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Pain in the left part of the stomach: possible causes and what to do

Pain in the left part of the stomach: possible causes and what to do

July 12, 2024

Health can be affected by a large number of variables that can enhance and promote our well-being to generate discomfort that indicates the presence of some alteration of greater or lesser severity.

An example of this is the appearance of pain or discomfort at the gastrointestinal level. Although it has mostly obeyed some type of temporary digestive problem, the truth is that sometimes it may be indicating something more serious.

Also, sometimes it is also possible that these discomforts or pains do not occur in a specific part and not at a general level, such as on the side. Why can pain appear in the left part of the stomach? We are going to see some variables that we have to take into account and some possible reasons for their appearance.

  • Related article: "The 13 types of pain: classification and characteristics"

Abdominal pain in one side

Stomach pain is a relatively common phenomenon and usually usually due to discomfort caused by poor digestion or the presence of gas . This does not imply that this type of pain can sometimes be indicating some type of injury, inflammation or disease of greater relevance and even dangerous, especially when it has unusual characteristics.

When the pain is localized, as when we have pain in the left part of the stomach, this usually implies that the reason for the discomfort is found in one of the organs present in the same region or we are facing an irradiation of some different problem. If this type of pain occurs, it may be advisable to take into account some variables .

Variables to consider

In the first place and focusing on the pain we must assess the type of pain that we are feeling, if this is rather sharp or hurente (as if they were burning us). Also another factor of great relevance is its exact location and intensity level.

It is also advisable to keep in mind how long it is present, if it remains in a continuous way, it comes and goes or it occurs punctually in some situation . In this sense, the fact that it is present continuously or very frequently may be indicating that there is some type of problem. If there is no improvement after two days it is recommended to go to the doctor.

When this pain appears it is also relevant; must be taken into account if it has occurred after an important contusion, when eating or after it or if it appears suddenly without any background . For example, sudden onset is not usual and usually makes it advisable to consult a doctor.

Finally, we must bear in mind that if we are in the presence of some type of disease, it is usual for pain to be present accompanied by other symptoms (although sometimes they are not perceived by the person). Some symptoms that can appear along with the pain in the left side of the stomach and that make suspect a possible serious ailment is the presence of very high fever, bleeding in vomit or feces, excessive diarrhea, rapid loss of weight and / or energy, paleness or jaundice, inability to defecate or fainting.

Possible causes of pain in the left side of the stomach

There are many possible causes of pain appearing in the left side of the stomach, which can range from mild discomfort resulting from poor digestion to more serious conditions that generate intense and recurrent pain. Some examples are the following.

1. Accumulation of gases

The presence of an accumulation of gas at the gastrointestinal level is one of the most common causes of stomach and abdominal pain, both at a generalized level and on a particular side (in the left it is common for the accumulation to occur in the stomach or colon). ). It is common for pain to be punctual and swelling and frequent flatulence or belching , decreasing the discomfort after his expulsion.

  • Maybe you're interested: "I have many gases: 12 remedies to stop suffering them"

2. Gastritis

Gastritis is a common cause of pain in the left side of the stomach, in which the stomach suffers from an inflammation that can cause throbbing pain. bleeding, burning, vomiting and gas . It can be due to multiple causes, including some diseases. Some gastritis, especially those of the hemorrhagic type, can be fatal.

3. Irritable bowel

Another possible cause for pain in the left side of the abdomen is the presence of irritable bowel or some alteration in the colon. Specifically the pain will appear on the left side when the alteration affects the descending colon , and is usually sharp and relieved after evacuation of feces. They also tend to appear constipation, diarrhea or both.

4. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the diverticula, small sac-like structures that line a large part of the digestive tract but are especially present in the colon.

The pain caused is usually intense, continuous and not improve over time. It usually appears together with high fevers, dizziness, weight loss and diarrhea or constipation . It can generate different serious complications or even with deadly potential, such as perforations and even peritonitis.

5. Splenomegaly and other spleen problems

Another of the organs that is on the left side of the body and whose affectation can cause great pain in said side is the spleen. This organ acts as a reservoir and control system for the amount of blood, in addition to participating in the immune and lymphatic system, and may be injured or affected by various diseases.

One of them is splenomegaly, in which this organ greatly increases its size. This increase can generate compression against other organs and this causes the birth of pain, heaviness, weight loss or fever. It may be necessary to remove it surgically.

In addition to the splenomegaly, alterations such as cysts and tumors can appear that can also generate pain. Another possible cause may be that the spleen is injured , it is perforated or it is broken by some traumatism, generating an internal hemorrhage of great danger for the life of the subject.

6. Pancreatitis

While most of the pancreas is located on the right side of the body, its tail goes into the left side of the abdomen. That is why if it becomes inflamed you can perceive pain in the left part of the abdomen and at the height of the stomach that is born or worsens just after eating, often extending later to other areas of the body and appearing next to fever, vomiting, unexplained weight loss and greasy stools .

Pancreatitis can have fatal repercussions, so it is essential to go to the hospital as soon as possible.

7. Stones in the kidney and other kidney problems

On the left side of the abdomen we can also find one of the kidneys, which can sometimes generate a type of pain perceived in the left side of the stomach or in its vicinity. This happens especially when there are kidney stones or urinary infections .

In addition to pain, it is common for difficulties or excesses in urination to appear.

8. Stomach or inguinal hernia

Another possible cause of pain on the left side of the stomach is the presence of a hernia, or protrusion of part of the stomach into another area. This is the case of the hiatus hernia, in which a part of the stomach comes out through the diaphragm hollow towards the chest .

In addition to this other hernia whose associated pain can radiate to the stomach area is the presence of a hernia at the inguinal level.

9. Ovarian cysts and menstrual problems

In the case of women, it is also possible that pains appear on the left side due to the presence of some type of cyst (be it a single or in cases of polycystic ovaries) in the corresponding ovary. In these cases tend to appear in addition to pain also alterations at the menstrual level, fatigue and dizziness .

In addition to these cysts, it is also relatively common that pain associated with menstrual cramps or other alterations in the reproductive system may appear.

Bibliographic references:

  • Longmore, M., Wilkinson, I., Baldwin, A. and Wallin, E. (2014). Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mystery of Stomach Pain (July 2024).

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