Pain in your belly button should not be ignored. It is the body’s way of letting you know that there is something wrong. In most cases, the belly button pain is intermittent and dull. You may feel the pain around the belly button when pressed.
For sharp and recurring pain, it is essential to contact your doctor immediately to prevent the condition from getting worse. Especially if the pain aggravates after daily activities, such as stretching, running, swimming or even sneezing.
There are different causes of pain in your belly button area. Depending on the underlying cause, you may feel the pain only near the belly button. Or you may feel the pain which can radiate to the other areas of the body. This article will discuss the most common causes and provide some natural remedies to remove the belly button pain.
Belly button, also known as navel or umbilicus. When the fetus is in the womb, the mother provides nutrition to the fetus through the embryo and umbilical cord. After the fetus’s birth, the umbilical cord will be cut off. This will leave a scar, which is the belly button.
How to Identify the Belly Button Pain Initially
The pain in this area is usually elusive, you should observe the symptoms carefully to identify the causes. The most common factors are indigestion, Crohn’s disease, ulcers, pancreatitis, gallbladder infections or appendicitis.
The pain in this area is usually caused by the inflammation or infection of the organs in the abdomen. It may come from the pancreas, stomach, spleen, gallbladder, liver or intestine.
The most common causes of the pain around the belly button are appendicitis, stomach flu or urinary tract infections.
15 Common Causes of Belly Button Pain with Symptoms
There are different types of pain around the navel area. Some can be irregular, constant, dull or severe. While there are minor causes of belly button pain, others can be serious and life-threatening. To determine the underlying cause of the problem, it is best to see your doctor as soon as possible to prevent further complications.
Also called an upset stomach or dyspepsia, indigestion is described as a feeling of fullness or abdominal pain after eating. You may feel burning, pain, or discomfort in the upper abdomen which will radiate to your belly button area.
Indigestion is often a sign of ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease or gallbladder disease. Although this condition is common, every individual may experience symptoms of indigestion in a slightly different way. Some symptoms include:
- Gas or Bloating
- Fullness after a meal
- Nausea and vomiting
- An early feeling of uncomfortable fullness during a meal
- Bloating or discomfort in the upper abdomen
- Growling stomach or heartburn
- Abdominal pain
- Acidic taste
Mild indigestion is nothing to worry about, but see your doctor if the problem continues for more than two weeks.
You can use over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers to treat mild indigestion. You can also use some natural remedies to get rid of indigestion. The treatments include Fennel Seeds, Peppermint Tea, Ginger, Apple Cider Vinegar, etc. For more info, you can read Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Indigestion Fast
Constipation is a common condition described as having less than three bowel movements per week. Chronic constipation can interfere with work and may cause straining to have a bowel movement. Other symptoms that you may experience include:
- Hard or lumpy stools
- Excessive straining to have bowel movements
- Feeling like you cannot empty the stool from the rectum
- Feeling like there is a blockage in the rectum that inhibits bowel movements
- Needing help to empty the rectum, such as pressing on the abdomen or using a finger to get rid of stool
If you experience two or more of the symptoms mentioned, this may be chronic constipation.
You can also use some natural remedies to get rid of constipation. The treatments include FODMAP diet, Consume more fiber, drink more coffee, Olive Leaves, Flax Seeds, etc. For more info, you can read 12 Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Constipation Fast
If you experience severe abdominal pain, vomiting, persistent constipation or an inability to pass gas, you should see your doctor immediately. Because this may be a sign of bowel obstruction which is a serious issue.
Piercing is one of the most common causes of belly button pain. The pain will not go away until your wound heals.
If the pain remains after your wound has already healed completely. This may be caused by the injury when you put on your clothes. Or it may be caused by an infection in your navel.
The infection should be treated as soon as possible, otherwise, it may lead to serious inflammation of your internal organs. You need to visit a doctor to get rid of the infection.
4. Pain after Surgery
The pain around the incision is normal if the surgery was recent. However, pain after weeks since the surgery can be a sign of infection.
This can be serious if not checked by your doctor immediately. If you are experiencing constant and severe pain after surgery, see your doctor as soon as possible.
5. Gastroenteritis (Stomach flu)
The most common way to get stomach flu or gastroenteritis is by ingesting contaminated food or drink or through direct contact with an infected person. When you suffer from gastroenteritis, mild to severe diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and pain in the abdomen will follow. Gastroenteritis is usually not serious, you may only feel some discomfort and inconvenience. People who are healthy can recover without problems.
But for older adults, infants, and people with suppressed immune systems, this condition can be dangerous. The typical symptoms of gastroenteritis include:
- Watery diarrhea
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Nausea, vomiting
- Low-grade fever
- Headache or muscle aches
Call your doctor if you have been vomiting for more than two days, you have a high fever, you have signs of dehydration, and you notice blood in your stools.
