There are numerous reasons why people could feel pain in the upper left abdomen beneath the ribs. An organ injury or illness that affects various organs in the upper left side of the body are two examples of potential causes. Here, we will see a quick guide about left upper quadrant pain along with its causes and the available treatment options.
About Left Upper Quadrant (LUQ)
A portion of your abdomen is known as the left upper quadrant or LUQ. Your LUQ is the side of your body closest to your ribs on the left. Your LUQ contains the following organs:
- Left adrenal gland and kidney
- The top of the large intestine
- A portion of the liver
Causes and their Associated Treatments for Left Upper Quadrant Pain
There are several different conditions that could be the source of upper left abdominal pain. The causes along with the treatments are listed below;
1. Shingles may lead to Producing Left Upper Quadrant Pain
A shingle is a viral infection that causes a painful rash on the skin. It’s possible in certain situations to experience shingles pain before the rash develops according to the doctors.
A shingles rash frequently appears on the stomach. And this may confuse you to feel pain in the left side of your body.
Some people experience pain long after the shingles rash has subsided and this condition is known as Postherpetic neuralgia.
How can you treat Shingles to reduce LUQ?
Now, let’s talk a little about treatment for shingles;
- In shingles, the discomfort and rash eventually go away on their own.
- Some people might be advised by doctors to take an antiviral medication to hasten the process of recovery from shingles.
2. Problems with the Spleen can cause pain in your left upper quadrant
Your spleen is located to the left of your stomach, under and behind the lower ribs. It filters your blood, produces new blood cells, and stores platelets.
Research says that it plays a crucial role in your body’s immune system too. The problems in the spleen also cause painful sensations in the left side of your body. The reasons include for this pain might be;
Leukemias and Lymphomas
- In certain tumors like leukemias and lymphomas, the spleen gets enlarged. This enlargement affects the bloodstream and gets worse with time, resulting in extreme pain in the left upper quadrant of your body.
- Infections like glandular fever can cause an enlarged spleen too. In these cases, a very mild pain would be accompanied by fatigue, frequent sore throat attacks, and occasionally a high temperature (fever). These situations are also responsible for producing painful waves in the left upper quadrant of your body.
What is a Possible Treatment for Ruptured Spleens?
The treatment related to spleen problems may include;
- Receiving certain immunizations
- Using routine antibiotics
- Antibiotics are given to treat pneumonia
- Surgery performed to remove ruptured spleens is known as a splenectomy
- Chemotherapy as a treatment for spleen enlargement caused by lymphoma or leukemia
Even though your spleen is necessary for your immune system, you can survive without one if you take specific precautions. In this scenario, taking an expert’s advice would really help you. Go here, to book a consultation time.
3. Left Upper Quadrant pain can be a result of Kidney Stones and Infections
Kidney Stones and Left side pain
According to medical studies, kidney stones can produce excruciating pain, typically in the lower back, that flares up in fits that last anywhere from a few minutes to many hours.
Kidney Infection and Left-side body pain
In your urinary tract, you can experience pain due to a kidney infection, making you feel pain in your left upper quadrant. Because the infection can be anywhere from the loin in your back to the LUQ or the lower portion of your stomach. This infection is mostly accompanied by a fever, pain when you urinate, or frequent trips to the bathroom.
What are the Treatment Options available for Kidney Stones and Infection?
Let’s discuss the treatment options available for kidney stones and infections to get rid of left upper quadrant pain;
Kidney Stones and their Treatment
As we know kidney stones are a common condition and for treating this you need to;
- Drink a lot of fluids so that the stones may get easily passed out through urine
- Take potent painkillers if your kidney stones are small because they will eventually pass on their own.
- Require several treatments when having larger kidney stones either to either break them up or remove them entirely through surgical procedures
Kidney Infections and their Treatment
To treat kidney infections inside the body followings ways are used;
- Antibiotics are used
- Intravenous fluids are given
4. Pain in the Pancreas is another cause of left upper quadrant body pain
The center of your upper belly is where your pancreas is located. To aid in food digestion, the pancreas produces chemicals (enzymes) that enter the digestive tract reported by doctors. Additionally, the hormones glucagon and insulin which are produced in the pancreas aid in controlling blood sugar levels.
