What are the Common Causes of Left Abdominal Pain?

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  • Written By: K. Gierok
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2016
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Left abdominal pain is often not only quite severe, but in some cases, it can be quite frightening. Appendicitis is one of the most common causes of pain in this part of the body. Other common causes include the development of an ectopic pregnancy or even a kidney infection. In other cases, those suffering from abdominal pain may be diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. When left untreated, all of these conditions can be quite serious, so anyone who experiences severe abdominal pain should seek medical help immediately in order to avoid complications.

One of the most common causes of pain on the left side of the abdomen is appendicitis, which is when the appendix becomes inflamed and enlarged. Typically, pain associated with this condition begins near the belly button, and radiates towards the left side of the abdomen. Appendicitis often starts with relatively minor symptoms and increases in severity over the course of the day. When left untreated, an infected appendix can burst, leading to dangerous complications.


In women, an ectopic pregnancy is a common cause for abdominal pain. This is when a fertilized egg becomes implanted outside the uterus, typically in one of the fallopian tubes. Typically, an ectopic pregnancy will not be viable, and the loss of the fertilized egg leads to severe pain, as well as pelvic cramping and vaginal bleeding; if the embryo is not miscarried, it can cause the tube to rupture, which could kill the woman. While the cause of ectopic pregnancies is not well understood, many believe that it may be caused by damage to other parts of the female reproductive system. Often, this type of damage occurs commonly in women who have suffered from an untreated sexually transmitted disease in the past.

An infection in the left kidney is another common cause of left abdominal pain. This kind of infection typically occur as a result of an untreated urinary tract infection. Though a kidney infection may seem relatively minor, when left untreated, it can be life-threatening. Those who experience pain during urination or an increased need to urinate along with pain should seek medical assistance immediately.

In some cases, an inguinal hernia may cause severe pain on the left side as well. Inguinal hernias often develop when individuals lift, push, or pull very heavy items, placing an excessive amount of stress on the abdominal cavity. This condition is diagnosed when a portion of the intestine forces its way through a lower abdominal wall tear. An inguinal hernia is often quite painful, and features a large bulge that is most evident when the person coughs or bends. In most cases, surgery is required to completely repair the hernia.


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Post 3

@fify-- Abdominal pain can be due to many different things, including gastro-intestinal issues. It's really not possible to guess about this, your symptoms have to be evaluated by a doctor after medical testing.

My dad has colitis and he experiences abdominal pain when he has a flare-up. It's actually his warning when he hasn't been following his diet or taking his medications.

Post 2

What would lower left abdominal pain in addition to bloating and diarrhea point to? Can gastro-intestinal problems cause this kind of pain?

Post 1

My roommate had an ectopic pregnancy. It was really scary, I was with her when she started experiencing severe cramps and bleeding. She had been complaining of lower abdominal pain for several days but she didn't take it serious enough to see a doctor about it.

We rushed her to the hospital that night and the doctors performed an emergency abortion.

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