Abdominal pain is a common condition that we all experience from time to time. Sometimes the pain is generalized and occurs in half of the stomach or over a larger area. Other times, pain is localized to one area of the abdomen such as the middle, lower left, or lower right section. In most cases, generalized stomach pain is not serious and usually goes away with home treatment. Localized abdominal pain, however, is a little more complicated, especially if it occurs in the lower left part of the abdomen.
The lower left part of the abdomen contains a number of pain sensitive structures. Due to this, the cause, symptoms, and severity of pain in this area tend to vary greatly. For the most part, the cause of lower left abdominal pain (also referred to as left lower quadrant pain) can be traced directly to the digestive tract. However, in some cases, left lower quadrant pain can arise from issues with the skin, abdominal wall muscles, blood vessels, urinary tract, or reproductive organs.
Just like the causes, the symptoms of lower left abdominal pain are also vast. Pain which is the primary symptom may be short lived (acute) or experienced over a long period ranging from weeks to months (chronic).
Additionally, other symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, lack of appetite, heaviness or fullness, fever, tenderness, difficulty breathing, dehydration, among others, may be experienced alongside the pain. As for severity, the pain can be achy, dull, crampy, sharp, stabbing, or burning and can occur spontaneously, intermittently, or persistently.
Depending on the cause, left lower quadrant pain can be a mild condition that will pass even without treatment while other times it may be a serious health issue that requires immediate medical attention. Knowing the various causes and symptoms of pain in the lower left abdomen can help you determine the difference. So, to help put you in a better position of adequately dealing with lower left abdominal pain when it strikes, this article takes you through the anatomy of the abdomen’s lower left quadrant, the various possible causes of pain in the area, the resultant conditions and their symptoms, and available treatment options. Also included is a quick guideline on when to worry about left lower quadrant pain.
Causes That Occur in Men and Women
The lower left part of the abdomen is home to several body organs including the kidney, descending colon, uterus, left ureter, left ovary, left spermatic cord, sigmoid colon, and the bladder. Pain can originate from any of these organs and lead to the following conditions.
Common among people aged 10-30 years, appendicitis is a serious medical condition in which the appendix (a small tube shaped sac that protrudes from the colon) becomes inflamed and painful. The inflammation occurs when the entrance of the appendix is partially or completely blocked by anything from fecal matter, to worms, to swollen lymphoid follicles, to a tumor, to trauma to the stomach.
Once the entrance to the appendix is blocked, bacteria quickly accumulate within the organ causing it to swell up and become filled with pus. The buildup in bacteria also puts pressure on the walls of the appendix causing pain.
If not treated quickly, an inflamed appendix will rupture and spill bacteria all over the abdomen, which in turn will lead to serious conditions such as inflammation of surrounding organs. This is why you should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you are suffering from appendicitis. Treatment usually involves a surgical procedure to remove the inflamed appendix.
Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Sudden pain that begins from around the naval and moves to the lower part of the abdomen. The pain starts off as a dull ache and becomes sharper as it moves.
- Pain that gets worse when you cough or move
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to pass gas
Most cases of pain in the lower left part of the abdomen among older people (age 40 and above) are as a result of diverticulitis. This is a condition that starts developing when too much pressure to the colon causes bulging sacs (referred to as diverticula) to from along the lining of the large intestines. In some cases, the sacs can develop in the digestive tract. Diverticulitis only occurs when the diverticula become infected or inflamed.
Signs that indicate you are suffering from diverticulitis include:
- Sudden severe pain on the lower left part of the abdomen. The pain gets worse as days go by.
- Abdominal tenderness
- Gas and/or bloating
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Fever and chills
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea that is sometimes accompanied by vomiting
- Rectal bleeding in some instances
The best action to take when you suspect diverticulitis is it to visit a doctor. The doctor will examine your condition and run some tests to confirm if the diverticulitis is mild or severe. Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, antibiotics and pain medication, and a change in diet. Severe diverticulitis, on the other hand, will require surgery.
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Also known as irritable colon, spastic colon, mucous colitis, and spastic colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a life-long condition that mostly affects people with an overly sensitive immune system or colon. The condition is more common in women and can strike at any time from your late teens to early 40s.
Individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome experience attacks of stomach pains or cramps that are usually localized to the lower half of the abdomen. The pain is usually accompanied by bloating, a lot of gas, and a change in bowel habits, all of which results alternating periods or constipation and diarrhea. Attacks come and go in periods ranging from a few days to months with some people experiencing symptoms at a greater intensity than others.
Unfortunately, IBS has no cure. Therefore, treatment of the condition is aimed at alleviating symptoms by taking the necessary medication. Other than that, IBS can be made more manageable with dietary and lifestyle changes such as avoiding stress, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water daily, and eating plenty of fiber.
- Food intolerance such as lactose intolerance
In some instances, the reason behind left lower quadrant pain can be as simple as food intolerance. Non-allergic food hypersensitivity or food intolerance is an abnormal physiological response where the stomach experiences some level of discomfort after ingesting certain foods. The abnormal physiological reaction is mostly caused by lack of the relevant enzymes needed to breakdown the substances found in certain foods. For instance, people who are lactose intolerant lack enough of the enzyme lactase whose purpose is to digest and break down lactose. Other times, the ingested food may contain artificial additives, natural substances, or chemicals that trigger an abnormal immune reaction.
With food intolerance, symptoms are never immediate and can develop several hours or even days after eating the culprit food. What’s more, symptoms vary from one person to the next and can include pain, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and bowel irritability. In some cases, food intolerance may also result in pain in joints, fatigue, dark circles under the eyes, night sweats, and skin rashes.
Pain in the lower left part of the abdomen brought on by food intolerance is never serious and can in some instances pass without any medical assistance. Decreasing or completely eliminating the problem-causing foods can also help stop symptoms from developing.
- Celiac disease
Celiac disease also known as celiac sprue, is a form of food intolerance where the body is unable to digest gluten. So, if someone with celiac disease eats gluten, the immune system responds by releasing toxins that destroy the finger-like protrusions (villi) lining the small intestine which are responsible for absorbing nutrients from food.
With the small intestines unable to absorb the nutrients from gluten, the body starts experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, which can be felt on the lower left quadrant of the abdomen. For some people, celiac disease results in far worse health complications such as permanent intestinal damage, seizures, infertility, among others. The only treatment for celiac disease is complete removal of gluten from the diet.
- Urinary tract disorders
When bacteria somehow manage to enter the urinary tract and then multiply within the bladder, infection may develop and cause what is known as urinary tract disorders or urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Since infection can occur in any part of the urinary system (i.e. the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra), symptoms of UTIs usually vary depending on the infected area. However, patients suffering from urinary tract disorders are likely to experience sharp pain in the bladder region or left lower abdomen, burning pain when urinating, and a recurrent urge to urinate.
Treatment of UTIs involves the use of antibiotics, which can be taken orally or delivered through intravenous means. Drinking plenty of water is also used as a form of treatment as it helps to flush the urinary tract.
Constipation occurs when one fails to drink enough water or eats food that is either too dry or low on fiber. The most common symptom of constipation is sharp pain in the lower left abdomen. In addition to the pain, one may also experience bloating and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the rectum when constipated.
Constipation can be easily remedied with a high-fiber diet, intake of lots of fluids, and laxatives.
- Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that causes an inflammation along the lining of the gastrointestinal tract (GI). Inflammation can occur anywhere in the GI, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, rectum, and anus.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease come and go frequently and usually include; abdominal pain & cramping, severe recurring diarrhea, weight loss, fever and fatigue, reduced appetite, and blood in stool.
Since Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition that affects people differently and has no cure, treatment involves prevention and alleviation of symptoms through a tailor-made treatment plan formulated by a doctor.
- Ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is another form of IBD in which inflammation occurs in the innermost lining of the colon and rectum. Ulcers may also develop along the inflamed areas.
A mild case of ulcerative colitis will deliver the same symptoms as those listed under Crohn’s disease. Severe ulcerative colitis may cause additional symptoms such as irritation and reddening of the eyes, painful, red, swollen skin, shortness of breath, irregular or fast heartbeat, among others.
Just like Crohn’s disease, treatment for ulcerative colitis involves personalized treatment that aims at relieving symptoms during flare-ups and keeping the patient in a remission state.
