Left Upper Quadrant Pain
Everybody experiences abdominal pain from time to time. Other terms used to describe abdominal pain are stomachache, tummy pains, digestive tract pains and bellyache. Abdominal pain can be mild or severe. It may be continuous or come and go. Abdominal pain in left upper quadrant can be temporary (intense) or occur over weeks and months (persistent).
Call your doctor immediately if you have abdominal pain so severe that you cannot move without triggering more pain, or you can’t sit still or discover a comfortable position. Also, look for instant medical aid if pain is accompanied by other uneasy signs and symptoms, such as fever, bloody diarrhea or severe inflammation in your abdomen.
What Causes Left Upper Quadrant Pain?
Abdominal pain has numerous possible causes. Lots of causes, such as gas discomforts or a pulled muscle, aren’t major, while other conditions need timely medical interest.
Frequently, the area of the abdominal pain in left upper quadrant can provide a vital idea as to its cause. At other times, abdominal pain might occur in unexpected patterns, and its cause is less apparent. Nonetheless, it is handy to consider abdominal pain in regards to its area.
The following conditions might cause generalized abdominal pain, which is abdominal pain that isn’t focused in one particular area:
- Crohn’s disease
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (high levels of ketones in the blood).
- Digestive obstruction.
- Intussusception (in children).
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Lead poisoning.
- Mesenteric lymphadenitis (swollen lymph nodes in the folds of membrane that hold the abdominal organs in location).
- Pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation).
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) (infection of the female reproductive organs).
- Peritonitis (infection of the abdominal lining).
- Sickle cell anemia.
- Strained or pulled abdominal muscle.
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Uremia (accumulation of waste products in your blood).
- Urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Viral gastroenteritis (stomach swelling).
More Serious Causes of Left Upper Quadrant Pain in Adults
The following conditions typically cause left upper quadrant pain:
- Angina (minimized blood circulation to the heart)
- Cancer, Diverticulitis, Empyema (infection of the lining around the lungs)
- Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)
- Fecal impaction (hardened stool that can’t be eliminated)
- Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)
- Heart attack, Hiatal hernia
- Injury, Kidney infection, Kidney stones, Pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation)
- Pneumonia, Pulmonary infarction (loss of blood circulation to the lungs)
- Pyloric stenosis (in infants), Ruptured spleen, Shingles, Spleen infection
- Splenic abscess (pus-filled pocket in the spleen)
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm, Torn colon
When to see a doctor
Seek assistance if your abdominal pain is severe and is related to:
- Injury, such as an accident or injury.
- Pressure or pain in your chest.
Look for immediate medical attention.
Have someone drive you to urgent care or the emergency clinic if:
- Pain is so severe that you can’t sit still or have to curl into a ball to discover relief.
- Pain is accompanied by bloody stools, persistent queasiness and throwing up, skin that appears yellow, severe inflammation when you touch your abdominal area, or swelling of the abdomen.
Set up a doctor’s visit
Make a consultation with your doctor if your abdominal pain fears you or lasts more than a few days.
In the meantime, find ways to ease your pain. For instance, eat smaller sized meals if your pain is accompanied by indigestion. Avoid taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) due to the fact that these can cause stomach inflammation that may aggravate abdominal pain.
Last modified: October 7, 2017