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Belly button ulcer: Causes, During Pregnancy, and Treatment

Causes, During Pregnancy, and Treatment

Belly button pain can be sharp, mild, constant, or come and go. You may feel pain only near your belly button or pain that radiates to other parts of the body. It’s not a condition on its own, but it can help point to the underlying problem.

Sometimes the pain can be treated quickly, and other times it may require medications or even surgery. The type of pain you feel can help you and your doctor figure out the cause.

Some people experience sharp belly button pain, while others may feel bloating or pulling. If you see a doctor, be sure to pay attention to the specific type of pain and any accompanying symptoms. Doing so can help your doctor figure out the cause and the subsequent treatment.

Certain symptoms along with belly button pain may indicate a medical emergency, including:

  • vomiting with blood
  • constant pain for more than four hours
  • chest pain on exertion
  • shortness of breath, along with chest pain that radiates to the jaw, arm, or neck
  • blood in the stool

If you feel a sharp pain near your belly button that gets worse when you stretch or cough, you might have a hernia. A bulge near the belly button is the most common symptom. You may also experience pain in the area near your groin.

Hernias are caused by increased pressure near the belly button, and part of the intestine or fatty tissue then bulges out. Hernias should be treated surgically.

If you have vomiting along with the sharp pain, seek immediate treatment, as the hernia is probably strangulated. Factors that make you more prone to getting hernias are:

  • weak abdominal walls
  • lifting heavy weights
  • gaining weight quickly
  • chronic coughing

Learn the signs and symptoms for the different types of hernias.

A hernia can also cause a belly button to be sensitive to touch, but Crohn’s disease can cause this symptom as well.

Crohn’s disease usually comes on slowly, and symptoms include:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • feeling as though you need to have frequent bowel movements

This inflammatory bowel disease can affect the small intestine, which is what causes pain near the belly button. It can also cause pain in other areas of the stomach.

Make an appointment with your doctor if your symptoms persist or worsen, as this can point to Crohn’s disease. Other, more severe symptoms, include a perianal fistula, an ulcer, or joint inflammation. Find out more about Crohn’s disease.

There are a few possible causes of bloating with belly button pain. The most common, and least severe, is indigestion. With indigestion, you may also experience:

  • a feeling of fullness before finishing a meal
  • discomfort after a meal
  • pain not just near your belly button, but also just below your breastbone
  • nausea

See a doctor if your symptoms last longer than two weeks. Contact your doctor right away if your pain is accompanied by:

  • black, tarry stools
  • vomiting blood
  • frequent vomiting
  • loss of appetite or weight loss
  • trouble swallowing
  • unexplained fatigue

Indigestion happens to almost everyone, find out what causes it and some solutions.

Bloating with belly button pain can also be caused by appendicitis. This condition occurs when the appendix becomes infected and then inflamed.

The appendix is part of the large intestine, which is why the pain is near the belly button. Other symptoms of appendicitis include fever and an upset stomach. The pain also usually moves from the belly button to the lower right side of your abdomen, and you may also experience back pain.

Pain due to appendicitis usually feels different from normal belly pain. Appendicitis can be distinguished from other reasons for pain near the belly button because the pain usually either starts or migrates to the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.

If it doesn’t go away after four hours, call your doctor, and if it’s severe, seek treatment right away. Is it appendicitis? Learn what to look for.

Bloating and pain near the belly button can also be indicative of an ulcer. The most common causes of ulcers are infections and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen over a long period of time.

If you have an ulcer, you may experience:

  • a dull pain near your belly button
  • nausea and vomiting
  • weight loss
  • bloating
  • acid reflux or burping
  • heartburn
  • feeling full or not wanting to eat due to pain
  • dark and tarry stools
  • pain that gets better when you eat, drink, or take an antacid

Even though your pain may be mild, contact your doctor if you have several of the symptoms listed above. Find out what you can do about stomach ulcers.

Pregnancy can cause pain near the belly button due to round ligament pain. You might feel sharp pain on just one side or both, and it may be near your belly button or in your hip area.

You’re most likely to experience round ligament pain during the second trimester. The round ligament connects the front of the uterus with the groin, and it stretches during pregnancy in order to support the uterus.

Certain movement can cause the ligaments to contract quickly, such as standing quickly, coughing, and laughing. The quick contractions of these ligaments may result in pain, but the pain only lasts for a few seconds. It’s normal to experience round ligament pain during pregnancy.

Contact your doctor if your pain lasts for more than a few seconds. Your doctor may also suggest stretches if you experience the pain frequently. Learn more about round ligament pain.

The treatment for your belly button pain will depend on its cause. Some causes are relatively normal and pass on their own, and others require treatment from a doctor. In some cases, you’ll need emergency care.

