Feeling pain behind belly button is called Periumbilical Pain. It is a very common complaint, and can be caused by many a factor. If the structures surrounding the belly button have any issue, or the digestive system has an issue, you may feel pain behind belly button.

Some of the organs that are behind your belly button are Cecum (a pouch like thing at the end of the large intestine), appendix, part of colon, right ovary (in case of females), and right ureter.

In this article we will discuss about the issues that may cause periumbilical pain or the pain behind belly button. Issues that can cause this type of pain are as follows:


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It is also known as “stomach flu”. It comes with pain behind belly button, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, fever, and sweating. It can be because of a virus, bacteria, or a parasite.

Gastroenteritis doesn’t require medical treatment as such, and the symptoms resolve within a few days. But this condition may cause some serious symptoms like dehydration that might need medical attention.


The symptoms of this condition are:

Consult a doctor if:



It is caused when your appendix is inflamed. It is an emergency condition, and needs urgent medical care, and surgery.

The symptoms of Appendicitis typically include:

The pain even though starts from the belly button, but it soon involves the whole abdomen. Particular to this pain is that it is worsened by any kind of movement, be it walking or coughing.

This condition needs urgent care, and if left untreated can result in the rupture of appendix, which may cause death.


Peptic Ulcer

It is an open sore in your stomach lining or in the duodenum (which is the first part of the small intestine). This condition may cause you pain around or behind your belly button.
It is important to note that the pain is associated with food, which may worsen or decrease in intensity by having a meal.

The symptoms are:

It is better to visit a doctor if these symptoms are seen. Your doctor would do a thorough abdominal examination, and request for an Endoscopy.

If the intensity of your pain changes, seek immediate care, as the ulcer might have caused a perforation or rupture in your stomach lining, or the first part of the small intestine.



It is also called as Dyspepsia, or upset stomach. We experience this condition every now and then, but it is important to know when to seek medical attention.

Indigestion is caused by a number of things, be it eating rapidly, eating spicy food, smoking, emotional stress, or some other certain kinds of foods. Some drugs, like pain killers, may also cause this problem.

Indigestion causes pain behind belly button, and the surrounding areas, discomfort, and a feeling of fullness.

The treatment for indigestion is eating well, managing the stress, and some medications that you may take after seeing a doctor.

Indigestion usually isn’t a problem, but it remains for a few weeks, or the pain increases with time, it may indicate a serious problem, and should be consulted with a doctor.



Gallbladder is an organ that stores a digestive enzyme called bile.  When the bile hardens up, it makes deposits called gallstones.

The pain usually starts from abdomen and then it reached your belly button, and you may feel pain behind belly button. Along with the pain it may cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and sometimes a fever.

Symptoms of Gallstones are as follows:

The pain usually goes away by managing one’s diet, but in case of severe pain it is always better to see a doctor. In severe or emergency cases, it is necessary to have a surgery to get your gall bladder removed.



Pancreas is an organ in our digestive system, and if it becomes inflamed it is called Pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis may present with the following symptoms:

Pancreatitis is not an emergency condition, and may stay for a while. The best treatment is hydration, pain medication if needed, and a well-balanced diet.

Make sure to take a note of any change you see in the pattern of your pain. Always let your doctor know if your pain is worsening or you have any new symptom.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

It is commonly encountered disorder, and mainly affects your large intestines. It may cause a number of digestive symptoms like:

The pain it comes it may vary with person to person, and with different intensities. Emotional stress and different kinds of foods may trigger this condition.

It is a chronic condition, and needs long term care and management. Visit a doctor immediately if you see any of the following symptoms:



It is a term used for inflammation of the gall bladder. Gallbladder contains bile and lets it be released into the small intestine via a duct. If, by any chance, the duct is blocked, the bile remains stored in the gallbladder which may cause this condition.

The duct can be blocked by a number of reasons, stones being one of them. When the bile accumulates, bacteria dwells into it and causes an infection, and inflammation.

The symptoms of this condition are:

These symptoms are associated with food, especially a fat filled meal. You should seek immediate medical care in case of any such symptom as it may prove to be dangerous. If left untreated, the gall bladder may rupture, and can prove to be fatal.

Physical examination, ultrasound, and blood tests are enough to make a diagnosis.

In case of Cholecystitis, you might have to be hospitalized, and your gallbladder might or might not be removed.


Small bowel obstruction

This means having a blockage in your intestine. It doesn’t let stools pass through. There are many factors that may cause this condition including:

It is important to seek medical attention in such case, as if it is left untreated the area of intestine involved may die because of lack of blood supply, and can cause life threatening situation.

Symptoms of small bowel obstruction are as follows:

If you’ve recently had an abdominal or pelvic surgery, if you have a history of cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.


When to see a doctor?

Pain behind belly button or Periumbilical pain has many diagnoses. There might be a number of cases where the pain can be managed at home, by having a balanced diet, managing your emotional stress, or by taking pain killers.

But there are some things that need to be taken into consideration, as already discussed in the article. The following symptoms, if experienced, need immediate medical care:



Pain behind or around belly button, as already discussed, might be because of a number of reasons. This makes it important for anyone experiencing from this pain to seek medical attention.

Doctor would ask for a complete medical history. Along with this, your doctor will request a number of tests, including imaging (such as X-ray, ultrasound, MRIs, and others).

The diagnosis may not always be a serious complication, but can also be a very benign cause which may be treated without any surgical interventions.



In case of periumbilical pain, or pain behind the belly button, you should always talk to a doctor. Although there are a lot of causes of this pain that may not require any medical attention, but it is always better to get it checked and not miss any serious complication or an issue. There might be some causes that require a surgery, so it is always better to consult a doctor.