The human body in many ways is symmetrical. If you look yourself in the mirror you’ll find out that many of the body parts or organs are the same on each side of the body. For example, the eyes, ears, hands, legs, breast, etc, but what organs are on the left side of the body?
In this post, we’ll be talking about the organs on the left side of the body, continue reading to find out.
Table of Contents
What Organs Are On the Left Side of the Body?
The heart is a muscle that sits behind and slightly left of the breastbone. Your heart is located in the middle of your chest, to the left.
On average the adult heart is like the size of a fist – it is about 5 inches long, 3.5 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep.
What does the heart do?
The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood via the network of arteries and veins known as the cardiovascular system. The blood that the heart pumps then delivers oxygen to your brain and the rest of your body and then returns to pick up new oxygen via the lungs.
The heart has four chambers that do its work;
- The right atrium receives blood from the veins and then, pumps it to the right ventricle
- The right ventricle receives blood from the right atrium and pumps it to the lungs where it is loaded with oxygen.
- The left atrium receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the left ventricle.
- The left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body aside from the lungs.
2. The Left Lung
The left lung sits in the left hemithorax on the left of the heart and the mediastinum. Compared to the right lung which has three lobes, the left lung has only two lobes.
What does the lungs do?
The lungs are your breathing apparatus. The lungs take in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. The lungs are made up of a spongy pink material and expand and contract as you breathe.
Here are the parts of the lungs that are involved in air intake:
- Bronchiole tubes
The lungs don’t have very many pain receptors, so problems with the lungs often come across as symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath.
3. Left Kidney
Humans have two kidneys that sit below the rib cage. The kidneys have a shape of a bean and the size of a fist. The left kidney is usually a little larger than the right kidney.
What does the kidney do?
The kidneys’ primary role is to maintain homeostasis meaning the kidneys manage fluid levels, electrolyte balance, and other factors that keep the internal part of the body consistent and comfortable.
The kidneys also serve a range of functions like:
- They remove several waste products and eliminates them in the urine. The two main compounds that the kidneys remove are urea (which results from the breakdown of proteins) and uric acid (which results from the breakdown of nucleic acids).
- They reabsorb nutrients from the blood and transport them to where they would best support health.
- The kidneys also reabsorb other products like glucose, sodium, amino acids, water, phosphate, chloride, magnesium, and potassium ions to help maintain homeostasis.
The kidneys have an intricate filtering system and each kidney have about 1 million filters called nephrons.
Each nephron is divided into two parts i.e. renal corpuscle containing the glomerulus and a tubule. The glomerulus filters the blood while the tubule removes waste products and returns important substance to the blood.
4. Left Adrenal Gland
The human body is made up of two adrenal glands located on top of each of the kidneys. They are part of the endocrine system.
The adrenal glands are small in size and are responsible for several hormone-related functions in your body.
What do adrenal glands do?
Each adrenal gland contains an outer adrenal cortex which is responsible for producing certain steroid hormones like aldosterone and cortisol.
Each adrenal gland also contains an inner adrenal medulla which produces numerous hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Aldosterone helps to control blood pressure by managing the balance of potassium and sodium in the body while cortisol works in conjunction with adrenaline and noradrenaline in order to help regulate your reaction to stress. Also, cortisol helps regulate your metabolism, sugar levels, and blood pressure.
The adrenal glands are controlled by the pituitary gland and abnormal signals can damage the number of hormones the pituitary gland tells the adrenal glands to produce which can cause them to produce too little or too much hormone. Hormonal imbalances can also result which can cause a variety of symptoms and health problems.
The spleen can be found in the upper left of the abdomen, under the diaphragm, and behind the top half of the stomach. It is just like the size of a fist, about 4-5 inches long and purple in color.
What does the Spleen do?
It is the organ responsible for both the storage and purification of red blood cells.