- Intestinal obstruction
As the name suggests, intestinal obstruction is a condition where the small and large intestines suffer blockage that makes it impossible for food and fluids to pass through. The intestinal obstruction can be caused by a variety of things including; an inflamed intestine, the inflamed bulging sacs that form during diverticulitis, twisting of the colon, hernias, tumors, and scar tissues (adhesions) that usually form in the abdomen after surgery.
Intestinal obstruction that occurs on the left side of the intestines, results in a cramp-like pain in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen. During the initial stages of intestinal obstruction, the pain comes and goes and then spreads across the abdomen as the condition worsens. The pain is also accompanied by nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, constipation, and the inability to pass gas.
It’s highly advisable to consult a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of intestinal blockage. This is because, if left untreated, the condition can result in death of intestinal tissue, which in turn will lead to complications such as severe infection or septic shock. Treatment varies depending on the type and severity of the intestinal obstruction. However, most cases require surgery.
- Kidney stones
Kidney stones or renal calculi are small, crystalline masses, which develop inside the kidneys when urine contains high levels of acid. When these stones start moving down the bladder into the ureter, sudden excruciating may be experienced on the lower part of the abdomen. Pain can be felt on the lower right or lower left quadrant depending on which kidney the stones develop. The pain usually comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity as the stones move deeper into the ureter.
Other symptoms of kidney stones include fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, painful and frequent urination, and urine that is red, pink, brown, foul-smelling, or cloudy.
Depending on the type of kidney stones, treatment can include pain-relieving medicine, surgical removal of the stones, or the use of sound waves to break the stones into smaller masses that can easily pass down the ureter without causing damage.
- Left kidney infection
Large kidney stones coming from the left kidney, which make it to the ureter, can easily block this narrow tube making it impossible for waste products to pass by. When this happens, bacteria can build up on the other side of the blockage and cause a left kidney infection. In other cases, left kidney infection can occur when a UTI spreads to the kidney.
Kidney infection delivers the same symptoms as kidney stones with the addition of fever and fatigue. However, with left kidney infection, the left-sided abdominal pain is not sudden.
When detected early, left kidney infection can be treated with antibiotics.
- Abdominal abscess
Abdominal abscesses are pus-filled pockets of inflamed tissue. They usually develop after one undergoes intra-abdominal surgery, suffers a blow to the stomach, or gets a bacterial infection within the abdomen.
The primary symptom of an abdominal abscess is a dull or sharp pain that gets worse with time and sometimes spreads to the back, chest, and shoulders. This pain usually emanates from the affected area. So, if an abdominal abscess develops in or around the organs in the lower left quadrant, pain will be felt in this area. In addition, an abdominal abscess may also cause bloating, diarrhea, nausea & vomiting, coughing, general weakness, loss of appetite, and fever that is accompanied by chills.
With abdominal abscesses, treatment includes antibiotics or draining of pus through surgical procedures.
- Abdominal trauma
Any form of trauma (blunt or penetrating) to the stomach can cause lower left quadrant pain. The pain can be caused by the injury itself or from complications (intestinal obstruction, intra-abdominal hematomas, formation of abscesses, etc.) brought on by the trauma. Bleeding (external or internal), tenderness, rigidity, and bruising on area of impact may also accompany the pain.
Depending on the extent of damage, abdominal injuries can either heal on their own or require surgery to repair damage.
- Sigmoid Volvulus (twisting of the colon)
A long stretch of severe constipation, can cause the sigmoid colon (s-shaped bottom part of the large intestine) to lengthen, swell up from too much gas, and fill up with feces. When this happens, it’s highly likely that the newly developed large and elongated sigmoid colon will twist on its mesentery (a double-layered membrane that attaches the colon to the abdominal wall). This twisting of the colon (referred to as sigmoid volvulus) creates a closed-loop intestinal obstruction, which presents:
- Recurrent constipation attacks that may be followed by severe diarrhea
- A sudden onset of lower abdominal pain
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Severe vomiting episodes
The only treatment for sigmoid volvulus is emergency surgery to untwist the sigmoid colon.
