Pain in the lower-left side can be a symptom of conditions such as Crohn's disease or diverticulitis, while pain in the upper-left side can be a symptom of conditions such as pancreatitis or a hiatal hernia, notes Mayo Clinic. Anyone with severe pain on the left side that is accompanied by trauma, chest pain or chest pressure should seek immediate medical attention.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract and causes symptoms such as side pain, diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss, states Mayo Clinic. The disease sometimes causes inflammation that spreads deep into the tissue and, in more serious cases, may result in life-threatening complications. Diverticulitis is a condition in which diverticula form in the wall of the colon and become infected or inflamed, leading to symptoms such as pain in the side, fever, chills, diarrhea and nausea, according to WebMD. Doctors generally treat diverticulitis with pain medications and antibiotics, though more serious cases may require surgery.
Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed, leading to symptoms such as pain in the upper-left side, bloating, nausea and fever, notes Healthline. People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol and smokers are at greater risk of suffering from pancreatitis. Pain in the upper-left side is also a symptom of a hiatal hernia, which occurs when the stomach pushes through the hiatus and into the esophagus, explains WebMD. Women, people who are overweight and people over the age of 50 are at greater risk of developing a hiatal hernia.