For more information, you can read 16 Best Ways to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating Fast
6.Belly Button Pain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is another possible cause of belly button pain as it causes radical changes in the body. Due to the changes in hormone levels, most women also experience morning sickness and mood swings.
As the belly starts to grow, it may cause belly button pain. In most cases, this mild pain is normal as the body is just adjusting to pregnancy. Sometimes abdominal pain during pregnancy can be serious.
You may feel intermittent sharp pain around your belly button and waist. The feeling of pain will increases when you stretch, laughing, coughing or move around.
This type of pain usually lasts for a short time, usually only a few minutes. However, if the pain is severe and constant, you should call your doctor immediately.
7. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
The pelvic inflammatory disease occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from the vagina to other parts of the reproductive system, such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This infection does not usually show signs or symptoms and maybe detected later if you develop chronic pain or trouble getting pregnant. Other symptoms include:
- Pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen
- Pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse
- Difficult or painful urination
- Heavy vaginal discharge with a foul odor
- Uterine bleeding between menstrual cycles
- Fever with chills
If you experience extreme belly button pain, fever higher than 38.3 C (101F), foul vaginal discharge, nausea, and vomiting, see your doctor immediately.
8. Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection can be the cause of belly button pain. This condition can occur anywhere in the urinary tract – kidneys, urethra, bladder, and ureters.
Most UTIs involve the bladder and urethra which are in the lower tract, but the infection may affect the kidneys and ureters in the upper tract. The common symptoms of UTI include:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Frequent urge to urinate without passing much urine
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Urine that looks cola-colored, red or bright pink
- Pelvic pain in women (rectal pain in men)
- Strong-smelling urine
See your doctor if you develop any of the symptoms of UTI.
9. A Hernia
An abdominal hernia occurs when tissue or an organ, such as part of your intestine, protrudes through a weakening spot in the abdominal muscle walls. The bulge can result in pain, especially when you bend over, cough or lift.
A hernia normally does not hurt. You will just see the bulge on some part of your body when you make a certain movement but you will not even feel it. There are some people who have tried to press the bulge and the bulge falls back into place. Other signs and symptoms of a hernia include:
- Discomfort or pain in the groin area, especially when coughing, lifting or bending over
- A bulge on either side of the pubic bone
- Pressure or weakness in your groin
- Swelling or pain in the testicles
The pain caused by a hernia can affect the quality of life. It is important to see your doctor immediately to repair the tissue.
Gallstones are hardened deposits that form in the gallbladder. It can be small like a grain of sand or large like a golf ball. People who experience the symptoms of gallstone usually require surgery. Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain between shoulder blades
- Intensifying pain in the upper part of the abdomen
- Pain in the center of the abdomen
If you experience any symptoms that worry you, call your doctor immediately, especially if you have a high fever with chills, yellow sclera (white of the eye), and intense abdominal pain.
11. Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hard deposits that form inside the kidneys. This condition occurs when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing salts and minerals to crystallize and form together.
It is recommended to drink plenty of water to pass kidney stones. Your doctor may recommend pain medication. Other symptoms of kidney stones include:
- Pain that radiates to the groin and lower abdomen
- Extreme back pain and sides, below your ribs
- Persistent and painful urination
- Foul-smelling urine
- Cloudy, brown, pink or red urine
See your doctor if you experience severe pain, blood in your urine, fever, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty passing urine.
12. Stomach Ulcers
Also known as gastric ulcers, stomach ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the stomach. This condition occurs when the mucus that protects the stomach from digestive acids is decreased.
This lets the digestive juices to damage the stomach lining. Stomach ulcers can be treated easily, but this condition can get worse without proper treatment. Some signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain or burning sensation in the abdomen, between your belly button and chest
- Intense pain when the stomach is empty
- Unintended weight loss
- Nausea, vomiting, bloating
- Vomit that looks bloody or coffee grounds
- Acid reflux or burping
- Dark stools
If you develop any symptoms mentioned, talk to your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix and causes pain in the lower right abdomen. In some people, the pain starts around the belly button area and moves to the lower-right side of the abdomen.
You may feel a sharp pain if the pain moves to the lower part of your abdomen. Appendicitis pain is so severe that you may wake up when you are sleeping. Some people may also feel the pain in a different area of your abdomen.
The pain or discomfort worsens if you walk, cough, sneeze or perform other physical activities. This condition may also cause diarrhea or constipation, chills, abdominal bloating, loss of appetite, and low-grade fever.
If you suspect that you have appendicitis, make an appointment with your doctor right away as immediate medical attention is required.
Another possible cause of belly button pain is pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas aids digestion and the regulation of blood sugar.
