The abdomen is the cavity between the chest and the pelvis. The stomach is the sac into which food materials are momentarily held and partly digested. Most people rarely understand the difference between the stomach and the abdomen. In the abdomen, you will find organs such as liver, kidneys, spleen and womb. The stomach is actually a part of the abdomen.
There are about 8 sections of the abdomen. A lump can occur in any of them, depending on its causes. Such a lump can be harmless or very harmful. It is therefore very important to learn the possible causes and when to seek treatment. This article discus more on Lump and Pain in Lower Left and Right Abdomen: Hard, Small, Painful lumps Diagnosis, causes and treatments.
Possible causes of lump in lower left abdomen
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
This is a condition that develops when the aorta in the lower abdomen develops an inflammation or ruptures. This usually causes a lump in lower left abdomen.
It is not known exactly what causes this condition. Risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Hardened arteries
- Hereditary factors
- Disorders of the aorta
Men and people of white ethnicity tend to develop abdominal aortic aneurysms more often.
The aorta in the lower abdomen may inflame over time without any symptoms. Some people will experience back pain and mild chronic pain deep in the abdomen.
Diagnosis and treatment
Abdominal aortic aneurysm lumps are in most cases found accidentally. It is for this reason that routine checkups are important. MRIs, X-rays and CT scans can be used to confirm diagnosis in advent of the symptoms mentioned above.
Mild cases may not require treatment but will need to be closely monitored. If the lump is big or the aorta has ruptured, it has to be treated surgically.
A hard lump in the lower left abdomen could be due to cancer. In the lower abdomen, cancer can develop in colon, kidney or ovary.
Colon cancer symptoms
- general fatigue and weakness
- diarrhea, constipation and disrupted bowel habits
- chronic cramps and gas in the abdomen
- feeling hungry even after eating
- sudden loss of weight without cause
- blood in stool
Kidney cancer symptoms
- chronic back pain
- sudden weight loss
- bloody urine
- intermittent fatigue
- lack of appetite
Ovarian cancer symptoms
- chronic bloat
- bowel discomfort
- frequent urination
- swelling in the tummy
- getting full on small meals
Cancer lumps are usually painless, hard, immovable and irregularly shaped. Some can be round and soft. All of them will keep growing in size with time. If left untreated, symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, chronic cough, lumps elsewhere in the body will occur.
Diverticulitis leads to formation of pouches on the left side of the colon. The pouches are known as diverticula. Often, the pouches inflame or succumb to bacterial infections. This may be felt as a lump and pain in lower abdomen.
It is thought that a combination of factors is responsible for this condition. Risk factors include:
- Hereditary factors
- Lack of fiber in diets
- Medications such as aspirin
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Frequent urination
- Pain in lower abdomen
- Chronic constipation
- Bloody stool
Diagnosis and treatment
- Stool and urine tests
- Blood test
- Ultrasound imaging
- CT scan
- Pelvic examination
Mild diverticulitis can be left untreated but requires close monitoring. Some medications like amoxicillin can be administered to improve the condition. If the pain is persistent, topical pain killers will help.
People with acute symptoms of diverticulitis are advised to consume food products with low fiber content. A lot of fluids are also not encouraged during the recovery period. Your doctor will advise on the best treatment approach.
It is common to have cysts in different body parts. A hard lump on the wrist for example is usually as a result of a ganglion cyst. Women have two ovaries, each located on either side of the lower abdomen. Cysts occurring on the ovaries can lead to formation of left and right lump in lower abdomen.
- Follicular cysts – form when follicles in the Fallopian tubes fail to rupture in order to release a mature egg during menstruation.
- Corpus letum cysts – develop when fluid collects inside follicle after a mature egg is released into the fallopian tubes for fertilization.
- Endometriomas – develop when some endometrial tissue grows outside the womb and partly attaches to the womb.
- Dermoid cysts – develop from embryonic cells.
- Cystadenomas – form on a woman’s ovary. They are filled with fluid.
- Pain in the region around the pelvis
- Feeling full even before eating
Diagnosis can be done through pregnancy test or use of ultrasound imaging. For treatment, birth control pills might be prescribed. The cysts can also be left to resolve on their own. This however requires close monitoring. Large cysts that do not resolve can be removed surgically.
Other causes of lump and pain in lower abdomen
This occurs when the bladder fills with excess fluid. It is mostly felt as a lump in the center of the abdomen but can also extend to the right and left sides.
Crohn diseases forms a lump shaped like a sausage. The lump can be felt anywhere in the abdomen. It in most cases will feel tender to touch.
Ureteropelvic junction obstruction
This is a condition that forms a lump or a mass in the left and right side of the abdomen. This mostly occurs just above the pelvis.
Renal cell carcinoma
If the left kidney is affected, you will feel a firm and smooth lump on the left side just about the kidney. The lump will however not be tender.
This is a disorder of the kidney. It causes the kidneys to fill with fluid and form spongy masses which can be felt on either side of the abdomen. The mass will also extend to the back.
Hernia occurs when a part of the bowel pushes lower abdominal skin. This can be caused by weak skin tissues or surgery. Hernia lumps retract when one is lying on their backs.
Can occur on any part of the abdomen.
A small lump in the lower abdomen can be caused by lipoma. Lipomas are small fat nodules that form under the skin. The lumps feel soft and rubbery to touch. They are not harmful and don’t require treatment. A small hard lump on the other hand can be a fibroma. Fibromas are disorders of the connective tissue. Benign tumors are rarely harmful and can appear anywhere in the body. For example, a hard lump on the roof of the mouth is usually caused by a bone growth, which is actually harmless despite what it may sound like. Most of them can be left without treatment. All the same, it will be for the best if a doctor is the one to make the conclusion to not get rid of or cure a lump in your lower abdomen.
Self-care measures for lump in lower abdomen
A lump in the lower abdomen can be improved through a number of self-care measures.
Smoking has been identified as a risk factor in several conditions that cause abdominal lumps. It is therefore advisable to seek measures that will encourage quitting.
Exercises are known to improve symptoms such as constipation and to encourage bowel movements. Obesity is a risk factor for lower abdominal complications. Make a point of indulging in physical exercises, at least about 3 sessions a week.
It is in the colon that fiber gets broken down by beneficial bacteria. The problem is that high fiber diets will end up aggravating symptoms of irritable bowel. If you are experiencing symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and bloating, avoid high-fiber food products. You can also try taking frequent small meals rather than large meals at once.
For long-term treatment, fiber is very important in diets. On the contrary, it actually improves digestion and prevents from constipation.
There is no need to suffer or live in worry about a lump in the lower abdomen. The option of seeing your doctor for diagnosis and treatment is always the best. At home research and diagnostic tools such as testicular lump pictures, lump on the labia minora pictures or breast lumps examination videos may do some good.
When to see a doctor for a lump in the lower left abdomen
A lump in the abdomen is best checked by a doctor. Even if it will not require treatment, most of them need close monitoring to ensure that they don’t cause further complications.
See your doctor if you are to experience symptoms such as pain in the belly, blood in stool, change in bowel habits, fever and such.
If a lump is to persist for more than two weeks or keep growing in size, get it checked immediately. This also goes for lumps showing other symptoms such as a lump in the throat after eating. There are quite a number of cancers that can develop in the lower abdomen. The problem is that this part of the body is incredibly hard to remove malignant tumors from.