8 Causes Of Left Lower Abdominal Pain: Best Guide For You

left lower abdominal pain
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Generally, lower left abdomen pain is not something an individual should be concerned about. But if the pain is persistent and severe, it is not considered wise to ignore it. Individuals experiencing severe pain should seek quick medical advice from an expert, in case they need to be taken to the emergency room.

The lower left abdomen is an elaborately connected complex area with the left kidney, last colon, left ovary, bladder, and blood vessels lying side by side. The complicated structure of this area, with no protective wall, makes it vulnerable to injuries and diseases. And thus, it’s not uncommon for people to experience pain here in this exact area.

Some of the causes for the pain in this area are more fatal than others. And if neglected, it can induce permanent damage to the body of the individual. So, it’s necessary to learn about the possible causes of persistent pain in the lower left abdomen.

And seek medical support immediately, if needed.

General Causes Of Left Lower Abdominal Pain

Abdominal discomfort can be caused by a variety of factors. It might be caused by a digestive problem, an accident, an infection, or a sickness. It might be coming from an internal organ or the muscles or skin of your abdominal wall. It might also have spread from somewhere else in the area.

To discover the reason of your discomfort, your healthcare practitioner will ask you thorough questions. The severity of the problem isn’t always determined by how horrible it feels.

Some common, temporary disorders can be acute, while others that are life-threatening may appear minor.

Some of the general causes as to why you might be experiencing pain in your left lower abdominal area are as follows:

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a persistent intestinal disorder that causes pain in the lower left abdomen. This gastrointestinal disease is also called spastic colon or irritable colon.

The causes for the onset of IBS are unknown. It can happen following a bacterial or parasite infection of the intestines (giardiasis). Other factors, such as stress, may also play a role.

Hormone and nerve impulses that go back and forth between the gut and the brain link the intestine to the brain. These signals have an impact on bowel function as well as symptoms.

During times of stress, the nerves might become more active. This might make the intestines more sensitive and lead them to constrict more.

The cause of this chronic ailment is not understood well yet. And thus, it can only be diagnosed when the other symptoms of other diseases have been ruled out.

Some of the common symptoms of IBS are:

  • Lower left abdominal pain.
  • Bloating or cramping concerning passing a bowel movement.
  • Changes in frequency of bowel movement.
  • Change in the appearance of bowel movements.

2. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is one of the most common causes of persistent lower left abdomen pain.

Diverticula are small pouches on the outer lining of your large intestine. They are created from applied pressure on the weak spots on the colon and start causing pain left side of the abdomen when one of the pouches gets infected.

Diverticulitis is a disorder that occurs when the pouches become inflamed or infected. Abdominal discomfort, generally on the left side, is the most prevalent symptom.

Fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramps, and constipation are all possible symptoms. Diverticulitis can cause bleeding, rips, or obstructions in severe situations.

To diagnose it, your doctor will do a physical examination and imaging testing. Antibiotics, pain medications, and a liquid diet are all possible treatments. A severe case may necessitate hospitalization or surgery.

The majority of persons with diverticulosis have no symptoms. Mild cramping, bloating, and constipation are common side effects. Diverticulosis is frequently discovered as a result of testing requested for something else.

It’s frequently discovered during a colonoscopy to check for malignancy.

Symptoms of this include:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Abdominal Tenderness.
  • Nausea.
  • Fever.

Mild diverticulitis can be easily cured with some antibiotics, a change in diet, and medical attention. But the more severe conditions might need immediate medical attention and move to the emergency room.

3. Indigestion

Indigestion occurs after overeating, overeating fatty, and spicy foods, eating too quickly, or taking medications. All these situations lead to the accumulation of acid, which causes sudden pain in the upper side of the abdomen. But in some rare cases, this pain can move to the lower side of the abdomen.

To figure out what’s causing your indigestion, you may require blood testing or an upper endoscopy. An upper endoscopy is a procedure that uses a scope to examine your esophagus and stomach. A scope is a flexible, long tube with a light and camera at the end.

