Healthcare

What Causes Lower Abdominal Pain? Know the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

The pain occuring in lower abdomen depends on various causes. Some causes are benign and are not of any concern. Other causes can be serious and should not be ignored as there can be an infection.

Causes of Pain in Lower Abdomen

The pain in left and right side of the abdomen can have different causes depending on what the symptoms are. Let us first discuss the causes of left side abdominal area.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition that affects left side of the lower abdomen. It occurs in the area of large intestine which is weak and small pouches get infected in the intestinal wall and therefore cause pain. This condition is more common in adults but even younger people can get affected with it.

Diverticula can cause pain while eating or after eating a meal. Apart from the pain caused, there are additional symptoms that indicate presence of diverticula such as vomiting, nausea, fever, bloating, and tenderness in the abdominal area.

Celiac Disease

The indigestion of gluten can cause a chronic condition known as celiac disease. Gluten is present in most foods and celiac disease can make the digestion difficult. The portions of intestine get affected and struggle with vitamin deficiencies.

Children can get affected with celiac disease to make them malnourished and impeded growth. Other symptoms of the condition are bloating, gas, pain and pressure in the abdomen, weight loss, and diarrhea.

Lactose intolerance

Some people have trouble digesting milk based products as their body is lactose intolerant. The condition is caused by the lack of lactase enzyme in the body which breaks down lactose from the milk. The pain caused by lactose intolerance in usually felt in the lower left abdominal area.

Therefore, such people have more lactose in their bloodstream which causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, gas pain, diarrhea, nausea, and growling stomach.

Indigestion

The buildup of acid in the digestion system after eating causes indigestion. Usually indigestion is mild but the symptoms should not be ignored which include burning sensation, heartburn, bloating, and gas. There are products to releive indigestion that may be bought online or otherwise from the stores.

Shingles

Most people have chicken pox at least once in their lives and the virus stays dormant in their body after that. Shingles is a condition that is caused by the chicken pox virus.

A rash can occur around the abdomen and cause pain if that virus reappears at any stage. The symptoms of shingles are blisters, rash, skin tenderness, and itching.

Intestinal Gas

Gas can get trapped while eating foods as air is swallowed. Usually the gas is passed naturally through the rectum or esophagus and does not cause harm. However, it may only cause temporary discomfort until the gas is passed.

The common causes of gas can be indigestion of foods, foods that are likely to cause gas, smoking, bacteria, swallowing air, chewing gum, and overeating.

Serious concerns arise when the gas is associated with other symptoms such as constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, weight loss, and heart burn.

These symptoms should be reported to a doctor immediately as the frequent gas may cause more discomfort and pain if not treated.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammation can be caused in the digestive system as a result of chronic conditions including crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The exact cause of pain occuring in these conditions is still not known but the common symptoms include bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. Fever and weight loss can also occur which should not be taken easy.

Constipation

Constipation is the moat common reason why people feel abdominal pain. The inability to pass stool causes constipation which often occurs because of inactivity and poor diet.

Common symptoms include straining the abdomen to push out stool, lumpy or hard stool, and having less than 3 bowel movements in a week.

Intestinal Obstruction

An intestinal obstruction blocks the digestive tract as food cannot pass through it. Older adults suffer more from this condition and should be given medical attention for treatment. The symptoms are inability to pass stool, abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, and distention.

Appendicitis

The lower right abdominal area may be painful because of appendicitis. This is caused by inflammation of the appendix which may become severe. Other symptoms of this condition are fever, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can develop in the left or eight kidney and may cause painful symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, painful urination, blood in urine, fever, and frequent urination.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic gastrointestinal syndrome which may cause pain in the abdomen and other symptoms include constipation, gas, bloating, and pressure in the abdomen.

Female Related Causes

Menstrual Cramps

Women can experience pain in the lower abdomen accompanied by other symptoms including headaches, back ache, nausea, and leg pain.

Ovarian Cysts

Cysts can develop in the ovaries to cause dull or even sharp pain. The symptoms may include pain during sex, bloating, heavy periods, and difficulty while urinating.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is the condition in which the tissue of womb lining occurs either in the stomach or ovaries. This can be a chronic condition which may cause other severe symptoms such as period pain, nausea, heavy period, and pain while urinating or emptying bowels.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

The genital tract is prone to infections which may also cause pain during sex, during urination, and during periods.

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is the condition when the egg is fertilized outside the womb usually in the fallopian tubes. Symptoms are missed periods, vaginal bleeding, shoulder pain, nausea, and diarrhea.

Ovarian Torsion

This is the twisting of ovaries which causes severe pain in the abdomen. It can restrict blood flow and cause lain during sex, nausea, and abnormal periods.

Male Related Causes

Hernia

Hernia is a condition which occurs when an organ pushes the abdominal wall. The cause of hernia can differ and it is important to consult a doctor for examination.

A lump can form near the groin and other symptoms can occur such as pain while lifting weight, feeling of fullness, and pressure in the abdominal area.

Testicular Torsion

In males, the spermatic cords are attached to the testicles which can get twisted and cause pain.

How is it Diagnosed?

The lower abdominal area may suffer from severe pain and should be evaluated by a doctor foe further diagnosis. CT scan, ultrasound, MRI scan, endoscopy, and physical examinations are all part of identifying the underlying cause.

Once the cause is determined, a specialist will be able to take care of the patient and his condition through the appropriate treatment.

How Should Lower Abdominal Pain be Treated?

The underlying cause will further guide about the treatment needed for a patient. Structural disorders can be treated with the help of surgery whereas infection related causes will be treated through antibiotics.

Other common digestive disorders including constipation and gas can be treated with dietary and lifestyle changes.

When Should You See A Doctor?

Any additional symptoms occuring with abdominal pain should be evaluated thoroughly by a doctor to rule out any serious causes. A doctor will then be able to choose the right treatment for the condition to relieve pain.

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