The abdominal region includes the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, spleen, small intestine and the large intestine. Pain that one may be experiencing around the belly button might actually be emanating from any of these organs. Thus, undergoing a medical examination becomes very important to identify the underlying cause of pain around the belly button.
Blood tests and other imaging procedures such as an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan can provide valuable information that may help in diagnosing the cause of pain behind or around the belly button. Here are some of the medical conditions that could give rise to navel pain.
Appendicitis: Appendix is a four-inch long tube that is located at the junction of the small intestine and the large intestine in the lower-right section of the abdomen. Appendicitis, which refers to the inflammation of the appendix, could give rise to pain below the navel. Any delay in the treatment of appendicitis might give rise to a medical emergency. If you have been experiencing nausea, loss of appetite or abdominal swelling and pain that starts from the belly button and moves on to the lower right section of the abdomen, then you need to get yourself checked soon. If left untreated, the appendix may burst giving rise to an infection. If left untreated, a ruptured appendix could even lead to death.
Inflammation of the Bladder: Cystitis, which refers to the inflammation of the bladder, is most likely to cause pain in the pelvic area. Women are more prone to cystitis than men. Those affected by cystitis might experience pain around the navel. Other symptoms that may accompany pain include burning sensation while urinating, strong urge to urinate, a feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen, slight fever or blood in urine. If left untreated, this might cause an infection in the kidneys. Those of you who have been experiencing such symptoms must immediately consult an urologist.
Abdominal Hernia: Hernia occurs when a part of any of the organs located in the abdominal cavity protrude from a weak spot in the abdominal wall. A person suffering from lower abdominal hernia experiences sharp pain in the abdomen. It could be caused due to obesity, heavy lifting, chronic cough, persistent sneezing, straining during a bowel movement or urination, pregnancy, chronic lung disease or fluid in the abdominal cavity. A person afflicted with this condition experiences pain in and around the groin area and consequently feels pain under the navel. Doctors might suggest surgical or non-surgical methods for treating this condition.
Peptic Ulcers: Bad dietary habits, excessive smoking and drinking could give rise to ulcers. Infection caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori could also cause ulcers. If you have been suffering from pain below the navel along with symptoms such as nausea, bloating, burping, loss of appetite, pain in the entire abdomen, weight loss or bloody stools, you need to seek medical assistance soon. Besides taking the prescribed drugs, making certain changes in one's lifestyle might help in treating ulcers and getting rid of pain.
Gallbladder Disease: Pain under the navel can also be linked to gallbladder infections or diseases. Gallbladder disease is caused due to the obstruction in the passage of bile out of the gallbladder. Gallbladder stones could also lead to pain in the abdomen. Besides pain, other symptoms of gallbladder disease include a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, nausea, heartburn, fever and vomiting. In case you are suffering from this problem, you could switch over to a gallbladder disease diet. Surgery might be an option too.
Chronic Constipation: Poor dietary habits often give rise to indigestion and constipation. Though most of us would have suffered from constipation at some time in our lives, chronic constipation is definitely a serious problem. Constipation is characterized by slow movement of stool or wastes through the large intestine. The waste products dry up and harden, thereby leading to incomplete and difficult evacuation of the bowel. As the digestive process is adversely affected, one may have to strain during bowel movements. The symptoms of constipation include infrequent bowel movement, abdominal pain, bloating or pain in the rectum. Retention of wastes in the intestine can lead to accumulation of toxins and excessive buildup of intestinal gas. This would cause abdominal discomfort and pain.
The treatment will depend on the underlying medical condition that may be causing pain around the belly button. Sometimes, pain could even be related to a sore belly button that could be caused by a belly button piercing infection. Consult a doctor if you see redness, swelling or accumulation of pus around the piercing. Under such circumstances, antibiotics may be prescribed for treating bacterial infections. If pain is not resulting from a superficial skin infection around the navel, it would be best to undergo blood tests and imaging tests so as to locate the internal organ that may be inflamed or affected by a disease. Once doctors are able to pinpoint the disease, they may prescribe certain drugs. When conservative treatment options may not help, surgery may be recommended. For instance, surgery may be performed in case of a ruptured appendix. Those who suffer from severe pain during gallbladder attacks may have to undergo gallbladder surgery for gallbladder removal. It is equally essential to improve dietary habits so as to prevent constipation or indigestion. Following a high-fiber diet will certainly help. One must also stay well-hydrated at all times. It would be in one's best interest to quit smoking and cut down on one's intake of alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
If you have been suffering from recurring bouts of pain around the navel, consult a doctor soon. Once the cause of pain is ascertained, doctors can recommend the most suitable treatment option for alleviating pain. A timely diagnosis and treatment would pave the way for a speedy recovery.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.