Sharp Pain in Lower Left Abdomen

A number of pain sensitive structures lie in the left lower quadrant of the abdomen. Pain can arise from the colon, urinary tract, reproductive organs, vascular system and or abdominal wall muscles. Sudden pain can be more of a concern and depends on both the gender and age of a person. Knowing the causes and treatments for sharp pain in lower left abdomen beforehand can help you better deal with the condition.

Causes and Treatments of Sharp Pain in Lower Left Abdomen

1. Bladder cancer

Risk for bladder cancer increases with age, smoking and certain occupations that utilize aniline dyes and radiation.

Symptoms

Sharp lower abdominal pain

bloody urine

back pain

pain in urination

Treatments

Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can be used to treat bladder cancer.

Remember that early diagnosis and treatment is always for the best.

2. Ectopic pregnancy

Left (or right) lower abdomen pain in any pregnant female is a cause for concern. Ectopic pregnancy is a health complication during pregnancy which occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted in other parts of the female reproductive system other than the uterus. Seek prompt medical attention.

Symptoms

Sudden, sharp or intense left lower abdomen pain

Vaginal bleeding

Blood loss causes weakness, dizziness and fainting

Treatments

Prompt diagnosis is essential in this cause.

Surgery or methrotrexate (drug) therapy can be applied for selected cases

3. Kidney stone

A variety of types of stones can occur. Certain factors such as heredity, dehydration and diet can predispose to developing kidney stones.

Symptoms

Sudden onset of excruciating pain

Pain may radiate from flank to lower left (or right) abdomen

Bloody or pink urine

Treatments

Smaller stones can be treated with pain control and hydration.

Larger stones may require surgical removal or destruction using lithotripsy (sound waves) or laser destruction.

4. Irritable bowel syndrome

This common condition results in lower abdominal pain and the exact cause is unknown. An underlying dysfunction of the intestinal tract generates the symptoms.

Symptoms

Abdominal cramps and bloating

Pain while passing stool

Left lower abdominal pain

Constipation and diarrhea

Treatments

Stress management, diet modification, exercise are common remedies, which can also reduce future risk of developing IBS.

Medication therapy if needed for severe constipation or diarrhea.

5. Urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections or UTI is a medical condition where infection occurs in the bladder, urethra or kidneys. Bacteria are the usual cause and as they grow and multiply, symptoms quickly develop.

Symptoms

Sharp pain in the left lower abdomen or bladder region

Urinating frequently and in smaller amounts

Strong smelling or cloudy urine

Burning pain when urinating

Treatments

Drink plenty of water to flush the urinary tract

Antibiotic medication from a physician

Cranberry juice or pills to ease symptoms

6. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is an inflammatory disorder which affects the diverticula in the digestive tract.

Symptoms

Cramping, aching, sharp pain in the left lower abdomen

Blood in stool

Nausea, and fever

Severe pain as condition progresses

Treatments

Mild cases treated with antibiotics, pain control and diet modification.

Avoid nuts, seeds and popcorn

7. Intestinal gas

Gas is among the most common reasons for left lower abdomen pain. Gas builds up causes distention and the stretching of the intestine is perceived as pain. Most of us generate up to 4 pints of gas each day and expel it on average of 14 times a day.

Symptoms

Left lower abdomen pain

Bloating and gas

Nausea, belching & flatus

Treatments

Expel gas as it builds up

OTC anti-gas medications

Diet modification to avoid trigger foods

Exercise

8. Other causes

A number of potential other causes can result in left lower abdominal pain. Vascular catastrophes such as blockage or rupture of a blood vessel are the most serious and immediately life threatening. A ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can result in sudden pain radiating to the left lower abdomen and back. Any severe or sudden cause of pain in the left lower abdomen that is accompanied by a feeling of passing out mandated emergent medical attention.

Both sex

Bladder infection, kidney infections, colon cancer, muscle injuries, hernia, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm

Males only

Epididymitis, testicular torsion, prostate infection

Females only

Ovulation, menstruation, ovarian torsion, tubo-ovarian abscess, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis

How to Deal with Sharp Pain in Lower Left Abdomen

Always use common sense when confronted with abdominal pain. Severe pain, fever and ongoing vomiting are potential signs of a more serious problem.

Follow these general guidelines:

  • Seek medical evaluation when severe abdominal pain occurs with nausea, vomiting, and difficulty passing urine or bloody urine or fever.
  • Passing out due to severe abdominal pain requires calling 911, particularly in elderly persons.
  • Severe abdominal pain and bleeding in a pregnant person requires emergent evaluation
  • Do not take pain medication without first consulting with a health care provider.
  • Avoid herbal or natural remedies unless the exact cause of left lower abdominal pain is known.
  • Whenever in doubt, seeking evaluation by a medical professional is the safest option when experiencing abdominal pain.
 
 
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