Belly Button Pain (Umbilical Pain): What Causes Pain in Belly Button

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Belly Button PainDo you ever have a dull achy sensation right at the spot of your belly button? Pain or a feeling of discomfort in this area is known as umbilical pain, commonly called belly button pain. It can be alarming, as it may have an unusual feeling, but this condition does not cause any serious issues to interrupt your daily activities. Let’s take a closer look at this strange pain in the belly button.

While the pain at the belly button location itself poses no cause for concern, it may be an indicator of a serious underlying health condition. The pain is usually not a major concern but more of a nuisance as it does not dissipate while at rest. It may cause a problem or increased pain when wearing tight clothes around the belly.

What Is Umbilicus or Belly Button Pain?   

With our belly button being the location where our umbilical cord was once attached in our mother’s womb, we can easily answer what umbilicus is. Also known as the belly button, the umbilicus is the first source of nourishment we get. Upon birth, the umbilical cord is cut to separate us from our birth mother, which results in a scar. This scar is called a navel or belly button.

The Causes of Belly Button Pain (Umbilical Pain)

To understand what causes pain around the belly button region, we will look at both the external and internal factors.

1. Surgery

Any surgery that directly or indirectly affects the stomach region may cause pain around the umbilicus. This pain is a common occurrence and may present as a strange sensation as well.

2. Pregnancy

Being pregnant is one of the main causes of belly button pain. It is one of the sensations felt during pregnancy, and it can be a dull ache, a slight twinging of pain, or a more moderate pain.

Pregnant women experiencing a pain sensation that is tolerable is normal, but if the pain is more severe in nature, you should seek medical attention. Excruciating pain may signal the fetus is in distress.

3. Ulcer

An ulcer refers to a condition of the lining of the stomach having irritation, tearing, or erosion caused by stomach acid. Some ulcer cases lead to internal bleeding, which is what causes pain around the belly button. The ulcer itself can become worse with ingestion of certain foods and beverages.

4. Gallstones

One of the causes of pain around the umbilicus is the presence of gallstones. Most cases are discovered once the sufferer experiences severe pain near the belly button is.

Pain may be felt near the upper abdominal area before it radiates to the lower abdomen. Gallstones can also present other symptoms.

5. Hernia

Since a hernia is the result of torn abdominal tissue, it is one of the major causes of pain around the umbilicus. The pain is usually moderate to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms. One of the major signs is having pain while bending over, as well as other movements involving the abdomen.

6. Cystitis

Pain around the belly button is a common symptom of a urinary tract infection known as cystitis. It may also present as a dull ache. This form of the infection progresses quickly and can easily spread to other parts of the body.

This condition requires immediate treatment to prevent further spreading. Not all urinary tract infections lead to cystitis.

7. Bacterial Infections

Any form of a bacterial infection can present pain around belly button when pressed. This is evident with infections directly targeting the gut as it causes tenderness and soreness in the affected region.

8. Pancreatic Problems

Belly button pain and discomfort are only a couple of symptoms on the checklist of pancreatic problems. Many symptoms have similar signs as diabetes and other serious health conditions. We depend on our pancreas to stabilize sugar levels for energy.

9. Small Intestine Disorder

Since the small intestine lays under the abdomen, any infections or issues can cause pain to be present in the abdominal area. Mild to severe pain can be experienced immediately.

10. Appendicitis

An inflamed appendix is a condition referred to as appendicitis. A dull stomach ache can signal the problem and progressively becomes worse as you move. Appendicitis is a serious condition as it can have fatal consequences if not treated.

Belly button pain can be referred to as umbilical pain as it occurs at the source of where the umbilical cord was once located. A dull ache or pain ranging from mild to severe can be a symptom of a serious health condition or just a small nuisance that will resolve on its own with time.

Some cases of belly button pain or discomfort may lead to fatal consequences, so you should monitor the situation closely. Be sure to contact your doctor if you are experiencing severe or chronic belly button pain.

Kerkar, P. “Belly Button Pain or Umbilical Pain: What Causes Pain Around Belly Button?” ePain Assist, May 11, 2017;, last accessed May 15, 2017.
“10 Minor Causes Of Belly Button Pain You Should Know,” Natural Remedy Ideas;, last accessed May 15, 2017.