Feeling a pang in your belly button?
Your belly button hurts directly in or around it, depending on the underlying cause.
It’s possible that you’re experiencing abdominal pain in the center.
Your pelvis, legs, and chest are all affected by the soreness.
Although belly button pain comes and goes and is of little real concern, it can also be an indication of something very wrong.
Treatments can vary greatly since the reasons can be so diverse.
Belly button pain is usually caused by intestinal abnormalities, such as gastric bloating, and other intestinal infections or inflammation like gastroenteritis, appendicitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Since several organs in the lower abdomen are related to the belly button, any discomfort experienced in those organs can result in periumbilical pain. These are the organs:
- The colon
- The bowel
- The correct ureter
- The annex
- The fallopian tubes and ovaries
Pain can come in many different forms, be it chronic, intense, cramping, or goes along with other symptoms like sweating, pallor, and vomiting.
What should you do to determine what is significant and what is not, what is concerning and what is not?
You should actually make your first stop at your primary care physician.
Your doctor could suggest that you see a dermatologist, general surgeon, or gastroenterologist, depending on the nature of your underlying pain, while less serious conditions might only require an antacid or a change in diet.
What are the common characteristics of pain around the belly button?
Along with pain around the belly button, the associated symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble passing gas
- Migration of lower right abdominal pain
- Tummy that’s bloated or swollen (distension)
- Altered or reduced appetite
- Movement-related pain, such as during coughing or walking
What causes belly button pain?
Do you have any idea why your belly button hurts?
The causes of pain and associated symptoms at the belly button are discussed in this article.
Periumbilical pain has several underlying reasons since it is not a condition in and of itself.
Depending on the environment and the source, the pain felt nearby could change.
The most common reasons for belly button pain are listed below.
Food poisoning or gastroenteritis-related diarrhea hurts the area surrounding the belly button.
However, because of the inflammation, this kind of pain can be felt anywhere in the abdomen.
Pain often lasts between three and seven days and could be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and fever.
Signs of gastroenteritis include cramping, belly button pain, and stomach pain.
Usually, gastroenteritis gets better on its own.
A doctor should be seen, though, if you:
- Develop dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea
- Have blood in your stools
- Are unable to keep drinks down
- Have symptoms that persist for more than three days
To treat gastroenteritis, you should:
- Choose light meals with simple, low-fat foods that are easy to digest
- Drink a lot of fluids including water, tea, and fresh juices
Analgesics and antispasmodic drugs can ease discomfort, but you should go to the emergency department if the pain is severe, that lasts for more than a week, and is accompanied by bleeding, or if there is a fever.
Constipation is a significant factor in the development of belly button-related abdominal pain.
It frequently happens as a result of intestinal distension brought on by gas or feces that have collected and stimulated nearby nerves.
This is also common among pregnant women with constipation.
Constipation is a common illness that doctors describe as having three or fewer bowel movements in a week.
Everybody has constipation occasionally, and short-term constipation is not dangerous.
Stool softeners and other drugs, as well as fiber supplements, can help those who experience occasional constipation.
However, anyone who has had constipation for two months or more should consult a doctor.
Maintaining a diet high in fiber, which is present in vegetables and seeds, prevents constipation.
Drink at least 2L of water every day to maintain healthy intestinal flow and to lessen belly blowing.
If constipation does not go better on its own, your doctor can prescribe laxatives like lactulose.
3. Bowel obstruction
An obstruction in the gut known as bowel or intestinal obstruction can be extremely painful to the stomach and belly button area.
There are various causes of a blockage, including the following:
- Impacted feces
- Swallowed items
- Scar tissue
- Certain malignancies
- Inflammatory bowel illnesses including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis
A blockage in the intestines is a dangerous illness.
Along with other symptoms, it could also result in vomiting and constipation.
If you think you have a bowel blockage, you should get medical help right away.
Bowel blockage treatments vary, although they frequently include surgery.