Pancreatitis occurs when the digestive enzymes are activated while still in the pancreas, damaging the cells of this organ and result in inflammation.
Usually caused by excessive alcohol consumption, some symptoms of pancreatitis include:
- Upper abdominal pain that may radiate to your back
- Pain that feels worse after meals
- Nausea, vomiting
- Rapid pulse, fever
- Tenderness when touching the abdominal area
The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis may include weight loss and smelly, oily stools. Seek immediate medical help if you have persistent abdominal pain.
15. Chron’s Disease
Chron’s disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract. This condition results in severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Chron’s disease can affect different areas of your digestive tract, and the pain can be disabling. When active, some signs and symptoms may include:
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- Diarrhea, fatigue
- Fever for more than two days
- Blood in stool
- Reduced appetite
- Mouth sores
- Weight loss
- Drainage or pain in the anus
If you have any of the symptoms of Chron’s disease, see your doctor for a clear diagnosis and treatment.
Crohn’s disease is one of the ailments in the small intestine. Other common disorders in the small intestine include internal bleeding, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and intestinal cancer. All these conditions can cause pain around the belly button.
Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Belly Button Pain
1. Soap Cleansing
Cleaning your navel with mild soap thoroughly may be the most essential measure no matter which remedy you choose.
The mild soap has an antibacterial that can help prevent bacteria growth. Repeating this procedure several times a day can effectively get rid of the skin infection.
Make sure to dry your belly button after cleansing. You can also apply an antimicrobial ointment to get positive results. Try to choose a water-based cream to avoid clogging pores.
2. Warm Compress
Warm compress is a fast solution to soothe the sharp pain around the belly button. Although this remedy won’t help you remove the infection, it can help relieve the intense pain
To use this remedy, you just need to dip a washcloth in warm water and wring it. Apply the washcloth on the belly button for 10 to 15 minutes. If the temperature of the cloth is low, you can heat it with warm water repeatedly. In addition, A warm shower can also help relieve the discomfort.
Turmeric has antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that have been used to treat many infections. It can help reduce the inflammation, itching, and pain around the belly button.
You can mix turmeric powder and clean water to get a turmeric paste. Apply the paste on your navel. Leave it on for about 10-20 minutes to let the substance dries and wash off. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day.
You can also mix hot milk, raw honey, and turmeric powder to have a drink. This can help boost your immune system.
4. Salty Water
This is a simple, cheap but significant remedy for a belly button infection. Warm salt water can help reduce the pain and itching and inflammation.
You just need to add a teaspoon of salt into the warm water and apply it to your infected area with a cotton ball. The heat can help improve the blood flow, while the salt can dry your skin and inhibits the infection. Repeat this process 1-2 times a day until the infection is cured. You can also apply an antimicrobial cream to increase the effect.
5. White Vinegar
White vinegar is another effective remedy for belly button inflammation. It contains 4-7% of acetic acid that can help kills the fungus and get rid of the pus from the infection.
To use this remedy, you can mix white vinegar with water in the proportions 1:2. Then soak a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it to your affected area. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse with warm water. Make sure to dry the skin thoroughly and apply an antimicrobial cream. You can do this 2-3 times a day.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the most common remedies for skin problems including the belly button infection. The Aloe Vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce itching, inflammation, and pain.
You only need to cut a piece of aloe vera leaves to get the fresh gel. Apply the gel over your belly button and wait for about 10- 15 minutes to let it dry. The soothing effect of aloe vera can help you get rid of navel pain effectively.
Then rinse with cold water and dry the skin. You can do this 2-3 times a day for quick results.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Organic tea tree oil is one of the best natural remedies for a lot of skin problems. This essential oil comes from a native Australian tree. It has antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help fight against bacteria, fungi, and yeast. This can help reduce the itching, redness, and pain of the affected area.
To use this remedy, you need to mix 3-4 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil. Make sure to dilute it before using as tea tree oil is so strong that it may damage your skin.
Then apply the oil to your skin with a cotton ball and leave it on for 10- 20 minutes. Wipe off with a cotton ball or clean cloth. Repeat this process at least twice a day for quick recovery.
8. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a fast way to clean your belly button. It has antiseptic properties that can help get rid of the irritation, itching, pain and prevent fungal infection.
To use Rubbing alcohol, you just need to soak a cotton ball in the alcohol and apply it to the affected area. Alcohol does not harm the skin, you don’t even need to wash it off. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day to get positive results.
When to See Your Doctor
- Stabbing pain in the belly button
- Pain for an extended period
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, pain that radiates to arm, neck or jaw
- Pain that wakes you up or stops you in your tasks
- Symptoms of dehydration (very dark urine)
- Vomiting uncontrollably
- Blood in stools
- Sharp belly button pain in early pregnancy
If any of these symptoms apply to you, see your doctor right away.