Most people who experienced heart beating in their stomach and who discussed this problem on SteadyHealth, noticed it while lying down or sitting, while few reported to have it even when standing. The heartbeat was described as a pulsing or throbbing in the navel area. They wondered if this heartbeat feeling is common. The member who started the discussion asked:
Is it normal to see your heart beat in your stomach?
Others joined in with their questions, or to provide possible causes for visible heartbeat in the stomach.
Most user reported no other problems. Those who did, indicated several conditions that may be related to visible heartbeat in their stomach, including:
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- spine problems
Many suggested that a heartbeat felt in the abdomen could also indicate an abdominal aneurysm which can be very dangerous, especially if it ruptures, in which case it can be fatal. They advised all who have this problem to seek urgent medical care. There were several teenagers who joined the discussion experiencing the same problem. One of them asked:
Im 18 And I feel heart beat in my stomach everyday and for along time it wont go away what does that mean?
Since aortic aneurysm is rarely seen in childhood, this makes the issue of visible heartbeat in stomach and the possible causes behind it more complex.
What do experts say?
Feeling a pulse in your stomach can be alarming. However, it’s usually not anything to worry about. People experience this are most likely just feeling their pulse in their abdominal aorta -the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Feeling blood pumping through this large artery is normal from time to time. However, it’s sometimes a sign of something more serious, especially if it occurs suddenly.
Common causes of pulsating feeling in the stomach may include:
- Pregnancy may cause a pulsating in the stomach due to the amount of blood circulating around the body significantly increases. As more blood is being pumped with each heartbeat, the pulse in the abdominal aorta may be more noticeable.
- Pulse after eating occurs because the body pumps extra blood to the stomach and small intestine through the aorta to help digest food and absorb energy and nutrients.
- Laying down may cause a feeling of pulse in the abdomen, especially in thin persons who don’t have a lot of abdominal fat, who might even be able to see their stomach pulsating. This is completely normal and should go away after standing up.
When it is abdominal aortic aneurysm?
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an enlarged area near the bottom part of the aorta which, in the majority of cases, develops slowly with no symptoms or only minor symptoms, such as a gnawing feeling around the stomach or a throbbing sensation in the abdomen. A ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding. Some aneurysms will never rupture. If the abdominal aortic aneurysm has been suspected it is vital to seek medical help because of the unpredictable course of this condition, i.e. how fast AAA may expand over time.
As an abdominal aortic aneurysm enlarges, some people may notice pulsating feeling in their stomach near the navel (belly button). A pulsating mass in the abdomen may be felt through the skin, and may be sensitive to touch or pressure.
Besides pulsating feeling, symptoms of abdominal aortic rupture can also include:
- A stabbing, continuous pain located deep in the abdomen between the sternum and the belly button, or on the side of the abdomen. The pain can be so severe making it difficult to stand or straighten the upper body.
- Lower back pain that occurs when the abdominal pain radiates into the low back due to the aorta’s proximity to the spine. This pain can also spread to the groin, pelvis, or legs.
- Low blood pressure (hypotension) may occur if AAA is ruptured causing blood loss. Hypotension can cause additional symptoms such as lightheadedness, nausea,vomiting, blurred vision, and confusion.
- Shock may also be present when AAA is ruptured and internal bleeding occurs. Shock may include symptoms such as a sudden and rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, clammy skin and cold sweats, general weakness,, confusion, agitations or anxiety, and losing consciousness.
All these symptoms usually develop once the aneurysm has ruptured or is expanding quickly, hence they indicate an emergency which requires prompt medical attention. Delay in treatment can lead to fatal internal bleeding.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur most often in males of age 65 and older, and those who smoke tobacco.
To diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm, doctors may do following:
- Review your medical and family history
- Perform a physical examination where they may try to recreate sensitivity to touch or pressure or pain in your abdomen to confirm the presence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Order abdominal ultrasound which is the most commonly used test to diagnose abdominal aortic aneurysms
- Order computerized tomography (CT) scan that will provide your doctor with clear images of your aorta, and it help detect the size and shape of an aneurysm
- Order magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which also helps diagnose an aneurysm and determine its size and location.
The goal of treatment is to prevent the aneurysm from rupturing. Generally, your treatment options are medical monitoring or surgery. A decision which one will be used depends on the size of the aortic aneurysm and how fast it's growing.
Questions people ask about visible heartbeat in their stomach
- Is it normal to see your heart beat in your stomach?
- I am 43, have 4 kids and am thin, so maybe it's a stomach muscle thing?
- Could the immense pain in my reproductive organs and the huge pulse in my belly be a really bad thing?
- Iv noticed a beat on my stomach to when i lie on my back why is this happening is this normal?
- Can it be found with an ECG?
What advice people gave about visible heartbeat in their stomach?
- stress has an almost unbelievable effect on the body and while you are stressed all the things you describe can be side effects that snowball over time.
- You should really consider talking to your doctor.
- The problem was an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysym.
- This is a serious condition!
- A heartbeat felt in the abdomen could also indicate an abdominal aneurysm which can be very dangerous, esp if it ruptures it can be fatal.
When the heartbeat in stomach usually occurs?
- I find that when I lie on my belly it sometimes hurts and i get short of breath .
- It also hurts if i suck in my belly.
- I have had what I thought was the stomach flu (Vomiting, diarrhea, fever ect.) But now, I can see my heartmeat in my stomach.
- I had noticed a heartbeat in the naval area but recently when I am stressed it is more dominat.
- I had a point where is I ate I would get sick so I couldnt eat and keep anything down for 3 months.