Left Lower Quadrant Pain - Less common causes

What are the other possible causes?

Inflammatory bowel disease

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is not to be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which is very different). These conditions cause the lining of the gut to become inflamed.  Diarrhoea (sometimes with blood mixed in) is usually the main symptom.

  • Crohn's disease: 
    • Any part of the gut can be affected and the pain depends on which part is affected.

See separate leaflet called Crohn's Disease for more information.

  • Ulcerative colitis:
    • Diarrhoea is often mixed with mucus or pus.
    • Blood mixed with the diarrhoea is common.
    • The tummy pain is typically crampy.
    • A feeling of wanting to go to the toilet but with nothing to pass (tenesmus) is also common.

See separate leaflet called Ulcerative Colitis for more information.

Sigmoid volvulus

  • Sigmoid volvulus happens when the very last part of the large bowel, the sigmoid, twists on itself causing a blockage.
  • Causes colicky pain and a very bloated tummy (abdomen)
  • The people it affects are usually elderly and have often had long-term problems with constipation.
  • It is dangerous and requires emergency surgery.

Kidney stones

  • Kidney stones are hard stones that can form in the kidney, in the tube (the ureter) draining urine from the kidney, or in the bladder.
  • A stone that passes into the tube (the ureter) draining urine from your left kidney may cause pain that starts in your left loin and spreads (radiates) to your groin and left lower quadrant (LLQ), or into your testicle (testis) if you are a man.
  • You may notice blood in your pee.

See separate leaflet called Kidney Stones for more information.

Shingles

  • In some cases you may have pain from shingles before a blistery rash appears.
  • Pain tends to be sharp or burning.
  • You may not feel quite yourself.
  • The tummy is a common place for shingles rash.

See separate leaflet called Shingles (Herpes Zoster) for more information.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

  • An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a swelling of the largest blood vessel in the body (the aorta) inside the abdomen.
  • It doesn't usually cause any symptoms but can occasionally cause pain before it bursts. The pain is usually felt in your back or the side of your tummy (abdomen) but it can occasionally be felt in the left lower (or right) quadrant.

See separate leaflet called Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm for more information.

What else could it be?

These lists of possible causes for LLQ are by no means exhaustive and there are many other conditions that can cause pain in the LLQ. Problems in your spine or back could be 'referred'. Referred pain in this situation means that it is coming from your back but you are feeling it around the front. Muscular pulls and sprains can also affect you in the tummy area. If this is the case, moving the particular muscle would make the pain worse, whereas if you were to lie completely still, it wouldn't hurt.

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Author:
Dr Jacqueline Payne
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
29451 (v1)
Last Checked:
08 July 2017
Next Review:
07 July 2020

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.