Read below about pain in the upper left abdomen, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in the upper left abdomen from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Upper left belly pain

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6 Potential Pain in the Upper Left Abdomen Causes

  1. 1.Uterine Fibroids

    Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors in the uterus. They are common in women of childbearing age.

    Treatment ranges from medication to surgical removal of the fibroid.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), painful periods, irregular period
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Appendicitis

    Your appendix is a small, tube-like organ attached to the large intestine, with no known function. It is located in the lower right part of the abdomen. A blockage (caused by intestinal gunk, typically) inside of the appendix causes appendicitis. The blockage leads to increased pressure, problems with blood flow, and inflammation. If the blockage is not treated, the appendix can burst and spread infection into the abdomen.

    Modern hospitals use laparoscopic procedures which only require 3 small (<1 inch) incisions. These procedures are now often done without admission to the hospital for an overnight stay, and healing time is very fast. You can expect to resume normal activities within a few days after the surgery. Full recovery may take 4-6 weeks, and before then, you should avoid strenuous activity.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, pelvis pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea
    Symptoms that always occur with appendicitis:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that never occur with appendicitis:
    pain in the upper right abdomen, pain in the upper left abdomen, pain below the ribs, improving abdominal pain, headache
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Chronic Hepatitis c

    Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that is carried in human blood. It spreads through contact with infected blood, such as through infected needles, toothbrushes, or razors, through unprotected sex with an infected person, and from mother to baby during childbirth.

    Hepatitis C is a chronic infection and without treatment the effect on life expectancy is difficult to predict.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, joint pain
    Symptoms that never occur with chronic hepatitis c:
    pain in the lower right abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen, pain in the upper left abdomen, pain around the belly button
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Pain in the Upper Left Abdomen Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in the upper left abdomen.

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  4. 4.Acute Hepatitis c

    Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that is carried in human blood. It spreads through contact with infected blood, such as through infected needles, toothbrushes, or razors, through unprotected sex with an infected person, and from mother to baby during childbirth.

    Hepatitis C is a chronic infection and without treatment the effect on life expectancy is difficult to predict.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, muscle aches, fever
    Symptoms that never occur with acute hepatitis c:
    pain in the upper left abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen, pain in the lower right abdomen, pain around the belly button
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Digestive Tract Inflammation (Diverticulitis)

    Diverticula are small pouches that bulge outward through the colon, or large intestine, that increase with age. Diverticulitis is a condition where the pouches become inflamed or infected, a process which can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation. It typically occurs in older populations, but 5% of the time, patients will be under the age of 40.

    Likely to recover within months to years without requiring surgery; however, younger patients tend to have a higher rate of recurrence than older individuals with the same diagnosis.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, fever
    Symptoms that never occur with digestive tract inflammation (diverticulitis):
    pain below the ribs, pain in the upper right abdomen, pain in the upper left abdomen
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  6. 6.Appendicitis

    Your appendix is a small, tube-like organ attached to the large intestine, with no known function. It is located in the lower right part of the abdomen. A blockage (caused by intestinal gunk, typically) inside of the appendix causes appendicitis. The blockage leads to increased pressure, problems with blood flow, and inflammation. If the blockage is not treated, the appendix can burst and spread infection into the abdomen.

    Modern hospitals use laparoscopic procedures which only require 3 small (<1 inch) incisions. These procedures are now often done without admission to the hospital for an overnight stay, and healing time is very fast. You can expect to resume normal activities within a few days after the surgery. Full recovery may take 4-6 weeks, and before then, you should avoid strenuous activity.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, pelvis pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea
    Symptoms that always occur with appendicitis:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that never occur with appendicitis:
    pain in the upper right abdomen, pain in the upper left abdomen, anxiety, pain below the ribs, improving abdominal pain, headache
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in the Upper Left Abdomen

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pain in the upper left abdomen symptom checker to find out more.

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Pain in the Upper Left Abdomen Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in the upper left abdomen have also experienced:

    • 9% Nausea
    • 4% Diarrhea
    • 4% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • People who have experienced pain in the upper left abdomen had symptoms persist for:

    • 41% Less Than a Day
    • 34% Less Than a Week
    • 10% Over a Month
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

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