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What Causes the Pain in My Left Side?

Updated on October 23, 2016
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Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently studying lab sciences. She enjoys researching various health topics and writing about her findings.

These past few days, I have been experiencing pain in my left side. Although the pain is tolerable, I am still wondering what causes it. Before visiting my physician, I have done some research and discovered that the pain can be caused by some health disorder.

There are different body parts on the left side of the human body. The chest, abdomen and neck, among other body parts, all have a left side. Along with these body parts are organs susceptible to various types of discomfort as well as diseases with subtle symptoms. Left iliac fossa (LIF) pain, also known as pain in left side, is a common source of discomfort among adults and the elderly. Left side organs and body parts experience varying degrees of pain, which can be attributed to different causes. Treatment also varies depending on the afflicted area.

Left Side Organs

The left side of your body houses several organs. It is important to know these organs and their respective functions because further knowledge will help you make accurate assessments of your health situation in case of an emergency.

In this day and age, learning about these left side organs and their corresponding functions is necessary. Added knowledge is empowering in the sense that it enables individuals to have a better understanding of their bodies. When you start experiencing discomforts in the left area of your body, you will know which organs are likely to be in pain and what treatment method to pursue. During your medical check-up, you can also inform your doctor about your suspicions.

Here is a list of mirror organs (organs that come in pairs) that you should take into consideration whenever you are experiencing pain in your left side:

  • Adrenal Glands - The adrenal glands are attached on top of each kidney. It is in charge of releasing various hormones that regulate various body functions and affect different parts of the body.
  • Kidneys - This pair of bean-shaped organs mainly functions as a filter that cleanses the blood several times a day and produces urine (which usually contains toxins). The kidneys are situated at the back of the abdomen, each around 4 to 5 inches long, approximately the size of a fist.
  • Lungs - Responsible for absorbing oxygen into the blood stream and releasing carbon dioxide, the lungs facilitate gas exchange within the body – otherwise known as respiration, or in layman's term, breathing. Lung-related problems can affect your lung's ability to conduct the flow of oxygen and release carbon dioxide.
  • Ureter - These are tubes composed of muscle fibers that funnel the urine created from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. Every person has two pair of ureters on either side of their bodies. About 10 to 12 inches long, these tubes extend from the urinary bladder to the pelvis brim, where the kidneys are lodged.
  • Reproductive Organs
    • Females
      • Fallopian Tubes - A pair of organs that only exist among females, the fallopian tubes - also known as uterine tubes or oviducts - deliver egg cells from the ovary to the uterus every 21 to 30 days. Fallopian tubes will carry and insert fertilized egg (an egg that manages to meet with a sperm) in the uterus.
      • Ovaries - As reproductive organs, ovaries serve two main functions: 1) to secrete reproductive hormones like progesterone and estrogen, and 2) to produce egg cells for the purpose of fertilization. Egg cells (oocytes) are protected by the follicle, a clump of cells that covers the oocytes in the ovary.
    • Males
      • Testes - This organ is present only among men. Testes, also known as testicles, are responsible for the production of sperms and male reproductive hormones especially testosterone. The functions carried out by the testes are triggered by gonadotropic hormones, which are developed and released by the pituitary gland. The luteinizing hormone (LH), on one hand, enables testosterone production in the testicles.

There are more organs in the left side of the human body and they exist and carry out their functions without a pair or mirror organ. These organs are as follows:

