Causes of Left Side Abdominal (Stomach) Pain

Finding the Cause of Abdominal Pain

Left side abdominal pain may arise from the internal organs of the gastrointestinal and urinary tract, chest, pelvic cavity, abdominal wall muscles, bones (ribs, spine, pelvis), vessels, nerves or skin. The presence of other signs and symptoms are an important indication of possible causes of left sided abdominal pain and factors that exacerbate or ease the pain are a vital clue to the underlying condition.

If the pain is of a sudden onset, unbearable and associated with a high fever, dizziness, confusion or a loss of consciousness, immediate medical attention needs to be sought. Take note of whether the pain is related to eating, sleeping, bowel movements, flatulence (passing gas), movement or menstrual cycle in females.

The list of causes of  left side abdominal pain are listed below are arranged in order from the upper abdomen (above the navel) to lower abdomen (below the navel). It is intended to serve as a guide but ultimately a diagnosis by a medical professional is necessary so that the appropriate treatment can be commenced as soon as possible. An abdominal ultrasound, x-ray, CT scan or MRI are often necessary for a definitive diagnosis, along with specialized investigations like a flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or double contrast barium enema for gastrointestinal conditions.

UPPER Left Abdominal Pain

Upper left abdominal pain is most often due to a condition afflicting one or more organs or structure in the LUQ (left upper quadrant) of the abdomen. It may also be due to conditions in the thoracic cavity or lower left abdominal area that either refers or radiates to the LUQ. Causes of upper left abdominal pain include:

LARGE INTESTINE

Also known as the large bowel, it is responsible for the final stages of water absorption which leads to the formation of a solid stool from liquid intestinal chyme from the small intestine. It houses a number of species of colonic bacteria which are necessary for normal functioning but can be pathological if there is an overgrowth or pathogenic bacteria replace it. The large intestine includes the cecum (junction between small and large intestine), colon, rectum and anus. Conditions of the large intestine that may cause left side abdominal pain includes :

  • Constipation
  • Volvulus – twisting of the transverse colon around its axis (rare)

ABDOMINAL MUSCLES

The abdominal muscles includes several types of muscles that make up the abdominal wall. It protects the abdominal organs which lacks a skeletal shield like the chest cavity and also plays various roles in movement of the legs and thorax. These muscle also stabilize the trunk during standing, walking and running and are prone to injury. Muscular conditions that may cause abdominal pain includes :

  • Muscle strain
  • Abdominal hernia
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Blow, blunt force trauma
  • Rectus sheath hematoma
  • Abscess in psoas muscle

PANCREAS

The pancreas is a large multipurpose gland which has exocrine functions that affects digestion and endocrine functions which control metabolism. It empties its digestive enzymes (exocrine component) into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine, along with bile released by the gallbladder. Without these enzymes, the process of digestion is severely hampered. Pancreatic conditions that may cause left side abdominal pain include :

SPLEEN

The spleen is the largest lymph node in the body responsible for filtering blood and removing cellular debris and foreign microorganisms. Although the spleen can be removed without hampering life, it nevertheless plays several important roles in the body. Splenic conditions that may cause left side abdominal pain includes :

  • Splenic infarct
  • Ruptured spleen, often in car accidents
  • Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) only in cases of massive splenomegaly.

KIDNEYS/URETER

The kidney is responsible for filtering the blood, removing wastes and passing it out in the urine while conserving essential electrolytes and water. It also plays other important roles in regulating several functions in the body that are not associated with urine, like stimulating the production of red blood cells. The kidney is located in the upper part of the abdomen and shielded by the ribcage. Urine from the kidney leads to the bladder via the ureter. Conditions affecting the kidney and/or ureter that may result in left side abdominal pain include :

  • Pyelonephritis – infection of the kidney
  • Glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation), kidney cyst or tumor
  • Urinary stones

LEFT ADRENAL GLAND

The adrenal gland, also known as the suprarenal gland, is located on the top of the kidney. It has two distinct layers, the medulla and cortex, which secrete various hormones that play important roles in the body.

  • Adrenal adenoma (benign tumor)
  • Adrenal carcinoma also known as adrenocortical carcinoma. (malignant tumor)

LUNGS

The lungs are responsible for gas exchange between the air and blood stream. Although not often considered in abdominal pain, diseases affecting the base of the lung may affect the pleura lining around the lung) and diaphragm (main muscle of respiration) that can lead to pain. The lung itself cannot feel pain unless the surrounding structures are affected. Some conditions of the lung that may cause abdominal pain includes :

  • Pneumonia – usually bacterial or viral
  • Pleuritis – inflammation of the lung membrane
  • Pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the lungs

HEART

The heart is the muscular pump that circulates blood throughout the body. It is situated in the mediastinum, the centrally located cavity between the lungs and is in close proximity to the upper middle abdominal area. It often causes referred pain to the upper abdomen when diseased.