Any underlying disease that is causing your indigestion may be treated by your healthcare practitioner. It’s possible that you’ll need to quit taking the medications that are causing your indigestion. You may also require medications to assist lower your stomach’s acid level.

Symptoms of this include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Discomfort or pain
  • Nausea
  • Passing gas or belching
  • Bloated feeling
  • Heartburn

It is a mild situation, but urgent care is needed if the condition worsens or continues for a long time.

4. Hernia

A hernia occurs when an internal organ or tissue starts bulging through an abnormal opening. In other words, it occurs when an organ tears through the weak spot of the wall of tissue surrounding it.

It grows as a lump or bulge that causes pain in the hernia site and the lower left abdomen because generally, a hernia occurs in the stomach or intestine.

Some symptoms of this condition include:

  • A faint ache at the site
  • Feeling of fullness
  • A growing bulge at the site
  • Site pain increases with time
  • Lower left abdominal pain

Hernia always needs urgent care, as this growing bulge can cause serious problems, especially if there is internal bleeding. If you also experience testicular pain alongside it, and have a swollen or enlarged scrotum in your hands, then you probably also need to look into whether or not you have Epididymitis. 

5. Intolerance to Lactose

Intolerance to lactose in the digestive tract is another general cause of this issue.

It is simply a condition where people find difficulties digesting lactose substances like milk, cheese, yogurt, or other dairy-based products.

It is caused due to the deficiency of the enzyme Lactase which is responsible for the coagulation and breakdown of lactose.

Lactose intolerance affects 36 percent of Americans and 68 percent of the global population, according to estimates. Lactose intolerance is more common in Latin Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asians, East Europeans, and Middle Easterners than in other ethnic groups and races.

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Bloating and abdominal pain
  • Increased gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Issues in the urinary tract
  • Constipation

This situation can be controlled easily with a bit of medical help and acquiring a low-lactose diet.

6. Kidney Stones

Left side lower abdominal pain can also be a telltale sign of kidney stones.

Kidney stones are small, hard deposits made up of minerals and insoluble calcium compounds. An individual does not feel any pain at the time of formation of these tiny hard masses, and the pain starts when it starts to move and travel in the renal system.

Passing a kidney stone through the ureter can be quite painful.

Some symptoms of this condition are:

  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Burning sensation in urinating
  • Waves of pain that fluctuate in intensity
  • Fever, nausea, and vomiting
  • Pink, brown, or red urine

In this case, try reaching medical personnel that can provide medical advice immediately.

7. Shingles


Shingles occur by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus sitting in the body. The varicella-zoster virus causes this viral infection.

Acute inflammation of the ganglia nerve looks like a stripe of blisters accumulated in a place. And if these shingles occur in your lower left abdomen, it causes pain and other discomforts.

Symptoms of these include:

  • Itching
  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful rash on the skin
  • Blisters
  • Numbness or burning
  • Touch sensitivity

Consulting a medical professional can help lessen the situation.

8. Internal Obstruction

Blockage in the path of food and liquid through the small intestine is one of the most common reasons for abdominal pain. In this condition, food substances can not freely move through the digestive system and cause discomfort to the individual.

Several reasons can attribute to this situation. Some of them are; Crohn’s disease and diverticulitis.

Some common symptoms are:

  • Indigestion
  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Not being able to have a bowel movement
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

This medical condition can pose a severe threat to the individual’s health and thus should be consulted by a doctor immediately.

Causes Of Abdominal Pain That Only Affects Women

Following are some of the causes of pain in the lower abdomen area that only affects women. Generally, these conditions are more severe and need medical attention immediately.

1. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a situation that occurs when tissue like the tissue lining the inner walls of the uterus grows on the outer sides of the uterus. It causes very sharp pain in the lower abdominal area.

Endometriosis involves fallopian tubes, ovaries, and tissue lining the pelvis. And if left untreated, it can lead to infertility in women.

