Belly Button Pain: Possible Causes, Diagnosis, Treatments

Belly button pain isn’t a condition on its own. It may occur to you for various reasons.

The pain can be sharp or mild and last for a long time or only temporarily.

The location of the pain in the belly button can also vary, and it can be a pain that radiates to other parts of the abdomen.

The pain may be right inside the navel, on the left or right side, below or above, or near the belly button.

Some people experience pain when the belly button is touched or pressed.

Pain in the area around your belly button, whether it’s constant or comes and goes, is something you can’t ignore because it could be a sign of a serious illness.

Constant pain affecting the navel area is a serious concern.

Early diagnosis of the exact reason for umbilicus or belly button pain is important and necessary.

Common causes of belly button pain

Umbilical pain, or pain inside the belly button, isn’t a condition on its own.

It is a symptom or pointer to the other health conditions going bad in your system.

A doctor can identify the actual reason for pain in the area around the stomach button by analyzing the type of pain you have.

Experiencing sharp pain in the belly button area is a more serious condition than the pain you feel because of bloating or pulling.

The following reasons can cause pain inside or around the navel button:

1. Appendicitis

If you have intense pain on the right side of your belly button, it could be because of appendicitis. The pain shifts to your lower right abdomen, where your appendix is located.

In such a case, the pain on the left side of the belly button will go only after the removal of appendicitis.

2. Stomach ulcers

One of the reasons your belly button hurts is because of ulcers in the stomach lining.

A stomach ulcer can happen when the stomach starts producing too much acid, which gradually erodes the stomach walls.

Common symptoms of stomach ulcers are burping, vomiting, nauseaacid reflux, and heartburn.

3. Pregnancy

Many pregnant women experience intermittent pain radiating from the navel area to the entire abdomen as their bodies adjust to the rapid physical changes. There is nothing to worry about in this pain.

4. Bacterial infection

Another reason for belly button pain could be a bacterial infection in the stomach, small and large intestines, or pancreas.

Using the right antibiotics can heal bacterial infections and relieve pain.

5. Pain after surgery

You may experience constant abdominal pain for a few days after abdominal surgery.

Proper post-surgery care and medication can alleviate this pain.

6. Umbilical hernia

A torn piece of tissue in the bowel area is responsible for a hernia that causes pain around the abdomen, including the belly button.

Repairing torn tissues through minor surgery and removing the periumbilical pain is easy.

7. Gallstones

The formation of stones in the gallbladder can cause belly button pain and infection.

Bouts of pain resulting from gallstones can spread to the entire abdominal area and even reach the shoulder blades.

A sharp pain around the belly button is a possible sign of gallstones.

It is easy to get rid of gallstones through minor surgery.

8. Cystitis

Cystitis is a urinary tract infection (UTI) that mostly occurs in women.

The symptoms of a UTI include burning pain during urination, pain in the abdominal area and lower back, and dark, cloudy urine.

Women with dull pain below the belly button may suffer from cystitis.

9. Pancreas disorder

You may feel pain around or above the navel due to a disorder in the functioning of the pancreas.

Some of the common pancreatic problems are acute pancreatitis, hereditary pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer.

10. Ailments of the small intestine

Pain near the tummy button or the entire abdominal area could be from any ailment in the small intestine.

Some critical disorders in the small intestine are irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal cancer, Crohn’s disease, internal bleeding, and celiac disease.

11. Constipation

Constipation is a common health problem involving fewer and more difficult bowel movements. Severe constipation may produce pain in the abdomen.

Every person will experience this from time to time, which is not a serious issue. However, anyone who has experienced constipation for more than two months should speak with a doctor.

12. Indigestion

Indigestion is one of the most common causes of bloating and belly button pain.

Symptoms of indigestion may include loss of appetite, discomfort after meals, and pain in the entire abdominal region, including the tummy button.

13. Bloating

Indigestion is one of the prime reasons for causing blotting with belly button pain.

Appendicitis can also cause bloating and pain under the belly button.

If you feel pain radiating to the right lower quadrant of the abdomen, you may suffer from appendicitis.

