Pain in and around the belly button or the navel is quiet discomforting and sometimes worrisome. The pain in umbilicus can be short lived or may be constant depending on the underlying cause. Navel pain can be described by people in many ways. Some may feel it as sharp shooting pain; other person may feel burning and constant pain. Some people may feel pain when they move in certain position such for example when bending or while coughing and sneezing.
Causes of Belly Button Pain
Belly button pain can occur due to many reasons. Some of the causes may not be too significant while few others can be serious. Let us know few regular and not so serious reasons for umbilical pain first:
- Indigestion: It is a frequent cause for pain in and around your navel.
- Constipation: Constipation is a common complaint among many people. It can cause pain in the umbilical area and lower abdomen.
- Pregnancy: Belly button pain is discomforting for many pregnant women. It usually occurs in a woman having umbilical hernia. Umbilical hernia appears as a large bulge in the navel. It gets exaggerated while coughing and physical exertion. There may be swelling and redness around the belly button along with bulge. This condition is often very painful, especially when the hernia is strangulated.
- Skin infection in and around the belly button can also produce pain and itching.
- Gastroenteritis: Bacterial or viral infection in the intestine can cause several symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloating and cramps in abdomen, particularly in the umbilical region.
Other Causes of Belly Button Pain from Inside
- Appendicitis: Inflammation and infection of appendix can be life threatening sometimes. It usually causes sudden pain in right lower abdomen. The pain of appendicitis is excruciating. It is accompanied with vomiting and fever. In some patients the pain may be felt in and around umbilicus.
- Acute pancreatitis: Pancreas is an important gland that produces insulin and vital enzymes meant for digestion of food. Pancreatitis is a serious disease in which the gland becomes swollen. Pain in belly button is one of the prominent symptoms of pancreatitis.
- Crohn’s disease: It is a disorder of small intestine which causes pain in belly button. Sometimes the pain is intense and constant.
- Urinary tract infection: Infection in urinary bladder or kidney stone can produce referred pain in umbilical area.
- Umbilical hernia: Umbilical hernia is a bulge in the region of umbilicus. It occurs due to projection of abdominal content in the umbilicus because of weak abdominal tissues and muscles. Increased pressure in the abdomen can increase the bulge in the area.
Treatment and Home Remedies
Treatment of belly button pain will depend on the underlying cause. Some causes are normal and the condition does not require any specific treatment, simple home remedies can cure this condition. However, in few serious conditions patient requires to be treated vigorously. For example:
- Patient may need surgical repair in case of large painful umbilical hernia.
- Appendicitis is an emergency. Surgical removal of appendix will relieve pain as well as prevent other complications.
- Gastroenteritis caused by bacterial infection needs to be treated with antibiotics and enough oral or intravenous fluids besides other medications. Antispasmodic medicines will help to alleviate pain in abdomen including in umbilical area.
Certain home remedies are well tested to give relief in umbilical pain:
- Cold compresses are helpful in allaying pain in the navel region. It is useful in many conditions such as a mild umbilical hernia, gastroenteritis, appendicitis. However, appendicitis needs other medications other than cold compression.
- Clean the outside area of umbilicus with mild soap water if there is itching and bacterial infection in the skin around the umbilicus. You can also clean the area with anti-septic solution.
- Take small amount of alcohol and dip a cotton ball in it. Clean the area with alcohol and let it dry if there is infection in the outer skin of umbilicus. Alcohol is good local antiseptic agent.
- Apply aloe vera gel on navel area. Aloe has anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties that will help to reduce inflammation and subsequent pain.
- Soak a clean piece of cloth in salt water solution. Place the cloth on umbilical area. Salt has anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It will help to reduce the sore area.