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Pain on left side of stomach

Left side stomach pain is a kind of pain that originates from any of the structures in the left side of the abdomen, whether on the upper region or the lower part. The painful sensation could also stem from other structures outside the abdomen but still cause abdominal discomfort. The severity of stomach pain differs depending on the underlying cause and is usually accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms.

It would be best to seek medical advice if left side abdominal pain persists for more than a couple of days since it could be indicative of a more serious health problem.  The correct and timely diagnosis of the condition could make a huge difference in its successful treatment. It is very important then for those suffering from the condition to take note of the accompanying symptoms as well as the duration and degree of pain.

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Pain on left side of stomach – causes

It’s hard to specify the exact cause of pain on the left side of the stomach due to the numerous structures found therein. The pain could stem from any of the organs in the digestive system, such as the stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, or small and large intestines. It could also signify problems or disorders involving the spleen, left kidney, adrenal gland, left ureter, left ovary and fallopian tube for women, including muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Left sided stomach pain could also come from other parts of the body such as the left diaphragm, lower part of the left lung and the heart. An inflamed appendix in people with situs invertus condition may also exhibit pain on the left side of the abdomen.

The intensity of left sided abdominal pain varies from person to person depending on the underlying cause. It could be dull and throbbing, or sudden and sharp, or it could be persistent and long lasting. The following are some of the known causes of pain on the left abdomen:

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Digestive problems
  • Spanerticulitis
  • Hepatitis
  • Kidney stones
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis

Treating left side stomach pain

There are cases in which left side abdominal pain should be evaluated by the doctor immediately, and these are:

  • When the pain has become persistent or has gone on for more than a couple of days.
  • When the pain occurred suddenly and has become unbearable.
  • When the pain is accompanied by dizziness, fainting, confusion and high fever.

The underlying cause of left sided stomach pain must be identified first so that treatment would be effective. Depending on the doctor’s impression of the symptoms shown, the doctor may use any or a combination of the following tests:

  • X-ray exam
  • Colonoscopy
  • Ultrasound
  • Endoscopy
  • Barium enema
  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • Stool test

The doctor will then design the treatment for left side stomach pain based on the diagnosis formed. Treatment may involve pain relievers and appropriate medications to treat the root cause.

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