Pain in abdomen is an extremely common complaint. Almost everyone may have sometime or the other suffered from this discomforting symptom in their life. For simplifying the condition and diagnosis, medical fraternity has divided abdomen in different quadrants. Here we will discuss the causes and condition that are related to upper left quadrant abdominal pain.
It is the pain that occurs in upper left side of abdominal area. The pain can be acute or chronic. It may originate from the organs that lie in the upper left side of abdomen or may radiate from other organs.Depending on the cause, pain can be dull aching or excruciating and intolerable. It is often accompanied with many other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, lack of appetite etc.
The cause for left upper abdomen pain can be as common as indigestion and gastritis to more serious such as acute pancreatitis or perforated duodenal ulcer. It is very important to diagnose the exact reason for pain so that the serious underlying condition can be detected and treated on time.
Causes Of Left Upper Quadrant Abdominal Pain
In order to know the causes of left upper quadrant abdominal pain, we have to know the organs that are located in this anatomical area.Spleen is the major organ in this area. Other organs are tail of pancreas, left lower rib, left kidney, left ureter, part of large intestine, left side of liver, stomach, lymph nodes, blood vessels, skin, and muscles that are present in this area.
Some of the conditions that frequently cause pain in left upper area of abdomen are:
- Stomach related: Gastritis, gastric ulcer and gastric carcinoma are three major causes for pain in left side of upper abdomen. Trapped air in stomach is one of the most common causes for pain in left upper abdomen area. It can develop after consumption of gas producing foods and gulping air while eating too rapidly.
- Kidney related: Stone in left kidney, infection in left kidney, tumor in left kidney, floating left kidney, stone in left upper side of ureter can cause pain in this area of abdomen.
- Spleen diseases: Injury to spleen due to trauma, blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, leukemia, are few important causes for pain in left upper side of abdomen.
- Diseases of pancreas: Pancreatitis is extremely painful condition caused due to inflammation of pancreas. It is a serious condition having high mortality rate. Together with pain, patient also complains of vomiting, nausea, low blood pressure etc. Cancer of tail of pancreas can also cause persistent pain in left upper quadrant of abdomen.
- Other causes which give rise to pain in left upper quadrant of abdomen are: Aneurysm of abdominal aorta, herpes on left side of abdomen, stretched and pulled abdominal muscles, pneumonia of left lung, and inflammation in the cartilage between the left lower ribs.
Home Remedies For Upper Left Abdominal Pain
Since there are number of causes responsible for pain in left upper abdomen, correct diagnosis is essential before starting the treatment. Management will depend on the underlying cause. For more serious conditions such as pancreatitis and perforated ulcer, patient may need hospitalization for medical care.
Certain minor ailments such as gastritis and trapped wind in stomach are relieved with home measures.
- For example ginger is an effective home remedy for treating gastritis. It is natural anti inflammatory medicine which is useful in treating gas, indigestion, and bloating in the stomach. Drink ginger tea once or two times in a day to alleviate pain which originated due to gastritis.
- Yogurt, peppermint leaves are also beneficial in relieving symptoms of gastritis.
- A warm compress over the painful area is beneficial in most cases. Place warm water bag or a bottle filled with warm water on the painful area for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat it after one hour.
- Cranberry juice, basil, watermelon are beneficial in pain caused due to kidney stones.