  • Heart - This hollow muscled organ plays a crucial role in the cardiovascular system. Its main function is to pump oxygenated blood to the body through a pipeline of veins and arteries. The heart converts carbon dioxide to oxygen in the blood stream. Without the heart's pumping mechanism, the rest of the organs will cease to respond.
  • Large Intestine - Three organs make up the large intestine: cecum, the colon and rectum. It is the last part of the gastrointestinal tract. The large intestine absorbs water from the food and liquid ingested by the body and gets rid of excess food after nutrients have already been extracted. Feces are stored in this digestive organ until such time the body releases them.
  • Pancreas - The pancreas is situated near the stomach and secretes enzymes into the small intestine's duodenum. These enzymes break food into smaller pieces after it moves out of the stomach and help fast track the digestive process. The pancreas also serves other functions such as producing insulin and letting it flow into the bloodstream to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Spleen - Within your abdomen is an organ that takes charge of cell production in the body. The spleen produces new cells and removes those that are no longer needed or functioning. This organ has deep ties with the immune system. If you have a weak spleen, your immune system may likely share the same condition.
  • Stomach - The stomach breaks down ingested food into digestible pieces. It is responsible for extracting nutrients that provide energy to the body. To facilitate the extraction of nutrients, the stomach, along with the intestines and other digestive organs, needs to produce digestive juinces (enzymes) and acid.

Possible Causes

In a generic sense, when the left side of your body is beset with pain and other types of discomfort, there is usually something wrong with the organs in your abdomen, digestive tract, reproductive organs, or kidney. Other genetically inherited health conditions may also trigger pain in your left side.

Here is a list of possible causes of left side pain:

  • Abdominal problem
    • Aortic aneurysm
    • Rectus sheath haematoma
    • Trapped wind
  • Digestive disorders
    • Bowel cancer
    • Bowel obstruction
    • Constipation
    • Crohns disease
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Female health issues
    • Ectopic pregnancy
    • Ovarian cyst
    • Endometriosis
  • Food poisoning
  • Kidney problems
    • Kidney stones
    • Pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
  • Muscle disorder
    • Hernia
    • Psoas abscess

Common Types

Left Side Chest Pain
When you are experiencing pain in the left chest area, you should take into consideration the possibility that you are having a heart attack. Consult a medical practitioner immediately whenever pain of this nature occurs. However, chest pain on the left side can be caused by a number of reasons. A great portion of the population have experienced discomforts in the left chest area that are not even heart-related. The pain could have come from neighboring left side organs such as the lungs and stomach or it may have something to do with your muscles, nerves and rib cage in the left side.

Go for a medical checkup without delay whenever you experience left side chest pain. Such a condition may be grave and life threatening. Going about your day to day activities unchecked will expose your body to further stress and discomfort. Expert assessment is the key to understanding your condition and how to treat it.

Possible Source of Left Side Chest Pain (Angina)

  • Sensitive Esophagus - This condition is characterized by extremely parched throat. Even the slightest movements such as swallowing or breathing through the mouth can trigger agonizing pain. To understand the real cause of this unusual throat sensitivity, you may need further medical examination.
  • Coronary Artery Disease - Experiencing pain in the left side is oftentimes a symptom of an existing heart ailment. You could be suffering from Coronary Artery Disease, a condition wherein heart veins and arteries are clogged up either because of excess fat or a blood clot, which obstructs the flow of oxygen in the blood stream and affects your heart's pumping ability. As a result, your chest feels constricted. The pain lingers in the left side because your heart is located there. On the brighter side, coronary artery problems do not affect your heart on a long-term basis. However, you need to adopt a healthier and less stressful lifestyle to declog your arteries and ensure that you will not have a heart attack in the future. One sign you're having a heart attack is when the pain in your chest starts spreading to your upper limbs, jaw, shoulders, nape and backside.
  • Pleuritis (Lung Disturbance) - Whenever you feel a sharp stab on the side of your left chest every time you take a deep breath, cough or sniff, you may likely be suffering from a condition called pleurities. It sometimes feels like there's a feather in your chest. Most likely your left lung has an irritation or disturbance on its covering which may be caused by a virus, bacteria or gas in the cavity between the lungs and the chest.
  • Presence of Wounds - Having an existing wound on the left side of your body can also cause both external and internal discomforts. Wounds strain your muscles and nerves. Not to mention blood vessels that have been severed. Thus, the wounded area would always ache and feel sore until it heals.
  • Stress - Your left side tells a lot about your condition. Left side chest pain does not only indicate a heart attack or a heart ailment. It may also be a sign of anxiety or stress, usually prompted by highly charged thoughts that weigh heavily on one's heart or excessive worry about life and other personal concerns. During stressful times, the left area of your chest constricts and the veins and arteries stretch to adjust with the weight.

