People often refer to the abdomen as their belly or stomach, and it is a part of the body that lies between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen may be divided into four parts for diagnostic purposes, and these are named the upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left quadrants.
Lower abdominal cramping or pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced, and it may be either in the lower right or in lower left side. There are many possible causes of lower abdominal pain, and the diagnosis may depend on the accompanying symptoms and location of the pain.
Cramping in the lower abdomen may be accompanied by other symptoms such as:
The abdominal organs found in the lower left abdomen include a portion of the descending colon (large bowel), part of the small intestine, the spleen, the lower portion of the left kidney, the left ureter, ovary and fallopian tube, the urinary bladder and all the nerves, blood vessels muscles and skin in the left lower quadrant.
An abnormal condition in any of these organs may result in abdominal cramping in the left lower side, including:
The organs found in the right lower side of the abdomen include the appendix, the ascending colon, part of the large intestine, the right ovary and fallopian tube, parts of the small intestine, the lower portion of the right kidney and the ureter. Pain in the right lower quadrant may be caused by:
Sometimes the doctor can diagnose what causes cramping at lower abdomen from a patient's medical history and physical examination. However, he may also need to do some laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis or to rule out other possible conditions. These diagnostic tests may include:
Many people experience mild cramping that may later go away on its own. Some mild symptoms are relieved with a few home remedies such as:
One should consider seeking medical advice when symptoms worsen or persist even after taking some home remedies. You should see a doctor immediately if you also have moderate to severe symptoms like persistent vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding and high fever. Some of these conditions may be life-threatening, leading to conditions like ectopic pregnancy, ruptured spleen, or abdominal aortic aneurysm, which must be treated as emergencies.