A gastroenterologist will diagnose this illness and prescribe:
- Analgesics and antispasmodics for pain relief
- Simethicone for gas reduction
- Laxatives and fiber for constipation
- Anti-diarrhea medications for diarrhea
Since anxiety is a prevalent symptom of this disorder, psychological support and stress reduction will also help with symptoms.
When tiny, protruding pouches (diverticula) form in your digestive tract, it is known as diverticulosis.
Diverticulitis is the term for an infection or inflammation of one or more of these pouches.
Diverticula are tiny sacs with protruding edges that can develop in the lining of your digestive tract.
Although discomfort happens more in the lower left abdomen, it can nevertheless produce belly button pain.
Food can stagnate, bulk up, produce pressure, and develop diverticula, or pouches, in the walls of the large intestine when the movement of food through the colon becomes slow.
Risk factors of diverticulitis:
- Low fiber intake
- Persistent constipation
- Lack of “good” bacteria in the gut
The most vulnerable patients are those over 50 with a history of colon inflammation.
Constipation that may occasionally switch to diarrhea, fever, nausea, and chronic stomach discomfort are all symptoms.
Diverticulitis can cause intestinal obstruction and scarring if it is not addressed.
Peritonitis can develop if irritated pouches burst.
These are urgent medical situations, so be sure to visit the emergency department if it is suspected.
To rule out other illnesses before making a diagnosis, these tests will be conducted:
- Physical exam
- Stool tests
- CT scans
Treatment for less severe illnesses includes:
- High-fiber diet
- Lifestyle modification
For severe cases, surgery and/or intravenous antibiotics will be administered.
5. Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Females are more likely than males to have UTIs.
But anyone, including kids, can develop a UTI.
Abdominal and belly button pain can be brought on by UTIs.
UTIs are brought on by bacteria, and antibiotics are used to treat them.
UTIs can aggravate the nerves near the belly button despite often causing lower abdomen pain, especially while urinating.
UTIs happen when bacteria multiply in the bladder after entering the urinary tract through the urethra.
Your belly button and lower abdomen will hurt.
If you have a UTI, you might need to urinate more frequently and might experience burning while doing so.
6. Skin infection
Skin infections can occasionally cause pain in the belly button.
This can be bacterial or fungal.
The skin becomes inflamed or infected due to friction, an injury to the skin surface, an accumulation of sweat-derived bacteria, or other factors.
You should consult a doctor to find out what is wrong if you have any discharge of fluid or blood, a strong odor, itching, or discoloration.
The type of treatment depends on how serious the problem is.
It can include both oral antibiotics and over-the-counter (OTC) ointments.
The belly button area should generally be kept as dry as possible and cleaned often.
If you have a belly button piercing, then you should be especially careful when cleaning.
An inflamed appendix is a painful symptom of appendicitis.
Appendicitis is a dangerous condition that can possibly be fatal.
Peritonitis develops if the appendix ruptures and the infection spreads to the belly which can be brought on by untreated appendicitis.
Peritonitis is an acute, sometimes deadly inflammation of the lining of the stomach, which protects its internal organs.
In most cases, appendix discomfort begins at the belly button and spreads across the abdomen, frequently to the right lower quadrant.
Any movement, including coughing and walking, makes the pain greater.
The following symptoms of appendicitis are also present in addition to the pain:
- Nauseous and dizziness
- Abdominal bloating or edema
- Inability to pass gas
If you or anyone you know has severe abdominal pain, a swollen belly button, or any of the other symptoms mentioned above and feel like you could have appendicitis then visit a doctor at once.
Appendicitis has the potential to turn into a surgical emergency.
The appendix might burst and contaminate the abdominal cavity if it is not promptly treated.
Head to the emergency department for evaluation and a diagnosis if you start experiencing symptoms of appendicitis.
If the diagnosis is correct, appendicitis is treated surgically and with antibiotics.
The pancreas gets inflamed when someone has acute pancreatitis.
In pancreatitis, the pancreas itself is attacked by digestive enzymes that normally travel to the small intestine to aid in food digestion.
A hallmark sign of an inflamed pancreas is belly button pain.
