What’s Causing Pain on the Left Side of My Belly Button?

The left side of the abdomen contains several organs and structures so there are a number of issues that may cause pain on left side of belly button. Simply because females have more organs on that side, they are at higher risk for pain in the left abdomen than are males. Some conditions that present left of belly button pain are minor and others can be quite serious.

Possible Causes for Lower Left Side Abdominal Pain

Causes of pain left side of the belly button are often located in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen. Numerous conditions result in pain in this region.

1. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a common cause for pain on the lower left side, particularly in adults over 60. Pouches called diverticula develop in the colon wall, and if they become infected or inflamed by feces trapped in the pouches, diverticulitis develops. It is a painful condition and flare-ups may last as little as a few hours or may continue for a week or more. Other symptoms beside abdominal pain may include bloating and gas, chills and fever, nausea with occasional vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Treatment for diverticulitis varies depending on the severity of your symptoms. A liquid diet may be recommended for a few days, antibiotics may be prescribed, and pain medications such as acetaminophen may be needed.

2. Constipation

Constipation is one of the most frequent causes for pain on left side of belly button. A high fiber diet, laxatives, and stool softeners teamed with plenty of liquids should help relieve the condition.

3. Bowel Obstruction

This causes a cramping, gripping pain in the abdomen. If the obstruction is on the left side, then you will feel the pain on left side of belly button. Vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, incapacity to have a bowel movement or pass gas, and abdominal distension are other symptoms of a bowel obstruction. This condition develops when something prevents the passage of food or liquid through the intestines. It may be caused by scar tissue, diverticulitis, tumors, or hernias. There are a variety of treatments for bowel obstruction all of which require hospitalization.

4. Ectopic Pregnancy

When a woman of childbearing age complains of lower left side abdominal pain, her doctor’s first suspicions may be an ectopic pregnancy. This happens when the fertilized egg plants itself outside of the uterus, often in a Fallopian tube. The pain an ectopic pregnancy may cause can be dull or sharp and may be accompanied by vaginal bleeding. Many women with this condition are often unaware they are even pregnant when the symptoms begin. Treatment for ectopic pregnancy may be with medicine or surgery. The pregnancy must be terminated in order to avoid rupture.

5. Crohn’s Disease

This is an inflammatory bowel disease and is a chronic condition requiring long term management. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, lack of appetite, weight loss, small tears in the anus known as fissures, and insufficient red blood cells. The main treatment goal is to control the symptoms and keep the patient in remission.

6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Also known as IBS, this is another cause for pain in the left side of belly button. This common condition may cause either diarrhea or constipation, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain or cramping. This is a chronic condition and the true cause is unknown. Most treatment plans for mild to moderate symptoms include lifestyle changes such as learning better ways to handle stress and dietary modifications. More severe symptoms may require medications such as anti-diarrheal medicines, antidepressants and antibiotics.

7. Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts may develop on either the right or left side. Abdominal pain may also spread to the thighs and may be moderate to severe. This condition does not normally cause a fever or loss of appetite. Many doctors take a wait and see attitude towards these cysts if the pain is not severe and the woman is of childbearing age. Other treatment options may include birth control pills or surgery. If the cyst is small enough it may be removed via a small incision in the abdomen. More severe cases may require a complete hysterectomy.

8. Abdominal Hernias

This is another cause of abdominal pain. A hernia occurs when an organ or intestine protrudes into a weak spot of the abdominal wall. That weak spot may develop over time or it can occur during events like heavy weight lifting. A bulge can often be felt where the hernia is located and a burning sensation may be felt along with a feeling of fullness. If a piece of bowel gets stuck in the hernia, complications like a bowel obstruction or strangulated bowel may occur quickly. In this case, surgical intervention is required.

9. Endometriosis

This is a condition caused by womb tissue growing outside the womb and usually occurs on the left side. The pain often increases just before the menstrual period begins and improves as it nears the end. Other symptoms may include rectal pain, painful sexual intercourse, and painful bowel movements. Treatment options for endometriosis include medicines such as birth control pills or anti-inflammatories. If you are not planning on having more children, surgery is also an option.

Other Causes for Left Side Abdominal Pain

This is not a complete list of conditions that may cause pain on left side of belly button. Other causes could include cancers, kidney infections or kidney stones, abdominal aortic aneurysm, gas, and more. If the pain becomes severe, seek medical attention immediately from your doctor or nearest emergency room.