Some conditions of the lung that may cause abdominal pain

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Upper Left Abdominal Pain

Upper left abdominal pain is most often due to a condition afflicting one or more organs or structure in the LUQ (left upper quadrant) of the abdomen. It may also be due to conditions in the thoracic cavity or lower left abdominal area that either refers or radiates to the LUQ.

Causes of upper left abdominal pain include:

Large Intestine: it is the large bowel responsible for the final stages of water absorption which leads to the formation of a solid stool from liquid intestinal chyme from the small intestine. It houses a number of species of colonic bacteria which are necessary for normal functioning but can be pathological if there is an overgrowth or pathogenic bacteria replace it. The large intestine includes the cecum (junction between small and large intestine), colon, rectum and anus. Condition of the large intestine that may cause left side abdominal pain includes:


Volvulus – twisting of the transverse colon around its axis (rare)

Abdominal Muscles: includes several types of muscles that make up the abdominal wall. It protects the abdominal organs which lacks a skeletal shield like the chest cavity and also plays various roles in movement of the legs and thorax. These muscle also stabilize the trunk during standing, walking and running and are prone to injury. Muscular conditions that may cause abdominal pain includes:

Muscle strain

Abdominal hernia

Strenuous exercise

Blow, blunt force trauma

Rectus sheath hematoma

Abscess in psoas muscle

Pancreas: is a large multipurpose gland which has exocrine functions that affects digestion and endocrine functions which control metabolism. It empties its digestive enzymes (exocrine component) into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine, along with bile released by the gallbladder. Without these enzymes, the process of digestion is severely hampered.

Pancreatic conditions that may cause left side abdominal pain include :

Acute or chronic pancreatitis

Pancreatic cancer

Spleen: is the largest lymph node in the body responsible for filtering blood and removing cellular debris and foreign microorganisms. Although the spleen can be removed without hampering life, it nevertheless plays several important roles in the body. Splenic conditions that may cause left side abdominal pain includes:

Splenic infarct

Ruptured spleen, often in car accidents

Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) only in cases of massive splenomegaly.

Kidneys/Ureter: kidney is responsible for filtering the blood, removing wastes and passing it out in the urine while conserving essential electrolytes and water. It also plays other important roles in regulating several functions in the body that are not associated with urine, like stimulating the production of red blood cells. The kidney is located in the upper part of the abdomen and shielded by the ribcage. Urine from the kidney leads to the bladder via the ureter. Conditions affecting the kidney and/or ureter that may result in left side abdominal pain include:

Pyelonephritis – infection of the kidney

Glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation), kidney cyst or tumor

Urinary stones

Left Adrenal Gland: adrenal gland, also known as the suprarenal gland, is located on the top of the kidney. It has two distinct layers, the medulla and cortex, which secrete various hormones that play important roles in the body.

Adrenal adenoma (benign tumor)

Adrenal carcinoma also known as adrenocortical carcinoma. (malignant tumor)

Lungs: responsible for gas exchange between the air and blood stream. Although not often considered in abdominal pain, diseases affecting the base of the lung may affect the pleura lining around the lung) and diaphragm (main muscle of respiration) that can lead to pain. The lung itself cannot feel pain unless the surrounding structures are affected. Some conditions of the lung that may cause abdominal pain include:

Pneumonia – usually bacterial or viral

Pleuritis – inflammation of the lung membrane

Pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the lungs

Heart: is the muscular pump that circulates blood throughout the body. It is situated in the mediastinum, the centrally located cavity between the lungs and is in close proximity to the upper middle abdominal area. It often causes referred pain to the upper abdomen when diseased.

Heart attack

Angina pectoris – pain behind the breastbone in heart or coronary arteries disease

Pericarditis, mycocarditis or endocarditis

Heart diseases are often considered as medical emergencies as the condition can be life-threatening. It should always be suspected when accompanied by symptoms such as pain to the left jaw or arm with dizziness and/or fainting.

Diaphragm: is the largest muscle of respiration and separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. During inspiration it pushes the abdominal contents downwards as the chest cavity expands. On the left side, the most prominent feature is the diaphragmatic opening which allows the esophagus (gullet) to pass to connect with the stomach.

Abscess – collection of pus below diaphragm

Stomach: is the hollow sac that lies between the end of the esophagus and the first part of the small intestine known as the duodenum. It is prone to various diseases often associated with the corrosive gastric acid that it produces and holds. Some conditions of the stomach that may be responsible for left sided abdominal pain includes:


Stomach ulcers

Hiatal hernia

Stomach cancer

Stomach polyps – pain is more likely in large masses.

Bowel obstruction

Abdominal adhesions



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