Belly button discomfort from pancreatitis is frequently a persistent illness that never completely goes away.
It frequently results in severe abdominal discomfort that spreads to the back.
Further symptoms include:
Acute pancreatitis creates more noticeable symptoms, but chronic pancreatitis results in more moderate or persistent pain which is linked to issues with absorption.
If you experience signs of pancreatitis, you should visit a doctor right away since it can quickly become dangerous.
What to do for pancreatitis: To determine whether you are suffering from pancreatitis, you should have a medical evaluation.
Treatment should start right away and include antibiotics, analgesics, food restrictions, and IV hydration.
Surgery could be necessary for severe situations with consequences like bowel perforation.
To diagnose pancreatitis, there will be tests that include:
- Physical examination
- Blood testing
For treatment, intravenous (IV) fluids and painkillers are frequently used..
Symptoms of pancreatitis include:
- Severe stomach pain
- Severe nausea
- Continuous abdominal pain
The pain from gallstones typically starts in the middle of the belly.
Though it also radiates to your shoulder blade and upper right side.
Biliary colic is the term for this pain, which can be extremely severe.
Having a fatty meal can cause gallstone discomfort, but it can happen at any moment.
Gallstones frequently manifest as symptoms when they become lodged in the bile duct.
Gallstones develop in the gallbladder, the organ that stores the digestive fluid known as bile where tiny, hard deposits that are often composed of cholesterol accumulate there.
Gallstones can range in size from a poppy seed to a golf ball, and you can grow one or many at once.
Most of us are unaware that gallstones persist in our bodies as they seldom ever cause difficulties.
Women in their forties who are overweight are more likely to get gallstones.
The most typical symptom of gallstones is abrupt, increasing pain in the middle of your belly, directly behind your breastbone.
Before the gallstone passes, there are eight to nine hours of cramping and, in some circumstances, persistent discomfort.
Consult a doctor to rule out complications like gallbladder inflammation if the pain is incapacitating, persistent, or yellowing your skin, or if you have a high temperature and chills.
10. Stomach ulcer
An open sore known as a peptic ulcer or gastric ulcer develops when the stomach lining becomes inflamed.
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term usage of painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin are both responsible for this stomach irritation.
An ulcer can develop as a result of the stomach lining being damaged by chronic inflammation.
Risk factors of stomach ulcers include:
- Consuming alcohol
- Spicy meals
Symptoms of stomach ulcers are:
- Stomach discomfort
Between meals or at night, the pain could be more severe.
Antacids only temporarily relieve heartburn.
The feces or vomit could have dark red blood.
Ulcers can bleed and result in anemia if ignored.
They could induce peritonitis by puncturing the stomach.
To diagnose stomach ulcers, you will need:
- Physical examination
- Tests for H. pylori in the breath and feces
A course of antibiotics is used as treatment, along with medicines to stop excessive acid production and repair the stomach.
11. Umbilical hernia
Abdominal tissue pushing through a tear in the muscles around the belly button causes an umbilical hernia.
A portion of the intestine is forced out of the body through a cavity at the belly button in this illness.
You can see a bulge and have pain in the affected area if you have an umbilical hernia.
If an umbilical hernia is painful, surgery can be necessary.
An umbilical hernia is a common and unharmful ailment that more frequently affects newborns than adults.
The belly button region is where the most intense pain is felt.
Medication cannot be used to treat this disease; surgery is the only option available to the patient.
The pain typically develops or intensifies with physical activity, but it can last for a long time and get quite bad if the circulation to the tissue surrounding the hernia is cut off due to increased local edema.
What to do for umbilical hernia: A general surgeon should direct treatment for a hernia.
The course of treatment could range from careful waiting to having the hernia repaired surgically.
Usually, little belly button pain is nothing to worry about.
However, anyone who is in any substantial or persistent pain or discomfort should seek medical attention.
As the abdominal muscles shift during pregnancy, an abdominal hernia could happen.
However, umbilical hernias are uncommon and more frequently strike obese individuals.
