Upper Left Abdomen Anatomy
The upper left part of the abdomen contains several structures including:
- Left lobe of the liver
- Left kidney
- Left adrenal gland
- Upper left sections of the large intestine
Pain in the upper left abdomen is also called pain in the left upper quadrant, pain under the left ribcage, or pain in the left hypochondrium.
When Should An Adult Seek Medical Care For Abdominal Pain
- Abdominal pain that lasts more than six hours or continues to worsen
- Severe abdominal pain
- Pain that worsens when a person tries to move around
- Pain that starts all over, but settles into one area, especially the right lower abdomen
- Pain that awakens a person up at night
- Pain with vaginal bleeding or pregnancy, even if a female only thinks she might be pregnant
- Pain accompanied by a fever over 101 F
- Pain along with an inability to urinate, move the bowels, or pass gas
- Any other pain that feels different from a simple stomach ache
- Any other pain that alarms a person, or concerns them in any way
If the person has any of the following, or cannot reach their doctor, go to a hospital emergency department:
- Very severe pain
- Pain so bad the affected person passes out or almost passes out
- Pain so bad the affected person cannot move
- Pain and vomiting blood, or any vomiting that lasts more than 6 hours
- Pain and no bowel movement for more than three days
- Pain the person thinks might be in their chest, but they aren’t sure
- Pain that seems to come from the person’s testicles
Causes Of Waist Pain On The Left Side
Due to the growth of the fetus, and the subsequent compression of the surrounding internal organs of the mother, the pain sensitive areas and nerves are compressed, giving rise to pain. It is fairly common, and can be alleviated to a certain extent by maintaining a good posture, balancing the fetal weight, and by using heat or ice compresses.
SciaticaThe sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the lower spinal cord. In case the disks of the spinal cord get herniated, it compresses the sciatic nerve, and puts pressure on it. This leads to a sharp shooting pain along the lower back.
OsteoporosisIt is a condition which causes the bones to become weak and brittle. This causes the bones to fracture frequently and undergo compression, leading to a condition called kyphosis. This condition causes the abnormal curving of the spine, which in turn affects the nerves, thereby causing great pain.
FibromyalgiaIt is a disorder that results in musculoskeletal pain, along with fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, and memory lapses. Its exact cause is unknown, but scientists speculate that it may be psychological, genetic, and environmental as well. It cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be managed with the help of medications and therapy.
GastritisIt is a medical condition wherein the lining of the stomach is inflamed. It is symptomized by burning sensation and pain in either the left or right side of the abdomen.
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When To See A Doctor
Most cases of left-sided abdominal pain will improve within 2 to 3 days, especially when the pain is caused by mild conditions like excess gas or constipation.
However, you should seek medical help when:
- Pain is very intense or appears suddenly
- Other symptoms emerge such as high fever, bloody stool, intense vomiting, or yellowish skin
- Symptoms do not improve after two days
- There’s unexplained weight loss.
Organs In The Left Side Abdomen
Organs in the Upper Left Side Abdomen
The organs found in the upper left side abdomen include the spleen, a portion of the bowel or large intestines, part of the pancreas, a portion of the stomach and the left kidney as well as the skin, muscles and left lower ribs that cover these organs. The heart can be found just above this location. You are also able to find a portion of the left edge of the liver, the top portion of the left ureter, the top of the left lung’s behind and the left side’s adrenal gland. The aorta can also be found on this side in cases when it is distended.
Organs in the Lower Left Side Abdomen
Several of the organs found in the lower left side abdomen are continuations of those found in the upper region although others are completely different. Here you can find the lower edge of the kidney on the left side, the left ureter, a portion of the large bowel, the sigmoid colon, and a portion from the urinary bladder, large blood vessels and nerves and in women, the left tube and ovary. This is of course all covered by muscles and skin, like in the upper left side abdomen.
It is important to note that just because a structure is not found within the abdomen does not mean that it cannot cause pain in this area.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Abdominal Pain In Adults
Abdominal pain can be treated by a variety of doctors depending on the cause of the pain. It is usually best to start off with a primary care physician who can start the process of diagnosing the origin of the pain. Depending on the final diagnosis you will be treated by a primary care doctor or referred to a surgeon , gastroenterologist, or gynecologist. If the pain is severe you might end up in the emergency department where an emergency medicine physician will be the first one to take care of you.
Symptoms Of Chronic Pancreatitis
The most common symptom of chronic pancreatitis is repeated episodes of severe pain in your tummy .
The pain usually develops in the middle or left side of your tummy and can move along your back.
