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Pulsating Stomach
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by awad86, Oct 13, 2008
I'm a 21 year-old, healthy female. I don't smoke, nor do I drink.

My stomach has been pulsating for the past 3 months, akin to my heart beat. Its most noticeable when I'm laying down, its locating in the upper right quadrant of my stomach. I've been to the doctor and the ER and they told me that my aorta was a normal diameter by way of an ultrasound, and gave me a rectal exam to make sure I wasn't bleeding. But they didn't have any answers for me and they sent me home.
My stomach is still pulsating and I don't know what's causing it. Any ideas?

I've also noticed in the past 2 months, that every bowel movement I have, have consisted of small pebble-like stools.  I have them regularly every day, and I keep myself hydrated so I don't think I'm constipated. Not sure if it relates to my stomach pulsating, but I'm not sure what's causing that either.
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Member Comments (18)
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by GoldFishy222, Oct 13, 2008
Mine pulsates too... I thought it was weird but assumed it was normal and maybe it was just more noticeable for me.  It’s kind of up to the left of my belly button though.  I think it goes with my heartbeat so it would make sense for it to be the aorta, i guess.  Does yours seem to match your heartbeat?  I’ve been in for sooo many stomach test lately that i think if something was really wrong that had to do with it that they would have said something.  So I really wouldn’t worry about it… Unless we both have something weird going on…I’ve never really asked anyone else if they have this happen.

As for as how your BM’s go I’m not really sure.  You could try adding more fiber to your diet? And as far as I know small pebble-like stools are a sign of constipation, but if your having them regularly everyday???… If anything if that keeps up I might consider going into you doctor just for that, to make sure your ok.  

If your worried about anything I wouldn’t let it go to long with out trying to get it checked out.  From personal experience I know that getting anything done with a GI can take months so the sooner you start the sooner you’ll solve the problem… hopefully. Good luck!
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by GhostOf1901, Oct 13, 2008
The pulsating you're talking about may be the result of a muscle twitching. Based on the location it can either be the colon, the lower parts of the stomach/dudenum, or the gallbladder. Judging by your stools, however, I'm willing to bet it's your colon.

Often times, when a muscle twitches it's because it's been working harder than it's used to working. In your case this may be for a number of reasons.

1) If it's your colon, you simply may not be getting enough fiber in your diet. If you don't have enough fiber, then your colon is doing a lot of work without getting enough proper nutrients. Try upping your fiber to 40g per day (particularly from fruits and vegetables) and see what happens after 2 weeks. (Note that pectin, a fiber found in apples, is especially good for the colon, so have at it.) Remember: your stools should have a toothpaste like consistency.  

2) If it's your gallbladder, you may be feeling the first signs of biliary dyskinesia. In this case, try lowering the amount of fat you eat, and try following a gallbladder friendly diet (I believe gicare.com has a few tips about that). Olive oil is especially good for times like these.

3) If it's your stomach, then it might be a number of things. For example, if you're fighting an infection, your stomach will do some weird things, mostly because it's producing a bunch of extra acid. Also, if you've had some sort of viral illness it may have attacked some of the nerves that control your gi system, and the muscles may have become weaker because of it. (Weak muscles tend to be the reason for twitching, remember.) Finally, you may be dealing with the beginnings of something more serious, like a muscle dysfunction, which should be studied further. (This last scenario isn't likely, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility, which is why I mention it.)

My recommendation: start with the higher fiber diet, while at the same time lowering your fat intake (eliminate all fast foods). Go with a gallbladder friendly diet, including extra virgin olive oil.

You may want to see a doctor about this just to be on the safe side. You may also want to see an alternative health care specialist. (I always recommend a good acupuncturist with good herbal knowledge.) Most of this type of specialist will be able to tell you whether you have something off balance which you can correct and therefore head off any possible problems before they become serious.

Good luck.
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by awad86, Nov 14, 2008
It does pulsate with the beat of my heart. It's really creepy. It keeps me up at night a lot because I think about it so much. I recently had a CT with oral and IV contrast just to rule out the possibility of an aneurysm or a bowel obstruction, but they said it was clear. So I have no idea what's causing it, but its really a high point of anxiety in my life. I really just wish I knew what it was.
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by shawnfro1987, Dec 14, 2009
i have the same thing! :( in everyway. mine is the left top part of my stomach just below the rip cage and its so messed up
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by Oneiromancer, Jun 20, 2010
Poor dear. They brought you through all that for something like that? Bah.

It's anxiety. Your stomach seems to pulsate because your aorta pulsates, which is because your heart palpitates, which is because you're nervous. It's no wonder you worried so much about it, because that's part of the problem that's causing the pulsation. Being thin makes that pulsation more obvious.

The constipation has nothing to do with it, as that's a problem the intestines deal with. Constipation is often a sign of an irritable bowel, however, an extremely common syndrome which is also psychosomatic.

I speak entirely from experience. In the middle of an anxiety attack I looked in the mirror and saw my aorta pulsate from the other side of the room. I've also been having an irritable bowel.

The best thing to do is to check in with the sensations of your belly now and then and relax the tensions you'll be likely to feel there. Those tensions are the result of anxiety, and they'll affect your peristalsis.

Oops, turns out this is an old thread.
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by Varsh138, Dec 29, 2010
You spot on there. Anxiety is a key cause of that pulsating/beating feeling in the stomach. And the main treatment is the dispelling of anxiety in whichever  way works for you.

However if you guys search for "navel displacement" you will also come up with similar symtoms and that can be healed by "yoga for navel displacements" I find this method quite effective and one can get rid of that pulsating feeling, that affects your breathing, appetite and eventually bowels, after a few days of practising it.

P.S. Although this is an old thread, there will always be people looking for help and the more information provided, the better. I find it very useful, thanks guys.

Best of luck.
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by foreverXXI, Jan 04, 2011
Indeed, although it is an old post the current/update responses are very much helpful! :)

I just happened to google this issue that I too am going through and am glad to have found this page. I too have suffered anxiety for the past 3-4 months and have noticed the pulsating sensation from my stomach. My overall concern is, how to manage and control these pulsating sensations - if such management exists?!
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by Wang28, Jan 30, 2011
I have the same thing totally,sounds very common and lots of people are looking for answers,mine goes from my stomach up to my throut,im constantly tellung myself its anxiety and worry,ive always had the throbbing in my stomach and tho its loads stronger now its not new,im struggling to shift it,i have just come off beta blockers and was desperate to,could this be why it feels stronger now?change in blood pressure maybe?