If you are one of those people who suffer from spasms and stomach cramps, especially on the left side. If you want to know what causes left stomach spasms and how to get rid of them, we recommend that you read on.
Stomach spasms mean contractions and spasms of the muscles of the stomach or the beginning of the intestine. Depending on the part of the involvement, as well as the severity of the involvement, the patient’s complaint may be similar to poor muscle tension or stomach contraction following eating. Gastric or peptic ulcer is usually relieved without any special action and is generally safe in most cases. But sometimes in some cases it can be a warning of a serious underlying complication.
In the following, we want to say what causes gastric spasms on the left side. We also emphasize that if you are a person who has symptoms of gastric spasm that do not decrease in severity and are progressing, you must call the emergency room immediately or talk to your family doctor immediately.
What causes gastric spasm on the left side?
In this section, we want to list the causes and underlying factors of your stomach cramps and provide a brief explanation of each.
We emphasize that you must know the possible underlying causes of gastric spasm and be aware of its symptoms in order to be able to treat the left gastric spasm created in you well. The first step is to determine the root cause of this spasm, which we will mention in eleven common cases.
- The first cause of muscle strains
If you are very active and your abdominal muscles are also very active, this set can cause you to experience abdominal and stomach muscle spasms. Most spasms caused by muscle tension following physical activity occur in people who engage in frequent or intense physical activity. For example, people who do sit-ups are more likely than others to experience manifestations of left-sided gastric spasm following a strain on the abdominal muscles. Here are some other symptoms that these people experience following muscle tension:
Sensitivity in the abdominal muscles or pain in the abdominal muscles, which is a pain that will usually get worse with a change in position or movement. One of the important points of these pains is that usually using hot compresses, resting and taking a hot shower cause the pain to disappear spontaneously within a few days.
- The second factor is dehydration
When a person loses his body’s water due to excessive sweating, chronic vomiting or diarrhea, this losing water causes the body to become dehydrated. This dehydration causes the balance of minerals and ions in the blood, which doctors call electrolytes, to return to normal. Doctors say that the balance of electrolytes in the body is disturbed due to dehydration. This imbalance leads to spasms and cramps in various parts of the body, including the muscles in the stomach wall.
In general, all types of muscle cells, whether striated or white !! muscle, need normal levels of calcium, potassium, and magnesium ions in order to function properly and contract and expand properly.
When this balance is upset, the calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium in your blood and body actually fluctuate abnormally.
The muscles will begin to function abnormally. In cases where the person becomes dehydrated Other symptoms of dehydration are as follows:
- Yellow, dark, low-volume urine
- Black eyes
- Excessive thirst
- dryness of the mucous membranes
- The third cause of gas accumulation in the stomach
When gas accumulates inside the stomach and at the same time it tries to expel it later, this accumulation can stimulate spasm of your intestinal muscles to try to expel the gas from the body. In this set, spasms and cramps that occur in the muscles of the stomach wall will also be noticeable and if there is gas and gas accumulation, the person who has gas accumulation may also complain of the following symptoms and manifestations:
- These people may have bloating or severe flatulence.
- They may feel full.
- They usually do not have enough appetite to eat, or with a small egg they feel full, or in other words, prematurely full.
- These people constantly need to expel gas.
- The fourth cause of gastric spasms is due to inflammatory bowel disease
There is a group of diseases called IBD or inflammatory bowel disease in which the cells of the gastrointestinal tract and mainly the intestines become inflamed and damaged. In fact, the complications of this group of diseases due to chronic inflammation of the cells of the gastrointestinal wall occur mainly in the intestines. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two major components of this group. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but ulcerative colitis will affect only the large intestine, and in both above diseases, there is inflammation and pervasive inflammatory reactions in the intestinal wall, that cause spasms and abnormal contractions of these organs. Other symptoms and manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease include the following:
- Weight Loss
- Abdominal cramps and bloating
- stomach ache
- Night sweats
- Feeling an urgent need to toilet
- The fifth cause of irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic and annoying disorder whose underlying cause has not yet been identified and will affect the large intestine. The difference between this syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease is that in this syndrome, changes in the tissue of the intestinal wall are not observed, but some of its symptoms may overlap with inflammatory bowel disease.
