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

Health can be affected by a large number of variables which can range from improving and promoting our well-being to generating discomfort which indicates the presence of more or less serious impairment.

One example is the onset of gastrointestinal pain or discomfort. While this is mostly due to some sort of temporary digestive issue, the truth is, sometimes it can indicate something more serious.

Also, sometimes, it is also possible that these discomforts or pains do not occur in a specific part and not in general, such as on one side. Why can pain appear on the left side of the stomach? Let’s take a look at some variables we need to keep in mind and some possible reasons for their occurrence.

    Abdominal pain on one side

    Stomach upset is relatively common and generally common it is usually due to discomfort caused by poor digestion or the presence of gas. This does not imply that this type of pain can sometimes indicate a more relevant and even dangerous type of injury, inflammation or disease, especially when it has unusual characteristics.

    When the pain is localized, like when we have pain in the left side of the stomach, it usually means that the reason for the discomfort is in one of the organs present in the same area or that we are facing a irradiation of a different issue. In the event that this type of pain occurs, it may be advisable to take into account certain variables.

    Variables to consider

    First of all and focusing on the pain, we need to assess the type of pain we are feeling, whether it is more tingling or tingling (as if it is burning us). Another factor of great relevance is also its exact location and level of intensity.

    It is also advisable to take into account the duration of his presence, if it remains continuous, it comes and goes or occurs occasionally in a situation. In this sense, the fact that it is present continuously or very often may indicate that there is some kind 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; it should be taken into account if it occurred after a major contusion, eat or after that or if it suddenly appears without a background. For example, their sudden onset is usually not common and it is usually advisable to see a doctor.

    Finally, keep in mind that if we are in the case of a certain type of disease, it is common for the pain to be accompanied by other symptoms (Although sometimes they are not perceived by the person). Some symptoms which may appear along with pain in the left side of the stomach and which suggest possible serious illness are the presence of a very high fever, bleeding in the vomiting or stool, excessive diarrhea, weight loss rapid and / or energy, pallor 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 in the left side of the stomach, which can range from mild discomfort to poor digestion to more serious conditions that cause severe, recurring pain. Some examples are as follows.

    1. Gas accumulation

    The presence of gas accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract is one of the most common causes of pain in the stomach and abdomen, both generally and in a specific band (on the left, it is common that the buildup is colon). It is common for the pain to be punctual and swelling and frequent gas or rashes appear, Decreased discomfort after expulsion.

      2. Gastritis

      A common cause of pain in the left side of the stomach is gastritis, in which the stomach suffers from inflammation that can cause throbbing pain, bleeding, burning, vomiting and gas. This can be due to several causes, including certain diseases. Some gastritis, especially hemorrhagic, can be fatal.

      3. Irritable bowel syndrome

      Another possible cause of pain in the left side of the abdomen is the presence of irritable bowel syndrome or an alteration in the colon. Specifically, the pain will appear on the left side when the alteration affects the descending colon, And is usually of a pointed type and relieved after the evacuation of feces. Constipation, diarrhea, or both also appear.

      4. Diverticulitis

      Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the diverticula, small, bag-like structures that line much of the digestive tract but are particularly present in the colon.

      The pain caused is usually severe, continuous, and does not improve over time. It usually appears in conjunction with a high fever, dizziness, weight loss, and diarrhea or constipation.. It can cause a variety of serious and even fatal complications, such as perforations and even peritonitis.

      5. Splenomegaly and other spleen problems

      Another of the organs that is found on the left side of the body and can cause great damage to this side is the spleen. This organ acts as a reservoir and a system to control the amount of blood, as well as to participate in the immune and lymphatic system, and can be injured or affected by various diseases.

      One of them is splenomegaly, in which this organ significantly increases in size. This increase can cause compression against other organs and this will cause the birth of pain, heaviness, weight loss or fever. It may need to be surgically removed.

      In addition to splenomegaly, changes such as cysts and tumors can appear, which can also cause pain. Another possible cause may be that the spleen is injured, It is punctured or broken by a trauma, generating an internal hemorrhage of great danger to the life of the subject.

      6. Pancreatitis

      While most of the pancreas is located on the right side of the body, its tail enters the left side of the abdomen. This is why if it becomes inflamed, you may feel pain in the left side of the abdomen and in the area of ​​the stomach which is born or worsens right after eating, often spreading later towards other areas of the body and appearing next to fever, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, and fatty stools.

      Pancreatitis can have fatal consequences, so getting to the hospital as soon as possible is essential.

      7. Kidney stones and other kidney problems

      On the left side of the abdomen, one can also find one of the kidneys, which can sometimes generate a type of pain seen in or near the left side of the stomach. This is especially true in case of kidney stones or urinary tract infections.

      In addition to the pain, it is common for difficulty or excess to appear during urination.

      8. Stomach or inguinal hernia

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

      In addition to this other hernia, the associated pain can radiate to the stomach area is the presence of inguinal hernia.

      9. Ovarian cysts and menstrual problems

      In the case of women, it is also possible that pain appears on the left side due to the presence of a certain type of cyst (either just one or with polycystic ovaries) in the corresponding ovary. In these cases, they usually appear in addition to pain menstrual disturbances, fatigue and dizziness.

      In addition to these cysts, it is also relatively common for pain associated with menstrual colic or other alterations to the reproductive system to appear.

      Bibliographical references:

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

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