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What Causes a Stomach Ache on the Left Side?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
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When faced with a stomach ache on the left side of the body, it is easy to jump to conclusions about the current state of health of the body without any distinctive proof about the actual condition. Many times, this type of pain is only due to indigestion or constipation, which is a buildup of body wastes that cannot evacuate properly. It is often not a sign of anything serious, unless the stomach ache persists. If this is the case, it could be the sign of kidney stones or a stomach ulcer, which would need to be attended to by a medical professional.

Often, when the body does not receive enough fiber or water, it will hold onto waste and prevent the elimination of stools efficiently. This is often termed constipation and causes cramps and stomach tenderness. The pain is often felt on the left side of the abdominal area and can often be treated with laxative medicines. The simplest way to decrease constipation is to drink more water to provide lubrication for the stool and to also slowly increase fiber intake through vegetables or fiber supplements, which will add bulk and help move the stool out.

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In more serious cases, a stomach ache on the left side could indicate the formation of kidney stones, which are small and dense buildups of mineral deposits in the kidney. Pain on the left side typically suggests that the left kidney is affected. When this is the cause, the pain on the left side of the stomach will move into the middle of the stomach over the course of a few hours, creating stomach tenderness or soreness. It is important to get an individual with these symptoms to an emergency room immediately for treatment.

Stomach ulcers may also contribute to pain on the left side. Ulcers are mainly caused by an inflammation and a small erosion in the gastrointestinal tract. This contributes to pain and discomfort, but in most cases, they are not harmful. Treating ulcers may involve decreasing acid in the stomach or increasing friendly, helpful bacteria in the intestines to promote healthy flora to smooth the inflammation.

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