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Belly Button Pain: Causes and Treatment

Belly button pain treatment

Belly Button Pain: Causes and Treatment

Overview

Belly button pain is a common condition many people suffer from without knowing what is causing it. Most of the time, it goes unnoticed but continues to harm your body.

In this article, you will learn all about belly pain, its association with medical conditions, and the best ways to get rid of it.

What is belly button pain?

The abdominal region, also known as the periumbilical region, can suffer from belly button pain that can occasionally extend beyond the belly. There are various reasons a person can experience belly button pain. In some cases, it can be mild or intermittent, but sometimes it can be sharp and severe. It usually goes away, but we must not ignore it if it persists for too long. Some conditions, such as constipation or indigestion during pregnancy, may also result in belly button pain but are easy to treat or manage. In contrast, other serious issues such as gallstones, appendicitis, or pancreatitis can also be considered the cause of pain in your belly. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. 

What causes pain around the belly button?

Some common causes of pain around the belly button are following

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating or swollen belly
  • Change or loss in appetite
  • Difficulty passing gas
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Period pain that migrates to the lower abdomen

Digestive causes:

Belly button pain can be an indication of gastric or digestive problems. The stomach’s acid can irritate parts of the digestive tract, including the belly button area. There is also a possibility of discomfort and pain due to gas throughout the digestive tract.

Rotavirus

Rotavirus is a contagious virus that causes diarrhea. This viral infection is a gastrointestinal virus that affects babies, toddlers, and young children most often. This virus spreads very quickly through contaminated food or surfaces. Its top symptoms are lower abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Stomach ulcer

A peptic or gastric ulcer is an open sore formed when inflammation occurs in the stomach lining. It is caused by the bacteria H. pylori. This chronic inflammation allows acid to damage the stomach lining, and an ulcer may form. This ulcer may also cause pain in the area around the belly button. The symptoms may include heartburn, nausea, and bloating. The treatment consists of a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

Normal abdominal pain

Medical practitioners commonly see patients complaining of abdominal pain and discomfort without an apparent cause. It’s a primary reason for patients to visit a medical provider or the emergency room in cases of severe pain. Different reasons, such as the digestive tract, the urinary tract, the pancreas, the gallbladder, or the gynecologic organs, can cause normal abdominal pain. A diagnosis is made through physical examination. Normal abdominal pain can also cause pain in the belly button or the area around the belly button. 

Belly button pain in children

Most of the time, children rub their bellies when they are hurt and then complain about stomach or belly button pain. This type of pain is typically caused by stress or eating something unhealthy. whereas stomach pain in the lower right part of the abdomen means that it is a severe medical emergency as it can be appendicitis. The symptoms of appendicitis may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty passing gas
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting 

If your child complains about pain or soreness on the left side of their belly, it could be caused by constipation or a more severe condition like pancreatitis. There is a high probability that this is a sign of something more serious.

But if your child is complaining about severe pain in the upper part of the abdomen, they may be suffering from indigestion. Symptoms of indigestion include:

  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Burping
  • Pain in the middle portion of the upper belly

What causes belly button pain during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your body changes tremendously from one week to the next. Not every woman experiences belly button pain during pregnancy. It’s common and is more likely to start as your belly gets bigger and bigger, especially in the third and fourth trimesters. Many women experience belly button pain during different stages of pregnancy. The number one cause of belly button pain is the formation of an umbilical hernia, where the intestine pouches out into the belly button. Some patients experience pain when the doctor pushes on that area because they are very sensitive, and just touching the skin makes them flinch, but not every patient has to go through it.

Uterine pressure

In the first trimester, the uterus is relatively small, and it does not reach far beyond the pubic bone. As the uterus pops up and out, the pressure from the inside of the body pushes on your abdomen and belly button, which causes pain and discomfort.

Stretching 

During pregnancy, our skin and muscles are stretched to the max. You can experience stretch marks, itchiness, and pain as you go through rapid growth stages. Your belly button is at center stage during all this moving and shifting. The belly button can get irritated in the process, which can cause discomfort. 

Umbilical hernia

It happens when there is so much pressure on the abdomen. You are at a higher risk of developing it if you are pregnant with multiple babies or if you are obese. Along with the belly button pain, you might notice swelling and a bulge near your navel, which can be a reason for belly button pain.

Diagnosis 

Periumbilical pain is a symptom of various conditions. Therefore, a doctor may ask about a person’s complete medical history. 

Blood tests and different imaging techniques such as X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and CT scans are used for diagnosing by doctors. You should immediately see your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Fever

How do I get rid of the pain in my belly button?

Belly button pain can be relieved in several ways by knowing the actual cause and deciding on the best treatment:

For hernia pain relief:

The doctor will treat a hernia with either open hernia repair or laparoscopic repair. Nonsurgical treatments aren’t recommended, as the condition can worsen and cause more pain.

For indigestion pain relief:

Mild indigestion can often be prevented or treated with lifestyle changes, such as

  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals
  • Changing your medications
  • Managing stress

Some antacids are probably the most widely used treatment to get rid of indigestion, such as:

  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Baking soda
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Licorice root
  • Peppermint or chamomile
Do you have heartburn or indigestion? Consult with our doctor for Treatment

For appendicitis pain relief:

To treat appendicitis, the appendix must be removed as soon as possible. The operation is known as an appendectomy. Surgery is often recommended if there is a chance you have appendicitis.

For ulcer-induced pain relief:

Most ulcers are treated with medications, but sometimes surgery is recommended. The most common nonsurgical treatments are antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs work by decreasing the amount of acid your stomach produces. It prevents further damage to the ulcer as it heals naturally. They are usually prescribed for 5 to 8 weeks.

