Can Acid Reflux Cause Left-Side Abdominal Pain?

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Abdominal pain is a condition that no one wants to deal with. It can be caused by several issues, from minor annoyances to life-threatening illnesses. When it comes to acid reflux, most people know that it can cause discomfort and pain in the upper part of the stomach, chest, and throat. However, what about left-side abdominal pain? Is this a common symptom of acid reflux? 

In this article, we’ll look at this question and provide some helpful insights if you’re experiencing this type of pain. Whatever the cause, it’s crucial to understand the symptoms and the underlying issues so that you can seek the proper medical care and start feeling better as soon as possible.

What is Acid Reflux? 

Acid reflux can be a pesky and uncomfortable condition that causes different symptoms for every patient. When stomach acid makes its way back up into the esophagus, it can feel like a fiery burning sensation that can cause distress throughout the day. Known also as heartburn or GERD, the symptoms of acid reflux can range from mild discomfort to severe irritation. Some telltale signs of acid reflux include a sour taste in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and even trouble sleeping throughout the night. While it can be a common affliction, seeking treatment can alleviate the discomfort and improve the overall quality of life.

Acid reflux is often associated with chest and throat discomfort. But did you know the pain can also extend to the upper stomach and abdomen, specifically on the left side? This might come as a surprise, but it’s because the esophagus is on the left side of the body. When acid reflux occurs, it can cause radiating pain in this particular area. So if you’re experiencing stomach discomfort and suspect acid reflux might be the culprit, it’s worth considering whether the pain is coming from your left side.

Other Causes of Left Side Abdominal Pain:

While acid reflux can cause left-side abdominal pain, it is vital to note that there are many other potential causes; some common causes of left-side abdominal pain include:

Gas and bloating

When excess gas builds up in the digestive system, it can cause bloating and discomfort in the abdomen. This can occur due to consuming certain foods, such as beans or dairy products.


When stool builds up in the colon, it can cause constipation and feelings of discomfort in the abdomen. This can occur due to a lack of fiber in the diet, dehydration, or certain medications.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a chronic digestive disorder that can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. It is triggered because of stress, certain foods, or hormonal changes.

Kidney stones

When minerals in the urine form crystals, they can cause kidney stones. These stones can cause intense pain in the lower abdomen and back, nausea, and vomiting.


Pancreatitis is an illness where the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing pain in the upper abdomen that may radiate to the left side.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.

It is crucial to seek medical attention if you experience severe or persistent abdominal pain, regardless of the cause. This is because abdominal pain can indicate a more severe condition, such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, or a ruptured spleen. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your abdominal pain and recommend appropriate treatment options.

How to Treat Acid Reflux:

If you are experiencing acid reflux and left-side abdominal pain, there are several steps you can take to relieve your symptoms. These include:

Avoiding trigger foods

Certain foods trigger symptoms of acid reflux, such as spicy foods, citrus fruits, and fatty or fried foods. Avoiding these foods can help to reduce your symptoms.

Eating smaller meals

Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can help to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach and decrease your risk of reflux.

Elevating your head

Sleeping with your head elevated can help to prevent acid reflux symptoms at night.

Taking antacids

Over-the-counter antacids can help to neutralize stomach acid and relieve symptoms of acid reflux.

When to Seek Medical Attention:

While many cases of acid reflux can be treated with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications, there are times when medical attention may be necessary. You should seek medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms may indicate a more serious condition and require immediate medical attention.

Abdominal Pain Services:

Abdominal pain can be a troubling and uncomfortable experience for anyone. It’s crucial to address the issue immediately and not suffer in silence. Emergency Care of Floresville provides top-quality abdominal pain services that can get to the root of the problem and offer personalized treatment plans for your needs. Our dedicated team of medical experts, including experienced physicians and healthcare professionals, is committed to delivering comprehensive care and support every step of the way. 

Although acid reflux is a possible cause of pain on the left side of the abdomen, there are numerous other factors to consider. If you are enduring constant, intense abdominal pain, it is imperative to seek medical care to identify the root cause and start appropriate treatment. 

If you are experiencing acid reflux and left-sided abdominal discomfort, there are ways to help alleviate your symptoms. Reducing intake of trigger foods, eating frequent smaller meals, raising your head while sleeping, and utilizing antacids can all be effective techniques. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, it is crucial to seek medical attention.