Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Pain in Upper Left Abdomen

pain in upper left abdomen

The pain in upper left abdomen is often linked to the disease known as acute pancreatitis. This is the inflammation of the pancreas which are located at the upper left side of your abdomen. There are the two main causes of acute pancreatitis, which are direct as well as indirect.

Pancreas are helpful in distributing insulin, digestive enzymes as well as other necessary hormones to the body. Inflammation in pancreas causes upper left abdominal pain along with the abdomen pain growing from left side to shoulders.

This disease can also spread to the other organs in the body and may result into chronic pancreatitis. This may cause severe pain at the left side of abdomen.

Causes of Acute Pancreatitis

acute pancreatitis

The cause of acute pancreatitis may occur directly as well as indirectly. While direct causes affects the pancreas along with its tissues as well as ducts, indirect causes erup from various diseases as well as conditions originating from other parts in the body.

According to the experts, gallstones has been considered as one of the major cause of acute pancreatitis.
Some of the major direct causes includes

  • Autoimmune pancreatitis or sudden attacks of immune system on pancreas
  • Damage to pancreas or gallbladder due to surgery or injury
  • Presence of excessive fats in your blood such as triglycerides

Major indirect causes of acute pancreatitis includes.

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Cystic fibrosis, severe condition which affects your lungs, pancreas and/or liver.
  • Viral infection
  • Medication containing corticosteroids, estrogen or such medicines

Uncontrolled alcohol consumption can also be the main reason behind developing of this disease. According to the experts, men are more at risk of developing this disease than women. Smoking tobacco, too, can develop these diseases. You are also on risk of this disease if you have the history of cancer, inflammation as well as pancreatic conditions.

Symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis

Major symptom of acute pancreatitis include the severe pain in upper left abdomen along with abdominal pain in within minutes of drinking or consuming food. Other symptoms are,

  • Pain which travels from your abdomen to back or left shoulder
  • Chronic pain
  • Pain while lying on your back or while sitting up.
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Jaundice
  • Fever

What is the Abdomen and Where is it?

abdomen and where is it

The abdomen is placed between the area of your chest as well as pelvis. The upper surface of the abdomen is formed with the diaphragm. The area of abdomen ends at the pelvic bones.

All the digestive organs such as your stomach, pancreas, large as well as small intestines, liver and gallbladder are placed in the abdomen. All of these organs are connected with the help of connecting tissues, which is knows as mesentery. This connecting tissues-cum-organ helps in expanding and sliding of the organs. Abdomen is also consists of kidneys as well spleen.

Various important blood vessels also travel through the abdomen such as aorta, inferior vena cava along with their numerous branches. The abdomen area is protected in the front with a tough layer of tissue known as fascia. On fascia abdominal muscles as well as skin is present. At the back of the abdomen spine along with back muscles are present.

How to Get Rid of Upper Left Abdominal Pain

get rid of upper left abdominal pain

Pain in the upper left side of the abdomen can be relieved through various abdomen pain treatments. Acute pancreatitis causes sharp pains in upper left abdomen and left  middle abdomen pain. We have listed some of the important treatments to get rid of abdominal pain. But first it is highly important to diagnose the disease.

Diagnosing of the disease may occur after conduction of various blood tests as well as scans. These tests are done to look for the enzymes which are leaking from the pancreas. Your doctor may suggest the conduction of ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan to look for any abnormalities in or around the area of pancreas. Along with your medical history, your doctor also ask for exact discomfort.

Left Upper Abdominal Pain Treatment

Your doctor may suggest to eat more fluids normally through IV. Doctor can also suggest some medications to reduce the pain as well as to treat any infections. You may also need surgery to remove all the damaged tissues and/or drain out fluids or correct blocked ducts.

You may need a surgery to remove gallbladder if the problem is causing due to the problem of gallstones.

You should also stop consuming medications if that is causing pain in the upper left abdomen. To overcome any traumatic injury to the pancreas you should stop doing any activity till you get recovered from it completely. Also, make sure to consult with your doctor before starting your daily activities.

Seve pain is the common symptom while treating the condition of acute pancreatitis. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice while consuming medications for pain relief. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself away from dehydration and completely avoid smoking as well as alcohol consumption.

Always consult with your doctor is your pain reappears even after undergoing surgery. Your doctor may suggest medications after a complete evaluation of the condition.

Many a times the condition of acute pancreatitis is also linked to the type 2 diabetes and can affect your insulin production. Increasing the consumption of lean protein, whole grains, leafy vegetables may help you in regular production of insulin in the body.

Changes in lifestyle 

You can also make certain changes in your lifestyle such as keeping yourself hydrated and drinking a water bottle of electrolyte-infused drink. Limiting the consumption of alcohol may also help.

If you have had the problem of pancreatitis, it is possible that it may occur again. So it is important to be careful.

Finally, avoid the consumption of medicines without doctor advice. For example, consumption of aspirin in children under the age of 19 may cause Reye’s syndrome and can trigger acute pancreatitis.