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Can Heart Problems Cause Stomach Problems

How Heart Problems Can Cause Gastrointestinal Problems

Your breathing problems may actually be caused by your stomach, not asthma

The heart is the focal point of the circulatory system, a network of blood vessels that transport blood around the body. The digestive system takes up 20-25% of blood flow, so issues with these organs could be indicative of heart problems. Cardiovascular disease, particularly congestive heart failure, can result in gastrointestinal complications. Fluid retention is one of the most common symptoms of heart failure, which occurs when the heart is unable to supply enough oxygen to the body’s other organs. As a result of the fluid retention caused by heart failure, fluid accumulates in the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to bloating with or without distension.4 Bloating in the abdomen can be caused by the fluid accumulation in the following areas:

  • Liver, which makes your abdomen feel swollen or tender.
  • Stomach, which causes decreased appetite, bloating, and nausea.5
  • Intestines, which causes decreased appetite and poor absorption of medicines and food.

When patients suffer from heart disease, their blood circulation slows and their body chemistry shifts from alkaline to acidic. Once the body has reached this acidic condition, organ systems, including the digestive tract, cannot operate effectively, which may result in bloating.

What Causes Stomach Swelling And Bloating

The most common cause of stomach pain and bloating is excess intestinal gas. If you get a bloated stomach after eating, it may be a digestive issue. It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up.

Odema In Certain Parts Of The Body Is Indicative Of Congestive Heart Failure

Written by Agencies | Published : December 20, 2017 2:22 PM IST

Heart failure is the term used for the condition describing the inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it, specifically the failure of the heart to pump blood with normal efficiency. When this occurs, the heart is unable to provide adequate blood flow to other organs such as the brain, liver and kidneys. Heart failure may be due to failure of the right or left or both ventricles. When the blood flowing out of the heart is slower in comparison to the blood being brought in through the veins, the blood starts backing up causing congestion in the tissues and organs of the body. Due to this, different parts of the body such as the liver, abdomen, legs may develop swelling or edema. Heart failures that cause this congestion are known as congestive heart failure. Reduce or blockage in regular ventricular function is characteristic of congestive heart failure.

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Stomach And Chest Pain

Although commonly associated with heart attacks, stomach and chest pain can also be related to issues with various areas of your body including your intestines, lungs, muscles, ribs, and/or nerves.

Regardless of the cause, chest and abdominal pain is not something that should be ignored. Though pain or discomfort in these areas is commonly associated with a heart attack, know that there are many other possible causes. Other common causes of chest and abdominal pain could include gas, appendicitis, or even gallstones.

If you are at all worried about your symptoms, dont wait to head into one of Complete Cares freestanding ER locations. Our 24/7 walk-in locations are fully equipped with professional medical staff prepared to diagnose and treat your stomach and chest pain symptoms.

Surprising Heart Attack Symptoms Women Should Never Ignore

What Causes Heart Attacksand How to Prevent Them


Heart disease remains the number-one cause of death for women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . In fact, according to a 2017 study conducted by the University of Leeds and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association , women are much more likely to die following a heart attack than men are. The reason? Women are more likely to dismiss their symptoms or wait too long to report them.

Why do female heart attack symptoms so often get disregarded? Well, for one, they arent as easy to recognize. Heart attack symptoms in a woman can look and feel very different from the better-known symptoms that tend to affect men. In contrast to the big, loud physical indicators in males, female heart attack symptoms tend to be more nuanced and manifest in concert. That is why women should never ignore these unusual symptoms, especially if they experience more than one at the same time:

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What Is A Heart Attack

Heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually due to the presence of a blood clot. Lack of oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart can lead to severe damage which may be life-threatening.

The coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle, become narrowed from the buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances. Together, these form a plaque by a slow process called atherosclerosis. When the plaque ruptures, a clot begins to form at the rupture site. This obstructs the flow of blood through the artery to the heart muscle. When a heart muscle has insufficient oxygen and nutrients, damage or death of that part of the heart muscle can occur, called ischemia.3Heart attack is a medical emergency. Call 999 immediately if you think you or someone you know may be having a heart attack.

For Pulmonary Embolism And Heart Attack

Youll receive blood thinning medication and clot dissolvers for a pulmonary embolism, although your doctor may recommend surgery to remove a life-threatening clot.

Clot-busting medications are also first-line treatments for a heart attack. These medications can dissolve a clot and restore blood flow to your heart.

Healthier lifestyle choices help prevent some causes of chest and abdominal pain.

Some ways include:

  • Reducing stress:Relieving some stress in your life could potentially alleviate extreme anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Knowing your limits: Dont be afraid to say no and practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing or meditation to control your feelings and emotions.
  • Eating slower: Eating slower, eating smaller meals, and avoiding certain types of food may prevent symptoms of:
  • Regular exercise: Losing weight and eating a healthy diet can also prevent heart disease, as well as reduce the risk of gallstones. Physical activity can even prevent blood clots that travel to the lungs.
  • Following doctors orders: If you have a history of pulmonary embolism, taking blood thinners, wearing compression stockings, and keeping your legs elevated at night could prevent future clots.
  • Some chest and abdominal pain can be mild and resolve within minutes or hours, either on their own or with over-the-counter medication.

