The feeling of a heartbeat in your stomach is a common one. The pulse in your stomach is likely the aorta at work. You feel the pulse when you put your hand on your abdomen and apply pressure. If you feel pain or have a mass in the area, you may have an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which is a serious condition.
Anatomy: the aorta and your stomach
Often the heartbeat you feel in your stomach is the abdominal aorta. It is the largest artery within your body. The aorta is one of the pulse points you have across your body. When you push your abdomen you feel a heartbeat just as you can in your wrist. You are feeling the aorta at work.
The heartbeat is a normal sensation. Different factors can make you more aware of the pulse than usual. Anxiety, stress and rigorous exercise are common factors. If you are a thin person or have not eaten food in a lengthy period, you may also feel a stronger beat in your stomach than usual. You may be able to see pulse and do feel it even more when lying on your back.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when the artery in the stomach area dilates. The condition may be accompanied by back pain, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. When you feel pain as you put pressure on your pulsating abdomen you may have an aortic aneurysm.
AAA is dangerous, as you may not feel the pain until the aneurysm ruptures. The rupture brings serious internal bleeding and can lead to death. A doctor can test for the condition using an abdominal ultrasound. If you feel a bulge to the area as well, it is best to see your doctor immediately.
Other causes: when you feel your heartbeat in your stomach
Arrhythmia is another common reason why you feel a strong pulse in your stomach. This condition is an issue with your heart; you have an irregular heart rhythm. If you do not get treatment, an arrhythmia could lead to chronic kidney failure. Medical help is advisable.
Alternatively, the heartbeat you feel may be a sign of a stomach ulcer. Peptic ulcer disease is painful, as the ulcer is in the lining of the stomach. You may experience heartburn, nausea and bloating as well. The pulsing feeling may also indicate you have a mass in your stomach.
If the heartbeat stays strong over an extended period in your abdomen, see your doctor for a correct diagnosis. The pulse you feel may be a sign of a serious internal condition. The most common reason for the heartbeat in your stomach is the aorta, a significant pulse point, functioning as per usual.