Pain Behind Belly Button – Top 8 Causes

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you’re having pain behind the belly button, then it’s time to investigate.

Finding the root cause can be tricky since there are many important organs in this area. In this article, we’ll show you the most common possibilities.

#1: Stomach Ulcers

pain behind belly button

A stomach ulcer is an open sore that develops in the lining of the stomach. It can also form in the small intestine and is usually caused by the H. pylori bacteria.

Various factors can increase your risk including smoking, use of steroids, or being over 50 years old. Stomach ulcers can cause pain near the belly button, and can affect people differently.

Things like reducing your intake of NSAIDs and limiting alcohol consumption should help them go away faster.

Bottom Line: Stomach ulcers are open sores in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. They can be quite painful.

#2: Hernia

person with herniaWhen part of your intestine breaches the cavity from which it’s in, it’s called a hernia. Hernias can be very painful or cause no pain at all.

It mainly depends on where it’s located. If you have a hernia in the stomach area, then it can cause pain close to the belly button.

All hernias should be checked by a doctor to ensure they’re not blocking the passage of food. If they are, you may need surgery to correct the hernia.

Bottom Line: A hernia happens whenever the intestine breaks through the cavity from which it sits. In some cases, it can cause pain.

#3: Overeating

person overeatingA relatively common cause for your symptom is overeating. When you eat more than your stomach can hold, it can lead to pain.

It causes bloating, which puts pressure on the walls of the stomach (leading to belly button pain). As a side note, overeating also puts you at a higher risk for developing GERD, or gastrointestinal reflux disease.

This is when stomach acid goes up the esophagus into the throat and mouth, which can sometimes alter your sense of taste.

Bottom Line: Overeating can lead to bloating excess pressure on the stomach, leading to pain.

#4: Pregnancy

pregnant womanIf you’re a woman who’s pregnant, then it’s relatively common to feel discomfort around the belly button area. The discomfort can range in intensity and timespan.

As a rule, if the pain is incapacitating, and it isn’t going away, go to a hospital. There could be an underlying problem that needs medical attention. When you’re pregnant, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Bottom Line: If you’re pregnant, then discomfort in the stomach area is a relatively common symptom.

#5: UTIs

UTI woman in bedUrinary tract infections can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including bladder pressure, burning when peeing, and pain around the belly button.

More severe cases can result in fever, chills, bloody urine, and shakiness. If you think you have a UTI, it’s recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible.

The faster you get on antibiotics, the better. While UTIs can go away on their own, you can speed up healing by taking the right medications.

Bottom Line: UTIs, or urinary tract infections, are caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract.

#6: Certain Medications

medicationsNot everyone will react to medications the same way. A medication that works great for someone else might give you unpleasant symptoms (including belly button pain).

Ask yourself: are you currently on any medications? If so, talk to your doctor about your symptom.

It’s possible that it’s due to the medications you’re taking. Note, you should never stop taking important medications without approval from your doctor first.

Bottom Line: Certain medications can give you adverse side effects. Never stop taking medications without talking to your doctor first.

#7: Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease is a disease that affects the digestive tract. Specifically, it leads to inflammation in the walls of the intestine.

In certain people, this can manifest itself as belly button discomfort. Additional symptoms including diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, and more.

While there’s no cure for the disease, there are various lifestyle changes you can make to lessen the symptoms. This includes eating a more plant-based diet and getting more exercise.

Bottom Line: Pain behind the belly button can be due to Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory condition that affects the digestive tract.

#8: Gallbladder Disease

gallbladder anatomyThe final cause we’re going to talk about is gallbladder disease. The gallbladder is a small organ tucked beneath the liver.

It secretes bile which helps break down fats. If it gets infected, it can be quite painful. If the infection becomes too severe, you may need to get surgery.

Other symptoms to look for include heartburn, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and chills.

Bottom Line: The gallbladder secretes bile, which helps break down fats. If it gets infected, it can be very painful.

Additional Causes

Let’s talk about a few other less common causes for your symptom. The first is problems relating to the pancreas. If you suffer from pancreatic disease, then this could be a cause.

Note, this also causes other symptoms like headaches, fever, and nausea. Another possibility is appendicitis, which requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of appendicitis include constipation, a low-grade fever, swelling in the abdominal area, and loss of appetite. Pain in the naval area is also a common symptom.

Bottom Line: Appendicitis and pancreatic disease are two less common causes for naval pain.

Pain Behind Belly Button – When to See a Doctor

How long should you wait to see a doctor? Generally, if the pain is unbearably intense, and is getting worse, go to a hospital.

If it’s mild but chronic (lasting more than 2-3 day) then you should also see a doctor.

There are so many potential causes to this symptom that it’s impossible to say what it is for sure without getting a full evaluation.

Ask a Question: If you want to ask a medical doctor a question that hasn't been answered in one of our articles go to: Ask a Medical Doctor About your Symptoms

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