  • Heart attack
  • Angina pectoris – pain behind the breastbone in heart or coronary arteries disease
  • Pericarditis, mycocarditis or endocarditis

Heart diseases are often considered as medical emergencies as the condition can be life-threatening. It should always be suspected when accompanied by symptoms such as pain to the left jaw or arm with dizziness and/or fainting.

DIAPHRAGM

The diaphragm is the largest muscle of respiration and separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. During inspiration it pushes the abdominal contents downwards as the chest cavity expands. On the left side, the most prominent feature is the diaphragmatic opening which allows the esophagus (gullet) to pass to connect with the stomach.

  • Abscess – collection of pus below diaphragm

STOMACH

The stomach is the hollow sac that lies between the end of the esophagus and the first part of the small intestine known as the duodenum. It is prone to various diseases often associated with the corrosive gastric acid that it produces and holds. Some conditions of the stomach that may be responsible for left sided abdominal pain includes :

  • Gastritis
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Stomach cancer
  • Stomach polyps – pain is more likely in large masses.

OTHER

LOWER Left Abdominal Pain

Lower left abdominal pain may be due to the organs or structures located in the LLQ (lower left quadrant) of the abdomen. As with upper abdominal pain, the pain may be referred or radiated from other sites. Due to the continuity of the many structures, particularly the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract and large blood vessels (aorta or inferior vena cava).  The pelvic structures, particularly the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus, are common causes of lower left abdominal pain in women.

COLON

The colon is the largest part of the left intestine as described above.

  • Constipation
  • Trapped gas in the colon is more likely to occur in the left part of the transverse colon (splenic flexure syndrome).
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is functional disorder particularly of the large intestine characterized by disturbances in bowel habit and intestinal cramps, hence the alternative name spastic colon.
  • Diverticulitis – inflammation of the last part of the colon (sigmoid colon).
  • Diverticulosis - non-inflamed pouches in the colonic wall
  • Clostridium difficile infection after antibiotic treatment
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Ischemic or microscopic colitis
  • Colorectal polyps, or cancer
  • Volvulus of sigmoid colon

APPENDIX

This is an outpouching of the large intestine which may become obstructed, infected and severely inflamed. Appendicitis usually causes right lower but sometimes left lower abdominal pain.

FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS

Various gynecological disorders are a  common cause of lower left abdominal pain in women particularly when associated with ovulation and menstruation (periods). Pregnancy may also account for pain due to the expanding uterus and uterine contractions seen in an otherwise healthy pregnancy.

  • Ovulation (mid-cycle pain, Mittleschmerz)
  • Gonorrhea
  • Twisted or ruptured ovarian cyst
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Endometriosis (inflammation of the endometrium)
  • Miscarriage
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome – PCOS
  • Fibroids

MALE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS

Pain rarely occurs solely in the left lower abdominal area without pain, swelling or visible lesions in the pelvic area or on the genitalia.

  • Spermatic cord disorders
  • Testes disorders
  • Gonorrhea

ABDOMINAL MEMBRANE (PERITONEUM)

The peritoneum is the membrane that surrounds various abdominal organs, particularly those of the gastrointestinal tract, and encloses it within its own peritoneal cavity in the abdomen. Peritoneal fluid helps to lubricate the organs that are in constant contact with each other.

  • Peritonitis
  • Ascites

ABDOMINAL BLOOD VESSELS

The abdominal blood vessels include the abdominal portion of two of the largest blood vessels in the body – aorta (artery) and inferior vena cava (vein) – that carries blood to and from the heart. It is prone to a number of disorders and diseases which may also include its various branches and tributaries.

  • Aneurysm of abdominal aorta
  • Atherosclerosis or embolism of mesenteric arteries
  • Hereditary angioedema
  • Henoch-Schönlein-purpura

BLOOD

  • Porphyria
  • Sickle Cell Disease

SKIN

Most skin diseases are associated with itching but pain can occur with the following conditions :

  • Herpes zoster (shingles)
  • Dermatitis exacerbated by an infection, abscess formation or tears in the skin.

OTHER

Read detailed articles with causes, symptoms and diagnosis of left upper abdominal pain and left lower abdominal pain.

About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer
  • Jan Modric

    Faith,

    does all your body itch? Any rash? Are you taking any medication and which?

  • Neely

    I have been experiencing pain on My lower left side. The pain is a dull ache that stays with me during the day. Every once and a while a sharp pain comes on and then subsides. The pain starts in my lower back and moves around to my front. To void it burns. Sex is not very pleasant either.

