Table of contents:
- Symptoms of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
- Risk Factors for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
- Medical Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
- Prevention of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
The pulse can generally be felt in the neck and hands. However, is it normal for the stomach to throb? If you experience this complaint, you should stay alert, because a throbbing stomach can be a symptom of an abdominal aortic aneurysm that needs to be treated immediately
A throbbing stomach can be caused by a condition known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This condition is characterized by the enlargement of the aortic blood vessels in the abdomen, which are large blood vessels that function to drain oxygenated blood from the heart to the chest and abdominal cavities.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm can happen to anyone, but is more common in men 65 years of age or older. If the condition is not detected early, the blood vessels will enlarge and risk rupturing.
If a blood vessel ruptures, it can cause internal bleeding and serious complications, such as hypovolemic shock, which can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Symptoms of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Abdominal aortic aneurysms often develop slowly and usually cause no symptoms, making them difficult to detect. However, there are some signs and symptoms that you may feel when experiencing this condition, including:
- Stomach throbbing around the navel
- Pain in stomach that feels constant
- Pain in lower back
- Pale and sweaty skin
- Heart is beating fast
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
If you experience any of the symptoms above, you are advised to go to the hospital immediately so that an examination and treatment can be carried out as soon as possible. The same is true if there are signs of bleeding, such as cold feet or hands or sudden weakness in the body.
Risk Factors for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Although the exact cause of abdominal aortic aneurysm is still unknown, there are a number of factors that can trigger this condition, including:
1. Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
Atherosclerosis occurs due to the accumulation of fat and plaque-forming components in the walls of blood vessels. This condition can not only increase the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, but is also the most common cause of coronary heart disease.
2. High blood pressure (hypertension)
Increased blood pressure to exceed the normal limit (120/80 mmHg) can damage and weaken the aortic wall. This condition can increase the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Smoking is the highest risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Not only does smoking increase the risk of aortic aneurysm, smoking can also damage or weaken the aortic wall. This habit is also thought to be related to the condition of the rupture of the aortic blood vessel.
Infections in the blood vessels, whether caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites, can also cause aneurysms. However, this condition is rare.
5. Injury to the abdominal wall
Injury or a hard impact on the abdomen due to an accident can also trigger disruption of the aortic blood vessels and cause an aneurysm.
In some cases, abdominal aortic aneurysm can be hereditary and is thought to be related to genetic mutations. Research shows that a person is at a higher risk of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm if you have a family member who also has the disease.
Medical Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
To determine the cause of abdominal aortic aneurysm, the doctor will perform a series of physical examinations and investigations to determine the diagnosis and treatment method to be used.
The types of examinations performed include abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, X-rays, echocardiogram, and angiography to check the size and shape of the aneurysm. After the results of the examination are obtained, the doctor will determine the treatment depending on the size and how fast the aneurysm is growing.
The types of treatment that are generally given by doctors are:
Regular medical check-up
If the abdominal aortic aneurysm is small or medium in size and does not cause symptoms, the doctor will recommend regular medical examinations every 3 months or once a year. This is done to monitor that the blood vessels do not get bigger.
Meanwhile, if the aneurysm is large (about 5–5.5 cm), the doctor will recommend surgery to treat the enlargement of the aortic blood vessels. Surgery is also recommended if you experience symptoms, such as abdominal throbbing and pain around the abdomen to the lower back.
Emergency surgery will be performed to treat the rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm. If not treated immediately, this condition can cause heavy bleeding that can be life-threatening.
Prevention of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
To reduce the risk of enlargement of the aortic blood vessels, you can start by adopting a he althy lifestyle, such as:
- Stop smoking.
- Eat he althy food and reduce fatty foods.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.
In addition, if you have a history of other diseases that can increase the risk of aortic swelling, such as high blood pressure, you need to consult a doctor immediately so that these risk factors can be treated quickly.
If you feel symptoms of throbbing stomach accompanied by severe abdominal pain that does not go away, you are also advised to immediately consult a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and avoid fatal complications.