Weird Feeling Under The Belly Button: 8Main Causes & When to Worry.
Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.
The short answer.
Common causes of a weird feeling under the belly button include food intolerance, uterine pain, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, acute appendicitis, constipation, intra-abdominal adhesions from surgeries, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Here is a summary of the main causes of weird feelings under the belly button:
- Food Intolerance: Difficulty digesting certain types of food, leading to discomfort.
- Uterine Pain: Pain in the uterus due to menstrual cycles or other conditions.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Infections in the urinary system cause discomfort and pain.
- Gastrointestinal Infections: Infections in the digestive tract lead to discomfort and digestive issues.
- Acute Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix, often causing abdominal discomfort.
- Constipation: Difficulty in bowel movements, resulting in abdominal discomfort.
- Intra-abdominal Adhesions: Scar tissue in the abdomen causing discomfort and bloating.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Chronic disorder causing abdominal pain, bloating, and irregular bowel habits.
Possible forms of weird feelings are under the belly button.
The sensation you experience under your belly button can take various forms. It might be a sharp, stabbing pain, a dull ache, or a feeling of bloating or fullness. You might also experience a burning sensation, cramping, tickling, or fluttering feeling.
The different forms or characters of abnormal feelings under your umbilicus include:
- Dull Ache: This is a constant, nagging pain that may not be severe but is persistent. It’s often associated with conditions like constipation, urinary tract infections (UTIs), or menstrual cramps in women.
- Cramping: This is a type of pain that comes in waves, starting and stopping suddenly. It’s often associated with conditions like menstrual cramps, gas, or gastrointestinal infections.
- Tickling or Fluttering Feeling: This can feel like something is moving or fluttering in the belly. In women, this could be a sign of pregnancy (baby movements). However, it could also be due to muscle spasms, gas, or anxiety.
- Bloating or Fullness: This is a sensation of tightness or distension in the belly. It’s often associated with overeating, food intolerances (like lactose or gluten intolerance), or gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Burning Sensation: This can feel like a hot, burning pain. It’s often associated with conditions like gastritis, peptic ulcers, or heartburn (acid reflux).
- Sharp, Stabbing Pain: This can be a sudden, intense pain that comes and goes. It’s often associated with conditions like appendicitis or gastrointestinal issues such as gas, indigestion, or food poisoning.
Here is a summary of the causes depending on the character of discomfort or abnormal feeling under your belly button:
|Sharp, Stabbing Pain||Appendicitis, gas, indigestion, food poisoning|
|Dull Ache||Constipation, urinary tract infections (UTIs), menstrual cramps|
|Bloating or Fullness||Overeating, food intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)|
|Burning Sensation||Gastritis, peptic ulcers, heartburn (acid reflux)|
|Cramping||Menstrual cramps, gas, gastrointestinal infections|
|Tickling or Fluttering Feeling||Pregnancy (baby movements), muscle spasms, gas, anxiety|
Remember, these are just possible forms of discomfort and their common causes. If you’re experiencing a weird feeling under your belly button that’s persistent or causing you concern, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional.
Common causes of a weird feeling under the belly button.
1. Food intolerance/allergy (Commonly, lactose intolerance):
Food intolerances, particularly lactose intolerance, are quite common, affecting an estimated 65% of the human population to some degree (reference). Lactose intolerance results from the body’s inability to digest lactose, a sugar in milk and dairy products.
Symptoms: Usually, abdominal pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen starts after eating the offending food.
The symptoms include:
- Bloating and gas
- Stomach cramps or pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Headaches or migraines
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Skin problems such as rashes, eczema, or hives
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Irritability or nervousness
Diagnosis: It can be diagnosed by a lactose tolerance test, a hydrogen breath test, or a stool acidity test.
2. Uterine pain (Menses, ovulation, recent pregnancy, fibroid, endometriosis, etc.):
Uterine pain often presents as a weird or uncomfortable feeling under the belly button. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as menstruation, ovulation, fibroids, or conditions like endometriosis (reference).
Depending on the cause, symptoms can include abdominal discomfort or pain, heavy periods, pain during intercourse, and constipation.
Diagnosis can involve pelvic exams, ultrasound, MRI, or laparoscopy, depending on the suspected condition.
3**. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):**
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder affecting the large intestine. It’s estimated to affect between 10-25% of people worldwide, making it a common cause of discomfort under the belly button (reference).
Symptoms: IBS symptoms can vary but often include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, or both. The discomfort usually disappears after a bowel movement.
Diagnosis: There’s no specific test for IBS. It’s usually diagnosed based on the presence of typical symptoms and the exclusion of other diseases. This might involve a physical exam, blood tests, stool tests, and in some cases, diagnostic procedures like a colonoscopy.
The Rome IV criteria for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) diagnosis requires that patients have recurrent abdominal pain, on average, at least 1 day per week in the last 3 months, associated with two or more of the following criteria:
- Related to defecation: The pain is often relieved or increases after a bowel movement.
- Associated with a change in frequency of stool: There may be more or fewer bowel movements when the pain starts.
- Associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool: The stool may appear looser/watery or harder/lumpy when the pain starts.
Other symptoms may include:
- Bloating and swelling of the abdomen (including the weird feeling or discomfort under the umbilicus)
- Excessive gas
- Urgency (the need to find a restroom fast)
- Feeling of incomplete bowel movement
- Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety and depression
4. Gastrointestinal infections/Food poisoning:
Gastrointestinal infections or food poisoning can cause a wide range of abdominal discomfort, including feelings of discomfort under the belly button.
