Acute and Chronic Lower Left Abdominal Pain – Diagnosis

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Acute Lower Left Abdominal Pain

An acute lower left abdominal pain can last for few minutes to several weeks. It can be caused due to various disorders and medical conditions. The right diagnosis is essential for determining the actual cause of pain. Given below are some medical conditions that cause pain in the lower left abdomen and also the diagnosis methods:

Constipation – Constipation results in a constant or sometimes cramping pain in the lower left abdomen. It can be diagnosed by close physical examination of the patient. In certain cases, barium enema X-ray is suggested. Blood and stool tests too reveal any internal disorders pointing towards constipation.

Diverticulitis – Inflammation of pouches bulging out from colon can result in diverticulitis which leads to pain in the lower left abdomen. The symptoms like fever, bloating in abdomen, diarrhea and abdominal pain often help in diagnosing a diverticulitis condition. If not, then an ultrasound or CT can reveal the presence of diverticles.

Pseudo membranous Colitis after Antibiotic Treatment – Antibiotics usually kill the bacteria in intestines and giving chance for clostridium difficile bacteria to grow which results in abdominal pain. Diagnosis of such condition can reveal the presence of clostridium difficile toxin in stool unlike a regular stool culture test.

Appendicitis – In some rare cases, lower left abdominal pain is caused due to appendicitis. This can be diagnosed by CT and blood tests.

Volvulus – The twisting of the colon’s end part around its own axis can lead to lower left abdominal pain in children. This twisting can be revealed in an X-ray with barium enema.

Pain Due to Male and Female Reproductive Organs – Any type of disorders in spermatic cord, testes and testicular veins in main can lead to abdominal pain. Similarly, in women, disorders related to ovulation, ruptured ovarian cyst, rotated ovary and ectopic pregnancy results in lower left abdominal pain. Investigation tests like CT, X-rays and MRI can show these internal disorders.

Some other conditions that lead to abdominal pain in the lower left quadrant are psoas abscess and herpes zoster.

Chronic Lower Left Abdominal Pain

The various conditions leading to chronic lower left abdominal pain and their respective diagnosis are as follows:

Diverticulosis – In some cases, the presence of diverticles can lead to chronic pain in the lower left abdomen. It can be diagnosed with an X-ray with barium enema and also colonoscopy.

Constipation – For a suspected chronic abdominal pain due to constipation, the investigations usually suggested are barium enema X-ray, blood tests and stool tests.

Chronic Colitis – This condition is caused due to crohn’s disease, chronic ischemic colitis, microscopic colitis and ulcerative colitis. Diagnosis for these conditions is difficult and usual requires several tests including an X-ray with barium enema, colonoscopy, blood tests and stool tests.

Colorectal Cancer – A colorectal cancer leads to blood in the stool, constipation and urgency for bowel movement along with severe abdominal pain in the lower left quadrant. It can be diagnosed by colonoscopy and also by examining the medical history of the tumor.



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