Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.
When talking about left lower quadrant pain they are referring to the lower left side of your abdomen. Pain in this area is usually related to your digestive tract but it can also be related to other conditions such as your blood vessels, reproductive organs, urinary tract, skin, or condition of your body wall. When having pain in this area you may notice that it is tender to the touch. The pain level can vary from mild to severe but is usually severe and your entire abdomen might be rigid. The most important organs found in your lower left quadrant include your fallopian tube, left ovary, your descending colon, your sigmoid colon, and your left uterine tube.
Having lower left quadrant pain is a common problem among men, women, and the elderly because of their quality of food and lack of mobility. Many people today have office jobs or jobs where they are sitting most of the day and when they get home they just want to sit and relax so they do very little, if any, exercise. In addition many eat “on the run” because of such a hectic busy life style that the foods they are eating are low in quality nutrition such as eating a lot of junk food and processed foods.
Causes of Left Lower Quadrant Pain
Many times what causes left lower quadrant pain can be told by how severe the pain is and how the pain happens. The type of pain that is severe, recurring, worsening, persistent, accompanied by other serious symptoms, or comes on suddenly are the ones that you should worry the most about and consult your physician about. Some of the causes can include:
This could be a symptom of bowel obstruction or inflammation of your bowel. This is especially true if you are experiencing constipation. In women severe pain could result from rupture of an ovarian cyst, pelvic inflammatory disease, twisting of an ovary called ovarian torsion, or ectopic pregnancy, which can happen to women between the ages of eleven and fifty-five and the fertilized egg has been implanted in the cervix, ovary, abdomen, or fallopian tube instead in the uterus. In men it could be from testicular injury or torsion.
This type of pain in your left lower quadrant could be from indigestion, gas, infection, or inflammation. It could also be from endometriosis or menstrual cramps.
Severe pain that comes in waves
This type of lower left quadrant pain could be caused by having a kidney stone, shingles, trauma to your body wall, or a hernia, which is a weakening of tissue or muscle that allows other tissues or organs to protrude through the tissue or muscle.
- Chronic constipation
- Diverticulitis – this is a disease that is generally found in people over the age of sixty but younger people can also have it. This is when the walls of your bowel outgrow and expand affecting your sigmoid colon and causing your left lower quadrant pain, which can be severe.
- Food poisoning
- Gastroenteritis, which is an inflammation of your intestinal lining
- Peritonitis which is the infection of your peritoneum and can be fatal
- Parasitic, viral, or bacterial infection of your gastrointestinal tract
- Intolerance to certain foods like being lactose intolerance
- Cancer of a pelvic or abdominal organ
The treatment for left lower quadrant pain depends on the underlying cause. If you are noticing the pain after eating along with other stomach related aches like constipation and gas you need to make sure that you are drinking at least five or more glasses of water a day. Your body needs enough liquids to lubricate the various organs inside your stomach to help ensure that you do not have gas, chronic constipation, and pain in your lower left quadrant. You should also exercise at least thirty minutes a day along with eating healthy nutritious meals. You should also learn to manage your stress. If it is from food intolerance you need to make a note of which foods are causing your left lower quadrant pain so you can avoid them in the future.
When seeing your physician for lower left quadrant pain they will do a physical exam, take notes of your symptoms, and may even order tests to help diagnosis what is causing the pain. After diagnosing the cause they may give you antibiotics, antacids, antispasmodic medication, acid blocker, or proton pump inhibitors. If it is from an ectopic pregnancy then immediate surgery is usually recommended. Surgery may also be needed for kidney stones if you are unable to pass them or for pancreatitis. For cancer treatments used are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Home remedy treatments
- Mix two teaspoons of lime juice with two teaspoons of ginger juice with a glass of warm water and drink it after eating. This will give you instant relief from your left lower quadrant pain
- Use a cold pack or heating pad to the area
- Avoid foods that are high in cholesterol
- If the pain is being caused by gas you should avoid any acidic fruits, caffeinated drinks like tea, soda, and coffee, and tomato juice. You should also avoid fried foods
If your pain is severe and is accompanied by other serious symptoms go to the emergency room, especially if you a women and think you may be suffering from an ectopic pregnancy.