    I had a Monarch Sling inserted back in February. I have had two UTI’s within weeks of each other. I have gone back to the Urologist and my Physician numerous times. My tests are now normal and they can not seem to locate what is wrong with me. It has become very frustrating. I am seeing the Physician again this week. I have asked to be referred to a Gyno but they feel that it may be a different direction that is causing the pain. However, I have had history with my Left ovary. Any suggestions???? I would like to get rid of this pain.

  • Jan Modric

    Neely,

    pain going from back to front and burning at voiding speeks for urinary tract disorder (kidney infection or inflammation, maybe stones…). Sharp pain in the lower left abdomen may arise from the left urether or ovary.

    Ultrasound of the kidneys could be the first next investigation.

  • alan

    I’ve been suffering from sharp llq abdominal pains for two months with constipation, bloating and fullness. The pain sometimes moves around to the right side but the sharp pain with tightness is left side above the hip. It is not tender to the touch. I also had bouts of gas and noise but not recent.

  • Jan Modric

    Alan,

    any fever, skin rash, nausea, weight loss, change in stool color?
    Causes of LLQ pain:
    http://www.healthhype.com/acute-and-chronic-left-lower-llq-abdominal-pain-diagnosis.html

  • faith

    body itch not really(sometimes after bath), I use folic acid but antibiotics some weeks ago after the surgery

  • Jan Modric

    There are several possible causes of left lower abdominal pian:
    http://www.healthhype.com/acute-and-chronic-left-lower-llq-abdominal-pain-diagnosis.html

    One possibility is overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria caused by antibiotic treatment. In this case you’d probably experience some bloating, gas or diarrhea.

    Mid back pain + left lower abd. pain without any other bowel-related symptoms could arise from the thoracic spine (bulging disc, spondylitis or so).

  • alan

    Jan
    No none of the conditions listed. I have lost weight due to not eating beacause of the constipation and bloating. I did have black sttools 2 weeks ago, but has resumed yellow/brownish. I’ve told my doc and scheduled for a colonoscopy.

  • Jan Modric

    Alan,

    OK, if colonoscbpy will show nothing, you should be aware that black stool may be from stomach bleeding.

    Avoiding eating aggravates constipation. It is drinking enough water and eating enough fibers (bread, leafy vegetables, cereals…), being physically active, and coping with stress that help against constipation.

  • EB

    I am a 22 year old female. I have been experiencing abdominal pains on and off for about 4 yrs. I have had a colonoscopy and endoscopoy, and was diagnosed w/ IBS. For the past few weeks I have been getting pains in my left side just below my rib cage (w/ some swelling) and my lower abdomin. It feels like someone is stabbing below my ribs at times and is very dicomforting. I seem to only feel relief after burping and laying still…. I have also been urinating more frequently. What could this possiby be?

  • Jan Modric

    EB,

    it is quite possible that pain below your left ribs is caused by gas trapped in the left part of the transverse colon. It’s a common issue. I believe you can solve this problem with excluding/limiting one or more of the following nutrients from your diet:
    – fructose, sorbitol and HFCS (fruits and several artificially sweetened packaged foods, including diet soda, sugar-free chewing gum)
    – lactose (dairy)
    – galactans (in legumes)
    – fructans (in wheat and onions)

    Details:
    http://www.healthhype.com/fodmap-diet-foods-to-avoid-in-ibs-bowel-disorders-with-bloating-and-gas.html

    Frequent urinating my result from gas in the rectum that presses upon the bladder and irritates it. If you also experience burning during urination, and the urine has changed color or smell, it may be urinary infection.

  • EB

    Thank you for the reply. I received a call from my doctor today. I went to get an ultra sound on Tuesday, and she told me that they had found something. There is a lump on my left ovary, and they believe I have stomach ulcers. I am currently setting up appointments to go see a specialist asap. They have also ruled out a cyst w/ the u/s. What else could this possibly be. Thank you in advance.

  • Jan Modric

    EB,

    if you burp excessively (?), you can ask for “urea breath test for H. pylori”. This bacterium often causes inflammation of the stomach and may produce a lot of gas.

    Another cause of upper abdominal bloating is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Dx is with “hydrogen breath test with lactulose”.

    Left ovary disorders doesn’t likely cause pain under the ribs (you may still have ovary cysts, only that this doesn’t explain under-rib pain) , and I believe stomach ulcers should be clearly seen during upper endoscopy you’ve had.

    Enlarged spleen was probably excluded during the ultrasound…

    Pain from kidney stones or infection can radiate to upper abdomen and causes frequent urination…

    Anyway, if pain is relieved by burping, the first thought is a gas somwhere in your gut. So, consider to ask about breath tests.

