Monday, April 22, 2024

Why Is The Left Side Of My Stomach Hurting

Organs On The Left Side Of The Abdomen

Stomach Pain Upper Left Side – What Is It?

On the left side of your abdomen you can find some of the most important internal organs in your body:

Left lung The lower part of your left lung is located behind your heart and both of your lungs play a vital function in the respiratory system.

Spleen, pancreas, and part of the liver Although your liver is located under the right rib cage, part of it is located on the left side just under your heart. Below your heart under the left part of your rib cage are your liver, spleen, and pancreas. These organs, along with your liver, are an important part of your digestive system and help to break down food to extract nutrients and filter out waste products.

Left kidney Your left kidney is located towards your back and, just like the liver, helps to filter blood and keep you healthy.

Part of the stomach, intestines, and colon Part of your stomach, intestines, and colon are also located on the left side of your abdomen. The last part of your colon is located in the lower left side of the abdomen. If you have any digestive problems, the digestive-related pain might be felt on the left side.

Womens reproductive system Women also have part of their reproductive system on the left side of their body: part of the womb, left fallopian tube and the left ovary.

Organs on the Left Side of the Abdomen

When Your Lower Left Abdomen Hurts This May Be Why

If you feel pain in your lower left abdomen, the most common culprit is diverticulitis. Other causes can include constipation, hernia and urinary tract infections. But if the pain only occurs after you eat, the possibilities narrow down to just a few.

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“Left lower abdominal pain that occurs after eating is usually caused by a reaction called the gastrocolic reflex,” says Brooks D. Cash, MD, chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “This is a normal reaction that occurs when food fills your stomach. Your stomach sends a message to your brain, and your brain causes your sigmoid colon to contract.”

Treatment For Chronic Pancreatitis

The damage to the pancreas is permanent, but treatment can help control the condition and manage any symptoms.

People with chronic pancreatitis are usually advised to make lifestyle changes, such as stopping drinking alcohol and stopping smoking. They’re also given medicine to relieve pain.

Surgery may also be an option for those experiencing severe pain.

Also Check: How Do You Relieve Stomach Pain

When To See A Doctor About Abdominal Pain

Go straight to your doctor or the emergency department of the nearest hospital if you have any of the following:

  • severe pain
  • pain lasting for several hours
  • pain or vaginal bleeding if you are pregnant
  • pain in your scrotum if you are a male
  • pain and vomiting or shortness of breath
  • pain and vomiting blood
  • blood in your bowel motions or urine
  • pain that spreads to your chest, neck or shoulder
  • unable to move your bowels or pass gas
  • any other concerns.

What Is Food Poisoning

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Food poisoning is caused by ingesting food that is contaminated with a bacteria, parasite, or virus. The most common causes of food poisoning are well-known bacteria and viruses like E. Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Norovirus, and Clostridium Perfringens. When foods are cooked at a high enough temperature, these pathogens are killed off. But if they are eaten raw, arent cooked fully through, or if there is a case of cross-contamination, you place yourself at risk of getting a foodborne illness.

Common foods that can cause food poisoning include:

  • Raw fruit and vegetables
  • Sushi or other forms of raw fish
  • Cold cuts and deli meat
  • Unpasteurized products like vinegars and dairy products
  • Poultry
  • Raw eggs

If youre around other people or have other kids at home, you may be wondering, is food poisoning contagious? Unfortunately, when caused by specific bacteria, viruses, or parasites, it is contagious. Do your best to keep the infected individual isolated and prevent the spread of the illness.

Also Check: What Medicine Is Good For Stomach Flu

B Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a widespread disease affecting over 15% of people worldwide .

The hallmark of irritable bowel syndrome is recurrent abdominal pain and change in bowel habits.

IBS pain can be abnormally sharp. Typically, it is diffuse, but it can localize in the left stomach area in a minority of patients .

Learn more about IBS and how it is diagnosed.

Types Of Abdominal Pain And What You Can Do

Abdominal pain can occur anywhere between the chest and the lower abdomen and can range from a dull ache to severe pain. Abdominal pain is one of the common reasons people visit urgent care centers and emergency rooms in the 78130 area code of New Braunfels, Texas.

The doctors and the medical professionals at Riverside ER, a 24-hour emergency care center located near you in New Braunfels, Texas, want to educate the public on the symptoms of abdominal pain and the relevant treatment.