The spleen filters the blood recycles red blood cells and sends out white blood cells to help fight infections. It also produces substances that help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
The stomach is located in the upper, middle-left part of your abdomen. The stomach is in front of the spleen and below and behind the liver.
What does the stomach do?
The stomach is the first stop for processing what you eat. It holds the solid foods and liquids you ingest and begins to break them down.
Gastric acids and enzymes start the digestion process and after three to four hours, the stomach contents move on to be further digested.
The stomach muscle is lined with ridges known as rugae that can expand and let the stomach hold more food and liquid.
The pancreas is a 6 to 10-inch long gland that is located deep in the abdomen, below, and behind the stomach. It is a glandular organ that produces a number of hormones vital to the body. The top of the pancreas sits in the curve of your duodenum, a part of your small intestine.
What does the Pancreas do?
The main function of the pancreas is to produce enzymes to help process food in the small intestine. Its enzymes help digest fat, starch, and protein. The pancreas also produces insulin and glucagon which regulate glucose levels in the blood.
8. Left Lobe of the Liver
The liver is mostly on the right side of the body but only a small lobe of the liver is on the left which is located above and in front of the stomach and below the diaphragm.
The liver is the body’s largest organ. The average adult liver weighs around 3 pounds and is about the size of a football.
The liver is essential to the body’s metabolic functions and immune system and without a functioning liver, a person cannot live.
What does the liver do?
The main functions of the liver are in the metabolic processes of the body which
- Breaking down or converting substances
- Extracting energy
- Making toxins less harmful to the body and removing the toxins from the bloodstream.
The liver also manages chemical levels in the blood and sends some waste products away as urea or within the bile it produces.
The liver also processes nutrients. It stores some of them, get rid of some, and sends some back to the blood.
The liver also plays an important role in breaking down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins as well as storing vitamins and minerals.
The liver sends bile out into the small intestine which helps aid the digestion and absorption of fats into the body.
9. Descending Colon
The colon is also called the large intestine. The colon forms an upside-down “U” shape over the coiled-up small intestine.
The ascending colon can be found on the right side of the large intestine, the transverse colon on the top, and the descending colon on the left.
What does the descending colon do?
The function of the descending colon is to store digested food waste until a bowel movement removes it. The descending colon also empties into the sigmoid colon.
Reproductive Organs on the left side of the body
10. Left Fallopian Tube
The female body has a pair of fallopian tubes, one on each side of the uterus in the pelvis. The fallopian tube runs between the ovary and the uterus and it is also referred to as the uterine tube.
What does the fallopian Tube do?
Through the fallopian tube, eggs travel from the ovary to the uterus (womb). The fallopian tube is where the male sperm meets the egg and fertilizes it.
11. Left Ovary
The female body have a pair of ovaries held by a membrane beside the uterus on each side of the lower abdomen.
What does the ovary do?
The female body, during childbearing years, ovulates about once a month releasing an egg from the ovary. (Usually, this is around the middle of the 28-day menstrual cycle). The egg then travels into the fallopian tube and then toward the uterus.
Also, the ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
12. Left Testis
The testes (singular testis) also referred to as testicles or gonads are located outside the male body behind the penis in a sac of skin known as the scrotum.
The testes have an oval shape. Averagely, each testis is 1.8 – 2 inches long.
What does the testes do?
They are responsible for producing sperm and the androgen hormone testosterone. Each testis connects to the body by a thin tube that takes the sperm from the testis via the urethra to be ejected.
What organs are on the left side of the body that can cause pain?
The organs on the left side of the body that can cause pain include:
- Your heart
- The left lung
- Left kidney
What organs are on the left side of the body in the back?
The located near the lower back include:
What organs are on the left side of the body under the breast?
The organs of the body that sits under and around the breast include:
- The heart
- Large intestine
- Left lung
- Left kidney
What organs are on the right side of the body?
The organs on the right side of the body include:
- Part of the stomach
- Part of the small intestine
- Right side of the colon
- Right kidney
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