Remedies for Left Side Chest Pain

  1. Get enough rest. Regardless of the gravity of your pain, you need to recover lost energy brought about by the ache or soreness by avoiding strenuous activities or movements and getting more sleep.
  2. Apply some pain relief medication. If the pain in your left chest continues to persist, put a pain relief cream on the sore area. Try to avoid over-the-counter pain killers unless expressly recommended by the doctor. Applying a vapor rub on the affected chest is helpful particularly if the pain is caused by gas or digestive problems.
  3. Simple exercises. Do some simple exercises just to relieve your tired muscles and joints, which may have contributed to the pain in your left chest. A few minutes of stretching would also be good for your body. Gently rub the pained area on your left chest for additional relief. You may also add breathing exercises into the mix. By working on your breathing, you can reduce the constricted feeling in your left side.
  4. Give your chest some breathing room. If you are in the habit of cinching your waist (e.g. wearing corsets, trainers or tight workout clothes), it is not unusual for your chest to ache or feel uncomfortable every now and then. There is a possibility that a nerve or artery in your rib cage may have been squeezed throughout the duration of the cinching. Your best recourse is to avoid wearing anything that prevents the proper passage of air from your nose to the lungs.
  5. Drink something warm. Since chest-related pain usually has something to do with digestive problems, it is advisable to drink warm water or a warm beverage. Warm water, according to studies, has healing properties especially if you drink it in the morning or after a meal. The best way to cleanse metabolic waste that may affect your immune system is to drink warm water. You have the option to make your health routine more colorful by drinking herbal teas and hot chocolate, in addition to warm water, once in a while.

What Causes the Pain in my Left Side
What Causes the Pain in my Left Side | Source

Left Side Abdomen Pain

The area of your abdomen where the stomach, the rest of the digestive system and other supporting organs are located is vulnerable to different kinds of pain. The level of pain varies. At times, pain is deep enough to affect the entire area. Sometimes, it only affects the stomach and specific parts of it.

There are several causes of left side stomach pain. The symptoms also differ depending on where the pain originated. Female reproductive organs located such as the left ovary and the left fallopian tube are a regular source of pain. Because of their proximity to the stomach, the latter is often affected during menstruation. Digestive problems may also cause stomach pain; they are often related.

Abdominal pain can be classified under two different categories: acute abdominal pain and chronic abdominal pain.

Common Causes of Pain in the Left Side Abdomen

The pain in the left upper abdominal area, specifically under the ribs, can be manifested in several ways. It can be stabbing and sharp, radiating and shooting, or simply unbearable pain. This can be worrisome since there are lots of major organs that is situated within the region: the left kidney, the spleen, portions of the colon, part of the liver, the stomach and the pancreas. Aside from the pain in the left side, there are other symptoms that might occur, such as bloating, nausea, bowel movement irregularities and cramps – all of these symptoms may give clues about the underlying condition.

Generally, pain in this part can have several causes like:

  • Stomach and bowel disturbance - ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, and acid reflux
  • Structural trauma – broken ribs, collapsed lung, aortic aneurysm, and hernias
  • Infection and Inflammation – diverticulitis, pancreatitis, spleen irritation, costochondritis, instestinal infection, and pericarditis.

Some of the underlying causes can be treated easily. Mild inflammation can be treated with pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs. Problems with bowel movement can be treated with digestive aids. But there are some like broken ribs, aortic aneurysms, pancreatitis and collapsed lungs, that are very serious and need immediate attention.