Common symptoms of this situation include:

  • Excruciating periods
  • Spotting blood in between periods
  • Pain while having intercourse
  • Feeling pain in urination and bowel movements
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Abdominal pain

Some other symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and fatigue during menstruation.

2. Period Cramps

Menstrual cramps are the most common reason for lower left abdominal pain in women. These menstrual cramps occur during periods and sometimes even before them.

These menstrual cramps are not that serious and go away on their own as the menstrual period ends.

Symptoms of this may include:

  • Slight ache before the days of menstruation
  • Pain that radiates to thighs and lowers back
  • Cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Mood swings
  • Excess stress and sometimes headache
  • Acne

However, women can lessen the PMS symptoms by doing exercise regularly in addition to a healthy diet.

3. Ovarian cysts


Fluid-filled sacs on the surface of the ovary are called ovarian cysts. These pockets of fluid can develop in either just the left ovary or in both.

Cysts cause painful cramps during periods and abdominal pain. These cysts are primarily small, do not cause any symptoms, and go away on their own. But a large ovarian cyst can cause a problem.

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Severe pelvic or severe abdominal pain
  • Dull ache in the lower abdomen
  • A feeling of heaviness in the stomach
  • Bloating

Some other symptoms related to this condition are fever and vomiting, along with lightheadedness. Get medically reviewed immediately in this situation.

4. Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is the particular condition in which fertilized egg implants and starts growing in the outer part of the central cavity of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.

This type of pregnancy is also called a tubal pregnancy, and it can’t proceed normally. Sharp pain starts erupting in the lower area of the abdomen. Ectopic pregnancy can also occur in the ovary or cervix.

This situation is not suitable for the fetus, and thus it is medically treated to save the mother’s life.

You should immediately see a doctor if:

  • Light vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • An urge to have a bowel movement
  • Watery discharge

Ectopic pregnancy is deadly for both the fetus and the mother, so it’s essential to get it treated immediately.

5. Ovarian Torsion

Ovarian torsion is a condition in which the ovaries get twisted around the tissues surrounding them. Sometimes along with the ovaries, fallopian tubes also twist around the ligaments that hold them in place.

This is a severe condition that blocks the flow of blood to the ovary. And if the hindrance to blood flow stays put for too long, it can pose severe threats to an individual’s health.

Symptoms of ovarian torsion include:

  • A pelvic or adnexal mass
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Severe pelvic pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Tenderness in the lower abdomen
  • Cramping

6. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Infection in the female reproductive organs is the Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). STIs commonly cause this situation.

Some of the common signs and symptoms of PID are:

  • Fluctuating abdominal pain
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor
  • Painful or irritable urination
  • Pain in having intercourse
  • Abnormal bleeding from uterine

So, these are some of the causes of abdominal pain. Individuals experiencing pain must seek help if they find that their symptoms are closely related to any of the causes mentioned above.  


1. So which health issues can cause lower left abdominal pain/pain in the digestive tract/pain in the abdominal cavity?

To summarize, problems like gastritis can often cause pain in the lower left abdomen. Excess gas pain can be sharp enough to be mistaken for a heart attack or appendicitis if immediate medical care isn’t taken.

It can also cause severe cramps. Other conditions that can cause left lower quadrant pain are diverticular disease, undiagnosed celiac disease, stomach cramps (people with irregular periods often experience this kind of pain), malnourishment and growth impediments, inguinal hernia, kidney infection, colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, food poisoning (one of the most common reasons), and general digestive problems. At the end of the day, it depends on the person’s symptoms.

2. What information might your doctor need if you visit them about your abdominal pain?

It would get you a diagnosis faster if you’re aware of when the pain first started and how severe it is, what medications you’re currently on (including vitamins and supplements), if you have any allergies, previous health conditions (like diabetes or heart disease) previous surgeries (if any), how often the pain occurs and if it starts suddenly or happens gradually throughout the day, the kind of pain you’re experiencing (crampy, dull, burning). It would be a good idea to ask yourself these questions beforehand.

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Edited by Pooja Motwani

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