How often do you experience pain above navel? What is the nature of pain above navel? When do you experience pain above navel? What do you do to get rid of pain above navel? All your queries will be answered in the article below.

Pain above navel or Periumbilical pain points to a number of underlying conditions. Periumbilical pain is felt around, in any side of umbilicus or navel and even behind the umbilicus. Pain above navel can be attributed to a number of organs associated within the area which includes: Stomach, small and large intestines and pancreas. Pain above navel can be treated readily and some may need immediate medical care and attention. Pain can be sharp, stabbing or mild, constant or can be wax and wane or the pain sometimes can feel like pulling or bloating pain.

What are the causes, what can be the treatment and all other relatable issues will be discussed in the article below? Continue reading the article for further information of your complaint.


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Some common causes of pain above navel

  1. Indigestion: Indigestion also known as dyspepsia is a condition in which there is discomfort in the upper abdominal area and can radiate to the umbilical area or cause pain above navel. This type of pain is associated with bloating and can result in a number of manifestations which include: heartburn, bloating, fullness after eating a little etc. indigestion can be on its own or can be caused by a number of underlying diseases like lactose intolerance, celiac, irritable bowel syndrome etc.

Indigestion can be treated by anti-acids and proton pump inhibitors and some dietary changes can indeed be of help to the patient.


  1. Pregnancy: During pregnancy pain above navel can be felt due to the stretch in round ligament and has a sharp nature. Round ligament connects uterus from the front side to the groin and is normally stretched during second trimester and causes pain when the ligament contracts during activities like standing, coughing and laughing. Pain lasts for a little time but if its persists you may need to see a doctor.

Pain above navel in pregnancy can also be related to umbilical hernia in rare cases of pregnancy and particularly in those women who have multiples in their pregnancy or who are severely obese at pregnancy.


  1. Constipation: Constipation is a condition when you have less than 3 bowel movements a week. Constipation is based on certain criteria which includes putting strain, or passing hard stools. Constipation is usually treated with dietary changes and lifestyle modifications and sometimes if the course has lasted for more than 2 or 3 months you may need to see a doctor and you may be prescribed with some stool softeners or laxatives.


  1. Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Urinary tract infections are common complaints in women than in men and can be caused by a number of micro-organisms including bacteria etc. Urinary tract infections can cause pain above navel and abdomen. Urinary tract infections can be treated with antibiotics and hydration therapy.


  1. Gastroenteritis: Gastroenteritis is caused by infections in the gastrointestinal tract and results in the inflammation of stomach and intestines and is known as Stomach flu. There are a number of causative agents which include viruses, bacteria or parasites. Gastroenteritis manifests as follows in addition to pain above navel and includes:
  2. Nausea
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Mild fever
  5. Sweating

Gastroenteritis is usually self-limiting and resolves within few days but sometimes severe dehydration may need fluid therapy or sometimes hospital admissions.


  1. Umbilical hernia: Umbilical hernia results when the abdominal tissue/ intestines bulges from the weakened abdominal wall and causes pain and pressure in the navel/ umbilicus. This hernia is common in infants but can also be seen in infants the hernia gets closed within two years of age but in adults it usually requires surgical intervention. The pain is sharp in nature and the navel is sensitive to touch and if accompanied with some manifestations like vomiting it needs immediate surgical intervention. There are a number of causes for umbilical hernia which includes: chronic coughing, heavy weight lifting, weak abdominal walls etc.


Some serious causes of pain above navel


 Gallstones when accompanied with severe pain are to be treated surgically and relieve the patient of extreme discomfort and pain.


Standard treatment for appendicitis is its surgical removal. If not removed on time can lead to a number of complications which include: ruptured appendix and abscess formation.


Mild case of pancreatitis is treated with intravenous fluids, bowel rest and some analgesics or pain medication.

Severe cases need hospitalization.


A number of symptoms are associated with the condition and it includes:

  1. Nausea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Dehydration
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Bloating


Some associated symptoms are:

  1. Difficulty in breathing
  2. Heart palpitations or increased heart rate
  3. Low bed pressure



Diagnosis of pain above navel

Diagnosis is based on history and physical examination. A thorough history can give us a clue of the complaint of pain above navel. On the basis of history and physical examination a number of diagnostic tests and imaging can be run which includes blood tests, stool sample, urinary tract infections, endoscopy, x-rays and CT scans can be of great help.



Treatment is based on the diagnosis can vary from conservative treatment like rest and hydration to medications and in severe cases surgery may be required. Diagnosis on time can lead to an effective treatment and relieve the patient of the discomfort.


When to see a doctor

Pain above navel has a number of causes and there are a number of indication in which the person needs to seek immediate medical care. The indications are mentioned below:

  1. Extreme pain that interferes with the daily life activity
  2. Nocturnal pain or pain that wakes a person up from sleep
  3. Vomiting associated with pain
  4. Blood in stools along with pain
  5. Fever
  6. Unexplained loss of weight
  7. Tenderness in abdomen

Although pain above navel is not a serious issue always but if the pain is severe, persistent and if the above symptoms are experienced you may need to seek emergency help or visit nearby health center.



Pain above navel has a number of causes and can cause pain that ranges from mild to severe. Causes as discussed can be trivial and self-limiting or need minimal intervention like gastroenteritis, constipation, urinary tract infections etc. Some cases can be life threatening like appendicitis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, some small intestinal disorders which may need immediate medical attention which includes hospitalization and surgical intervention. So we need to keep a check on symptoms and prevent certain conditions from occurring by preventing them beforehand.