  • Chris

    I need some help! I have been having abdominal pain on the left side only. This pain started up under the ribs in the stomach area. Exactly two weeks ago! Now the pain seems straight left of the belly button and lower abdomen I also feel it in the lower left back and sides. Also strange note: A pain in my left foot and left testicle. I went to my normal Doc, she said it was a muscle. I was not worried until burning and itching started so I went to the ER on 09-18-09 that is one week after the pain started. They did blood work, a urine test, and an ultra sound of the testicular area. ER said they found nothing! I was just having some testicular pain and did not give a reason.

    I went back to my doc she has me scheduled for a CT in the mean time I went to a chiropractic. I am still in pain it feels like someone is squeezing some organ in my body; it also feels like someone is kicking me in the left testicle it also feels like someone is stabbing me in the bottom of my foot.

    When I sit up makes it worse, laying down makes it better, elevation of my left leg and foot helps. When I belch or pass gas I feel better. After eating it seems a bit worse or better I have not decided. Does anyone have any ideas what is wrong with me?

  • Jan Modric

    Chris,

    few questions:
    – What happened 2 weeks ago? Have you eaten something different; have you had some vigorous physical work or have you lifted something heavy?
    – Would you say you are bloated in last two weeks more than you were before?
    – Have you noticed change color of urine or burning at urination?
    – When you sit down, does pain worsen immediately?

    Possibilities:
    – pinched spinal nerves from bulging discs
    – psoas muscle syndrome
    – kidney (urinary) stones
    – intestinal hernia

    Depending on the causing event, there could be more than one condition that cause your symptoms

  • Halima

    Thank you for your response.

    To answer the questions on my/your post from July 8, 2009.

    I’m a 30 year old female, I had splenectomy almost 3 years ago, 10.27.2006, as I said my spleen was enlarged because I had a blood disorder, hereditary spherocytosis, it was quite largem 983gms, so I ended up having open splenectomy with 44 stitches. About 6 weeks after surgery because I was in a lot of pain I was diagnosed with PVT, portal vein thrombosis, likely a side efect from the surgey, I was on anticoagulants for 6 months and that was it. I’ve continued to have left side pain, my rib cage, breast bone, more like tenderness then pain and the wright thing is that my chest wall is tender right to the middle of the chest and then i have no pain whatsoever on my right side. It has spread to my back left side, lower and upper, shoulder, neck to the jaw, only my left side. I cant say that I’m ever pain free because it’s always there. If I tough a spot on my left side I feel pain for few minutes afterwards. My left breast is tender as well as my inner left arm. I also have quite elevated white blood cells, couldnt figure out the cause. I’m not taking any medication. I’ve had CT’s, numerous, blood tests, different doctor opinions, nothing found. I was told that it’s possible I have scarring issues but have not been reffered to a surgeon for further investigation.
    My pain/tenderness is present at all times, the only thing that makes is worse is when I stress out, then its sharp pain from my chest/neck/jaw, almost like a cramp. It lasts for few minutes sometimes longer.
    I was reffered to a neurologist but havent seen one yet. Honestly, I’m just exhausted from all the tests and my primary telling me he dont know what’s wrong with me or what to do next.
    I cannot get a good nights sleep, tried new pillows, few different pillows, new matresses, even foam, nothing works. I feel very stiff when I wake up and very tired. On some nights I just stay up when I wake up because it hurts more to lay down. I cannot lay flat on my back or stomack on hard surface, not even for a minute.
    Thank you, any suggestions are very much appreciated.

  • Halima

    I forgot to add… another thing that makes my pain worse is stomack fullness, regardless if I eat or drink a glass of water. This usuallly makes the pain spred to shoulder/neck

  • Jan Modric

    Halima,

    it is an irritaded diaphragm (the main breathing muscle, separating the chest and abdomen), which can cause pains on your left side. I would think that scaring tissue (“adhesions”) grown after splenectomy may pull the diaphragm in a certain direction and cause this pain.

    The stomach lies dierctly under the diaphragm. When you start to eat or drink, stomach muscles start to contract (persistalsis) and could irritate the diaphragm and cause the same symptoms as adhesions.

    But, maybe even moving of the esophagus could irritate the diaphragm or some structure in the chest thus causing the pain.

    Do you have exxecive hiccups?
    Is your pain also triggered by cough?

    I suggest you to read through patient’s medical history questionnaire here:
    http://www.healthhype.com/patients-personal-and-family-medical-history-questionnaire-form.html

    …to see, if you can recall any other symptom or certain circumstance..

    Have you try some pain-killers like ibuprofen? This could help you, if you have costochondritis or fibromialgia.

