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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19453
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Hi doc, I do feel pressure on my left side of the abdominal

Customer Question

Hi doc, I do feel pressure on my left side of the abdominal at times. It doesnt cause pain but I do feel slight pressure or ache sometimes. It last for 3 days and its gone for 1-2 weeks and sometimes it comes back again. The pressure is sometimes around the left ribs and sometimes below the ribs around the waist. I do not have any other symptoms except having on and off loose stools. Can I know what are the likely cause of it? thanks!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
Is this pressure associated with the pain under the ribs that we discussed the other day?
Or is this separate and unrelated?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Nope, the pain went away on its own within the night.


This seem to be a separate issue. It doesnt really cause any pain but just some slight pressure on the left side. This pressure comes and goes. It can last for about 2 days and gone for a week and sometimes it comes back again. Just wondering what can be the cause of it. Quite worried if this can be a serious issue.


Can IBS cause such feeling? Because I do have frequent loose stool once a day

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

Yes, IBS can cause such symptoms, and IBS is very common, affecting about 15% of the population at some point in their life. However, there is no direct test to identify IBS, so is usually a diagnosis of exclusion.

Another common cause of such symptoms is an excess of gas in the digestive tract, which can be related to changes in the diet.

Without performing further testing, there are some home interventions that can be done to try to ease symptoms. The primary intervention would be to increase the amount of fiber in the diet. The general recommendation is to have at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day, and some people may need as much as 35 grams of fiber. This fiber can be done by foods that contain the fiber or by fiber supplements. Since a rapid increase in fiber intake can exacerbate gas symptoms, some people do better to gradually increase the amount of fiber in their diet.

If the diarrhoea is more severe, then it would be OK to use an over the counter anti-diarrhoeal medicine, such as Imodium. However, it is better to avoid regular use of these medicines. An occasional use for more significant diarrhoea is OK, but the fiber should be the primary intervention for long-term control of symptoms.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

But why does it only affects the left side of my abdominal?


Also, IBS and excessive gas can also cause pressure on the lower left abdominal (waist area, below my ribs) and not just the top?


According to your experience, can this be any chance of ovarian cysts base on my symptoms?



Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
IBS or gas can cause symptoms in any location of the abdomen, depending upon which portion of the colon is affected. When the left/descending colon is affected, it will cause symptoms on the left. It is also possible to have symptoms on the right, if the right/ascending colon is affected.

An ovarian cyst typically will not cause symptoms that are felt this high in the abdomen (around the ribs and waist, as you describe above). Sensation in the abdomen and chest can sometimes be very imprecise, so cannot be excluded solely on symptoms, but it is not typical for ovarian cysts.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the prompt reply!


Because I have been feeling sort of a pressurize feeling, or rather its feels like those muscle pull kind of feeling and sometimes this feeling goes to the back (left) especially when i stand up and walk after sitting down for quite some times. Like some sort of a muscle pull on the left area.


Actually can sitting position affect it also? Because I am used to leaning on my left when I seat while doing my work. So I am just wondering if this sort of position can cause the "stretch" feeling on my waist. (as shown on the picture, sorry I do not know how to describe the exact position)


Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
A pulled abdominal muscle can cause some pain overlying the abdomen that radiates to the back, but it is typically not described as a pressure sensation and it certainly would not be associated with loose stools or diarrhoea. It is usually described as a sharp or a crampy pain.

However, if there is a pulled abdominal muscle, then poor posture, including not sitting up straight, can be contributing to the problem.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

okay just one last question, why do the pressure gets more intense right after i stood up and walk after sitting for long. And after that, it subsides.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
Changing position will alter intra-abdominal pressure and can secondarily affect any of the abdominal organs. This is not universally present, but the symptoms associated with change of position does not automatically mean that the problem is muscular in origin.