and fever. You may also see blood in your urine.
If you have persistent abdominal pain and fever, see a doctor. Most kidney infections can be treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, they can cause permanent kidney damage.
Kidney stones result from spoilage products such as crystals of calcium. Small stones can sometimes pass through your urine, but larger stones need to be removed so that they do not permanently damage your kidneys.
Kidney stones can also cause pain in the left side of the abdomen, but the type and character of the pain can be different. People suffering from kidney stones often experience severe prickling pain in the back and abdomen, it is not unusual for this pain to come in the form of cramps.
If you have kidney stones, you may find that you are sweating and nauseous. You may also see some blood coming out of your urine.
If you think you may have kidney pain, see a doctor. While you wait for medical help, drink plenty of hydrating fluids and take painkillers if needed to manage the pain.
Could there be swelling or damage to my spleen?
Sometimes pain in the left side of the abdomen can be a sign that there is some problem with your spleen.
The spleen is a small handful of an organ located below the abdomen. It helps to separate the blood and make new blood cells.
Your spleen may hurt if it is damaged in an accident or it may become inflamed or painful as a result of leukemia or rheumatoid arthritis.
Other signs that your spleen is inflamed or damaged include:
- Pain behind the left rib
- Dizziness or rapid heart rate
- Feeling full immediately after eating (as your spleen presses against your stomach)
- Frequent infection
If you think your spleen is damaged or inflamed, you should go to the nearest hospital immediately. They may conduct scans and tests to find the cause and may prescribe medicines to treat the underlying cause.
When to see a doctor
If you think that your left side pain is due to any of the above reasons, then you should see a doctor.
You should still see a doctor if you have pain in the left side of your abdomen and you have:
- are pregnant
- Feeling persistently nauseous or vomiting
- bleeding or blood in the stool
- persistent diarrhea
- recent weight loss without effort
- breathless or dizziness