What can cause left upper abdominal pain?

March 25, 2010

One area where pain commonly occurs is the upper left abdomen area. To identify this area you have to draw a line from the left nipple to the level of the belly button. The area to the left of this line is the upper left abdominal area. This area is home to the spleen, a part of the large intestines, a portion of the stomach, the left lower ribs, part of the pancreas, and the muscles and skin that covers these structures. This region also includes some part of the liver, ureter, the left adrenal gland, and a tip of the left gland. Any issues with these parts will cause upper left abdominal pain.

Some of the most common causes of upper left abdominal pain include problems such as shingles that affect your skin, stomach ulcers and tumors, pancreatitis, left kidney stone or tumor, strained muscle over the upper left abdomen, and more.

  • Food poisoning, for example, can cause left upper abdominal pain within the first hour to 48 hours. You might vomit or get a sensation of nausea. This could also be accompanied with a fever. Depending on what has caused the problem or the severity of the problem, you may pass blood and mucus in your stool as well.
  • Gastric volvulus is another condition that causes pain in this region. Here the stomach twists upon itself. This could either involve the flipping over of one side of the stomach on the other, or the upper part flipping over the end of the stomach. Sometimes an individual may suffer from a combination of both types. This problem would occur mainly in adults and is extremely rare.
  • Kidney stones are also responsible for causing severe pain. You will experience severe pain in the upper left abdominal area if the stone is in the top portion of the left ureter.
  • If you have an infection in your left kidney you could have pain in the left upper abdomen. Some symptoms that accompany this problem could be vomiting and a feverish feeling.
  • We generally find that pancreatitis causes pain in the upper central abdomen. However if the lower part of the pancreas are more affected the pain will be felt in the upper left abdominal area.
  • Sometimes excess wind gets trapped in the large bowel or stomach, causing pain in the upper left abdomen. Some common symptoms include a bloated feeling, cramps in the abdomen, and loud bowel noises. Passing wind can help alleviate this pain.
  • Upper left abdominal pain can be caused by a number of other problems such as malaria, infection of the spleen and musculoskeletal pain.

Submitted by M T on March 25, 2010 at 12:38

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