Umbilical hernia signs and symptoms include:
- Discomfort in, around, and close to the belly button that worsens with lifting, standing, or straining a bulge at the belly button
How to find relief from belly button pain?
Your doctor will recommend the following after making the correct diagnosis:
- Infectious causes or antibiotics help cleanse the body of dangerous bacteria
- Anti-inflammatory drugs like antibiotics or steroid creams can be used for treatment if your symptoms are brought on by autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Bowel rest is needed to help your intestines and digestive system heal from obstructive or infectious causes of your belly button discomfort, your doctor will advise a lighter diet
- Simple things like white rice, bananas, and toast can help soothe your stomach if you have gastroenteritis
- You need to stay hydrated by sipping water and herbal teas
- Antidiarrheal medications sold over the counter can help relieve cramps
- Increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and pulses like beans and chickpeas can help the digestive system absorb more insoluble fiber where these nutrients support the development of a wholesome microbiome of intestine-friendly bacteria
- Creams with vitamin E, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and olive oil hydrate your skin and lessen the straining sensation
- Cranberries can help treat UTIs where the chemicals in cranberries inhibit bacteria from sticking to urinary system walls
- Surgery is the first-line treatment for regaining function, managing symptoms, and avoiding complications in illnesses like appendicitis where an appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix
How can periumbilical pain be diagnosed?
The belly button is carefully examined since a doctor can see whether there is a major problem with just a quick glance.
The doctor will collect a sample of the discharge if it is being ejected via the belly button due to an infection and send it to the lab for analysis.
The diagnosis will rely on the underlying reason if the pain is being caused by another illness.
The following diagnostic tests may be recommended by the healthcare provider after reviewing the patient’s medical history, pain complaints, and physical examination:
- A blood test to determine whether blood cell counts are within normal bounds
- Analysis of the urinal to look for infections
- Imaging to examine the organs and their health (such as CT scans and X-rays)
- An endoscopy to look for ulcers
How can periumbilical pain be prevented?
It’s essential to keep the belly button healthy and clean to avoid infections.
Here are some pointers on how to keep your belly button clean:
- To keep the belly button clean, wash it every day with salt water
- The belly button’s inside can be cleaned using a cloth or sponge
- Wearing tight garments that can irritate the belly button is to be avoided
- The use of creams inside the belly button should be avoided since they can clog the area and encourage bacterial infections
- After a shower, fully dry the interior of the belly button
When should you contact a doctor?
If your belly button hurts for longer than a few days, see your doctor.
For the following signs, get medical help right away:
- Persistent stomach aches
- Pain from an injury
- Continuing fever
- Blood in your urine or stools
- Severe pain that affects daily activity
- Pain that affects sleeping patterns
Most of the time, belly button pain is not significant but it can nevertheless be a cause for concern in some circumstances.
Finding the source of stomach discomfort can help a person treat it properly and manage it.
What are the home remedies for an itchy belly button?
There are a variety of ideas for treating an itchy belly button naturally, despite the fact that these treatments lack the support of clinical studies:
- Directly apply a paste made of turmeric powder and water to the irritated region
- Clean it off entirely when the mixture has fully dried
- Apply coconut oil diluted with tea tree oil to the irritated region several times daily
- Place a cotton ball on your navel for 12 minutes after dipping it in warm calendula tea
There are numerous reasons for belly button pain.
Some belly button discomfort will go away on its own.
Consult your doctor if the discomfort in your belly button persists.
Some of the illnesses that cause belly button discomfort are significant and need medical attention.
Minor factors include constipation, and indigestion whereas, some of them, such as pancreatitis, appendicitis, or gallstones, are more dangerous.
You can prevent belly button itching by remembering to carefully wash, rinse, and dry your belly button many times each week.
The intensity of belly button discomfort can vary from minor to severe depending on the underlying reason for the pain.
You can experience it close to the belly button, in the upper or lower abdominal region, and potentially elsewhere.
To find out if the source of your belly button discomfort is significant, anyone who is suffering from it should speak with their doctor.
The underlying reason determines the course of treatment.