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Heart failure: The not-so-intuitive sign in your tummy that could mean heart failure


Heart failure is when the heart can’t push blood around the body efficiently. It happens when the heart becomes too weak, often because of age or high blood pressure. Or, in most cases, heart disease.

Doctor Gosia Wamil of the Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London, explained that one lesser-known sign of heart failure is abdominal pain.

Ms Wamil said: “Some heart failure warning signs are intuitive, such as ankle swelling, breathlessness, chest pain, a heartbeat that feels rapid or irregular, and fatigue while exercising.

“There are other symptoms that people may not associate with heart failure.

“Those include a persistent cough, abdominal swelling, rapid weight gain, nausea, and a lack of appetite.”

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When heart failure happens, there is a buildup of blood around the body – including in the tummy.

This is known as congestion and can cause swelling in the abdomen. The fluid buildup often starts in the chest.

If you experience any of the symptoms described by Doctor Wamil, it’s important that you seek care – she explained.

Heart disease can lead to the onset of heart failure because the buildup of fatty substances in the coronary artery can increase blood pressure, which weakens the heart.

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Doctors may also provide breathing tests, where you blow into a tube to check lung problems that are linked to breathlessness.

In some cases, they may also provide an X-ray to see if there is fluid in your lungs.



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