Is it normal to feel your pulse in your stomach?
Some people feel heartbeat or pulse in their abdomen at some point. It can be a normal feeling in healthy people that represent abdominal aorta pulsating, especially for very slim people. Basically your aorta (the main artery from your heart supplying your body) runs down the middle of your tummy, and because the pulse inside it is so strong, sometimes the ‘shockwaves’ from it can be visible on the skin in rather skinny people. But in some people it can also be a sign of a serious health condition, called an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA.
What Causes Pulse in Stomach?
Body’s largest artery, the aorta, passing behind the stomach, so pulsations can very well be felt (usually unless very skinny no seen) there. The pulsing in the abdominal area needs to be evaluated for a possible abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This is a dilation of the major abdominal artery and can be evaluated with an abdominal ultrasound.
Top of the list that causes pulse in stomach is an aneurysm. Aneurysm of a major abdominal blood vessel that threatening to rupture. Here some condition that may causes visible pulse in stomach:
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
If the weakened arterial wall is causing the symptom, it will feel more intense pulse in stomach when lying down on your back. A heartbeat in your stomach may also become more prominent after physical activity.
- Cancer can also cause a Stomach Pulse
- Rhythmic Contraction of stomach or large intestines
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
What is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms?
The abdominal aorta is a major artery that carries blood, oxygen and nutrients from your heart to other parts of your body. It is located to the left of the spine, between the chest and navel. A heavy pulsating of the abdominal aorta could be a sign of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is caused by a weak spot in the wall of the artery, which then bulges out. Aneurysms can occur in any artery, but most commonly occur in the section of the aorta that passes through the abdomen.
What are the symptoms of an AAA?
Aneurysms generally take years to develop and it is rare for them to give symptoms during this time. Symptoms that may occur of an AAAinclude:
- A pulsing feeling in your abdomen, similar to a heartbeat
- Pain in your abdomen or lower back
- A pulsating feeling near the navel
- Deep, constant pain in your abdomen or on the side of your abdomen
- Your toes turn blue.
- You have trouble urinating, or you are constipated.
How to Diagnose AAA?
A routine examination by a doctor or an X-ray or scan performed for some other reason may pick up the presence of an aneurysm.
- Ultrasound: This test is done so healthcare providers can see the aorta, tissues, and organs inside your abdomen.
- CT scan (CAT scan): An x-ray machine and computer are used to take pictures of the organs and blood vessels in your abdomen. They will show the size and location of your AAA.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI uses a powerful magnet and a computer to take pictures of your body. It may be used to see the location and size of your AAA.
Screening results of AAA may include:
- Normal (no aneurysm detected): aortic diameter less than 3cm – most men have a normal result, require no further scans and are discharged from the screening program.
- Small aneurysm: aortic diameter 3-4.4cm – men invited back for yearly surveillance scan to check growth rate of the aneurysm
- Medium aneurysm: aortic diameter 4.5-5.4cm – men invited back for thee-monthly surveillance scans to check the growth rate of the aneurysm
- Large aneurysm: aortic diameter 5.5cm and above – men referred to consultant vascular surgeon to discuss treatment options, usually surgery
Treatment for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
You may be given blood pressure or cholesterol medicine to help stop your AAA from growing.
There are two types of surgery operations that can be done to treat an aneurysm:
- Open surgery: this involves an incision in the abdomen and replacement of the affected section of blood vessel with a fabric tube
- Endovascular (EVAR) surgery: this is a form of keyhole surgery using a stent graft
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Risk Factor
Abdominal aortic aneurysm risk factors include:
- Age: Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur most often in people age 65 and older.
- Smoking Habit: Tobacco use is a strong risk factor for the development of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and a higher risk of rupture.
- Gender: Men develop abdominal aortic aneurysms much more often than women do.
- Race: white people are at higher risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms.
- Family history: People who have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms are at increased risk of having the condition.
- Atherosclerosis: the buildup of fat and other substances that can damage the lining of a blood vessel which increases risk of an aneurysm.
- Other aneurysms: People who have an aneurysm in another large blood vessel, such as the artery behind the knee or the thoracic aorta in the chest, may have a higher risk of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure may increase your risk of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
- Abdominal Trauma
- Hardening of the arteries
Complication that may occur in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
- A ruptured aortic aneurysm can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. Signs and symptoms that your aortic aneurysm has ruptured may include:
- Sudden, intense and persistent abdominal or back pain, which can be described as a tearing sensation
- Pain that radiates to your back or legs
- sweaty, pale and clammy skin
- Shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Fast pulse
- Risk of blood clots: Small blood clots can develop in the area of the aortic aneurysm.
When is the Right Time to Visit Doctor?
Immediately see your doctor if you feel your strange pulse in stomach followed by one of more of this condition:
- If you feel very worried about abnormal pulse in stomach
- If it feels too strong and annoying
- If there are other symptom (discomfort) that follow
- If you have any risk factors of AAA
What to Do to Minimize Risk of AAA?
- Stop Smoking: Stopping smoking will also help to protect all of your arteries from suffering heart attacks or strokes.
- Regular Exercise:Routine cardio exercise such as walking and cycling are recommended to help improve overall level of fitness. Exercise helps body to produce healthy cholesterol and helps protect arteries against bad cholesterol.
- Maintain High blood pressure. High blood pressure is a known risk factor for rupture of aneurysms.
- Diabetes Treatment: If you have diabetes it is important that your blood sugar levels are well controlled.
- Control High blood cholesterol levels (fatty substance) in your blood. Eat a healthy balanced diet and try to reduce any excess weight.
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