It’s been described as a burning or shooting pain that comes and goes, but may last for several hours or days.
Although the pain sometimes comes on after eating a meal, there’s often no trigger. Some people might feel sick and vomit.
As the condition progresses, the painful episodes may become more frequent and severe.
Eventually, a constant dull pain can develop in your tummy, between episodes of severe pain.
This is most common in people who continue to drink alcohol after being diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis.
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Diagnosis Of Gurgling On The Left Side Of The Stomach
To detect persistent or atypical stomach or small/large intestine grumbling, your doctor or gastroenterologist may likely inquire about the following:
- Additional symptoms that occur concurrently
- A brief medical history
- Family history
If he/she thinks something isnt right, he/she will order more tests. In this case, if you have blood in your stool and a family history of cancer, that could be a sign of colon cancer. The doctor might order imaging tests or a biopsy.
To figure out whats wrong with you, your doctor will most likely do some tests:
- A CT scan is a way to get X-ray images of the inside of the body.
- An endoscopy is a test that uses a camera and a small, flexible tube to look inside the stomach or intestines and take pictures.
- Blood tests are used to find out if there is an infection, inflammation, or damage to one or more parts of the body.
Obstructions make loud, high-pitched sounds that can be heard without a stethoscope. They may also be accompanied by stomach pain, bloating, and constipation.
Certain gastrointestinal diseases including Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis have treatments. Your doctor may recommend medicine if you have one of these problems.
When Should You Consult A Doctor
When your stomach starts to growl, its usually not a bad thing. But some of the same symptoms should make you go to the doctor right away. Following are some symptoms alerting you to consult a doctor-
- Persistent constipation
- Constant pain in the abdomen
- Persistent diarrhea
- Blood in your stool
If gurgling and other symptoms start-up in people who have an intestinal infection or inflammation, they should go to the emergency room to avoid dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and other problems. Its also important to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and only take medicine if a doctor tells you to.
Treatment for a bowel obstruction depends on what caused the obstruction in the first place. Regardless, treatment should be done in a hospital to avoid problems.
If you think you have a hernia, you should see a doctor right away. Surgery may be an option based on the severity. Getting surgery can help avoid more problems, such as the strangulation of an abdominal organ .
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Dont Keep Yourself Hungry
Stomach growling is typically a sign of hunger or low blood sugar. Eating a snack helps mute or stop stomach noises.
If your stomach is grumbling due to hunger, you should eat something. Choose fiber-rich foods for regular bowel motions and simple digestion.
Managing your stress and anxiety is very important. The root causes of many diseases, like some that make your stomach growl, are chronic stress and anxiety that lasts for a long time.
Causes Of Upper Left Side Abdominal Pain
Upper left side abdominal pain can come from many different sources. The most common reasons are:
Most people who experience indigestion also encounter heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest. While the occasional problem digesting food is usually nothing to worry about, if youre experiencing constant symptoms you should talk to your doctor as it may indicate an underlying issue.
A peptic ulcer, also known as a stomach ulcer, is an open sore on the lining of the stomach. It happens when the stomach lining has been damaged. Stomach ulcers occur mostly in patients who use anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, in the long term. These ulcers can also be caused by bacterial infections.
An enlarged spleen, or splenomegaly, in some cases, has no symptoms. The most common symptoms are feeling full quickly during meals, or discomfort and pain on the upper left side of the abdomen. This pain may also spread to your left shoulder. Although the spleen is a small organ, it has several important functions including immune system defense and storing red blood cells.
Broken or bruised ribs
Rib injuries can happen when there is traumato the chest. Someone with broken or bruised ribs will have pain while breathing or moving. Although you cant see a rib injury, you will definitely be able to feel one.
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Pain Coming From The Pancreas
Your pancreas is in the middle of the upper part of your tummy. Chemicals made by cells in the pancreas pass into the guts to help digest food. The hormones insulin and glucagon are also made in the pancreas and help to regulate the blood sugar level. It can become inflamed in the conditions acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis, causing upper tummy pain, usually with feeling sick and/or being sick . The pain is usually in the centre of the upper part of your tummy, but can be felt on the left. In acute pancreatitis there is usually also a fever and you may feel very unwell in yourself.
Cancers of the pancreas can also cause upper tummy pain.
What Is The Medical Treatment For Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
The patient’s treatment will depend on what the doctor thinks is causing the abdominal pain.
The patient may be given IV fluids. The doctor may ask the patient not to eat or drink anything until the cause of the pain is known. This is done to avoid worsening certain medical conditions or to prepare the patient in case they need to have surgery.
