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Causes of Front Lower Left Abdominal Pain

by
author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
Causes of Front Lower Left Abdominal Pain
Numerous conditions can cause front lower left abdominal pain. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Abdominal pain is a common and often inconsequential condition, according to the Merck Manuals website. In some cases, however, abdominal pain can signal a serious underlying condition that requires immediate medical attention and intervention. Some conditions cause abdominal pain to manifest in the front lower left abdominal quadrant -- the part of the abdomen that contains the final section of the large intestine.

Intestinal Gas

Intestinal gas can cause temporary pain in the front lower left abdominal quadrant. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, gas in the digestive tract is a common phenomenon. In fact, most people generate approximately 1 to 4 pints of gas per day and release gas about 14 times each day. The most common causes of gas in the digestive tract, including the large intestine, are swallowed air and the normal breakdown of undigested foods by helpful bacteria living in the colon. Common signs and symptoms associated with intestinal gas include abdominal pain, flatulence and abdominal bloating. The NIDDK notes that the type and severity of symptoms largely depends on the quantity of gas a person produces, the number of fatty acids the body absorbs and a person's sensitivity to intestinal gas.

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Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis can cause pain in the left lower abdominal quadrant, especially among older individuals. MayoClinic.com states that diverticulitis manifests when one or more diverticula -- bulging pouches that can form anywhere throughout the digestive tract -- become infected or inflamed. One of the most common locations for diverticula is the sigmoid colon, which is situated in the left lower abdomen. Diverticula are more common in people who are 40 years of age or older. Some people with diverticula do not experience any problems such as diverticulitis. Common signs and symptoms associated with diverticulitis include sudden and severe pain in the left lower abdomen that may fluctuate in intensity, changes in bowel habits, abdominal tenderness, fever, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea. Certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing diverticulitis such as advanced age, too little dietary fiber and exercise, and being overweight.

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is a potentially dangerous cause of front lower left abdominal pain. According to the American Pregnancy Association, an ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg embeds in a place outside the uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in a fallopian tube and are called tubal pregnancies. Because the fallopian tubes are not designed to support the growth of a fetus, tubal pregnancies are non-viable pregnancies and must be treated. The APA states that ectopic pregnancies are common, occurring in about 1 in every 60 pregnancies. Common signs and symptoms associated with an ectopic pregnancy include an intermittent sharp or stabbing pain in the lower abdomen on the affected side, vaginal bleeding that is heavier or lighter than a woman's normal period, weakness, dizziness or fainting. According to the APA, ectopic pregnancies are more likely to occur in women between the ages of 35 and 44.

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