Medical conditions associated with belly button pain?

Constipation

Constipation is another common cause of abdominal pain around the belly button. It is frequently caused by intestinal discomfort due to gas or accumulated hard feces, which affects the nerves or lining that pass through this region. Many women may also experience severe constipation during pregnancy. To prevent constipation, you should maintain a healthy diet rich in fiber and protein found in green vegetables and seeds.

Gastroenteritis 

Diarrhea from gastroenteritis or food poisoning can cause mild to severe pain around the belly button or abdomen. However, this kind of pain can be felt anywhere in the abdomen due to the swelling associated with these conditions. It can be accompanied by nausea, fever, and vomiting and last for 4 to 7 days.

Appendicitis 

It is an inflammation of the appendix. An appendix is a small organ connected to the large intestine. It starts as a mild pain around the belly button that extends to the lower right abdomen and becomes more intense over time. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and fever. If you notice any symptoms of appendicitis, you should proceed to the emergency room for diagnosis and treatment. 

Cholecystitis

It is an inflammation of the gallbladder that usually happens due to accumulated gallstones that obstruct bile flow. It can cause pain anywhere in the abdomen and vomiting that worsens after eating. This type of pain is felt in the upper part of the right abdomen in most cases. However, the pain can also be felt across the navel and all the way to the back. If you experience any symptoms related to the gallbladder, then you should report them to your doctor for assessment and testing. Treatment may involve antibiotics, any change in diet, IV hydration, and gallbladder removal surgery. 

Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is usually characterized by abdominal pain that improves following bowel movements. Pain is often felt in the lower abdomen, but it can vary and be felt anywhere in the abdomen. Irritable bowel syndrome is usually associated with bloating, intestinal gas, and alternating diarrhea and constipation. A gastroenterologist diagnoses it. The treatment can involve antibiotics, analgesics, and antispasmodics to reduce the pain. It is common for this condition to be seen in anxious and troubled people; therefore, mental support and stress relief may also help with the symptoms. 

Pancreatitis 

It is a severe inflammation of the pancreas, which is the main organ responsible for the breakdown of nutrients in the intestines. Pancreatitis can often cause intense pain in the middle of the abdomen, which radiates to the back. This condition is also accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and fever. This condition can be acute, which causes more obvious symptoms. Pancreatitis can be chronic. Patients with this illness can quickly become critical. If you notice any signs of pancreatitis, you should consult your doctor for medical assessment and testing. 

It describes various conditions that occur when blood flow to the intestines decreases. It can be due to fully or partially blocked blood vessels. The situation can also happen due to the narrowing of vessels, heart failure, intestinal cancer, or the use of drugs. Surgical treatments can be used to dissolve clots and improve blood flow. 

Urinary tract infection

It is often caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract. The bacteria usually enter through the urethra. Women have a shorter urethra than men. A urinary tract infection usually causes lower abdomen pain and can also irritate nerves near the belly button, which can cause pain around the belly button area. 

Do you have constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or stomach ache? Consult with our online doctor for diagnosis and treatment

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the diverticula. Diverticula are tiny sacs that are formed by the weakening of the intestinal wall. This can cause belly button pain, although the pain is felt in the upper portion of the right abdomen.

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that is also known as ulcerative colitis. It is a chronic inflammation of the intestinal lining due to autoimmune dysfunction. Its common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and intestinal bleeding. 

To relieve pain, soothe inflammation, and soothe diarrhea, you should consult a gastroenterologist.

Treatment for belly button pain

Doctors may prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications to get rid of harmful bacteria from the body. There are home remedies as well to treat belly button pain.

Taking an OTC oral antihistamine or topical anti-itch cream containing at least 1 percent hydrocortisone will relieve itching.

Some examples are:

Belly button pain can somehow be treated with home remedies. There are home remedies as well to treat belly button pain.

  • Applying a mixture of tea tree oil diluted in coconut oil to the itchy area several times a day
  • Applying turmeric paste and water directly to the itchy area.
  • Dip a cotton ball in lukewarm calendula tea, and then press it against your navel for 12 to 15 minutes. 
  • Applying a mixture of tea tree oil diluted in coconut oil to the itchy area several times a day
  • Applying turmeric paste and water directly to the itchy area
  • Dip a cotton ball in lukewarm calendula tea and then press it against your navel for 12 to 15 minutes. 

When Should I Consult a Doctor?

It is important to consult a doctor if you experience persistent pain. The following symptoms indicate that emergency medical consideration should be sought: severe abdominal pain that comes on suddenly or abdominal pain that is accompanied by:

  • Uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea
  • Vomit or stools with blood
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fever

The symptoms of chronic or ongoing conditions like Crohn’s disease may come and go, so it’s important to understand when to call your doctor. If you’re unsure, ask you to talk to our doctors at Your Doctors Online and get a prescription to help you with pain relief.

Has belly button pain been bothering you? Consult with our doctor to determine the cause and start treatment!

FAQs about Belly Button Pain Answered by Your Doctors Online Team

Why does belly button pain become severe during pregnancy?

This may also occur during pregnancy due to changes in hormones and abdominal muscles.  You should consult a doctor if you experience severe or ongoing discomfort or pain.

What are the symptoms of belly button pain?

The belly button (or navel) is difficult to localize to a specific section of the abdomen, despite the fact that the abdomen is divided into four main quadrants. As a result, pain around the belly button (periumbilical pain) may also feel like a pain in the lower right or left quadrants.

Is belly button pain serious in toddlers?

Toddlers usually do not experience serious belly button pain. Get your child to the doctor if his pain moves to the lower right side, gets severe and is accompanied by fever, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. There is a possibility that this is a sign of appendicitis.

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