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Amy is a Board Certified Family Health Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with over 15 years of experience working in Hospital Medicine, Urgent Care and Primary Care practices. Amy graduated Thomas Jefferson University with high distinction earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, a Master of Science in Nursing in 2010 and a Post Master's Certificate in Adult Gerontology Acute Care (AGAC) in 2014. She was recognized by the Elite American Nurses Association in 2013 for her dedication, achievements and leadership in the field Nursing. She served as a clinical preceptor for a number of Nurse Practitioner students and enjoys teaching the bright minds of future NPs.
The abdomen is an area of the body with a wide assortment of organs, which can make diagnosing the cause of your pain difficult. In most cases, pain in the abdomen is due to minor digestive issues that clear up on their own. However, some more severe conditions can cause stomach pain on the left side of the waist with symptoms such as fever, nausea, and vomiting.
For those dealing with ordinary abdominal pain, meeting with an online doctor is a great way to determine the cause of the pain, how to treat it, and what can be done to prevent future instances.
Table of Contents
- What Organ Is on the Left Side at the Waist Level?
- What Can Cause Pain in the Left Side of the Waist?
- What Does Pain on the Left Side of Your Body Mean?
- How Do I Relieve Pain on the Left Side of My Waist?
- When Should I Worry About Left Side Pain?
- When to See a Doctor?
- Key Takeaways
What Organ Is on the Left Side at the Waist Level?
There are a few organs that reside in the lower-left part of the abdomen, including:
- left kidney
- left ureter
In women, there is also the left fallopian tube and ovary.
What Can Cause Pain in the Left Side of the Waist?
A wide variety of conditions can cause pain on the left side of the waist. Some are simply the digestive system meeting a hurdle, while others can be more serious, requiring immediate medical attention.
Most cases of abdominal pain on the left side can be traced to digestive problems, with gas being one of the most common causes of pain.
Yet another common cause for pain on your left side, again involving the digestive system, is constipation. In many cases, constipation results from dehydration, a lack of exercise, and a diet low in fiber. By addressing these areas, the digestive system can more easily push food throughout, easing constipation and any pains it adds.
While the appendix is located on the right side of the body, where most appendicitis pain is associated, pain from appendicitis often begins near the belly button and may be misconstrued as coming from the left. If your pain moves from the left to the right and is accompanied by fever, vomiting, and nausea, seek immediate medical attention.
With the left kidney found around the waist area, pain on the left side may be a sign of kidney stones, which are small deposits of uric acid or calcium that build up in the kidneys. When kidney stones pass through the urinary tract, they can be immensely painful.
Additional symptoms of kidney stones include:
- painful urination
In addition to left side pain, kidney stones may also cause pain in the back.
Another cause of pain in the left side can be a kidney infection, which can produce symptoms such as:
- frequent urination
- pain when urinating
Kidney infections are typically treated with an antibiotic received orally or through an intravenous drip.
What Does Pain on the Left Side of Your Body Mean?
Pain on the left side of the body most often means the digestive system has met a hurdle, either with difficulty moving stool or a gas bubble.
However, in rare cases, pain on the left side of the body may mean a problem with an organ, such as an infection or kidney stones. Left side pain may also be referred pain from a problem on the right side of the body, such as referred pain from appendicitis.
How Do I Relieve Pain on the Left Side of My Waist?
Most causes of left side pain near the waist can often be remedied by focusing on lifestyle changes that promote a healthy digestive system. The most significant things that fall in this category include drinking enough water, getting regular exercise, and eating a diet high in fiber.
However, some conditions that cause left side pain are more severe and require medical attention to treat. Kidney infections require antibiotics, while appendicitis may require surgery to remove the appendix. The treatment needed will vary based on the cause of your pain and how severe the condition is.
When Should I Worry About Left Side Pain?
Most cases of left side pain are not a cause of concern and typically resolve on their own.
However, be sure to seek immediate medical attention if your left side pain is accompanied by symptoms such as:
- high fever
- severe stomach pain
- cold or clammy skin
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- rapid breathing
- muscle weakness
- abdominal pain lasting longer than a week
- bloody stools or vomit
When to See a Doctor?
Anyone exhibiting the symptoms listed above should seek immediate medical attention to rule out any serious conditions.
In addition, those who experience frequent pain in the left side of the waist may also benefit from visiting a doctor, not due to emergency reasons, but to help determine what is causing this frequent pain and what can be done to limit its frequency.
Get Help From an Online Doctor
For those with pain on the left side of the waist, meeting with an online doctor is a convenient way to gain medical advice without leaving your house. With a virtual doctor app such as DrHouse, you can easily meet with a doctor and discuss what might be causing your left side pain and what steps can be taken to lessen the pain you experience. Stomach pain can be inconvenient, but in just 15 minutes, you can get help from DrHouse.
Many organs are located on the left side of the abdomen, meaning there are many potential causes for pain that originates on the left side. Despite this, the most common cause of pain on your left side involves the digestive system, including gas or constipation. Making positive lifestyle changes such as drinking more water, exercising regularly, and eating plenty of fiber can help manage this pain and prevent future occurrences.
Although less common, some serious conditions can cause left side pain, and they are often accompanied by a fever, nausea, and vomiting. Anyone with these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
Online doctors are an excellent resource for inquiring about what might be causing your stomach pain. Many individuals suffering from frequent instances of stomach pain benefit from visiting a doctor to determine what is causing this pain and how they can prevent future occurrences.
- Bhangu, A., & RIFT Study Group on behalf of the West Midlands Research Collaborative (2020). Evaluation of appendicitis risk prediction models in adults with suspected appendicitis. The British journal of surgery, 107(1), 73–86. https://doi.org/10.1002/bjs.11440
- (Pyelonephritis), K., & Health, N. (2022). Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis) | NIDDK. Retrieved 6 April 2022, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/kidney-infection-pyelonephritis
- Ryu, M. S., Jung, H. K., Ryu, J. I., Kim, J. S., & Kong, K. A. (2016). Clinical Dimensions of Bloating in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility, 22(3), 509–516. https://doi.org/10.5056/jnm15167
- Bellini, M., Tonarelli, S., Barracca, F., Rettura, F., Pancetti, A., & Ceccarelli, L. et al. (2021). Chronic Constipation: Is a Nutritional Approach Reasonable?. Nutrients, 13(10), 3386. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.3390/nu13103386
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