Common Causes of Abdominal Left Side Pain

Abdominal Pain

Dec 2, 2021


While left side pain is often a sign of gas, it can also be a sign of a more serious condition such as diverticulitis, appendicitis, or stomach ulcers that would require urgent medical attention. To tell the difference and determine whether to seek emergency care, pay attention to other symptoms you may be experiencing. 

Pain in the lower left abdomen accompanied by symptoms such as belching, bloating, or a hard abdomen is typically indicative of indigestion. However, if you’re experiencing upper or lower left side pain coupled with a high fever, nausea, vomiting, or severe stomach pain, seek emergency care to rule out any of the serious conditions listed above.

What does pain on the left side indicate? Here are some other common causes of abdominal pain on the left side of your body.

5 Common Causes of Abdominal Pain on the Left Side of Your Body

It can be easier to self-diagnose left side pain when you know what organs are on the left side of your body. The organs located in your left abdomen include your colon, left kidney, spleen, stomach, and pancreas. If you’re not struggling with gas or indigestion, pain on this side is typically a sign that something is off in one of these organs or organ systems.

If your pain in the lower left abdomen continues, look for symptoms of the following conditions:

1. Appendicitis

Do you feel pain about two inches left of your belly button? While appendicitis pain is usually associated with the right side of your body, the initial pain often starts near the belly button and can be misinterpreted as coming from the left. An appendicitis infection can cause serious problems if left untreated. Be on the lookout for pain moving to the right side of the abdomen, fever, nausea, and vomiting, and seek medical treatment immediately.

2. Diverticulitis

If you or a loved one over the age of 40 are experiencing abdominal pain, fever, and/or nausea, ask your doctor about diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is the inflammation of diverticula pouches in the large intestine and is one of the most common causes of left side pain. While diverticulitis is not always a serious condition and can often be treated with rest and antibiotics, surgery may be required for patients with severe infections. 

3. Constipation

Another cause of abdominal pain on the left side of the body is constipation. Constipation is usually caused by a lack of exercise, dehydration, or a diet that is too low in fiber. Most cases of constipation will not require a trip to the emergency room and can be easily mitigated by getting in daily movement and drinking enough water, but in some cases, the sharp pain may warrant a visit. If the pain does not improve after using over-the-counter products or making lifestyle changes, seek medical attention.

Continue reading: How to treat dehydration

4. Kidney Stones

Kidney stones, or nephrolithiasis, are small deposits of calcium or uric acid that build up in the kidneys. They are incredibly painful when passing through the urinary tract. Common symptoms of kidney stones include left side pain or back pain, painful urination, fever, nausea, and vomiting. If you’re experiencing any of these signs of kidney stone pain, head to an emergency room near you. 

5. Stomach ulcers

Also known as gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach, stomach ulcers are sores in your stomach lining often caused by infections or the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They can cause upper left side pain and may be experienced with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and bloody or black stools or vomit. Stomach ulcers can heal on their own but will often come back if not treated properly. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t wait to seek medical attention.

When should I worry about left side pain?

Generally, intermittent left side pain is a sign of gas or indigestion and should pass on its own. But if you notice severe abdominal pain on the left side of your body in conjunction with any of the following symptoms, it’s time to call the doctor:

  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dizzy or lightheadedness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bloody stools or vomit
  • Abdominal pain that lasts more than a week

Head Into Complete Care For Severe Left Side Pain Treatment

If you or a loved one are experiencing abdominal pain on the left side of the body, seek medical treatment at a Complete Care 24/7 emergency room. We have multiple locations across Texas and Colorado, all fully equipped with top medical staffing and equipment.

Get effective urgent care treatment for left side pain without the typical long wait times of your typical ERs when you visit one of our locations today. 

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