Acute Pancreatitis and Chronic Pancreatitis
Problems like inflammation and allergies in this area may lead to face acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. These conditions result in upper abdominal pain, typically accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting (vomiting).
The pain after this condition can be felt on the left but actually, it is located in the middle of your upper abdomen. You may feel fever and other symptoms when having this issue in your pancreas.
How can you treat the Pain in your Pancreas?
To reduce pain in your pancreas, a doctor may give you;
- Mild Painkillers
- Anti-inflammatories or Opiate-Based Painkillers
- Intravenous fluid to treat dehydration
5. Pain from the Heart may cause severe left upper quadrant body pain
Your aorta, which travels through the center of your abdomen and carries blood to your legs and other parts of your body, is the primary blood vessel of your heart. The pain with this blood vessel may also cause left-side body pain.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
When the aorta expands in certain patients, it increases the likelihood of getting leaked and suddenly bursting down. This condition is known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
In this condition, you experience back discomfort in addition to stomach pain. If it ruptures severely, you will experience excruciating abdominal, back, or chest pain and will feel quite ill. An immediate response is required for this serious medical emergency.
What medications are given to treat the pain in your heart?
Following mediations are given by the doctors in order to prevent the pain arising from your heart;
- Artery relaxers
- Thrombolytic drugs
- Blood thinners
- Acid-suppressing medications
To know more about the details of medications for treating your heart’s pain, book a meeting with our internal medicine specialist.
6. Problems with the Gut
You may have pain in your gut region from a variety of typical and uncommon digestive issues involving the upper and lower portions of your gut. For instance:
This disease is a common disease caused by bacterial viral infection. A person may have frequent vomiting and dehydration in it, leading the body to a painful situation.
- Drinking a lot of fluids to make up for all the fluids that are being lost
- Sometimes an antibiotic is given if it is caused by a bacterial infection
ii. Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers often cause pain in the middle of your belly, under your ribs. The pain can get really bad after you eat or when you go to sleep.
Its medication involves;
- Acid-suppressing drugs are typically used to treat indigestion and stomach ulcers, according to experts
Acid reflux and heartburn might cause some pain in the upper area of your abdomen. It usually gets worse while lying flat or right after eating and bloating may occur with this pain.
The treatment of dyspepsia involves;
Medications that block acid pumps as proton pump inhibitors shut down the acid pumps within acid-secreting stomach cells. These medicine names are
- Lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR)
- Omeprazole (Prilosec OTC)
- Esopremazole (Nexium 24HR)
iv. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This usually results in lower-body pain, but it can also result in pain elsewhere in the tummy, especially given that it frequently results in bloating, which can make you feel uncomfortable higher up. It comes and goes and could be accompanied by constipation or diarrhea.
Medications for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
These mediations involve;
- Fiber supplements
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- SSRI antidepressants
- Pain medications
If you are facing the problem of irritable bowel syndrome, then take a piece of consultation advice from one of our best general physicians. Click here to book a meeting.
You may feel discomfort in your stomach if you are facing the issue of constipation. The reduced bowel movements can cause pain in your lower abdomen and you may feel pain in your body.
To Treat Constipation;
- Drink lots of water
- Take stool softener medications
- If having chronic constipation then go for surgery or therapy to make the rectum and colon muscles relaxed.
Consult a Doctor for a Better Treatment Advice
The treatment is based on the source of pain and discomfort, so to find the reason for the pain, consulting a doctor is very important. Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor should be able to provide you with a better prognosis for left upper quadrant pain. Find here the best general physicians through Marham.
1. When should I worry about left-side body pain?
In general, left-side pain that comes and goes is an indication of gas or indigestion and should go away on its own. But if it does not go you need to see a doctor.
2. What hurts under my ribs on the left side?
This includes your heart, left lung, pancreas, spleen, stomach, and left kidney on the left side. Pain may be felt under and around your left rib cage if any of these organs are infected, inflamed, or injured.
3. Why would a female’s left side hurt?
Common conditions including gas, constipation, menstrual cramps, kidney stones, or any other conditions that require immediate medical attention may be the reason for causing pain in the left side of females.