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5 Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

5 Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Board-certified family and emergency medicine specialist Dr. Nabil Salib and his team at myDoc Urgent Care provide comprehensive diagnostic services and immediate medical care to individuals of all ages from locations in Forest Hills, Bronx, East Meadow, and Brooklyn, New York.

Sniffly noses, asthma attacks, lacerations, and broken bones are all part of a normal day for this group of medical professionals. They also expect to see their fair share of patients with abdominal pain, which is one of the top reasons Americans give for visiting a doctor.

They’re happy to supply information about five common causes of abdominal pain and when your symptoms might require an urgent care visit.

Why is abdominal pain so common?

Most people equate abdominal pain with stomach pain. And it’s true your stomach may be the source of your discomfort.

However, abdominal pain can occur anywhere from your ribs to your pelvis and may involve any of the organs housed in your abdominal cavity, including the:

With so many potential sources that are actively engaged in your everyday health, it’s understandable that abdominal pain is so common.

Common causes of abdominal pain

Five common sources of abdominal pain are:

Stomach flu

Stomach flu, better categorized as gastroenteritis or inflammation/irritation of the stomach and or intestines, is a common ailment that may be caused by a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection.

Symptoms vary but most commonly include:

Stomach flu is highly contagious and can often affect an entire household or classroom over the course of several days.


Indigestion (dyspepsia) causes discomfort in the stomach that may be described as a sour or upset stomach.

Sometimes confused with heartburn, which causes discomfort in the upper chest, indigestion can cause burning pain in the belly area and is often linked to:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS causes excess gas, bloating, and cramping pain that’s usually felt in the lower abdomen. Triggered by certain foods or medications and even stress, IBS can also cause bouts of diarrhea or constipation. It’s most prevalent in teens and adults under age 50 and more likely to affect women than men.

Food intolerance

Unlike food allergies, which are related to your immune system, food intolerances occur when certain foods or ingredients in foods irritate your digestive system.

Symptoms of food intolerance include:


Gallstones form in the gallbladder when cholesterol or bile, a fluid used in digestion, clumps together. 

These stone-like formations can cause moderate-to-severe pain in the upper mid to right abdomen but may be felt in the center upper back as well. The pain is steady rather than throbbing and may last for several hours before fading.  

When should I see a doctor for abdominal pain?

The providers at myDoc recommend you see a physician when abdominal pain is severe, lasts longer than expected, and/or you or your child:

Note that infants and younger children are especially vulnerable to dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea, and you may want to see a physician sooner rather than later in that case.

Otherwise, we invite people to take advantage of our convenient walk-in services at myDoc Urgent Care whenever they’re concerned about abdominal pain or any other issue.

If your life runs smoother on a schedule, give the office a call today, or try our online scheduling tool to book a same-day doctor’s visit.  

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