Left Lower (LLQ) Abdominal Pain – Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

The abdomen can be divided into 4 portions namely upper left, lower left, upper right and the lower right region. Abdominal cavity is the largest cavity in human being consisting of several vital organs like stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, small intestine and large intestine. Several conditions ranging from gastric problem to more serious ulcerative colitis or kidney disorders can cause left abdominal pain. Left lower quadrant includes the colon (descending and sigmoid colon), left ovary along with fallopian tube, part of uterus, the bladder and left ureter.

The following are some of the conditions that cause LLQ :

  • Diverticulitis – Elderly people are at risk of developing sharp pain due to diverticulitis on the left lower abdomen. Inflammation of the left bowel walls occur along with related symptoms like fever, gradually progressing pain, formation of mass in the lower left abdomen and blood leakage in the stool.
  • Chronic Constipation – Severe constipation can produce intermittent pain in the left lower abdomen pain. Poor toilet habit, low intake of fiber and water and skipping meals often is the major cause for constipation.
  • Urinary Tract – Formation of stones in the urinary tract or infections can cause blockage in the tract leading to LLQ pain. Some people can feel the burning pain while passing urine and for some others urinary infection can cause frequent urination.
  • Bowel Conditions – Certain diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can cause sharp pain in the lower abdomen. It would produce some other symptoms including severe diarrhea, bleeding in stool, vomiting, nausea, and rectal bleeding. It might also cause irregular movements of the bowel, flatulence and abdominal cramps.
  • Kidney ProblemsKidney stones can obstruct the normal functioning of the kidneys causing fever, nausea, vomiting, groin pain and lower left abdominal pain. Kidney infections can also cause similar symptoms and burning pain while passing urine.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy – In some women egg may get fertilized and get implanted in the fallopian tubes instead of uterus. This condition is called as ectopic pregnancy which can be life threatening if not given prompt treatment. This can cause severe pain in the lower left abdomen along with severe cramps, light bleeding of vagina, nausea, vomiting and pain on one side of the body.
  • Large Intestine – Final stages of absorption of food particles occur in this place. Millions of bacteria thrive in this region helping in digestion process but sometimes bacteria would multiply in large numbers causing an infection.
  • Volvulus is a condition of wrong movement of the transverse colon which can cause severe cramps in the left lower abdomen.
  • Muscles Of The Abdomen – Abdominal muscles offer great protection to the abdominal cavity and control the movement of legs and thoracic region. Muscle strain, doing strenuous exercises, sharp blow on the abdomen and rectus sheath hematoma can cause LLQ pain.
  • Adrenal Gland – Adrenal gland is placed on the top of kidneys and produces various important hormones. Any tumor like adenoma or carcinoma in the adrenal glands can cause left lower abdominal pain.
  • Appendicitis – It is a rare condition that cause inflammation of the appendix (a small pouch like part) found in the large intestine. It can cause sharp progressive pain in the left lower and right lower abdomen. Emergency surgery is to be done for removing appendix and to prevent death.
  • Reproductive Organs – Monthly onset of menstruation can cause abdominal cramps and lower left abdominal pain in women. Other conditions like gonorrhea, ruptured ovarian cyst, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids and abortion can also cause severe pain in the LLQ.
  • For men sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and infections and testes disorders can cause pain.

left lower abdominal pain

Other Causes :

Infection on the peritoneum membrane, aneurysm, atherosclerosis and hereditary angioedema can cause lower left abdominal pain along with relevant symptoms.

Tests :

Your doctor will first complete the physical exam paying close attention to the lower abdomen. He may request for several tests including blood culture, urine and stool analysis and imaging tests like ultrasound scan of the abdomen. For getting clear picture CT scan can also be done.

left lower abdominal pain Treatment :

Treatment for left lower abdominal pain is purely based on the analysis and root cause of the problem. Overall good health can be attained by following healthy balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber and whole grains. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.

Different Kinds Of Pain :

  • Generalized – Generalized pain on the abdomen is felt by almost every one of us at some point of our time. It can occur due to indigestion, gastric problem and due to upset stomach. More than half of the cases will have generalized pain.
  • Localized – If abdominal pain is restricted to specific area, it is known as localized pain. The pain occurs almost instantly and gets worse over time. This kind of pain should be dealt with seriously by visiting the nearest clinic. Appendicitis and peptic ulcer are some examples of localized pain.
  • Cramps –  Severe abdominal cramps are that kind of pain that comes and goes with varying degrees of pain. Often this kind of pain is not serious. Menstrual cramps and diarrhea pain belong to this category.

It is very much necessary to visit your doctor if the pain does not subside within hours or if it gets severe over time. It can be due to perforation (a hole) in the intestine, or kidney stone or gallbladder disease. If abdominal pain is accompanied with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, flatulence and discomfort you need to check with your doctor immediately.

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