- Intestinal ischemia (loss of blood supply to the intestines leading to death of intestinal tissue)
Intestinal ischemia is a condition that occurs when flow of blood to the intestines (large or small) decreases or stops due to blockage. This condition is quite serious and can lead to severe damage or death of intestinal tissue if left untreated. That is why it’s crucial to seek immediate medical help at the onset of intestinal ischemia symptoms, which include:
- Mild to moderate abdominal pain that manifests suddenly and gets worse after meals. This pain will be felt on the left lower side of the abdomen if the disruption of blood happens along the descending colon – a condition referred to as colon ischemia.
- Urgent need for bowel movement
- Bloody diarrhea
- Tenderness in abdomen
- Fever in some cases
Intussusception is a type of intestinal obstruction that occurs when part of the intestine (large or small) slides/folds into the adjacent part, causing a blockage in the intestine. This fold can happen anywhere along the intestinal tract but mostly occurs at the junction of the small & large intestines. Children aged 2months-2years are the common victims of intussusceptions.
Like other intestinal obstructions, intussusceptions block passage of food and fluids and cuts off blood supply to the affected area. This can result in an infection, damage/death of tissues along affected area, and the following symptoms:
- Acute abdominal pain and/or tenderness
- Bloating or formation of abdominal mass
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drop in energy
- Blood or mucous in stool
Treatment for intussusceptions includes surgery or reversal of the condition through a procedure known as enema, which basically includes injecting liquids or gases into the rectum.
- Peritonitis (infection of the lining that surrounds the abdomen)
The stomach contains a thin silk-like layer of tissue known as peritoneum, which lines the entire intra-abdominal wall as well as most of the organs within the abdomen. This layer of tissue plays the important role of supporting and covering organs and acts as a conduit for the organ’s blood vessels, lymph vessels, and nerves. When bacteria or fungi collect in the peritoneum, infection may occur and cause the layer of tissue to become inflamed. This inflammation of the peritoneum is what is referred to as peritonitis.
Peritonitis symptoms vary and are determined by the underlying cause that triggered the infection. However, many patients suffering from peritonitis tend to experience; fever, chills, constipation, the inability to pass gas, nausea, vomiting, little urine output, diarrhea, loss of appetite, thirst, fatigue, belly tenderness, and abdominal bloating or distension accompanied by pain that may manifest in the lower left quadrant.
With prompt medical attention, the inflamed peritoneum can be treated and prevented from causing potentially fatal infection throughout the body. Treatment usually involves fighting off the infection with antibiotics or removing infected tissue through surgery.
Causes That Occur Only in Men
- Testicular injury
All testicular injuries result in agonizing pain in the scrotum (the pouch of skin under the penis that houses the testicles). And if an injury is quite substantial that it causes some damage to the testicles, pain will also be felt on the lower part of the abdomen. The pain may also be accompanied by nausea, difficulty urinating, fever, blood in urine, and bruising or swelling of the scrotum.
Depending on the nature and damage of a testicular injury, a doctor can prescribe anything from an ice pack to antibiotics or surgery in some instances.
- Testicular torsion (twisting of the spermatic cord)
Testicular torsions are a by-product of injury that causes the testicles to rotate thereby twisting the spermatic cord in the process. The spermatic cord is a cord-like structure containing a collection of nerves, blood vessels, and ducts that runs from the testes to the abdominal cavity. There are also instances when the twisting of the spermatic cord happens spontaneously without provocation.
Testicular torsions result in instant and often severe pain in the scrotum and lower part (right or left depending on injury) of the abdomen. Swelling of the scrotum, pain when urinating, dislocation of testicle, nausea, and vomiting, are also common symptoms of a testicular torsion.
Testicular torsions require immediate surgery to untwist the spermatic cord and restore normal blood flow.
Causes That Occur Only In Women
- Menstrual cramps
The most common cause of lower left abdominal pain in women is menstrual cramps, which normally occur just before and/or during menstrual periods. Pain from menstrual cramps is not severe and usually presents as a dull, continuous ache that oftentimes radiates to the lower back. In some cases, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and loose stools may be experienced.
- Left Ovarian Cyst
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops inside or on the surface of the ovary. If the cyst develops on the left ovary, left lower quadrant pain will be experienced along with nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness or heaviness of the stomach, bladder pressure that causes frequent urination, and a dull pelvic pain that may radiate to the lower back. Any additional symptoms such as severe pelvic or abdominal pain, fever, rapid breathing and so on, indicate an emergency that will require immediate medical attention. Other than that, most ovarian cysts vanish without any treatment.