    Discomfort caused by certain conditions might not require a doctor, such as:

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    Your Guts Role In Health And Disease

    Your microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms that live in and on your body mostly bacteria but also fungi and other organisms. Its estimated that an average person has about 38 trillion bacteria in their microbiome, with most of these creatures living in the digestive tract, or gut.

    Many of these bacteria are considered beneficial, aiding in the normal functions of your digestive system and helping defend your body against more harmful organisms.

    Other bacteria in your microbiome, however, can not only disrupt your digestive health but negatively affect many other areas of your body, too. Theres significant evidence that the gut microbiome is involved in human health in virtually all diseases, says Raphael Kellman, MD, a physician of integrative and functional medicine and founder of the Kellman Wellness Center in New York City. Cardiovascular diseases, which are associated with high morbidity and mortality across the world, are no exception.

    While theres still a lot to learn about how exactly the gut microbiome affects different disease risks, its clear that broadly speaking, an unhealthy gut causes negative health effects through inflammation your immune systems reaction to an injury or foreign substance.

    When inflammation affects blood vessels, the vessels lose their elasticity, Kellman explains. The cells of the vessels dont function well, and that sets the stage for the development of plaque and atherosclerosis.

    Heart Disease And The Digestive System

    Roemheld Syndrome, Stomach Issues Can Cause Heart Disease and Arrhythmia

    Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in seniors, and a number of studies have shown that theres a strong correlation between the health of your heart and the health of your digestive system. That means that even though we often focus on heart health, its just as important that you know how to take care of your digestive system if you want to optimize your overall well-being.

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    When Should I Call My Doctor Or 911

    Contact your doctor if you have ongoing mild to moderate stomach pain.

    Just before or during a heart attack, some people are known to feel vague restlessness or nervousness, or a deep sense of dread or doom. if you have sudden or severe stomach pain with these feelings, or any of the following symptoms:

    What Else Could Cause Stomach Pain

    Its easy to mistake the stomach pain of a heart attack for other problems, especially when it occurs without chest pain. The following diseases and conditions are known to cause stomach pain that feels like that of a heart attack:

    • Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease , a backup of stomach contents and acids into the esophagus

    • Heartburn, a burning feeling in your stomach or chest behind the breastbone due to a problem with food digestion

    • Indigestion in your stomach area caused by a digestive problem. You may feel bloated and have visible swelling.

    • Peptic ulcer, a breakdown in the lining of the stomach or upper part of the small intestine

    • Gastritis, an irritation of your stomach lining

    • Pancreatitis, an inflammation of your pancreas

    • Gallbladder disease, including cholecystitis or choledocholithiasis

    • Hepatitis, an infection or inflammation of your liver

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    Medications For Heart Failure

    Certain medications can help treat heart failure and its underlying cause:

    • Aldosterone blockers block the effects of the hormone aldosterone, encouraging the body to release sodium and water. They also help prevent scarring in the heart.
    • Angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor : Treatment with sacubitril-valsartan reduces excess fluid in the body and relaxes blood vessels. This makes it easier for your heart to pump blood. Alternatives to ARNIs include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors andangiotensin receptor blockers .
    • Beta blockers make the heart beat more slowly and with less force. They also help keep heart rhythm regular.
    • Sodium-glucose transport protein 2 inhibitors are diabetes drugs that have recently been found to be very beneficial in heart failure. They help remove glucose via the kidneys into the urine.

    Other medications can relieve the heart failure symptoms:

    • Diuretics reduce the amount of fluid in the body.
    • Vasodilators dilate the blood vessels and reduce the hearts workload.
    • Digoxin helps the heart beat stronger with a more regular rhythm.
    • Anti-arrhythmics control arrhythmia and maintain normal heart rhythm.

    Can Your Gut Health Affect Your Heart

    10 Reasons for Low Stomach Acid

    Trust your gut. Follow your heart. As it turns out, you can do both at once: The health of your cardiovascular and digestive systems appears to be linked.

    Why? One hundred trillion bacteria, from at least several hundred species, inhabit your gastrointestinal tract. Many of these so-called microbes are good for you. They help you digest food, metabolize drugs, and protect you from infection by harmful invaders.

    When your balance of gut bugs goes awry, the damage isnt limited to tummy troubles. Changes to whats called your gut microbiomethe group of microbes in your GI tractmay also affect your heart.

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    How Heart Disease Affects The Digestive System

    Stomach pain and other gastrointestinal issues can indicate a heart condition like heart disease . Typically, these gastrointestinal symptoms occur because the heart is having difficulty pumping blood throughout the body. As blood circulation slows, the body chemistry changes from alkaline to acidic: Once the body transitions to this acidic state, organ systems, including the digestive tract, are unable to function properly.

