Belly Button PainBelly button pain can be caused by a surprisingly variable set of reasons, from harmless to life-threatening. Before determining what should be done, it is important to first figure out whether or not immediate medical attention is required in order to avoid the consequences of not properly addressing a potentially serious and/or acute condition.

Belly Button Pain, Is it serious?

Belly button pain can mean you’re constipated (fairly harmless), or it can mean appendicitis (life threatening). It could also mean any number of things in between; some fairly harmless, some potentially severe.

If your belly button pain is accompanied by a fever, nausea or vomiting, you should proceed immediately to your doctor or the emergency room. Appendicitis often presents initially as belly button pain, and waiting too long (even in this day and age) can be fatal.

Other similarly serious conditions can present this way, including gall bladder or pancreas inflammation, kidney stones or other more serious kidney-related problems. Basically, if your pain is accompanied by other symptoms you need to see a medical professional ASAP.

It’s not Appendicitis. What Else Causes Belly Button Pain?

The body’s abdominal area has an awful lot going on -core muscles constantly flexing, all manner of digestion occurring at various stages, stomach-lining issues and other factors all make belly button pain the end result of a widely variable set of possible causes. While actual medical treatment requires the advice and expertise of a medical professional, there are some things you can do yourself to try and narrow it down.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning can present in any number of ways, and belly button pain is one of them. Due to the body’s natural ability to deal with this problem, it occurs far more often than actually diagnosed. As long as your symptom is not accompanied by any of those previously mentioned (fever, nausea, etc), it may subside on its own.


Ulcers aren’t popularly associated with belly button pain, but they can definitely cause it. The popular conception of an ulcer is sharp lower abdominal pain. This is most typical because this type of pain originates in the intestines, which provides the vast majority of ulcer-prone lining. However, the stomach can also have ulcers, and when this happens sharp pain in the navel can occur.

Do you have a belly button piercing?

An infected piercing can cause belly button pain. It is normal to experience this for a few weeks, but if infection sets in it can take longer and should be appropriately addressed and treated, by a physician if necessary. A poorly executed piercing can actually cause an umbilical hernia. While not fatal, addressing this problem also requires the skills of a doctor, and often surgery.


Almost any discomfort in the abdominal area can be cause by indigestion, and belly button pain is no different. Luckily, identifying this as the cause of your problem is fast and simple. An over the counter remedy for gas or heartburn should very quickly lessen or eliminate the symptom. Because this solution is inexpensive, readily available, safe and effective, it is often a good first attempt to alleviate belly button pain.


There are several stages of digestion that occur in the abdominal area; each one a potential problem for blockage. This is constipation, and it can be very painful. While not usually serious, this condition can be completely debilitating at times. An over the counter laxative can provide a safe and effective way to determine if this is the source of your problem.

Pulled Muscle

Yes, a pulled muscle can cause belly button pain. It’s important to remember what the belly button actually is; it’s the place where your body connected to, and received all nourishment from your mother before childbirth. That means it’s not just a decoration. The umbilical cord is a fetus’ literal lifeline, and it is fully integrated into the circulatory system. Muscles (and everything else) have to “work around” it.

What Do I Do?

The remedies that can be attempted at home are fairly straightforward and safe (i.e. indigestion, constipation, etc). If home remedies do not work you should proceed immediately to an emergency room or your medical practitioner. Belly button pain can be a symptom of a life-threatening condition and should not be taken lightly if typical remedies don’t work. Simply taking pain medication to wait it out is not an option and typically doesn’t really work anyway. Don’t mess around; see a doctor.