Unlike IBDs, there is no disruption, inflammation or damage to the intestinal cells.
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include the following:
- Intermittent changes in bowel habits so that in principle these people experience diarrhea and constipation intermittently
- These people feel bloated.
- They may have pain or cramping or stomach cramps on the left or stomach cramps and pain on the right
- Intermittent diarrhea and constipation are common in these people, as mentioned.
- Gas accumulation and gas excretion are also observed in these people.
- This syndrome will not be dangerous and will not have a risk of gastrointestinal tumors or serious digestive problems, but it can greatly alter the sufferer’s quality of life.
- The sixth cause of gastric spasms is due to infectious inflammation of the intestines
Doctors call inflammation and infections of the intestinal wall colitis. Colitis can also cause abdominal cramps and contractions due to tenderness and inflammation in the wall of the large intestine. In other words, inflammation of the wall of the large intestine can lead to spasm. There are some bacteria that cause colitis, such as the following:
In addition to bacteria, parasites can also cause inflammation and infection in the wall of the large intestine. These cases are called parasitic colitis. Giardia is one of the most common intestinal parasites
- The seventh cause of intestinal inflammation following lack of oxygen or so-called ischemic colitis
Sometimes, for whatever reason, the blood flow to the small intestine and large intestine is disrupted and blood flow to these organs is reduced. In cases where not enough oxygen and blood reach the walls of the small and large intestines, an inflammation develops. This is called ischemic colitis. People with this complication develop circulatory disorders due to gastrointestinal disorders. They can very often experience left stomach and abdomen spasms.
- The eighth cause is constipation
Constipation is also a very common cause of intestinal and wall contractions. Prolonged contraction of the intestinal wall during prolonged constipation can lead to their temporary swelling in response to increased pressure within the intestines. This complex can also be associated with intestinal spasms and contractions on the left side of the stomach.
- The ninth cause of intestinal obstruction
Gastric or peptic ulcer may also occur when intestinal obstruction occurs, which means that the intestines become blocked for a variety of reasons, including intra-abdominal surgery and drug use, severe chronic illness, inadequate physical activity, infection, and inflammation of the intestinal wall.
Intestinal obstruction can cause fluid and air to build up in the intestines as seen on radiographs. The sum of the above events causes the intestines to dilate above the obstruction and do not pass stool, do not expel gas, and finally nausea and vomiting.
- Tenth cause of gastroparesis
The term actually translates to gastric paralysis, but it is actually a condition similar to intestinal obstruction that affects the stomach in a different way. This complication is usually seen in people who have problems with the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and stomach. For example, it is common in people with diabetes and can cause constriction and spasm of the stomach wall after eating, especially heavy meals.
- Eleventh cause of stomach cramps during pregnancy
Stomach cramps are very common during pregnancy. Doctors believe that most cases of left stomach spasm as well as right stomach spasm will be safe and uncomplicated during pregnancy, but if there is severe pain or persistent spasm that does not improve over time and has progressive symptoms or occurs frequently, you should definitely tell your doctor. Spasms during pregnancy can have several causes, and here are some of the most common causes.
- Gas accumulation
Hormonal changes in pregnant women cause changes in the bowel movements of pregnant women. Following these changes, gas accumulation is one of the most common symptoms experienced by pregnant women.
In other words, the progesterone that the body will produce to support pregnancy, relaxes the muscles, including the intestinal muscles, and slows down their movements, and therefore causes the gas not to come out and accumulate. Symptoms of gas accumulation include the following:
- Severe stomach pain
- Feeling full
- Feeling full early
- the urgent need to expel gas
- Braxton Hicks contractions
These contractions will occur in the last trimester of pregnancy and are usually more like muscle stiffness than actual labor pains. In other words, one of the differences between these contractions and actual labor pain is that these contractions do not occur regularly. These contractions are harmless, but it is better if you feel that they have a certain rhythm and order or their speed has accelerated, be sure to tell your doctor.