    Another possibility would be spondylitis (spinal arthritis)…

    What to do:
    1. Laparoscopy – endoscopic investigation of the abdominmal cavity – doctor could see if there is any excessive fibrous tissue (scarring) there.
    2. MRI of your cervical and thoracic spine to check for spondylitis (leukocytes are elevated in spondylitis…)

  • Halima

    Thank you very much for your response.

    No, I do not have any hickups and my pain is not triggered by a cough. I’ve taken ibuprophen in the past I believe for 4 weeks about a year ago and it didn’t help because my doctors thought it could be costochondritis.

    I’ve been trying to avoid Laparoscopy, I’m just afraid that another fairly common procedure ends up being something big again but it seems that’s the next step to do.

  • Bander

    I’m a 32 yr old male…the pain started 4 months ago when I felt left side chest pain…it was a dull kind of pain as if something was pushing on my diaphragm. I did all the cardiac tests (EKG, Stress Test, Ultrasound of the heart) and the results came out ok. This put me at ease for three months and I just lived with that pain. About a month ago the pain increased and began spreading to other locations. No longer do I feel the pain on the front left chest but it’s now mainly below my ribcage, my back, left side of chest under my arm, lower left abdomen (mainly from the back side) and lately I have had severe pain in my left leg that came for two days (I don’t know if it’s related!). During the last month I did feel some itching for about a week but is now gone. I have done a CT scan on the pancreas, spleen, liver, kidney and results were all ok. Lately (past week), I have been noticing Irregular bowel movement as I have to go to the bathroom a lot more often.

  • Jan Modric

    Bander,

    gas, trapped in the left part of the transverse part of the colon may cause most of symptoms you’re describing (except itch and leg pain). Gas distends the colon, which presses upon the diaphragm, what causes chest (and eventual shoulder) pain.

    A common cause of gas is irritable bowel syndrome – your bowel gets irritated by certain foods and additionally by eventual stress.
    You can try “low-fodmap diet” for few days to see if it helps:
    http://www.healthhype.com/fodmap-diet-foods-to-avoid-in-ibs-bowel-disorders-with-bloating-and-gas.html

    Itch was all over? Do you think it was related to some food? Itch appears in food allergies (few minutes to several hours after food ingestion).

    Where was the leg pain located?

  • Bander

    Yes the it was all over but I no longer feel the itch as i did a couple of weeks ago. The left leg pain starts from my foot all the way to my knee!
    I just remembered now that one day during the past 3 months i noticed my stool color was completely white! just like mucus and it only happened once, any explanation for that? is it related?

  • Jan Modric

    Bander,

    apart from allergy, itch could be caused by intestinal parasites.

    Pain from the foot to the knee could be from pinched sciatic nerve (from bulging disc). This may happen after lifting something heavy, or after prolonged sitting or driving.

    White stool – if it was translucent, not reall white, but, like you say, as mucus – it may appear in IBS and in intestinal parasites.
    Other causes of mucus in the stool:
    http://www.healthhype.com/what-causes-mucus-in-bowel-movement.html

    I recommend you to try a low-fodmap diet (link in my previous comment), and if you have IBS, this diet may help you in few days.

    If no improvement within a weak, you can ask a doctor to order a stool test for parasites.

    If your stool was actually bright white, sticky, greasy, this speaks for fat malabsorption.

    So, try diet and maybe a test for parasites before thinking on other intestinal disorders.

  • Tan

    I’ve been experiencing discomfort from around left ribcage (side and back parts)to the hip area. I had urine infection since Sunday with very strong odour. Started on Pyridium Monday to Wednesday (2 tabs 3 timespd). Not much relief. The pain on the left started today and I’m wondering ifit has anything to do with the actual bladder infection. I used to suffer continuosly with bladder infections and 5 years ago had a bladder cyst removed. Can this pain be related to the kidney? If kidney infection, where exactly would the pain be? Consulting with urologist next Monday

  • Chris

    Jan Modric

    No heavy lifting.
    No difference in color of urine
    No I have not been eating anything different.

    I would say I might feel a little bit bloated. The pain does not start when I sit immediately but over time. Like when I wake up in the morning I think it’s going to be a good day. After I have been up awhile it starts to hurt.

    2 weeks ago: Last thing I remember doing before I got a sharp pain in my side and my left testicle ascended was I had masturbated. The testicle descended immediately and the pain never has gone away yet.

    My doc says Urine is clean and clear. They also said no hernia. No turned in testicle. They did an ultrasound of the testicular area and found nothing. I just had my ct scan yesterday. No word yet!

