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The abdomen is divided into four quadrants, and the organs that can cause pain in the lower left abdominal quadrant are the large intestine, sigmoid colon, descending colon, small bowel, left ovary and fallopian tubes in women, and the left ureter. Abdominal pain has many forms. Patients may be in pain constantly or intermittently, the pain can be deep or superficial, and it may be acute or chronic. Stabbing, sharp pains or burning sensations are common.

Possible conditions that can cause pain in lower left abdominal quadrant are:

  • Diverticulitis - causes pain and abdominal masses usually located in the left-lower quadrant. It is more common among older people.

  • Intestinal obstruction - prevents food from passing normally down the intestine. When the obstruction occurs in the left part of the small or large intestine, it causes abdominal cramping pain in the lower left quadrant.

  • Inguinal Hernia - the protrusion of abdominal organs through the inguinal canal. The usual organs affected are the small intestine, omentum and colon, but theoretically it can be any organ of the abdomen. The inguinal hernia can be direct or indirect depending on its relationship to the inferior epigastric vessels.

  • Ovulatory pain - pain caused during ovulation, on or around the 14th day of the menstrual cycle when an egg is released from the left ovary. It can be accompanied by spotting.

  • Endometriosis - a disease characterized by growth of uterine tissue outside of the uterus. The pain is related to the menstrual cycle and can be felt during menstruation as well.

  • Ectopic pregnancy - implantation of an egg outside of the uterus in the ovary, fallopian tube or anywhere in the abdomen.

  • Ovarian cysts - sacs filled with fluid that grows in the ovary and can cause abdominal pain and discomfort.

  • Kidney stones - the pain is in a form of renal colic. It usually causes pain when moving from the kidneys to the bladder through the ureter.

  • Kidney infections

  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) - chronic inflammatory disease of the bowel. It can affect a small part of gastrointestinal tract or its entirety. It includes Crohn's disease and Ulcerous colitis. This disease can lead to life threatening complications.

  • Drug Reactions

  • Infectious diseases - like Herpes Zoster, Chicken Pox, and Rubella.

Other symptoms that can accompany abdominal pain are nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, tenderness, fever, and fullness.

First, your doctor will go over your medical history, what symptoms you have and when they started, and ask where in the abdomen you can feel the pain. After that, your doctor will do a bimanual examination of your abdomen (you should lie back while he or she gently presses on various areas of the abdomen).

The diagnosis of abdominal pain can be made with various tests like:

  • blood test

  • Imaging test- MRI, Ultrasound and X-Rays

  • colonoscopy

  • endoscopy

The treatment depends on the condition that causes the abdominal pain. It can be medical, surgical or even more specialized.

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