Belly button also known as umbilicus comes from the umbilical cord cut immediately after birth. Almost everyone has experienced stomach pain but belly button pain is not as common. People often ignore this pain especially if it does not interfere with their daily activities. While mild belly button pain may come and go periodically, severe ones persist over time. Any condition that is ignored may become more pronounced over time and cause severe health issues.
The following symptoms point to belly button (umbilicus) pain:
- Pain above, below or at the sides of your belly button
- Pain inside your belly button
- Pain felt on the belly button when you touch it or put on tight clothing
- Sharp intense pain that pulls on your umbilicus
- Pain associated with discharge from the umbilicus (may smell too)
- Pain on the belly button or surrounding areas when you lean forward
- Severe umbilicus pain that disturbs your daily activities
Monitor these symptoms carefully so you can give precise explanation to your doctor. This will help your doctor accurately diagnose the cause of the pain. Different symptoms point to different causes of belly button pain, so each symptom should be clearly noted.
Causes of Belly Button Pain
Umbilical pain, whether mild or severe, linger after proper rest have been taken. This is because it is often caused by an underlying medical condition. Adjustments in daily routine may only reveal the pain but are never the actual cause.
The major causes of umbilical pain include:
Microbial Infections: Bacterial infections can cause pains around the belly button which is normally felt when the umbilicus is touched. Such infection cause abdominal swelling and soreness. If you experience belly button pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting or flu like symptoms, the pain is likely caused by microbial infection. Getting a belly button piercing may increase your chances of microbial infection especially if it was done under unhygienic conditions.
Pancreatic Problems: Diabetic patients have a high sugar level in their blood. The pancreas is responsible for the regulation of sugar in the blood to suit the energy need of an individual. When there is problem with the pancreas, intense and spontaneous pain may occur in the belly button region. Pancreatic problems express symptoms like nausea, fever and headaches. Symptoms may be similar to that of diabetes.
Appendicitis: When the appendix becomes inflamed, pain may occur on the belly button. Such pain moves between the belly button region and the lower right side of the abdomen, though precise location of the pain may be difficult to pin point at any particular time. According to Mayo clinic, appendicitis pain usually starts at the belly button. This pain becomes more pronounced when you walk or cough. It is like a gripping pain that reverberate in the area. Belly button pain due to appendicitis is usually accompanied by indigestion, constipation, nausea, fever, vomiting and lack of appetite.
Small Intestine Disorder: The small intestine occurs in several folds with its centre at the umbilicus area of the abdomen. Any intestinal problem will likely affect your belly button causing mild or severe pain.
Cystitis: This is a urinary tract infection which can spread to other body parts. It is a quick spreading infection that primarily affects the kidneys. Mild belly button pain may occur due to this infection.
Surgery: Recent abdominal surgery may cause pain at the umbilicus region. This pain may be mild or sharp usually accompanied by diarrhoea and constipation. As your surgery heals, the pain gradually subsides and stops eventually.
Ulcer: Stomach ulcer is a common cause of belly button pain. Ulcers arise when there is an irritation or scarring of the internal surface of the stomach due to the presence of too much acid. Such stomach irritation and scarring often leads to internal bleeding which in turn cause umbilicus pain. This pain gets more intense when spicy or acidic food is taken.
Gallstones: Gallstones may occur for a long time before it is noticed. Symptoms come late and in form of upper abdominal pain which slowly moves down to the belly button region. The pain is off and on, reoccurring after few days or weeks. Vomiting, nausea, fever, jaundice and bloating are other symptoms of gallstone.
Hernia: Torn abdominal tissues or organs lead to hernia which causes severe pain near the left part of the abdomen. This pain makes urinating and bowel movement difficult. Soft visible lump and stomach heaviness are other symptoms of hernia. This will cause pain around the belly button which gets more intense whenever you lean forward.
Pregnancy: During pregnancy the body changes to accommodate the foetus. Belly button pain is a common occurrence during pregnancy but is usually mild. However severe belly button pain during pregnancy is an indication of fallopian pregnancy.
To learn more facts about belly button pain click here
Treatments for Belly Button Pain
Since belly button pain is caused by an underlying medical condition, treating such conditions will definitely stop the pain.
- For belly button pain due to appendicitis, surgery should be carried out to treat the condition. Appendicitis cannot be prevented but the type of meal one takes may reduce the chances of having it. According to Dr. Varnada Karriem-Norwood on WebMD, appendicitis is less common in people who have a diet high in fibre, eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Stomach ulcer induced umbilicus pain is treated by taking medications to treat the ulcer.
- Surgery is required to treat hernia and the umbilicus pain associated with it.
- If you have severe umbilicus pain during pregnancy, report to your doctor immediately.
- Belly button pain due to bacterial infection or cystitis is treated by taking antibiotics to treat the infection.
- Gallstone induced umbilicus pain stops when surgery is done to treat gallstone.
- Pancreatic problem may become severe and turn into cancer. Once you identify pain at the belly button region due to pancreatic, consult your doctor.
Belly button pain shouldn’t be dismissed easily. Consult your doctor once you experience such pain as it may mean that your health is in danger.