    Feels now like I am still getting kicked in the left testicle. Also feels like I just did a lot of sit ups. With a glassy feeling in my stomach. And a burning pulling feeling like some thing is being squished inside left stomach. Burning and itching too in the lower left pelvic area.

  • Angelica39

    Hi,

    I am a female in my mid 20’s and have had severe pain in my left stomach where rib cage is at that also shoots down to pelvic area and sometimes to my back. I have had blood test, stool samples, CT scan, ultrasound, and a recent colonoscopy. ALL were normal. I have no medical insurance and no Primary Care doctor since the company i worked for went bankrupt.

    I do have lots of diareah, some constipation, i get green stools and frequently get mucus in my bowel movements- lots of mucus. I do have a very small umbilical hernia and had my gallbladder taken out 2 yrs ago. Pain is so bad i cannot jog, walk for long, and hurts constantly.

    I need advice on what I should do next? Go get more test- but which? Should i just try to live with it and igrnore the symptoms? Thank you for any advice.

  • Jan Modric

    Tan,

    in kidney infection, you might (not necessary) have tender area over the left kidney (on the left side of the back, just under and below the lower rib, meaning if you hit that area slightly with the fist, you could feel pain. Pain (not tenderness) would eventually spread to the left upper abdomen.

    Pain may cause constipation, and this can be accompanied with gas built in the transverse and left part of the colon and cause pain. If you have appointment THIS Monday, it sounds ok; I wouldn’t wait to the NEXT Monday, since if you leave a kidney infection untreated, some complications may occur.

  • Jan Modric

    Chris,

    by itching, do you mean a feeling that makes you scratch? Or is it like tingling?

    If it is an itch, and no rash, it may be from the colon, like parasites or something other in the colon.

    If it is tingling, it may be from something pressing on the nerve(s) in your thoracic and lumbar spine. Foot pain speaks for this. Now, the question is, if the pressure on the nerve is caused by a spinal disorder (bulging disc, spondylitis…Lifting a streched left leg should actually cause pain in this case…

  • Jan Modric

    Angelica,

    when did diarrhea start: after gallbladder removal, later, or was there even before?

    Did you have stool test for parasites? This test is often false negative…

    One possible cause of green diarrhea is bile, not been completely re-absorbed in the small intestine, thus reaching the colon and irritating it. In this case, adding fibers (metamucil, psyllium husk..), which can bind bile salts, could help.

    Next: IBS.
    Foods to avoid in IBS
    http://www.healthhype.com/fodmap-diet-foods-to-avoid-in-ibs-bowel-disorders-with-bloating-and-gas.html

  • Tan

    apart from urine infection now, i always have a problem with left hip. Did a scan/xray 2004 for bladder cyst. Results for abdomen read “sclerotic focus noted in relation to the left supra acetubular hip bone probably an incidental bone island”

    what does that mean?

  • Jan Modric

    Tan,

    “sclerotic focus” = a small area of dense bone tissue
    “noted in relation to the left supra acetubular hip bone” = in the pelvic bone, above the hip joint (acetabulum is a concave part of the hip joint).

    Explanation: “probably an incidental bone island”: doctor doesn’t think this needs any attention, but if pain in the hip is affecting your life, you might want to ask an orthopedist for furter investigation of your pelvic bones.

  • Njoku

    I am die slowly of pains in my left upper abdomen. It was diagnosed many years ago as ulcer. Then, anytime I take the medication prescribed by my doctor, I will get well, but after a while, it will come up. Recently, i started having hot sensation in my legs muscles and pains in my shoulder which is very painful. i met my doctor and he suspected rumatisim because I did some strenous diging of the earth in the cause of harvesting plant roots, but he was afraid to give me strong drugs/medication because of my long lived stomach pains called ulcer. However, he gave me mild prescription.Recently, I discovered that my inside lower abdomen is paining me mostly, in the night when I am sleeping and gives me discomfort. It comes and goes especially, whenever I eat heavy meal and fruits before sleeping. I thought it is because I sit almost the whole day in the class as a student. Please, what is the solution to my problems.

  • Jan Modric

    Njoku,

    was it a stomach (gastric) ulcer and was it confirmed by a colonoscopy? What exact medications you are taking for an ulcer? One common reason for non-healing stomach ulcer is an infection with Helycobacter pylori bacteria. An “urea breath test for H. pylori”, performed by a gastroenterologist, may confirm/exclude this infection.

    Your pains may be also called by gas built in your intestine. If you find fruits problematic, have a few days lasting low-fructose diet trial; read details here:
    http://www.healthhype.com/low-fructose-diet-in-fructose-malabsorption.html

    If this doesn’t help, you may want to try a more rigorous “low-fodmap diet”:
    http://www.healthhype.com/fodmap-diet-foods-to-avoid-in-ibs-bowel-disorders-with-bloating-and-gas.html

    Foods, mentioned in the above articles often cause bloating and pains in the stomach.

