Upper Left Quadrant Pain
Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:20 AM
Deputy Clerk-Electronic Filing Manager in Civil Department
Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:51 AM
lists various causes ofr abdominal pain based on quadrant, then has links for the problem
How is the cause of abdominal pain diagnosed?
Doctors determine the cause of abdominal pain by relying on
1) characteristics of the pain,
2) findings on physical examination,
3) laboratory, radiological, and endoscopic testing, and surgery.
4) Characteristics of the pain
The following information, obtained by taking a patient's history, is important in helping doctors determine the cause of pain:
The way the pain begins. For example, abdominal pain that comes on suddenly suggests a sudden event, for example, the interruption of the supply of blood to the colon (ischemia) or obstruction of the bile duct by a gallstone (biliary colic).
The location of the pain. Appendicitis typically causes pain in the right lower abdomen, the usual location of the appendix. Diverticulitis typically causes pain in the left lower abdomen where most colonic diverticuli are located. Pain from the gallbladder (biliary colic or cholecystitis) typically is felt in the right upper abdomen where the gallbladder is located.
The pattern of the pain. Obstruction of the intestine initially causes waves of crampy abdominal pain due to contractions of the intestinal muscles and distention of the intestine. Obstruction of the bile ducts by gallstones typically causes steady (constant) upper abdominal pain that lasts between 30 minutes and several hours.
Acute pancreatitis typically causes severe, unrelenting, steady pain in the upper abdomen and upper back.
The pain of acute appendicitis initially may start near the umbilicus, but as the inflammation progresses, the pain moves to the right lower abdomen.
The character of pain may change over time. For example, obstruction of the bile ducts sometimes progresses to inflammation of the gallbladder with or without infection (acute cholecystitis). When this happens, the characteristics of the pain change to those of inflammatory pain. (See below.)
The duration of the pain. The pain of IBS typically waxes and wanes over months or years and may last for decades. Biliary colic lasts no more than several hours. The pain of pancreatitis lasts one or more days.
What makes the pain worse. Pain due to inflammation (appendicitis, diverticulitis, cholecystitis, pancreatitis) typically is aggravated by sneezing, coughing or any jarring motion. Patients with inflammation as the cause of their pain prefer to lie still.
What relieves the pain. The pain of IBS and constipation often is relieved temporarily by bowel movements. Pain due to obstruction of the stomach or upper small intestine may be relieved temporarily by vomiting which reduces the distention that is caused by the obstruction. Eating or taking antacids may temporarily relieve the pain of ulcers of the stomach or duodenum because both food and antacids neutralize (counter) the acid that is responsible for irritating the ulcers and causing the pain.
Associated signs and symptoms. The presence of fever suggests inflammation. Diarrhea or rectal bleeding suggests an intestinal cause of the pain. The presence of fever and diarrhea suggest inflammation of the intestines that may be infectious or non-infectious (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease).
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