Bloating and dull pain near your belly button can be symptoms of stomach ulcers.

Belly Button Pain

Why does pulling or sharp belly button pain occur?

Many people complain about feeling severe pain affecting the belly button.

This pain may increase while coughing, stretching, or moving around. Along with these symptoms, you could probably suffer from a hernia if you notice a bulge near the belly button.

A hernia happens because of the increased pressure in the abdominal region, which makes the fatty tissues in the intestine bulge out and cause pain.

Patients with a strangulated hernia may feel like they are being pulled and have sharp pain near the navel. They may also throw up.

Reason for pain around the belly button during pregnancy

Pregnant women may experience pain surrounding the belly button and waist because of the round alignment pain.

It could be an intermittent, sharp pain, especially while stretching or moving around.

The round alignment pain in pregnant women begins during the second trimester.

Sudden contraction of stretched ligaments while standing, laughing, coughing, or bending causes pain. This type of pain usually lasts for only a few minutes.

But if you experience recurring or constant pain near the belly button during pregnancy, you must consult a gynecologist.

Pain in the belly button while touching or pressing

If pressing or touching the belly button causes pain, you could suffer from a hernia or Crohn’s disease.

One of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease is pain in the navel area. Similarly, a hernia with bulging, strangulated tummy fat can make the navel very sensitive and painful.

Besides the pain in the stomach button, Crohn’s disease also exhibits symptoms like abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, a perianal fistula, an ulcer, or joint inflammation.

Treatment for belly button pain

Treatment for belly button pain depends on the underlying causes of the pain.

Some reasons for occasional stomach button pain are minor issues that pass on their own.

But the pain in the belly button caused by serious disorders requires urgent medical treatment.

Treatment for Crohn’s disease is a lifelong process that may include surgery, medication, dietary supplements, and stress relief measures.

Pain in the navel region caused by indigestion can be overcome with a proper diet and OTC medications. Identify and avoid the foods and issues that cause indigestion.

For hernias, the torn tissues can be repaired through the laparoscopic procedure.

You can get rid of stomach ulcers with prescription medicines and changes in diet and lifestyle habits.

However, severe stomach ulcers may require surgery to remove the eruptions and prevent bleeding in the stomach.

Endoscopy is important for both diagnosing and treating bleeding ulcers.

If you have pain in the navel caused by appendicitis, then removal of the appendix is necessary for treating the pain.

Appendicitis surgery can be done through minor surgery or using laparoscopic treatment.

No specific medication is required for treating round ligament pain in pregnant women. However, doing daily stretches or taking rest can reduce this pain.

Pregnant women could change positions or flex and bend their hips while laughing, coughing, or sneezing to avoid the pain.

Certain symptoms, like vomiting with blood or experiencing constant pain for more than four hours, may indicate a medical emergency.

How should you respond when your belly button hurts?

Minor and temporary pain near the belly button is not a great concern.

But if your belly button hurts constantly, you should try to identify the actual reason for it and find the appropriate treatment.

Just keep track of your symptoms, which can help the doctor identify the cause and give you the right treatment.

For diseases like hernias, stomach ulcers, gallstones, and appendicitis, doctors may recommend surgery to get rid of the disease.

Depending on the cause, undergo the right treatments and make necessary lifestyle changes to eliminate the pain around the navel area.

If any of the following symptoms are present in you, then you must see a doctor immediately:

  • severe and persistent pain across the belly button area;
  • severe pain that keeps you awake at night or makes it difficult to do your regular job;
  • recurrent bouts of throwing up and nausea;
  • passing blood in your stool;
  • passing through a tarry black stool;
  • abdominal pain lasting for an extended period;
  • serious dehydration arising out of an inability to drink fluid;
  • if the pain in the abdomen is due to a lack of injury.

The final thought

Pain around the belly button results from various types of health issues. The pain can be constant or intermittent, constant, dull, or severe.

Some causes of belly button pain are serious issues that need immediate medical attention. You can ignore the minor issues that will heal on their own.

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