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 Cancer
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Appendicitis
  • Mesenteric Ischemia
  • Diverticular Disease
  • Possible Urgent Medical Need

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:
severe neck pain
moderate hypogastric pain
severe meal-increased pain
recent onset vomiting
nausea for 1-3 months
chest pain when breathing
history of ovarian cancer
severe left hypochondriac pain
shortness of breath when at rest
feeling false urges to urinate
bleeding between periods
diverticular disease
... 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
Appendicitis 92% Confirm
Ovarian Cancer 30% Unlikely
Intestinal Obstruction 17% Unlikely
Ectopic Pregnancy 4% Ruled out
Ovarian Cysts 3% Ruled out
Mesenteric Ischemia 0% Ruled out
Diverticular Disease 0% Ruled out
Possible Urgent Medical Need 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.

Pyelonephritis

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

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