To treat a hernia

Your doctor will treat a hernia with either open hernia repair or laparoscopic repair. Nonsurgical treatments aren’t recommended, as the condition can worsen.

To treat Crohn’s disease

This disease requires lifelong treatment, which may include medications, surgery, stress management, nutritional counseling, and dietary supplements.

To treat indigestion

It’s important to determine the cause of your indigestion in order to find the right treatment. You may discover that you’re lactose intolerant, have celiac disease, or have trouble digesting other types of foods.

Work with your doctor to determine your cause of indigestion for the best treatment approach.

To treat appendicitis

This condition is treated with surgery, called an appendectomy. Your doctor may either remove the appendix through an incision site or use a laparoscopic treatment, which requires only small incisions.

To treat an ulcer

Most ulcers are treated with prescriptions, though sometimes surgery is needed. The most common nonsurgical treatments are antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). You may also need antibiotics, follow-up endoscopies, and h3 receptor blockers.

To treat round ligament pain

This condition is usually treated with daily stretches and rest. Change positions slowly, and flex and bend your hips if you know you’re going to sneeze, laugh, or cough.

Determining the cause of your belly button pain can help you find the appropriate treatment. Pain may start at your belly button, then move to another area of your stomach. Be sure to keep track of all your symptoms to help your doctor find the cause and treat it quickly.

Depending on the cause, your treatment may get rid of the pain entirely, or you may have to incorporate lifestyle changes.

Pain Around Belly Button | 10 Belly Button Pain Causes & More

Viral (rotavirus) infection

Rotavirus infection is a contagious gastrointestinal virus that most often affects babies, toddlers, and young children. It causes severe watery diarrhea, sometimes with vomiting and fever.

Adults may also be infected, though usually with milder symptoms.

Rotavirus spreads very quickly when any trace of stool from an infected child contaminates food or drink, or gets onto any surface. If another child consumes the food or drink, or touches the surface and then their mouth, the child will become infected.

Rotavirus in children is a medical emergency because dehydration can set in very quickly. A child can die if not treated immediately. Take the child to an emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Treatment consists of IV fluids and supportive care, usually in a hospital. Antibiotics will not help rotavirus because they only work against bacteria.

The best way prevention is frequent and thorough handwashing, as well as washing toys and surfaces when possible. There is now a vaccine that will either prevent rotavirus infection or greatly lessen the symptoms if the child still gets the virus.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache

Symptoms that always occur with viral (rotavirus) infection: diarrhea, vomiting or nausea

Symptoms that never occur with viral (rotavirus) infection: constipation, tarry stool

Urgency: Self-treatment

Viral (norovirus) infection

Norovirus infection is caused by the highly contagious Norwalk virus. It spreads when any trace of stool or vomit from an infected person contaminates food or drink, or gets onto any surface. Anyone who consumes the food or drink, or touches the surface and then their mouth, will become infected.

Norovirus brings on severe gastrointestinal upset which is very unpleasant but rarely dangerous. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, and body aches for one to three days. The greatest risk is dehydration due to the severity of the symptoms.

Because norovirus is, indeed, a virus, antibiotics will not help. The best treatment is good supportive care, which means providing plenty of fluids along with mild pain relievers until the patient recovers. Do not give aspirin to children.

If the dehydration does not improve quickly, medical help should be sought. Doctors can provide IV fluids through recovery.

The best prevention is frequent and thorough handwashing, as well as washing all fruits and vegetables. All foods must be properly cooked, especially shellfish.

Stomach ulcer

A peptic ulcer or gastric ulcer is an open sore that forms when inflammation occurs in the stomach lining.

This stomach inflammation is caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and by prolonged use of pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Chronic inflammation allows acid to damage the stomach lining and an ulcer may form.

Smoking, drinking alcohol, stress, and spicy foods may aggravate ulcers, but do not cause them.

Symptoms include burning pain in the stomach; heartburn; nausea; and bloating.

The pain may be worse between meals or at night. Antacids will only work for a short time. There may be dark red blood in the vomit or stools.

Left untreated, ulcers may bleed and cause anemia. They may perforate the stomach and cause peritonitis (serious infection of the abdominal cavity.)

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and by testing breath and stool for H. pylori. Endoscopy is sometimes used.

Treatment involves a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria, and medication to block excess acid and heal the stomach.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, moderate abdominal pain, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Symptoms that never occur with stomach ulcer: pain in the lower left abdomen

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Normal abdominal pain

The complaint of abdominal pain and discomfort, with no apparent cause, is one of the most common in medicine. It is a primary reason for patients to visit a medical provider or the emergency room.