- Ovarian torsion (twisting of the ovary)
Ovarian torsion is a condition similar to sigmoid volvulus and testicular torsion, whereby the ovary and fallopian tube in some instances twist on the ligament-like tissues that support them. An ovarian torsion results in sudden severe and unilateral pain that is usually localized on one side of the lower abdominal. The pain becomes more and more unbearable as time passes and often radiates to the back, pelvis, or thigh. Vomiting is also quite common among patients.
Twisting of the ovary cuts off blood supply to the organ and therefore requires immediate surgery to reverse the twist before further damage occurs. In some instances, the affected ovary will need to be removed.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the general term used to describe inflammation of the pelvis (the broadened top part of the ureter) which normally occurs after bacteria originating from the vagina spreads and accumulates in the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.
PIDs usually go unnoticed until symptoms start to show. These include pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis, fever, irregular menstruation, heavy, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and painful or difficult urination. Treatment of PIDs includes symptom alleviating medicine and antibiotics to fight off infection.
Salpingitis is a form of PID where inflammation occurs in the fallopian tubes. Although salpingitis starts off in one fallopian tube, it usually ends up causing infection in both tubes. What usually happens is inflammation of the affected fallopian tube prompts a buildup of fluid secretions or pus, which causes an infection that spreads over to the other tube.
The symptoms and treatment options of salpingitis are the same as those stated under PID.
- Uterine fibroids
Also called leiomyomas, uterine fibroids are abnormal, noncancerous growths that appear in or on a woman’s uterus. They are quite common among women of childbearing years with statistics showing that 70 to 80 percent of women will have experienced fibroids by the time they get to age 50. Uterine fibroids can either appear rapidly or develop gradually and take on many forms where the growths can be single, multiple, small, or large.
Tiny fibroids cause no symptoms and usually shrink on their own. Large fibroids however, can enlarge or even distort the uterus and cause a number of symptoms including pain in the lower abdomen and/or pelvis and lower back, frequent urination, abdominal swelling accompanied by a feeling of fullness, and heavy, painful menstruation that lasts longer than usual.
Depending on the size, number, and location of the fibroids, treatment can include medication, surgery, or minimally invasive procedures.
- Tuboovarian abscess (pus-filled pocket involving a fallopian tube and an ovary)
If left untreated, PIDs cause a number of complications one of which is tubo-ovarian abscesses. This is a condition that occurs when the infection from a PID spreads upwards to the fallopian tubes and ovaries and causes pockets of pus to develop along these areas. Tubo-ovarian symptoms are similar to those of pelvic inflammatory disease.
Tubo-ovarian abscesses can be treated with antibiotics, radiological drainage of the pus, or surgical removal of affected tube or ovary.
- Ectopic pregnancy (life-threatening pregnancy occurring outside the uterus)
Abdominal pain during pregnancy is always a cause for alarm as it indicates and underlying and sometimes serious complication. One of such complications is an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg fails to reach the uterus and instead attaches itself to the ovary, cervix, fallopian tube, or abdominal cavity.
Left (or right) lower abdominal pain accompanied by light vaginal bleeding is usually the first warning sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Other ectopic pregnancy symptoms include nausea, breast tenderness, rectal pressure, and dizziness or fainting.
Ectopic pregnancies are very dangerous to the mother since the embryo cannot grow to full term and will destroy reproductive organs as it grows. Therefore, the only treatment option of an ectopic pregnancy is immediate termination. The sooner an ectopic pregnancy is caught and stopped from progressing, the lesser the damage on the reproductive organs.
The uterus has a lining known as endometrium, which sheds regularly to allow for menstrual blood flow. In some instances, the endometrium flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity after shedding, where it then sticks to the pelvic walls and surfaces of surrounding organs. This abnormal formation of the endometrium outside of the uterus is what is referred to as endometriosis.
The main symptom of endometriosis is pain (sometimes severe) which is experienced on the lower abdomen and back before and during menstruation. Other symptoms include uncomfortable bowel movements and heavy menstruation bleeding between periods.