Causes of Acute Pain in Left Side Abdomen
Gastrointestinal Causes

  • Constipation - Acute constipation normally has an organic cause. A person with acute constipation experiences severe pain when trying to defecate.
  • Gastroenteritis - This commonly causes more generalized abdominal pain. Care should be taken since gastroenteritis particularly the one that is causing pain in left side should be a diagnosis of exclusion.
  • Gastric Volvulus - This is a rare condition where the stomach (or parts of it) contorts or rotates beyond 180 degrees. The twisting prevents the proper flow of food and liquid in the stomach and leads to an uncomfortable feeling of fullness. The sigmoid volvulus is the most popular type of colonic volvulus. It can result to large bowel obstruction and may have a dangerous effect in elderly patients. Gastric Volvulus often comes in the form of a recurring gastric problem or an acute abdominal emergency. If you suspect having this kind of condition, then consult a specialist immediately.
  • Kidney Stones - One of the most agonizing causes of left abdomen pain is the presence of kidney stones. People suffering from kidney stones often feel a throbbing at the back of their left waist, where the left kidney is located. The throbbing may spread to the lower abdomen area. It is also common to feel nauseaous. Kidney stones distort the shape of the kidneys and ureters. They also block urine pathways. Hence, the simple act of urinating becomes agonizing. Kidney stones can be removed through natural means but complicated cases require surgery.
  • Diverticulitis - Around 90% of diverticular disorder involves the sigmoid colon and thus this condition commonly involves LIF pain.
  • Appendicitis - Rarely, this can present a pain in left side, especially in patients with loose and redundant attached caecum.
  • Left Inguinal/ Femoral Hernia - A dangerous femoral hernia or left inguinal may involve pain in left side. There will be an irreducible swelling and tenderness over the hernia orifice, and symptoms and signs of bowel obstruction. This requires an immediate surgical referral.
  • Pancreatic Cancer or Tumor - Being next door neighbors, conditions that affect the pancreas tend to affect the stomach as well. If you are not sure whether the pain in your left side abdomen originates from your stomach or is caused by problems in your pancreas, check with a specialist for a more accurate assessment. The pain in your stomach may be the result of pancreatic cancer or a tumor in your pancreas. When someone has tumor or cancer, he or she will experience the following: drastic weight loss, pale stools, jaundice and lack of appetite.

Gynaecological Causes

  • Ectopic pregnancy in the left fallopian tube - There is pain in the left side with less vaginal bleeding. If it involves profuse bleeding and 2 or 3 liters are lost within a short period of time with continues hypovolaemic shock.
  • Abortion (threatened or complete) - If the pregnancy test is positive and there is bleeding, an ultrasound scan can be done to dismiss abortion. If there is pain and ectopic pregnancy is not causing it, then it might be a sign of threatened abortion.
  • Causes of pain in the left side in later pregnancy - Some pregnant women experience placental abruption, premature labor or uterine rupture towards the end of their pregnancy.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - Normally, vaginal discharge is present when you have a swollen pelvis. This is common if you have been with multiple sexual partners, or a previous experience of PID.
  • Mittelschmerz - This gynaecological disorder is characterized by a sudden onset of mid-cycle pain. Otherwise known as "ovulation pain," studies show that about 20 percent of the female population experiences mittelschmerz. To alleviate the crippling pain, many females use a hot pack or medicate through over-the-counter pain killers.
  • Ovarian Torsion - This normally happens when an ovary has a cyst. Diagnosis can be hard. There could be adnexal tenderness. An ultrasound scan may show any abnormalities in the ovary.
  • Pelvic tumor - There are numerous types of pelvic tumor. Some occupy spaces between organs, while others develop within specific organs located in the pelvis area. The latter type of pelvis tumor is more complex and painful.
  • Fibroid degeneration - Uterine fibroids, called uterine leiomyomas in academic circles, are non-cancerous tumors. They form along the muscle walls of the cervix, ovary or uterus, occasionally causing sharp stabbing sensations.

Causes of Chronic Pain in the Left Side Abdomen
Most of the time, the pain in my left side is relieved when I take an antispasmodic medicine. But, there are times the pain is persistent that even if I take medication it won't stop.