There are four types of abdominal pain: upper, lower, right-sided and left-sided. Each type has specific symptoms and causes, and all are briefly discussed below .

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What Are The Common Causes Of Left Upper Quadrant Pain In Children

In young children it is often quite difficult for them to show exactly where the pain is. If this is the case, the field of options widens to almost any cause of tummy ache. In children common causes include:

  • Gastroenteritis.
  • Mesenteric adenitis. In children with infections such as colds, glands within the tummy commonly become inflamed giving them tummy ache.
  • Appendicitis. Usually this gives pain in the lower right part of the tummy, but if a child can’t show you exactly where the pain is, or if the appendix has burst , appendicitis may be a possible diagnosis to consider.
  • Pneumonia. Infections in the lower parts of the lungs can cause pain in the tummy.

Abdominal Bloating And Pain Treatments

Left-Sided Abdominal Pain After Eating Cause Of Abdominal Pain Left Side Dr.Berg

Treatments for abdominal bloating and pain will address the underlying condition.

Examples may include antibiotics for infections. If an intestinal obstruction is the cause, your doctor may encourage bowel rest by decreasing oral intake.

If theres a deficiency moving contents within the GI tract, your doctor may prescribe medications to encourage intestinal movement. Surgery may be necessary in severe instances.

Also Check: What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Stomach Cancer

Symptoms Of Pain On The Left Side

Depending on the exact cause of your pain, you may have various degrees of pain. Sometimes, it can also be difficult to determine exactly where the pain is coming from.

For example, pain associated with your heart can be a dull constant pain that radiates to your left shoulder and neck. But sometimes, the extreme discomfort may feel like there is a heavy weight pressing on your chest. However, if you have kidney or flank pain, you may feel this on the left or right side of your back, but the pain can also travel down to your abdomen and groin.

Inflammation of your breastbone or tissue around the heart can cause sharp pains in your left chest that feels worse when you breathe in. The inflammation can also cause dull aches in your chest that cause general discomfort.

Very often, digestive problems like constipation, excess gas, or inflammation in the intestines can cause sharp pains that seem to move around your abdominal area. However, sharp stabbing pains in the left side of the abdomen could indicate a serious problem with your spleen or pancreas.

It is also important to tell the difference between cardiac-related pain and non-cardiac pain. Stress and panic attacks can bring on painful symptoms as if your heart is about to stop beating. However, the racing heartbeat that usually comes with a panic attack can also put extra strain on your heart and cause severe aching in your left chest.

Severe Pain In The Lower Right Abdomen

If you notice intense pain in the lower right abdomen that comes on suddenly, it could be appendicitis. This condition can also bring on a rising fever and vomiting, especially if the pain starts at the navel and continues to get worse. It is best for individuals with these symptoms to go to the nearest emergency room. Left untreated, your appendix could rupture.

Read Also: How To Reduce Upper Stomach

Taking Care Of Yourself At Home

Most abdominal pain goes away without special treatment. Be guided by your doctor, but there are some things you can do to help ease the pain, including:

  • Place a hot water bottle or heated wheat bag on your abdomen.
  • Soak in a warm bath. Take care not to scald yourself.
  • Drink plenty of clear fluids such as water.
  • Reduce your intake of coffee, tea and alcohol as these can make the pain worse.
  • When you are allowed to eat again, start with clear liquids, then progress to bland foods such as crackers, rice, bananas or toast. Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Try over-the-counter antacids, to help reduce some types of pain.
  • Take mild painkillers such as paracetamol. Please check the packet for the right dose. Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs unless advised to take them by a doctor. These drugs can make some types of abdominal pain worse.

Symptoms Of Gurgling On The Left Side Of The Stomach

Pain in Lower Left Abdomen

Sometimes you might not feel hungry but still, your stomach is gurgling/growling. A growling stomach doesnt necessarily mean that you are hungry.

Normal abdominal sounds are not any cause for alarm. However, other symptoms accompanying the sounds may suggest a health condition. Symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • infectious enteritis
  • ulcerative colitis

During lunchtime or after a big meal, your stomach might start to rumble a little. This is a good sign that your digestive system is working as it should be.

A visit with your doctor only makes sense if there is a big change in how often and how much it happens, or if there is a lot of other trouble.

