When you experience pain in your body, it’s usually a sign that something isn’t right and when you experience belly button, pain this is definitely the case. Although it might be something relatively minor and therefor nothing to worry about, pain in the belly button is usually a sign that something else is going wrong, another underlying medical cause.
The Minor Causes of Belly Button Pain
Fungal / Bacterial Infection
If you have redness, soreness, irritation or scaly skin with your belly button pain, and you’ve noticed pus or other discharge, you may require an over the counter topical treatment for a fungal or bacterial infection.
Washing the area with warm water and antibacterial soap or sea salt can help to alleviate symptoms. It is not wise to use antibacterial cream as the warm, moist conditions can cause bacteria and other bugs to flourish.
Urine & Kidney Infections
If your belly button pain comes with a pain during urination or even difficulty passing urine, it could be a sign that you have cystitis, or a urinary tract infection, and it has spread or is spreading to your kidneys.
A course of antibiotics will often make a UTI (urinary tract infection) go away but if left undiagnosed and treated, could lead to kidney infections which are more serious and can be very painful and deadly in rare and serious cases.
If you also have cloudy urine, burning urine, a fever, aches and pains, and other symptoms closely related to flu, visit your doctor. You may require antibiotics to cure the infection.
An infection of the gut or an ‘upset stomach’ can also leave you with belly button pain although it is more ‘inside’ than ‘outside’ the gut. When the bacteria multiply, it can cause the gut to bloat and swell, and the inflammation and irritation will increase this. This is what can often cause pain around the belly button and abdomen area in general.
If you experience nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea or flu-like symptoms along with your belly button pain, it is wise to stay relaxed, get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of fluids and if symptoms continue for more than two or three days, seek medical advice.
Overeating can also lead to similar symptoms, as can food poisoning. Trapped wind or excess gas can also cause belly button pain, swelling and abdominal tenderness. Digestion relief medication can be bought over the counter but if you are experiencing symptoms on a regular basis, seek medical advice.
Occasionally you may find that belly button pain and abdominal tenderness comes as a result of taking medication to treat another stomach condition. If you are experiencing pain soon after taking medication, or the pain seems to have come on as a result of taking new medication, seek medical advice.
If you are pregnant, belly button pain will be quite common and will be as a direct result of your body, skin, muscles and other tissues, growing and moving to accommodate the new life. If the pain is not considered to be overwhelming or overbearing, pain relief can be taken or a hot bath can be used to alleviate the pain.
Should the pain become more persistent or the pain becomes more severe, seek medical advice.
When part of your abdomen is forced out of position, a hernia can happen and this is a common cause of belly button pain. The bowels, bladder or intestines can be pushed through the abdominal wall causing a lump, severe pain and tenderness and you are likely to experience a number of other symptoms as the problem is left untreated.
The pain will get worse with movement and strenuous physical activity will be almost impossible and you may also experience a very heavy sensation in your abdomen, scrotum pain, difficult and pain during urination and when passing bowel movements.
If you think you have a hernia, you should seek medical attention.
The Serious Causes of Belly Button Pain
There are times when belly button isn’t just something that will go away with a couple of digestion tablets or a course of antibiotics. There are some serious causes of belly button that require more urgent and serious medical attention.
If you are finding that you continually have problems with your digestive system, it could be a symptom of a number of other bowel complaints. Crohn’s disease is a very serious, long-term condition that results in irritation and inflammation of the stomach, intestines and bowels, causing diarrhoea, constipation, stomach gurgling, cause and vomiting, loss of appetite, rectal bleeding, ulcers in the mouth, exhaustion and more.
Diagnosing Crohn’s disease is often long and complicated as symptoms are very similar to a number of other conditions. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis and even bowel disease can all bring with them similar symptoms.
If you notice any long term problems with your bowel movements or digestive system, seek medical advice. With the right diagnosis, you will find medication and dietary or lifestyle changes that can reduce a large number of the symptoms.
Abnormalities in the digestive system can also lead to belly button pain such as kinks in the intestines, infections within the intestines and other intestinal disorders. Associated symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting and severe pain and will require medical attention.
If you have headaches with pain, nausea and belly button pain, it could be a sign that you have a problem with your pancreas. The pain will normally come and go at varying intervals throughout the day, and will often come with a number of symptoms similar to diabetes. If you have diabetes and start to experience belly button pain with these accompanying symptoms, the root cause could be a pancreas problem.
When the lining of your stomach is eroded away, usually because of excess acid, a stomach ulcer can occur and this can cause severe pain especially in the belly button region. The internal bleeding can cause very severe damage and is something that require urgent medical attention as well as medication to bring down the acid levels in your gut.
Although urgent medical attention will be required should the ulcer burst, dietary and lifestyle changes can stop the ulcer from coming back in the future.
Another very common reason why you would be experiencing belly button pain, appendicitis or appendix inflammation, will feel very much like constipation at first but over time will develop into very painful symptoms, the exact location of which will be very difficult to point out. You will get a number of other symptoms of appendicitis is the culprit including fever and chills, body and muscle aches, headaches, severe abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting and nausea, appetite loss and more. You will require urgent medical attention as the appendix itself swells, and if it bursts, the situation becomes potentially life threatening.
When to Seek Medical Attention for Belly Button Pain
If the pain is liveable and pain killers can dull the tenderness, you do not need to seek medical attention in order to solve belly button pain. However, if the pain persists for longer than three or four days or worsens in severity, or you gain extra symptoms along the way, you should seek medical advice as you may require medical or further treatment before it gets better.