Endometriosis treatment includes pain medication, hormonal therapy, and surgery in some instances.
Mittelschmerz is the medical term for ovulation pain, which occurs when an ovary releases an egg 2 weeks earlier than it’s supposed to. Mittelschmerz only has one symptom; a one-sided lower abdominal pain. The pain can be dull, sharp, or cramp-like.
Mittelschmerz is not a serious condition and can be treated with pain-relieving medication or home remedies.
Some Self-Help Measures
While most people automatically reach for painkillers and other over-the-counter medicines when plagued with stomach pain, medication is not the only way to go when dealing with lower left abdominal pain. There are a few other self-help measures that can be used to help alleviate the symptoms of the related condition. These include:
- Stress Reduction
Research shows that stress tends to worsen certain symptoms and diseases, especially those that are stomach-related. For this reason, stress can be very bad for you if you’re suffering from lower left abdominal pain. So, try as much as possible to reduce your stress levels when suffering from lower left quadrant pain as this will help to deal with digestion related causes of abdominal pain. Yoga and bodily exercises are two great stress relievers as they will not only boost your mood, but also relax your whole body including the abdominal muscles.
- Dietary Changes
Since poor eating habits are one of the main causes of pain in the lower left abdomen, making dietary changes can help to boost recovery. For instance, drinking plenty of water can help avert stomach-related issues such as gas and constipation as well as overcome UTIs and flush kidney stones. Additionally, identifying irritation causing foods and avoiding them can prevent the lower left abdominal pain from worsening.
Lower left abdominal pain can be caused by a wide range of conditions. Unfortunately, a good number of these conditions are serious health problems that require immediate medical treatment. Failure to seek the needed treatment can lead to all manner of complications including:
- Spread of infection throughout the body
- Spread of cancer when the abdominal pain is caused by a cancerous growth
- Build-up of abdominal abscesses
- Dysfunction or complete failure of affected organs
- Internal bleeding
- Development of abnormal holes or tubes between organs or tissues
- Severe damage to parts of the digestive tract due to persistent inflammation, obstruction, or infection
- Complete destruction of organs that surgery will be needed to remove the affected organs
This is why it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible when the nature of your lower left abdominal pain points to a serious underlying condition. Below is a quick guide to help differentiate between mild and serious lower left quadrant pain.
When to See a Doctor
Left lower abdominal pain is quite tricky. Sometimes a mild condition (e.g. food intolerance) will cause sharp abdominal pain while a serious health problem (e.g. appendicitis) will start off with moderate pain. So, how do you know when to consult your doctor about the nagging pain in your lower left quadrant and when to use over-the-counter medicine or home remedies? Well, a good place to start would be to know when not to worry about lower left abdominal pain.
Mild abdominal pain that comes and goes and does not get worse with time or movement is usually no cause for alarm. Additionally, if the pain does not take away your appetite nor interfere with your ability to perform regular activities or make it difficult to pass stool/urine, you can be sure that you are suffering from a mild condition that can be remedied without the help of a doctor. Any other type of pain is worrisome and requires to be checked out by a doctor. This includes pain that is:
- So severe that it wakes you up from deep sleep or makes it difficult to move
- Continuous or long lasting
- That gets worse with movement or when the abdomen is pressed upon
Pain aside, there are other worrying symptoms that indicate a serious underlying condition. These include:
- Loss of Appetite
In the event of a serious problem in the abdomen, the body responds by shutting down the digestion system. When things stop moving in the digestive tract, the feeling of nausea and loss of appetite usually follow. Constipation is also another indication that the digestive tract has stopped normal functioning.
Vomiting is the extreme of a shutdown digestive tract. This therefore makes vomiting a cause of concern, especially if it follows abdominal pain.
- Bloody Bowel Movements
Blood in bowel movements is never a good sign as it indicates there is some level of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, you should be worried if you experience abdominal pain along with bloody bowel movements. The greater the amount of blood in the stool the more worried you should be.
- Other Accompanying Symptoms
For your body to experience abdominal pain along with fever, dizziness, bleeding from other parts of the body, rapid heart rate, pressure or pain on other body parts, or any other alarming symptoms, something serious must be happening. A visit to the doctor will therefore be needed to identify the problem and return the body to a healthy state.