The patient may be given pain medication.
- For pain caused by bowel spasm, they may be given a shot in the hip, arm, or leg.
- If the patient is not throwing up, they may receive a drink that has antacid in it or pain medication.
- Although the patient’s pain may not go away completely, they have the right to be comfortable and should ask for pain medicine until they are made comfortable.
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The Last Word: Sleep On Your Leftdo It Right
Everyone knows that sleep is important, but very few among us actually make the eight-hour rest a priority in our lives.
Sleep affects health, body, mind, and of course mood as well. We essentially sleep away one-third of our lives, so it should be of good quality. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours of sleep for adults.
Keeping to your left side while sleeping is also beneficial for people suffering from sleep apnea. It helps those with back and neck pain and people who are generally prone to snoring. Sleeping on the left side opens up the oropharynx and elongates the spine, alleviating the back pain and reducing the propensity to snore.
Pregnant women are also told to sleep on the left side. It keeps blood circulating to the heart, uterus, fetus, and kidneys, ensuring the health of both mom and baby.
Causes Of Chronic Pancreatitis
The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over many years.
This can cause repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis, which results in increasing damage to the organ.
In children the most common cause is cystic fibrosis.
Less common causes include:
In some cases, no cause can be identified. This is called idiopathic chronic pancreatitis.
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There Can Be Many Different Causes For Left Side Pain On Abdomen Be It Ibs Food Poisoning Or Kidney Stones See A Doctor To Get Proper Treatment
If you draw an imaginary line on the center of the abdomen, you can describe left side abdominal pain as the pain occurs on the left side of the abdomen. Left side abdominal pain can be caused both by organs and structures on the left section of the abdomen as well as those located away from the abdomen. Females are more likely to suffer from pain on left side of abdomen simply because they have more organs in this area. Keep reading to learn more information about it if you suffer from this pain often or occasionally.
Belly Pain In The Lower Left Side That’s Worse When You Move
Abdominal pain in the left lower area of the abdomen may signify diverticulitis, small pockets in the colon that can become obstructed and tear. Traditional treatment includes antibiotics and stool softeners to reduce the risk of abscess formation. Physicians say according to recent research, antibiotics may no longer be needed in this scenario, recommending acetaminophen instead.
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What Does The Gurgling Sound On The Left Side Of The Stomach Mean
Bowel sounds, or stomach growling, are noises made in the small and large intestines when food is being broken down. These are common after meals. The gurgling on left side of stomach is caused by the contraction of the gut walls as food passes through.
Is your stomach gurgling on the left side?
Most people have a growling stomach from time to time. There is a chance your body is telling you that you are hungry. Or there could be a more dangerous reason.
You may have occasional stomach growling. Your body may be telling you to eat. Or a more serious underlying cause.
You have a two-hour cycle even when youre not hungry. Peristalsis is a natural mechanism that moves food, liquids, and gas through your gastrointestinal tract. Peristalsis is typical but might cause rumbling.
However, stomach gurgling with additional symptoms like discomfort or bloating can indicate an infection, inflammation, or constipation. You should consult a doctor to determine the cause and begin treatment.
Hunger is a typical cause of stomach rumbles. When we are hungry, the brain releases chemicals that induce bowel and stomach contractions. This causes gurgling.
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Pain Coming From A Problem With Your Heart
Problems with your heart more usually cause a pain in your chest. However, again the chest and tummy cavities are very close together and sometimes it may feel more as though the pain is in your upper tummy. Heart problems which might do this include:
- Angina. Pain usually comes on as you exert yourself and settles when you rest.
- A heart attack . Pain is sudden and crushing. There may also be pain in the left arm or jaw, and you may feel generally very unwell and/or short of breath. Call an ambulance immediately if you think you are having a heart attack.
- Pericarditis. This is an inflammation of the surrounding sac of the heart. More typically it gives you chest pain, usually with a fever.
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What Home Remedies Soothe Abdominal Pain In Adults
Abdominal pain without fever, vomiting, vaginal bleeding, passing out, chest pain, or other serious symptoms often get better without special treatment.
- If the pain persists or if a person believes the pain may represent a serious problem, they should see a doctor.
- A heating pad or soaking in a tub of warm water may ease the pain.
- Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums, Maalox, or Pepto-Bismol, also can reduce some types of abdominal pain. Activated charcoal capsules also may help.
- Acetaminophen may help. This product should be avoided if liver disease is suspected. Patients should try to avoid aspirin or ibuprofen stomach or intestinal ulcer disease is suspected these drugs can make the pain worse.