  • nicole

    Problems started 8 months ago. Persistent fever of 99-100 one month later had appendicitis. 2 months later respiratory infection and vaginal infection both cleared up. Have had severe painful diarrhea for about 1-2 years. A few weeks ago they removed my gallbladder because it was diseased. Now I’m recovering but still have these symptoms of persistent fever *everyday*, severe painful diarrhea even if I haven’t eaten, sharp pain and sometimes dull to nagging throughout the day everyday in the middle left abdomen. It hurts really bad to go to the bathroom for BM’s I feel the pain in the middle left abdominal area and down low throughout lower abdominal area and it radiates to my back. Suppose to see two specialist next week…rhumetoid and GI to see if they can figure out what else is going on. Oh and I also have a hemmrrhagic cyst on right ovary. I could use some help figuring out why the constant pain, fever, exhaustion, nausea, diarrhea are occuring. I feel like my body is attacking itself these past few months but I have no clue what they are going to look for.

    I feel horrible everyday….could use some ideas please. I am also only 29 years old.

  • Jan Modric

    Nicole,

    fever, left abdominal pain and diarrhea suggest a colonic inflammation. Gastroenterologist can perform an X-ray with barium enema and colonoscopy to see, if your colonic mucosal layer is inflammed.

    Other disorders, like ovarian cyst, which can eventually spread to the blood, should be considered and treated as appropriate.

  • Chris

    Jan Modric

    So the CT scan showed nothing wrong with the internal organs. No masses, tumors, stones, my doc said everything looks fine.

    ?!!?!

  • Jan Modric

    Chris, would you say that you feel pain in red areas, like here:
    http://backpainadvice.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/06-420radiculopathy.jpg

    Do abdominal, testicular and leg pain all appear at the same time?

  • Cathy

    I have been suffering a lighthead and dizziness for over 3 years now along with severe lower abdominal pain and feel it is related to bowel function. I feel dizzy shortly after I eat a meal, I then suffer severe lower left (front joint of thigh and pelvis) and front pain (under pubic bone). This pain then builds up and up until I am able to have a bowel movement and gets so bad I feel I may pass out and I see flashes infront of my eyes. My eyes get heavy and glazey too. It feels like a blockage and the pains builds until it can push through. The pain keeps me awake at night and affects day to day things and more so the dizziness that comes with it (sometimes a foggy\spaced out feeling). When the pain is bad it radiates down the left leg. It hurts to lift my left leg at that stage. All symptoms seem to be better when I have a bowel motion, but beforehand the pain and feeling is unbearable. I have had a laparoscopy and they found no endometriosis. I had a colonoscopy and the bowel is okay. The consultant says the sigmoid muscle isn’t working right and said I have ODS and prescribed Amitriptyline which doesn’t actually help me go to the bathroom and the pain still exists and it makes me feel down. I googled Obsrtuctive Defeactation Syndrome and no site says to use Amitriptyline for it. Is there something outside the bowel on the left side and really low down at the front that can affect the bowel and when stools try to pass through to cause such pain and dizziness. Does the bowel need room to stretch and it cant with me? I have tired high fiber diets and other things to help me ‘go’, but to no avail – the actual motion causes these symptoms. If I have diarrhea sometimes I get a really drunk spacy feeling until it passes through. It is a horrible sensation, I actually stagger when I walk when feeling like that. Does a blockage or obstruction, if that is what it is, cause all these symptoms? I am desperate for help and between the pain and the lighthead it is getting me really down. I am thinking my last hope is to ask for a CT\MRI of the whole pelvis.

  • Jan Modric

    Cathy,
    how old are you?

    Yes, it’s possible that a benign tumor, like fibroma, or ovarian cyst, or adhesions (fibrous tissue) would press on the sigma and obstruct defecation.

    Another cause could be a bulging disc ot other spinal disorder at the level from Th10 to L3, especially because you are mentioning left leg pain.

    So, maybe you should see neurologist before continuing with bowel- related investigations.

  • Cathy

    Jan, thank you for the advice. I am 33yrs old, and have no children. The area is very tender and painful to touch also. I will ask my GP about the neurologist path. I think I would be happy if I got a scan to see what it is.
    Thank you…

  • p.widiaruta

    Dear Mr. Jan Modric,
    I’d like to ask your help about my persistent symptom.

    I am male 32 years old and basically healthy, with height 181 cm and weight 88kg.

    For the last 29 months (more than 2 years already) I have slight discomfort around my left abdomen. Rather than pain, I prefer discomfort, since it doesn’t hurt me.