The cause of abdominal pain can be difficult to find, because it can just be a completely normal abdominal pain or come from many different sources: the digestive tract, the urinary tract, the pancreas, the gall bladder, or the gynecologic organs.

The pain may simply be caused by overly sensitive nerves in the gut. This hypersensitivity can occur after repeated abdominal injury and/or it may have an emotional cause due to fear of the pain itself.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, patient history, and simply ruling out any other condition. CT scan is often requested, but can rarely find a specific cause. The benefits must be weighed against the risks of radiation.

Treatment first involves making any needed lifestyle improvements regarding diet, exercise, work, and sleep, in order to reduce stress. In some cases, counseling, hypnosis, mild pain relievers, and antidepressants are helpful.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), vaginal discharge, fever, nausea

Symptoms that always occur with normal abdominal pain: abdominal pain (stomach ache)

Symptoms that never occur with normal abdominal pain: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, severe abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss, vaginal discharge, rectal bleeding

Urgency: Self-treatment

Intestinal inflammation (diverticulitis)

When the passage of food through the colon becomes sluggish, the food can stagnate, increase in bulk, create pressure, and cause diverticula – or pouches – to form in the walls of the large intestine. If these pouches become inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis.

Risk factors are a low-fiber diet, smoking, obesity, chronic constipation, and lack of “good” bacteria in the gut.

Patients over 50, with a previous history of inflammatory disease of the colon, are most susceptible.

Symptoms include persistent abdominal pain; fever; nausea and vomiting; and constipation sometimes alternating with diarrhea.

Left untreated, diverticulitis can lead to intestinal blockage and scarring. Rupture of an inflamed pouch can result, leading to peritonitis. These are medical emergencies. If suspected, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made by ruling out other conditions through physical examination; blood, urine, and stool tests; and CT scan.

Less serious cases are treated with a high-fiber diet, fluids, probiotics, antibiotics, and lifestyle management. Others may require intravenous antibiotics and/or surgery.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea

Symptoms that never occur with intestinal inflammation (diverticulitis): pain below the ribs, pain in the upper right abdomen

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Indigestion (dyspepsia)

Indigestion, also called upset stomach, dyspepsia, or functional dyspepsia, is not a disease but a collection of very common symptoms. Note: Heartburn is a separate condition.

Common causes are eating too much or too rapidly; greasy or spicy foods; overdoing caffeine, alcohol, or carbonated beverages; smoking; and anxiety. Some antibiotics, pain relievers, and vitamin/mineral supplements can cause indigestion.

The most common symptoms are pain, discomfort, and bloating in the upper abdomen soon after eating.

Indigestion that lasts longer than two weeks, and does not respond to simple treatment, may indicate a more serious condition. Upper abdominal pain that radiates to the jaw, neck, or arm is a medical emergency.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical examination. If the symptoms began suddenly, laboratory tests on blood, breath, and stool may be ordered. Upper endoscopy or abdominal x-ray may be done.

For functional dyspepsia – “ordinary” indigestion – treatment and prevention are the same. Eating five or six smaller meals per day with lighter, simpler food; managing stress; and finding alternatives for some medications will provide relief.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: nausea, stomach bloating, dyspeptic symptoms, bloating after meals, vomiting

Symptoms that always occur with indigestion (dyspepsia): dyspeptic symptoms

Symptoms that never occur with indigestion (dyspepsia): vomiting (old) blood or passing tarry stools, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever

Urgency: Self-treatment

Gall bladder infection (cholecystitis)

Gallbladder infection, also called cholecystitis, means there is a bacterial infection of the gallbladder either with or without gallstones.

The gallbladder is a small organ that stores bile, which helps to digest fats. If something blocks the flow of bile out of the gallbladder – gallstones, damage to the bile ducts, or tumors in the gallbladder – the bile stagnates and bacteria multiplies in it, producing an infected gallbladder.

Risk factors include obesity, a high-fat diet, and a family history of gallstones.

Symptoms include fever; chills; right upper quadrant abdominal pain radiating to the right shoulder; and sometimes nausea and vomiting. A gallbladder infection is an acute (sudden) illness, while the symptoms of gallstones come on gradually.

Untreated cholecystitis can lead to rupture of the gallbladder, which can be life-threatening.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, ultrasound or other imaging, and blood tests.

Treatment involves hospitalizing the patient for fasting with IV fluids, to rest the gallbladder; antibiotics; and pain medication. Surgery to remove the gallbladder is often done so that the condition cannot recur.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation

Symptoms that always occur with gall bladder infection (cholecystitis): abdominal pain (stomach ache)

Symptoms that never occur with gall bladder infection (cholecystitis): pain in the upper left abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen

Urgency: Hospital emergency room


Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, the small, finger-shaped pouch projecting off the colon on the lower right side of the abdomen.

