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Heart attack: The four gastrointestinal issues which could signal you’re at risk

Heart attacks occur when an artery supplying the heart with blood and oxygen becomes blocked, usually by a blood clot. The most common underlying cause of blood clots is coronary heart disease. There are a number of signs the body gives out warning that something is not right. Experiencing any of the following gastrointestinal issues could mean something more sinister.


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Stomach pain and other gastrointestinal issues can indicate a heart condition like cardiovascular and heart disease.

Typically, these gastrointestinal symptoms occur because the heart is having difficulty pumping blood throughout the body.

Some of the gastrointestinal issues could include vomiting, nausea, stomach bloating or abdominal pain.

In a study with the New England Journal of Medicine, gastrointestinal symptoms in heart disease were investigated.

The study noted: “Many persons with heart disease first consult a gastroenterologist because of symptoms of indigestion.

“Gastrointestinal symptoms may arise from congenital abnormalities of the cardiovascular system.

“Nausea is a common accompaniment of coronary occlusion.

“Nausea and vomiting in an elderly patient may be the only sign of coronary thrombosis of the silent type.” 

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Other gastrointestinal issues signalling a heart complication could include abdominal bloating.

The abdominal bloating is a result of fluid being backed up in various areas of the body including:

Liver, which makes the abdomen feel swollen or tender

Stomach, which causes decreased appetite, bloating and nausea

Intestines, which causes decreased appetite and poor absorption of medicines and food.


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Heart attack symptoms in women 

Women may have all, many, a few or none of the typical heart attack symptoms said the Mayo Clinic.

The health site continued: “Some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest is still a common symptom of a heart attack in women.

“However, many women have heart attack symptoms without chest pain.

“They may include pain in the neck, back, shoulders or jaw, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, pain in one or both arms, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or fainting and unusual or unexplained fatigue, possibly for days.”

How to reduce your risk of a heart attack

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in reducing your risk of having a heart attack is staying at a healthy weight.

Being overweight or having obesity can increase a person’s risk for heart disease as being overweight is often linked to other heart disease risk factors.

Keeping your cholesterol and triglycerides levels under control will also significantly reduce your risk of having a heart attack.

High blood pressure is a major risk for heart disease and therefore it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. 

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