Gastrointestinal Causes

  • Constipation - The pain associated with chronic constipation is usually felt in the left side. It is basically the inability to defecate time and time again. Individuals with constipation strain to defecate, which usually results to the scarring of the rectum.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome - The pain may be caused by difficulty in bowel movement. This condition is accompanied by either diarrhea or constipation and mild psychological effects like depression and anxiety.
  • Carcinoma of Rectum or Descending Colon - This digestive problem is characterized by a change in bowel movement due to rectal bleeding and weight loss. It could be signs of perforation and obstruction in your bowel system.
  • Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease - This inflammatory bowel disease can affect the colon in alarming ways. Diarrhea with mucus and blood is present when a person has ulcer or Crohn's disease.
  • Trapped Wind - When there is air trapped in the crevices of your digestive system or somewhere between your left lung and stomach, you will usually feel nauseaous or bloated. The agonizing pain in your stomach may make you want to throw up, burp or fart. One way to resolve this problem is to pass off air, which may take time. If the process is taking longer than expected, try drinking warm liquid such as water, tea or milk.

Other causes of LIF pain are ovarian tumor, endometriosis, hip pathology and others.

Other possible causes of left side abdominal pain:

  • Aortic Aneurysm - Aorta is the main artery that sends oxygenated blood from the heart to rest of the body. When the aorta enlarges, erupts or breaks, the person develops Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. This condition is characterized by excessive pain in the middle portion of the left abdomen, which sometimes spread all the way to the back. Treatment for Aortic Aneurysm requires expert advice and guidance.
  • Food Poisoning - One telling symptom you are experiencing food poisoning is feeling feverish. In addition to fever, you may also feel a strong urge to gag. This is because the stomach reacts to the contaminated substance, thus causing the person to vomit. Symptoms of food poisoning usually appear within two days from the time the food was ingested. The food may have been laced with foreign materials that the stomach is not accustomed to taking in or the person needs more sustenance. Simpler types of food poisoning can be treated at home while more complicated symptoms require expert medical intervention.

Remedies for Left Abdomen Pain
Abdominal pain that includes fever, nausea, throbbing, lack of appetite, heartburn, weight loss and yellow discoloration, to name a few, may be reduced or treated through these simple methods:

  • Keep a stock of over-the-counter medicines for heartburn or acid reflux. Heartburns, hyperacidity and other gas-related maladies are rather unpredictable. Always keep a few antacids and acid neutralizer medicines in your emergency cabinet just in case your stomach acts up.
  • Have a warm bath. Taking a hot bath not only relieves your body, it also reduces abdominal pain. A hot bath is also ideal for individuals who need to pass off air. Trapped wind often causes heart burn. When you take a warm bath, however, your pores open up. In effect, air caught in the crevices of your organs will have more avenues to exit your system.
  • Drink tea or a herbal concoction of your preference. Herbal teas in general have anti-inflammatory properties that individuals with abdominal pain problems must take advantage of. Green tea, turmeric, ginger and chamomile are some of the best known herbal teas for treating inflammation and other digestion issues. Each type of concoction produces different effects for different people. When drinking herbal teas to treat or reduce adbominal pain, proceed with caution and check the label.
  • Use a hot pack. Pour warm water in a water bottle or hot water bag. Let it sit for a time until you are comfortable with the level of warmth. When the temperature is to your liking, place the hot pack on your abdomen area and let it linger for a few minutes. The heat emanating from the hot pack helps relieve and loosen tired or strained abdominal muscles. Just like taking a warm bath, a hot pack is also a good way to channel out excess air trapped in your body.
  • When in doubt, consult a specialist. Self-diagnosis may spare you the nightmare of expensive medical bills, but a wrong diagnosis has long-term consequences and will cause you double the trouble in the future. That is why, if you think there is more to your left side abdominal pain than meets the eye, follow your intuition and consult a physician - preferably one who specializes in Internal Medicine. You may be asked to undergo endoscopy. Rather than mull over the costs, consider the long-term benefits of expert medical assistance.

