Abdominal Pain Above The Left Hip

What Causes Lower Left Abdominal Pain?

Lower left abdominal pain can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose lower left abdominal pain, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "lower left abdominal pain" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Mesenteric Ischemia
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Diverticular Disease

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
slight abdominal distension
shortness of breath when at rest
meal-induced pain for over a month
chronic diarrhea
past vaccinations
painful menstrual cramps
genital sores
occasional mucus in stools
painful deep penetration during sex
major right iliac pain after food
unusual vaginal bleeding
occasional unexplained fevers
... and more than 70 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of lower left abdominal pain:
Cause Probability Status
Intestinal Obstruction 97% Confirm
Ovarian Cysts 25% Unlikely
Ulcerative Colitis 20% Unlikely
Ovarian Cancer 4% Ruled out
Pyelonephritis 1% Ruled out
Crohn's Disease 0% Ruled out
Diverticular Disease 0% Ruled out
Mesenteric Ischemia 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate abdominal pain unaffected by eating, abdominal pain reduced by eating or abdominal pain increased by eating, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
LOWER-LEFT abdomen: Do you experience discomfort or pain above your left hip?
Possible responses:
→ No / only after meals / don't know
→ Occasional mild discomfort
→ Frequent mild and/or occasional moderate pain
→ Frequent moderate and/or occasional severe pain
→ Frequent or constant severe pain
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate mild left iliac discomfort, moderate left iliac pain, significant left iliac pain or severe left iliac pain, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Pyelonephritis

The symptoms of kidney infection can include back pain, side pain and loin pain.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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