What Causes Pain on the Left Side of the Body?

by iupilon
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You may have been bothered by left side pain before, including back and hip pain and cutaneous pain. There may also have been instances of you experiencing chest pain in the middle of the chest, or severe lower back pain when walking or standing. The human body may seem fully symmetrical when you look at it in the mirror, but it has different organs in each hemisphere.

Organs on the Left Side of Your Body

Let’s talk about the major organs on the left side of the body, so you will have an idea of how your body functions. Of course, your left lung is on the left side, and it only has two lobes because it needs to provide extra space for the heart, which rests on the left side as well.

Interestingly enough, our lungs are capable of self-cleaning, and it has brush-like structures that take care of the removal of toxins and dirt from the lungs. This is why lungs that have been exposed to smoking for many years can still clear themselves after years of non-smoking as well. The lungs are amazing oxygen centers as they can easily take care of themselves.

We have a pair of adrenal glands, too. One adrenal gland sits on the left kidney, while the other one rests on the right kidney. The adrenal gland is an essential organ because it helps regulate many processes in the body, from metabolism to natural immune response. The adrenal glands are also responsible for controlling the body’s fight or flight response, which is our natural response to stressful situations.

The spleen is also in the left region. he spleen is in charge of recirculating red blood cells. It also supplies the body with white blood cells. White blood cells are there to fight off infections from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. 

What’s interesting about the spleen is that a person who has a damaged spleen can continue living. The liver and the lymph nodes found throughout the body are capable of doing the same functions as the spleen itself.

We have a pair of kidneys and one of the rest on the left side of the body. The kidneys are responsible for removing nitrogenous wastes from the blood. We expel these wastes as urine, along with excess water in the body. The kidneys retain essential substances, and nutrients are not wasted and are brought back to the blood to be recirculated again.

You also have the stomach on the left side. The stomach is the main churning or digestive organ of the body. While the digestion process begins in the mouth through chewing, the stomach breaks down food into a type that can be utilized by the body. Powerful stomach acid breaks down solid food and allows the small intestines and the colon to distribute nutrients throughout the body.  

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Roots of Pains on the Left Side of the Body

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis happens when a weak spot occurs in the abdominal wall, and an outpouching occurs. When any of these pouches swell and eventually tear, a person can feel intense pain and swell in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen. Such an event can cause a deadly infection if left untreated. Other symptoms may include tenderness around the abdomen, vomiting, nausea, and fever. 

Gas

Gas is one of the most common causes of lower left abdominal pain. It can be caused by swallowing air or chewing gum. Smoking tobacco products and indigestion can directly cause it. If you eat large quantities of food at once, you can also end up with some gas pains. Some of the more common symptoms of gas are bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, and sometimes, fresh blood in the stool.

Hernia

A hernia is a result when any internal organ pushes out through the protective layer of muscle surrounding it. A herniation often occurs around the colon and small intestines, but other kinds of herniation can also occur.

A hernia can be confirmed with diagnostic scanning and by taking note of the most common symptoms, which include dull aches around the area, a feeling that you are full, some pain when you are lifting something, and a progressive increase in pain the site of the herniation. Over time you may also observe an increase in the bulge size or the out pocketing created by the hernia.

Kidney stones

Stones can form in the kidneys, and they can begin to cause trouble when they are dislodged, and they enter the ureter. The ureter connects the urinary bladed and the kidneys.

Since kidney stones are usually irregular in shape, they can cause pain as they move down the ureter, and eventually, they will settle inside the bladder, waiting to be expelled by the body. The most common sign of kidney stones has pink or brown urine. Sometimes your urine can also turn red, as kidney stones can cause small tears as it moves down from the kidney. You may also feel nauseated at times. Some patients experience chills alongside the urinary pain.

Shingles

Shingles can cause extreme pain in the head area, usually behind the ears. It is caused by the same pathogen that causes chickenpox. What happens is the pathogen sits in the body for a couple of years before suddenly resurfacing after a long time – usually when the person is past his fifties.

The resulting disease manifests as a rash that affects some primary nerves on the head, which would explain why shingles are so painful. The main symptoms of shingles are having burning pain or tingling around the head. The rash will also be very sensitive to touch, and the blisters will eventually break before healing. And like chickenpox, shingles is itchy and must be tended to carefully.

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