The causes of abdominal pain are mostly internal. Hence, it is usually difficult to pinpoint the origin of the pain without any guidance from a specialist. Home medication can only do so much. If you are experiencing discomforts in your left side abdomen area and you want to get to the root of your condition, then consult the right physician and submit yourself for a thorough medical examination. Do not delay going to the doctor as the pain may indicate a more serious ailment that needs immediate treatment.

Left Side Neck Pain

The neck connects the head to the torso and the limbs. Like the abdomen and the chest, it is divided into two areas: the left and the right. Discomforts in the left neck area can be caused by a number of factors. You may not be aware but there are seven little bones in your neck, which gives it its shape and defines its movements. Neck muscles tend to adapt with your neck's movements such as when you crane to see someone or a view from a distance. Doing so, however, can occasionally lead to pain. As the muscles try to fix and adjust, the neck suffers in the process.

Possible Causes of Left Neck Pain
The neck is vulnerable to all sorts of injuries and pain. Here are the common sources of discomfort in the left neck area:

  • Muscle Tension - Strained or overstretched muscles are usually responsible for pain the neck area. If you sleep without changing your position or engage in an activity that prevents any neck movement, the neck muscles become stiff with inactivity. Ideally, you should massage your neck every now and then. When immersed in a particular activity, avoid making sudden movements to prevent any serious neck pain or injury.
  • Bad Posture - Slouching and sitting at an angle that twists your spine are bad for your neck. Because your neck is connected to your spine, it follows that adopting a good posture can have positive and relieving effects on your neck. Good posture requires practice and discipline. If you get the hang of it, you will not have to deal with neck pain frequently.
  • Whiplash Injury - A whiplash injury is often the result of extremely quick movements. It is not advisable to pick up speed if your body is not used to it. You must adopt a speed commensurate to your condition. Otherwise, you will hurt your spine, nerves or muscles. In fact, whether you are working out or engaged in an outdoor activity, proper stretching techniques are always recommended to give your body enough time to adjust. The right exercise warm-ups also prevent neck injuries, back aches, migraines, dizziness and overall fatigue.
  • Twisted Nerve - Nerves that are not in their proper place or position can cause severe discomforts or numbness in the neck, shoulder or arm area. Bone goads, hernia, bone goads, spinal stenosis and other disorders can trigger sqeezed or misplaced nerves. Individuals with an active lifestyle, particularly those who engage in sports, tend to suffer from squeezed nerves that bring about a stinging sensation in the neck. Squeezed nerves can trigger stiff neck, a condition that prevents you from moving your neck as you please. A biting soreness occurs every time you try to move your neck. The condition may also persist for days.

Treatment for Pain in the Left Neck Area

  • Adopt a good posture. Chronic pain in your left neck is often the result of bad posture. If you are well aware that your posture is affecting your neck's condition, it is advisable to practice sitting and standing with the right posture. Avoid slouching. Check yourself whenever you are about to slouch. Whether you sit or you stand, make sure your feet is flat on the floor, your shoulders relaxed and there is enough support for your lower back. Change your positions once in a while and avoid being in the same position for long periods. Give your neck muscles some time to stretch by taking short breaks in an hour.
  • Prioritize comfort when sleeping. Do not torture yourself with stiff pillows. Sleep is the best occasion for relaxing and getting back lost energy. The least you can do is make the most out of it. It is therefore imperative to have a mattress you are comfortable sleeping in and soft pillows that support your neck in the right ways. There are pillows specially designed to provide your neck the right amount of comfort. If you often suffer from neck pain every time you wake up, then perhaps it is time to change your pillow.
  • Make it a habit to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your back provides a wealth of advantages for your spine. People with neck problems find it helpful to sleep on their back with a pillow beneath each arm. Well-supported arms during sleep reduce the strain on your neck. Individuals with spinal problems like spinal stenosis are often advised to wedge a pillow behind them or use an adjustable bed so that they can sleep at a slightly inclined position and add more comfort to their spine.
  • Drink lots of water. Regular water intake is beneficial to your spine, especially the spine discs that stretch from your neck down to your lower back. The discs that compose your spine are mostly made up of water so hydrating keeps them in good shape, maintains your spine's flexibility and prevents strain. When hydrating, remember the basics: always drink 8 glasses of water a day - ideally 2 to 3 glasses after each meal.
  • Stretch your neck. Give your neck muscles a good stretch by following the right neck exercises. There are strengthening and stretching techniques you can perform once or a few times in a day to prevent neck fatigue. One exercise you can do is the chin tuck. The main goal of this exercise is to align your head with your shoulders. This strengthens and stretches the scalene and suboccipital muscles in your neck.

