From time to time we experience pains and aches in various parts of our body, which normally indicates that something in our body is not functioning correctly. Lower abdominal pain could mean a series of problems. What are the various causes leading to pain in the lower abdomen? It is a question that needs to be answered before finding the right treatment for the pain.
Most women experience pain in their lower abdomen at frequent intervals. Most commonly, women experience these pains due to their periods or menstrual cycles. This pain could be during the menstrual cycle or before it. In a number of cases, it becomes tricky to know the exact cause of the abdominal pain, but understanding the nature of the pain can help in diagnosing the condition better.
Other common causes associated with pain in the lower left abdomen include urinary disorders or other bladder and kidney-related problems. Irritable bowel syndrome or issues with reproductive organs like the uterus and fallopian tubes could also cause pain in the left side of the abdomen.
Here are some of the common causes associated with pain in the lower abdomen:
Abdominal pain arising from the urinary system
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are seen very commonly among a number of people. The main symptoms associated with this condition are a severe burning sensation as one passes urine or frequent visits to the restroom. The infection can sometimes spread into the kidneys, which make a person feel sick and unwell with high fluctuating temperatures and severe pain in the back. A severe pain that originates from the back and goes down to the groin region can be a cause for concern, and may indicate kidney stones in the body. The doctor is likely to recommend a urine test in case you are facing any of the above symptoms.
Sometimes abdominal pain may be accompanied by traces of blood in the urine. It is important to discuss this with your doctor as it may require further investigation. Your doctor will ask you about all of your symptoms along with asking about the duration of your symptoms.
Abdominal pain originating from the digestive system
A pain that shoots from the large intestine is often a cause of lower abdominal pain in both males and females. Certain symptoms clearly indicate that the pain may be caused by bowel irritation. Some of these symptoms are:
- Intense pain felt as one passes bowel movements
- Sudden changes in the bowel habits
- Traces of blood observed with passing motions
- Severe bloating with gas
- Constipation or diarrhea, as both could result in pain
Abdominal pain is often associated with the terms "colic pain" or "cramping of the stomach". These terms are used to describe the pain that generally comes and goes. Intense bowel pain is normally relieved as constipation is released. The main causes of pain resulting from the bowels include irritable bowel syndrome, which can lead to conditions like diarrhea, constipation or be bloating. Other conditions could also include diverticulitis disease, and complications resulting from such conditions are more commonly seen in older adults. There are also certain medical conditions that are associated with the inflammation of the bowel system like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, but these are quite rare. Another rare cause of such pain may be associated with colorectal cancer.
Other common symptoms like bloating and swelling are also associated with problems related to the bowels. In case you notice some bleeding from your anal passage or feel that your stools are sticky and black in color, then it may be an urgent medical condition which requires further probing. Discuss these symptoms with your doctor immediately.
Abdominal pain arising from the reproductive organs
This is a condition commonly seen in women. It relates to the abdominal pain that starts from the reproductive organs namely the uterus, fallopian tubes or the ovaries. Any pain associated with the reproductive organs is normally felt in the middle of the lower abdominal region.
Pain that is felt more towards the side can be more typical of a pain coming from the ovary. Pain that starts from the uterus often worsens during the menstrual cycle and is known as dysmenorrhoea.
Certain conditions that affect the reproductive system can also lead to pain during intercourse. This is known as dyspareunia, and it is a condition that needs to be discussed with your doctor at the earliest if it is troublesome.
Some examples of conditions affecting the reproductive system that could cause pain include endometriosis, fibroids, inflammatory disease of the pelvic area and other problems associated with pregnancy like miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
Home remedies to treat abdominal pain
If your cause of abdominal pain is not very critical, there are some home remedies that can go a long way in treating abdominal pains. Some of these tried and tested remedies include:
- Chamomile tea: Chamomile is a natural plant that is filled with anti-inflammatory properties that help in easing and soothing stomach pains and cramps. It helps in relaxing the muscles present in the digestive track on the upper side of the abdomen. When the muscles become relaxed, the food passes easily through the digestive system and lessens the pains and cramps.
- Using a hot pack: An age-old remedy for curing stomach aches, a hot pack works great to soothe symptoms of abdominal pain. A hot water bottle or heat from a hot cotton cloth can help in relaxing and loosening up of the muscles, and goes a long way in relieving discomfort.
- Rice water: This may seem surprising to some. However, rice water has a lot of beneficial nutrients that act as demulcent helping in relieving symptoms of bloating and inflammation by forming a barrier on the lining of the stomach. Rice water is obtained by cooking your rice in some extra water and draining out this water and drinking it.
- Mint: Mint is a natural leaf with a number of properties that are helpful in aiding a number of medical conditions along with pain. Fresh mint or peppermint tea is extremely soothing to sip on, especially when you are suffering from abdominal cramps due to digestive issues or bloating.
- Lemon water: If your abdominal pain is due to indigestion, then lemon water can really help in relieving your stomach ache. The high levels of acidity present in lemon help in producing hydrochloric acid that is found helpful in breaking down undigested foods. By increasing the consumption of hydrochloric acid, your digestion pace is improved in a healthy manner. Lemon water also goes a long way in keeping up your hydration levels which are an important requirement for the smooth functioning of the digestive system.
- Ginger: Ginger is a natural medicine containing natural chemicals like gingerols and shogaols, which are extremely beneficial in relaxing and soothing the muscles of the stomach. Ginger tea or ginger ale can be very helpful in soothing stomach cramps that occur due to bloating or colic attack. Ginger is also very helpful in treating pains that are associated with menstrual cramping.
- Lower abdominal pain is most often associated with underlying conditions, the most common being infections, indigestion and menstrual pains.
- If the abdominal pain is not due to a serious medical condition, it can be managed through certain home remedies.
- Abdominal pain often originates from the urinary system, digestive system or the reproductive system.