    How To Avoid Gerd Symptoms

    You can reduce or eliminate the discomfort of GERD symptoms by taking a few simple steps. These include:

    • Avoiding fast food
    • Exercising regularly with an empty stomach
    • Avoiding stress

    If you notice that your GERD symptoms are interfering with your daily life or drastically restricting what you can eat, consider talking with your doctor about treatment options, says Dr. Purcell.

    If you need further treatment, your doctor can help you find a treatment that works best for you and will help you find relief from GERD.

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    When Should You Go To The Hospital With Congestive Heart Failure

    Red = Danger. Go to the emergency room or call your local emergency number if you have heart failure and have gained more than 5 pounds in a week. Also seek help if you cant lie flat, are short of breath at rest, have increased swelling and discomfort in the lower body, or have a constant, hacking cough.

    How Are Stomach Pain And Heart Attack Connected

    The Connection Between Anxiety and Stomach Problems

    A heart attack is usually caused by a blood clot that forms in a coronary artery. This blocks blood flow to your heart and often causes a cramping or squeezing type of pain in the center of your chest. Sometimes this pain can spread to the upper stomach area .

    Although the pain is really coming from your heart, you may only feel it in your stomach area and not in your chest at all. The pain, which may worsen with even minor activity, may also spread up to your left shoulder and arm. This is more common in women than in men. You may also feel queasy or sick to your stomach and vomit.

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    Causes Of Abdominal Pain

    The abdomen contains several important organs that can all be affected by abdominal pain. The intestines, stomach, kidneys, spleen, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas are all situated in this region of the body.

    A problem with one organ can often cause pain in the entire area, making it difficult to identify the exact source of the pain. Infections are the most common cause of acute abdominal pain, but abnormal growths, inflammation, blockages, and digestive disorders can also be the cause.

    Because of the close proximity of the heart to the chest area above the abdomen, problems with the heart can also cause pain to radiate to the abdominal area. Indigestion commonly causes acid reflux and heartburn, which causes pain in the chest.

    Stomach pain, nausea, and indigestion can also be symptoms of heart disease or a heart attack. Women are especially likely to experience these symptoms in association with a heart attack.

    Where Does The Fluid Come From In Congestive Heart Failure

    With congestive heart failure, the hearts capacity to pump blood cannot keep up with the bodys need. As the heart weakens, blood begins to back up and force liquid through the capillary walls. The term congestive refers to the resulting buildup of fluid in the ankles and feet, arms, lungs, and/or other organs.

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    Can Heart Problems Cause Weight Gain

    Heart failure means that the heart isnt working as well as it should. One effect of this can be extra fluid in your body. This can cause rapid weight gain and can cause swelling in the ankles, feet or legs, or sometimes around the stomach. Fluid can also build up in the lungs, which can cause breathlessness.

    When In Doubt Check It Out

    Know a little bit about everything

    If youre not sure if its heartburn or your heart, seek medical attention right away. Its very easy to confuse the two issues so let a doctor rule out the most severe possibility. This is an especially important message for women.

    Women are more likely to call help for someone else but not themselves, Bauman said. In fact, 81 percent of women said they would call 911 for someone else showing signs of a heart attack but only 65 percent would call for themselves, according to a special report in Circulation.

    She added: I always tell people if youre concerned and not sure if its your heart, its better to err on the side of checking it out and having someone tell you its not a heart attack.

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    Stomach Problems That Affect The Heart

    Did you know that the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract can actually have an impact on your cardiovascular system? This is why its crucial to identify and understand the stomach problems that affect the heart.

    Keep reading to know more about the relationship between the health of your gut and the health of your heart.

    Joannes Story Of Ectopic Heart Beats And Stomach Problems

    I am writing you regarding your facebook post related to all that is not shared is lost.First, I would like to thank you for your awareness of heart palpitations and the vagus nerve/stomach.

    My story I am 56 years old and have suffered with ectopic beats/palpitations since my mid 20s. I would had one or two a day or a run if I got into an argument with someone. I was always told they were related to stress and anxiety and since I could relate a run of these beats to any stressful argument I ever had, I stopped arguing with people and simply dealt with the one or two ectopic beats that I felt daily.

    Fast forward to 2012, after a fun day visiting with a friend, and a few glasses of wine, I started feeling a missed beat every 20 seconds or so and it went on for hours. I had never felt them this consistently or for such a length of time before. So I saw a cardiologist who tested me via ekg, stress echo and Holter monitor which caught 41 ectopic beats. I was told my heart structure was fine and to take Xanax as needed. The ectopic beats seemed to calm down on their own.

    Now in April 2018, they seemed worse again, hours of skipped/missed beats, chest thumps, etc. so back to the cardiologist. EKG and heart ultrasound again reveals no structural issues, perhaps a false tendon, but nothing abnormal. Again told maybe I had a cold and the ingredient in a nasal spray was perhaps the cause. I was sent for a sleep study which revealed I should sleep with a cpap machine.

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