What Could Cause Left Lower Quadrant Pain?


Quick Answer

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, left lower quadrant pain can be caused by gastrointestinal, gynecologic, urologic and renal disorders. Examples of these disorders include diverticulitis, appendicitis, Crohn’s disease, endometriosis, seminal vesiculitis, hernia and intestinal obstruction, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Evaluation of abdominal pain typically involves obtaining a clinical history and performing a physical exam and radiologic evaluation. It is important to know about the patient and about the pain. Age alone can help narrow the differential diagnoses. For example, the prevalence of diverticulosis is 50 percent in adults older than 70, and nearly all cases of associated diverticulitis present as lower left quadrant pain, the Cleveland Clinic notes.

Location of the pain, the type of pain, whether or not the pain is new, its evolution, severity, radiation, worsening or relieving factors and other symptoms associated with it are important pieces of information, according to The Merck Manual. A physical exam can help narrow the causes to a handful. For example, abdominal distension, resonance on percussion and high-pitched bowel sounds can indicate bowel obstruction.

Radiologic evaluation is important in the diagnosis of abdominal pain. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography and contrast enemas are all used to aid in the diagnosis, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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