Read Also: How To Heal An Inflamed Stomach

Could I Have A Swollen Or Damaged Spleen

Occasionally, left-sided abdominal pain can be a sign that something is wrong with your spleen.

The spleen is a small, fist-sized organ located just underneath your stomach. It helps to filter your blood and create new blood cells.

Your spleen may hurt if its damaged or ruptured in an accident, or it can become swollen and painful as a result of a condition like leukemia or

Other signs that your spleen has become swollen or damaged include:

  • pain or tenderness behind your left ribs
  • dizziness and rapid heart rate
  • feeling full very quickly after eating
  • frequent infections
  • fatigue

If you think that your spleen may be damaged or swollen, you should go to your nearest hospital immediately. They may organise scans and tests to find the cause, and may be able to prescribe medication to treat the underlying cause.

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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.

Also Check: Why I Have Stomach Pain After Eating

When In Doubt About Your Abdominal Pain Physicians Say Its Best To Call Your Doctor Or Head To The Er

The egg salad didn’t taste quite right, but you were hungry. Or maybe your craving for cheesecake outweighed the punishment you knew your lactose intolerance would inflict. You expect stomach distress in situations like these, but other times, abdominal pain can come out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s severe enough or lasts for so long that you know it’s not simply a matter of eating something that didn’t agree with you.

Digestive system issues account for 45.1 million visits to doctors’ offices and emergency departments yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The severity of the pain, its location within your abdominal area, and accompanying symptoms may provide clues to the origin of the pain and if you should seek help immediately. Here are some of the most common signs your tummy troubles need more than an over-the-counter remedy.

Pain In Lower Left Side Of Abdomen When Exercising

Left Side Abdominal Pain Under Ribs Causes & Remedies Covered by Dr. Berg

Pain in your lower left abdominal while exercising is not uncommon. If you only feel this pain while working out, it is probably nothing more than a side stitch or side ache. But, according to, other causes of pain in the lower left abdominal area include appendicitis, cancer, endometriosis, injury, intestinal obstruction, kidney infections and a torn colon. Some of these conditions are severe, so see a doctor if you have intense abdominal pain that concerns you.

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Where Is The Pain

Doctors and other health professionals will first ask you where you feel the pain. Pain above the umbilicus but below the ribcage on the right may be gallstone pain. Gallstone pain may spread to the right shoulder or the back.

Pain from kidney stones is felt in the right side or left side, more in the back than the front of the abdomen, and tends to radiate downwards into the groin on the same side.

Pain in the very centre of the abdomen is more likely to be coming from the intestines, however in males, testicular pain is also felt in the centre of the abdomen.

When To Get Medical Advice

See a GP immediately if you’re experiencing severe pain, as this is a warning sign that something is wrong.

If this is not possible, contact NHS 111 for advice.

You should also see a GP as soon as you can if:

  • your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow
  • you keep being sick

Jaundice can have a range of causes other than pancreatitis, but it’s usually a sign there’s something wrong with your digestive system.

Read Also: What To Eat To Lose Weight In Your Stomach

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.

If any of these situations arise, consult your family doctor or gastroenterologist.

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.

Also Check: Does Stomach Cancer Cause Pain

Treatments For Upper Left Side Abdominal Pain In Children

Most abdominal pain in children resolves itself, but there are some steps to take to ease the pain and keep your child healthy:

  • If your child has an appetite and feels like eating, offer them bland foods like rice or toast. Dont force them to eat anything.
  • Keep your child hydrated. Dehydration can occur if your child is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.
  • Give them time on the toilet. This may encourage them to have a bowel movement, which can ease the pain.
  • Make sure they get plenty of rest.
  • With a doctors help, avoid medicine. This can make an upset stomach worse.

If the abdominal pain does not subside, this could signify a more serious problem. Check for the following symptoms during home treatment:

  • Pain gets worse, spreads, or becomes localized.
  • Newer symptoms develop and the pain continues.
  • The abdomen becomes hard or swollen.

Common Causes Of Lower Abdominal Pain

The common causes of lower abdominal pain are the menstrual cycle, urinary tract infection and constipation. The common symptoms include:

  • cramping
  • painful urination
  • painful sex

The management of the associated pains with the above symptoms can typically be accomplished with over-the-counter pain relievers or antacids. A person should seek medical attention at an urgent care center in New Braunfels, Texas if any symptom does not improve within three days, or at the first indication of a painful urination.

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