The inflammation is caused by anything blocking or irritating the appendix opening or walls, such as hard stool or damage from other bowel disease. The blocked appendix can quickly swell with bacteria and pus.

Appendicitis is most common from ages 13-30, but can happen to anyone.

Symptoms include sudden, severe pain in the abdomen that begins near the navel and soon moves to the lower right side. There may be low-grade fever; nausea and vomiting; feeling bloated; and constipation or diarrhea.

If not treated, an infected appendix can rupture and cause a life-threatening infection of the abdomen called peritonitis. This is why appendicitis is a medical emergency. If suspected, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, blood and urine tests, and imaging such as ultrasound or x-ray.

An inflamed appendix must be surgically removed as soon as possible.

Acute pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, which creates and releases insulin and glucagon to keep the sugar levels in your blood stable. It also creates the enzymes that digest your food in the small intestine. When these enzymes accidentally get activated in the pancreas, they digest the pancreas itself, causing pain and inflammation.

You should go to the ER. There, diagnosis is made by physical examination, imaging, and blood tests. Treatment typically involves intravenous (IV) fluids and medicines to control the pain.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: constant abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, being severely ill, severe abdominal pain, fever

Symptoms that always occur with acute pancreatitis: constant abdominal pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Acute gastritis

Gastritis means inflammation or irritation of the stomach lining, and is “acute” when it comes on suddenly and severely.

Common causes are infection with H. pylori bacteria in the stomach, which also causes ulcers; regular use of pain relievers; and overuse of alcohol. Smoking, stress, and autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, and type 1 diabetes can all contribute to acute gastritis.

Symptoms of acute gastritis include sudden fullness and burning pain in the upper abdomen, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. If the symptoms last more than a week, or there are signs of blood in vomit or stool, medical care should be sought.

If not treated, gastritis can lead to stomach ulcers due to the presence of H. pylori.

Diagnosis for H. pylori is made through blood tests, breath tests, and stool sample tests. Upper endoscopy and/or barium swallow x-ray may also be used.

Treatment includes lifestyle changes concerning use of pain relievers, alcohol, and other stomach irritants; antibiotics to treat the H. pylori; and medications to reduce and/or neutralize stomach acid.

  • Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • How would you describe the nature of your abdominal pain?

Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.

Omphalitis in adults treatment consultation in an expert clinic ID-CLINIC St. Petersburg

Omphalitis in adults treatment consultation in an expert clinic ID-CLINIC St. Petersburg

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Omphalitis – inflammation of the skin and soft tissues in the navel. The disease is mainly found in children of the first months of life, but adults are also not immune from it. The main cause of omphalitis is infection with bacteria, among which staphylococci, streptococci, E. coli and Klebsiella predominate. Pathogens usually enter tissues through wounds, abrasions and scratches on the skin. Cases of the spread of pathogens with blood or lymph are practically not found.

The risk of developing omphalitis increases with:

● poor body hygiene
● excessive sweating
● piercing the navel (piercing) without observing sanitary and hygienic standards and improper care of the wound afterwards
● wearing clothes made of synthetic materials
● acute or chronic dermatoses on the skin of the anterior abdominal wall
● rubbing the navel area with clothes or belt
● the presence of fistulas in the navel
● injuries of the umbilical region
● diabetes mellitus and other endocrine diseases

Symptoms of omphalitis

The disease begins with redness and swelling of the skin of the umbilical zone, moderate pain when touched. A cloudy or colorless liquid (serous exudate) may accumulate in the deepening of the navel. This is how a simple form of omphalitis proceeds – a weeping navel.
Other types of inflammation:
● phlegmonous – extensive swelling and suppuration of tissues, an ulcer forms at the site of the navel, from which pus is released
● necrotic – necrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissue of the umbilical zone

Medical consultation

Unpleasant symptoms are not the only problem with omphalitis. Without medical assistance, inflammation spreads to neighboring tissues, causes their purulent fusion and can cause blood poisoning (sepsis). To avoid complications, patients should not delay the visit to the therapist.
The ID-Clinic doctor consults in the clinic and online via video link. The doctor will assess the condition of the umbilical zone, select a diagnostic plan, and, if necessary, refer to the surgeon.

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Treatment of omphalitis

Diagnosis is based on the results of the examination, after which the doctor will immediately select the treatment. In uncomplicated forms limited to local therapy:
● thorough hygiene and treatment of the navel with antiseptics
● application of drying powders
● application of ointments with antibiotics for purulent inflammation
With phlegmonous and necrotic form, antibiotic therapy is used in tablets or parenteral forms. Surgical debridement may also be required.

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  • SavchenkoMikhail Andreevich

    Doctor of the first category,
    Candidate of Medical Sciences