Symptoms often include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps or abdominal pain
- Low-grade fever
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Dehydration, which can cause symptoms such as dry mouth and throat, feeling thirsty, dark yellow urine, and feeling tired or dizzy
This condition is usually diagnosed based on clinical symptoms and potentially stool culture tests to identify the infectious agent.
5. Acute appendicitis (early stage):
Acute appendicitis, particularly in the early stages, can cause a vague, strange feeling around the belly button before localizing to the lower right side of the abdomen.
Symptoms often start as a dull pain near the belly button, which then sharpens and moves to the lower right abdomen. Other symptoms can include (reference):
- Sudden pain on the right side of the lower abdomen
- Pain that worsens if you cough, walk, or make other jarring movements
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever that may worsen as the illness progresses
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Abdominal bloating
- Difficulty passing gas
Diagnosis: Diagnosis typically involves a physical exam, blood tests, and imaging tests like an ultrasound or CT scan.
Constipation is a common digestive issue that can cause a sensation of discomfort or bloating under the belly button (reference).
Common symptoms include fewer than three bowel movements per week, hard or lumpy stools, straining to have bowel movements, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.
7. Intra-abdominal adhesions (due to multiple abdominal operations):
Intra-abdominal adhesions, often a result of multiple abdominal surgeries, can lead to an uncomfortable feeling under the belly button (reference).
- Symptoms: Symptoms can vary but may include abdominal discomfort or pain, a feeling of ‘pulling’ in the abdomen, bloating, constipation, or in severe cases, bowel obstruction.
- Diagnosis: Adhesions are challenging to diagnose with imaging alone and are often identified during surgery for
another condition. However, a history of abdominal surgeries and symptoms suggestive of adhesions can lead to a presumptive diagnosis. If an obstruction is suspected, an X-ray or CT scan might be used.
8**. UTI and other bladder issues:**
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common and may cause discomfort or a strange sensation under the belly button.
- Symptoms: UTIs typically cause a burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, lower abdominal pain or discomfort, and potentially fever or cloudy urine.
- Diagnosis: UTIs are diagnosed through a urine test that checks for the presence of bacteria and white blood cells.
Less common causes of weird discomfort under the umbilicus.
Other less common causes of lower abdominal discomfort or weird feeling may include (reference):
- Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis: Diverticulosis is the formation of small pouches in the colon; diverticulitis is inflammation or infection of these pouches. The main causes include aging and a low-fiber diet.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): A chronic condition involving inflammation of the digestive tract. The two main types are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Causes are largely unknown but involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
- Peritoneal Metastasis: Spread of cancer to the peritoneal cavity. Most common in ovarian, stomach, and colorectal cancers.
- Duodenal Ulcer/Duodenitis: Inflammation or ulcers in the duodenum, often caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria or frequent use of NSAIDs.
- Colorectal Cancer: Cancer affecting the colon or rectum. Main risk factors include older age, certain types of diets (high in red and processed meats), inflammatory bowel disease, and certain genetic syndromes.
- Other Intraabdominal Cancers: Cancers that originate within the abdominal cavity, such as stomach, liver, or pancreatic cancer. Causes vary but often involve a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors.
- Ureteric or Bladder Stones: Hard deposits of minerals and salts in the bladder or ureters. Often caused by concentrated urine and lack of water intake.
- Acute Urine Retention: Sudden inability to urinate. An enlarged prostate, constipation, certain medications, or nerve problems can cause it.
- Intestinal Obstruction: Blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through the small or large intestine. Often caused by adhesions, hernias, or certain cancers.
- Splenomegaly: Enlargement of the spleen, often due to infections, liver diseases, or blood cancers.
- Intestinal Perforation: A hole in the wall of the intestines, often caused by foreign bodies, severe infections, or conditions like Crohn’s disease.
- Uterine Cancer: Cancer in the uterus, most commonly endometrial cancer. Risk factors include older age, obesity, and certain genetic syndromes.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Infection of female reproductive organs, often caused by sexually transmitted infections.
- Ovarian Cysts, Tumors, or Torsion: Abnormal growths or twisting of the ovaries, often caused by hormonal issues or pregnancy.
- Mesenteric Ischemia: Reduced blood flow to the intestines, often caused by blood clots or atherosclerosis.
- Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis: Infection in the peritoneum, often in patients with liver disease or ascites.
- Abdominal Wall Pain: Pain in the muscles or skin of the abdominal wall. Often caused by strain, injury, or hernias.
- Celiac Disease: An autoimmune disorder where ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. The cause is primarily genetic.
- Adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease).
- DKA (diebetic ketoacidosis).
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm.
- Abdominal Migraine.
- Acute hepatic porphyrias.
- Celiac artery compression syndrome.
- Colonic pseudo-obstruction.
- FMF (familial Mediterranean fever).
- Herpes zoster.
- Lead poisoning.
- Meckel’s diverticulum.
- Porxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobulinuria.
- Rectus sheath hematoma.
- Wandering spleen.
When to worry about the weird feeling under your belly button?
You should consider seeking medical attention if the weird feeling under your belly button is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Severe or persistent pain that doesn’t improve or worsen over time.
- Fever, chills, or other signs of infection.
- Nausea, vomiting, or inability to keep down food or fluids.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea, that last more than a few days.
- Blood in your stool or dark, tarry stools.
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
- Swelling or significant bloating of the abdomen.
- Difficulty breathing or chest pain.
These symptoms could indicate a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention. Always listen to your body and seek professional help when something doesn’t feel right.