Locate the pain
When determining the cause of left-side abdominal pain, the doctor will first find the exact location, explains Dr. Ligresti. If the pain is mostly in the upper left of the abdomen, it could be stomach or kidney causes like indigestion, gas, reflux, gastritis, ulcers, and kidney stones, he says. If it is in the left lower abdomen, doctors tend to think of colon conditions (diverticulitis and colitis), gynecologic causes (ovarian cysts or endometriosis), or testicular conditions. In addition to pain, a doctor will look for fever, bloody stools, persistent nausea and vomiting, weight loss, or change in urination. "We also want to know if the pain is associated with numbness, burning, tingling or itching of the skin, or if there are any skin rashes (especially blisters) over the area," says Dr. Ligresti.
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