pain in lower left abdomen when coughing

Pain in the lower left abdomen when coughing – Why?

Do you experience pain in your lower abdomen when you cough? Do you feel a sharp stabbing sensation too when you cough? Do not worry you are not the only one experiencing this.

Having pains in the lower part of your abdomen can be very stressful, worrying, and annoying at the same time. The abdomen contains some main organs, including the liver, appendix, pancreas, and intestine. 

Pain in the lower left abdomen when coughing can happen if the coughing is an extended one. The muscles in the diaphragm can get very sore from intense and extended coughing leading to the production of sharp pains in the lower left part of the abdomen or even the abdomen in general.

Hernia can also be a sign of pain in the lower left part of the abdomen as a result of coughing. There are many reasons why you might feel pain in your lower left abdomen when you cough. 

Let’s take a look at the major causes of pain in the lower left abdomen when coughing. 

Can coughing even lead to pain in the lower regions of the body?

The respiratory system and the digestive system share a connection. They both help the human body absorb and transmit essential nutrients and discard waste products.

Your abdominal organs and lungs are located close to one another and share a lot of the same parts of the body when they are working well.

Due to your digestive and respiratory organs being closely linked, you can feel pain in your stomach when you cough and even in your abdomen. 

Health conditions that lead to abdominal pain can impact the ability of your gut to function hampering your ability to breathe well. Abdominal pain when coughing may signal an underlying health condition that requires medical treatment.

What causes pain in the lower left abdomen when coughing? 

Pain in the lower left abdomen as a result of coughing can be caused by many things. In this section of the article, we will take a look at the popular causes of abdominal pain when you cough. Let’s go.

1. Hernia

A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. The majority of hernias occur in the abdomen between your chest and hips but they can also affect the upper right thigh and areas around the groin.

Most hernias are not immediately life-threatening, but they do not go away on their own. They can sometimes require surgery to prevent severe complications.

Here are some of the types of hernia

Inguinal hernia

This is the most common type of hernia. It occurs when the intestines push through a weak spot or tear in the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal (located in the groin).

In men, it is the area where the spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the scrotum. This cord attaches to the testicles. In women, the inguinal canal contains a ligament (called the round ligament) that helps hold the uterus in place.

This type of hernia is more common in men than in women because the testicles descend through the inguinal canal

Hiatal hernia

This is another type of hernia that occurs when part of your stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm into your chest cavity.

This type of hernia is most common in people over 50 years old. If a child has the condition, it’s typically caused by a congenital birth irregularity.

Symptoms of a hernia include pain in the lower part of your abdomen anytime you cough, a huge lump in the affected part of your body, heartburn, trouble swallowing, and chest pain. 

2. Appendicitis

This is a condition that arises as a result of your appendix being inflamed. When this happens, you may experience severe abdominal pain that gets worse when you cough, sneeze, and exercise. A specific cause for appendicitis has not yet been discovered.

However, it is very important to identify the cause and treat this condition before your appendix bursts. Other symptoms of appendicitis include fever, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, low appetite, bloating or abdominal swelling, etc. 

3. Cystitis

This is a common type of urinary tract infection that can cause pain in the lower part of your abdomen. Cystitis is more common in women, and mild cases resolve within 3 days.

However, if symptoms get worse, you should see a doctor for a diagnosis. Cases of severe cystitis can result in pain around your stomach, pelvis, and bladder other symptoms of cystitis include frequent urination, dark urine, blood in urine, etc. 

4. Kidney stones

This is a condition that consists of small hard deposits that form in the kidneys are often painful when passed out.

Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and acid salts that stick together in concentrated urine. They can be painful when passing through the urinary tract, but usually don’t cause permanent damage. 

Suffering from kidney stones can make you feel pain in your abdomen when you cough. Symptoms of kidney stones include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, smelly urine, severe pain on one or both sides of your back. 

5. Pancreatitis

This is also another cause of lower abdominal pain from coughing. Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. Acute pancreatitis can cause a severe case of pancreatitis.

Other symptoms of pancreatitis include pain in the abdomen that spreads to your lower back, abdominal swelling, foul-smelling stools.

6. Gallstones

A condition that occurs when there is too much bile, bilirubin, or cholesterol built up in your gallbladder. While asymptomatic at first, gallstones can lead to gallbladder attacks as they get bigger.

This can cause you to feel sharp pains in the lower left part of your abdomen anytime you cough. Other symptoms of gallstones include jaundice, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, fever, chills, abdominal bloating pain in your upper back or right shoulder. 

Gallstones can be removed or treated surgically. 

How to diagnose abdominal pain?

Diagnoses can be done through a series of tests undertaken by a doctor or health professional. A physical examination will first be carried out before the tests are undertaken.

Gently pressing on various areas of your abdomen to check for tenderness and swelling are all things that will be done during the physical examination. 

How can I prevent abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain can be prevented by eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly, and eating smaller meals.

Lying down too soon after eating may cause heartburn and abdominal pain. Try waiting at least 2 hours after eating before lying down.

The takeaway from this article

Suffering from pain in your lower left abdomen as a result of coughing is possible due to a wide range of health conditions.

For you, to get the proper treatment it is paramount that you get to know the exact cause of this. Health issues such as herpes, gallstones, kidney stones, etc can all cause pain in your lower left abdomen any time you cough.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Author at

Dr. Abel Daartey is a pharmacist by profession, a teacher, and a mentor by nature. He enjoys reading scientific journals and articles and publications in neuroscience and related topics. He aims at churning out content that educates the public and health care providers in meeting the healthcare needs of the populace.

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