Generally, Which side you will get pain?

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Other Causes of Pain in Left Side

During my research on what might have been causing the pain in my left side, I have found out that left iliac fossa pain or LIF pain is the same with pain in left side. The pain may occur due to a self-limiting condition but it could also be a sign of a surgical/medical emergency. The LIF is less common than right iliac fossa pain.

Parietal pain occurs where there is harmful stimulation of the parietal peritoneum due to ischaemia, stretching or inflammation. It is intense, localized, sharp, discrete and aggravated by movement or coughing. Visceral pain is experienced when harmful stimuli affect the viscus. Hindgut areas like the large intestine can cause lower abdominal pain. Referred pain is kind of pain felt in remote parts supplied by the same dermatone as the affected organ.

Causes of Chronic Pain in the Left Side
Causes of Chronic Pain in the Left Side | Source

Determining the Cause of Pain

The tests to be performed should be based on the patient's symptoms and the examination findings. In the general practice setting there are several bedside tests that can be done to aid in diagnosing:

Test urine for leukocytes, nitrites and/or pus cells, if a urinary tract infection is suspected. Every time I feel the pain in my left side, I always thought that it is caused by the bacteria that is accumulating in my urinary tract. If the test turns out negative, then you have to take different kinds of tests and continue with the investigation. The pregnancy test is carried out to determine if the pain is caused by ectopic pregnancy or in case if you are pregnant, a miscarriage is suspected.

In case of non-acute pain, further investigations can be requested:

  • Blood tests can be performed, this may include full blood count, liver function tests and renal function.
  • Further urological evaluations may be required.
  • Referral for further bowel analysis can be necessary.
  • Ultrasound scanning can confirm ovarian or other mass.
  • Vaginal swab tests can help to dismiss pelvic infection

For acute abdomen, the patient is referred to the hospital right away, to perform more diagnostic tests. CT scanning is done instead of ultrasound scanning except in cases of suspected cholecystitis. Abdominal x-ray can be done to dismiss ileus, perforation and bowel obstruction, where it may show dilated loops of bowel. The erect chest x-ray may confirm intraperitoneal air under the diaphragm. I hope the conditions mentioned above does not cause the pain in my left side.

Determining the Type of Left Side Pain

Left iliac fossa or pain in left side can be diagnosed as chronic/subacute or acute.

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Causes of Acute Pain in Left Side
Causes of Acute Pain in Left Side | Source

Managing Pain in Left Side

I have tried taking analgesic to get rid of the pain in my left side. The medication works, but after several days it reoccurs.

Here are some ways on how to manage the pain in left side:

  • The management of pain depends on the diagnosis and the underlying disorder.
  • An haemodynamically and acute abdomen unstable patient needs immediate referral to hospital to ask for further assessment. If ectopic pregnancy or abdominal aortic aneurysm is suspected, seek secondary care right away.
  • Breathing, circulation and airway should be evaluated and managed accordingly.
  • The traditional remedy for pain in the left side is taking analgesics. However, this should not be given to patients with an acute abdomen since it can suppress physical signs. NSAIDs or opiods are good analgesics.

After learning these things about LIF pain or pain in the left side, I decided to visit my physician first, before taking any medication for the pain in my left side.

Left side pain has different origins. It could be the result of digestive problems, injury or an existing disease. Milder cases can be alleviated or treated through self-medication or simple home remedies. However, more serious diseases require expert medical advise and assistance. Do not hesitate going to the doctor when you are in serious pain just like I did.

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