- Shaking the fetus
When the fetus rotates or moves in the abdomen, especially during the second trimester, the mother may feel like a muscle spasm. The fetus is probably not large enough to hit hard at this time, so its movement is more like a stretch in the abdominal wall.
- Muscle stretches
During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles contract to make space for the developing fetus in the womb, and at the same time with this stretch, these muscles try to maintain their size, so they may have sudden shocks. Muscle strain can lead to mild and persistent pain and this pain is a natural part of the pregnancy and there is no need to worry.
When should we see a doctor with left stomach spasm?
Doctors believe that most cases of gastric spasms on the left side will be harmless and will go away on their own without the need for special treatment, but if these spasms become painful or recurrent, it may be a sign of a more serious problem.
Be sure to see your doctor if you have one or more of the following symptoms in addition to left stomach spasms.
- Shortness of breath
- Severe pain, especially chest pain
- The presence of blood in the stool
- Persistent or recurrent gastric spasm
We also recommend that you see your doctor if stomach cramps interfere with your daily life and reduce the quality of your activities or cause you anxiety, fear, worry and discomfort.
- The first home solution is to use heat
The heat can cause his contracted muscles to relax and enter the stomach.!! This method will be especially effective when the muscle stretching before using the muscle limit causes these spasms on the left side of your stomach.
- The second home remedy is massage therapy
Muscle massage can help relax them. Massage therapy should be done under the supervision of a physiotherapist, but you can massage your upper abdomen and stomach with a gentle warm towel. Massage should not cause you pain or aggravation.
- The third solution is to use chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is considered as one of the home remedies for gas accumulation. Chamomile can also be used to calm the stomach and reduce its spasms.
- The fourth solution is to receive electrolytes
If you have stomach and abdominal cramps due to dehydration and your electrolyte balance is upset, it may be helpful to drink a sports drink with balanced electrolytes or eat a banana. If you have a history of kidney failure, you should not use the above methods without consulting your doctor. Because some electrolytes, especially potassium, may rise to very dangerous levels in people with kidney failure. If a person suffers from dizziness and fainting due to dehydration, intravenous fluids should be injected to prevent shock and damage to vital organs. Take to the emergency room.
- The fifth solution is to rest
If the spasm is due to muscle tension, stopping exercise and relaxing the abdominal muscles and ending the painful spasms in the left side of the stomach will help you.
What are the medical treatment strategies to reduce left gastric spasms?
- The first case is the use of antacids
Gastric reflux or excessive secretion of stomach acids and enzymes may cause inflammation of the stomach wall. These factors in turn may cause stomach spasm on your left side. In these cases, the use of antacids or proton pump inhibitors or histamine type II receptor blockers can help reduce stomach acid, or rather control and manage it, to help reduce spasms.
- Use of antibiotics
For cases of gastritis; Inflammation of the stomach and intestines or gastroenteritis, inflammation of the colon or colitis caused by a virus or bacteria
- Use of corticosteroids
For inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
In people with irritable bowel syndrome or severe seizures that have not improved with other treatments
- Use a group of drugs called aminosalicylate
It is prescribed by a doctor for inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and some types of Crohn’s disease.
What can we do to prevent left gastric spasms?
1) Exercise in the right way. Muscle activity can be good for our health, but improper and disproportionate activity can definitely lead to more serious injuries.
2) Always make sure that the exercises are in the correct form, it is better to discuss these exercises with your doctor, and if necessary, it is better to rest between exercises.
3) Do not let your body suffer from dehydration
4) By changing your diet, you may get rid of gastric spasm caused by gas accumulation and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as some inflammation of the intestinal wall.
5) Be sure to reduce alcohol consumption
6) Fatty foods and spicy foods can irritate your stomach and gastrointestinal tract and make spasms worse, so it is best to limit or even cut out these consumables.
The final word
Sometimes stomach cramps on the left side are just a natural movement of your muscles or are caused by complications that can be easily treated at home. But sometimes these spasms can be a sign of a serious problem that definitely needs a doctor’s attention. Severe, permanent, prolonged and progressing spasms, fever, blood in the stool, bloody vomit, nausea and persistent diarrhea need to see a doctor.