    It just like a feeling that a golf ball is stuck there. It doesn’t have one exact location, sometimes it is in left side around navel, sometimes around my left groin, but most often it will come around lower rib cage.

    It is intermittent (comes and goes), usually it will comes in evening after I am tired with my works. Fortunately, when I sleep and wake up in the morning the discomfort will be gone completely. The symptom is quite similar with splenic flexure syndrome, however, it doesn’t always come after meal and it doesn’t get better when I pass my gas.
    The discomfort often come after I sit in front of my computer or driving my motorbike for long time.

    I have chest X ray and routine medical check up and blood test that showed no abnormalities since 4 years ago.

    I am just afraid of colorectal cancer, however my doctor doesn’t suspect it. He said that USG or colonoscopy is not needed since I don’t have other symptom of cancer, and the symptom already there for long time (chronic).He said that cancer symptoms tend to get worse quickly rather become chronic.

    Sometimes (very rare,maybe only twice a year) I have a small amount red fresh blood in my stool, but the doctor diagnosed it as hemorrhoid and doesn’t concern about it.

    Could you please give me some advice, I know that cancer is less likely because my symptom is the chronic one and I have no other symptoms, but I need to ease my mind.

    best regards

  • Jan Modric

    Cathy,

    does the leg pain spread down the leg to the knee or even further?

    Also, do you feel dizzy nd have eye flashes before the pain occurs, or this is directly related to pain?

    You can also check medical history questionnaire, which can help you to express eventual other symptoms:
    http://www.healthhype.com/patients-personal-and-family-medical-history-questionnaire-form.html

  • Jan Modric

    Hi, p.widiaruta.

    Colorectal cancer at your age appears almost exclusively in a familial adenomatous polyposis – a hereditary form of cancer. It is extremely rare, and it would appear in your family, if you had had it.

    On the other hand, I encourage you to find out for sure what’s the cause of bleeding. It may be hemorrhoids, but even if you have hemorrhoids, they are not necessary the cause of bleeding. They may be polyps. Discomfort, as you describe it, seems to arise from the left, descending part of your colon. If this discomfort arises from the gas, or from food irritation, then a 4 day low-fodmap diet trial would probably help you:
    http://www.healthhype.com/fodmap-diet-foods-to-avoid-in-ibs-bowel-disorders-with-bloating-and-gas.html

    Bleeding is not likely food-related, though. Colorectal cancer typically appears after 50, but there are other colonic disorders that could show up during – colonoscopy.

  • p.widiaruta

    Dear Mr. Modric

    Thank you for your answer, I really appreciate it.

    My family history is quite clean from cancer, nobody died from any form of cancer.

    Hemorrhoids itself really runs in my family, since my mother and brother have it. When I have bleeding, it usually in very small amount, very rare, and accompanied with anal pain.

    I have read the site which you referred to me, about the FODMAD diet and it is interesting. Almost all foods which cause gas are in my daily menu such as garlic and coffee. I will try and wish it can help.

    Once more thank you, and wish you will maintain this site since it is really help and useful.

  • jdillard

    Hi I’m 20 I’ve been having severe pain on my lower left abdomen. its constant with a few sharp pains here and there. No fever, no constipation, frequent urination, and indigestion. With lots of shoulder and knee pain as well. Do you know what the problem could be.

  • jdillard

    also with irregular periods and bleeding in between periods

  • Jan Modric

    Hi, jdillard,

    left side abdominal pain and irregular cycle suggest a disorder of the left ovary. Blood levels of sex hormones and ultrasound of the abdomen could be done first.

    Do you have any vaginal discharge? Any skin rash, mouth ulcers, eye redness?

  • jdillard

    No vaginal discharge, yes on the eye redness and yes on mouth ulcers but they arent the normal mouth ucler they are more like little bumps filled with clear liquid. And they can be easily popped but hurt. And no skin rash that i have noticed.

  • Jan Modric

    Jdillard,

    I suggest you to read about Reiter’s syndrome:
    http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Reactive-Arthritis.htm

    Are you sure that both knee and shoulder joint symptoms appeared at the same time as abdominal pain, or one or another could be a separate problem?
    Another cause I can think of, is Crohn’s disease (search to check symptoms), an inflammation of the colon and other parts of the gut. This would require colonoscopy to prove. Celiac disease is another intestinal disorder with possible systemic symptoms. Symptoms would lessen within few days of gluten-free diet, diagnosis is made by blood test and/or biopsy of duodenal mucosa during upper endoscopy.

  • jdillard

    There was a lot of knee and shoulder pain the past two weeks and now three days ago the abdominal pain showed up. Also some toe pain but only when i’m on my feet a lot.