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):
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Appendicitis
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Mesenteric Ischemia
  • Possible Urgent Medical Need
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Pyelonephritis

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:
history of painful menstrual cramps
somewhat elevated basophil count
occasional painful urge to defecate
acute abdominal pain
frequent stools
mild right lumbar discomfort
attempting suicide
significant meal-induced pain
highly elevated lymphocyte count
significant right iliac pain
moderate mid-abdomen pain after food
regular episodes of diarrhea
... 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
Crohn's Disease 96% Confirm
Ovarian Cysts 20% Unlikely
Possible Urgent Medical Need 16% Unlikely
Appendicitis 1% Ruled out
Mesenteric Ischemia 0% Ruled out
Ulcerative Colitis 0% Ruled out
Ectopic Pregnancy 0% Ruled out
Pyelonephritis 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:
Ovarian Cysts

The most common symptom of ovarian cyst is pain in the lower right or left side of the pelvis, right where the ovaries are.  The side will depend on which ovary contains the cyst.  Specific pain in the left iliac can be a caused by ovarian torsion, which usually occurs when the ovary is enlarged by a cyst.

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