You hear about the word aneurysms often enough and the first thing you think about when you hear that word is that it happens in the brain. However, the truth is that aneurysms can happen in other parts of your body too such as the heart. And one common type of aneurysm is the aortic aneurysm. That is when a ballon-like bulge develops in the aorta which is the large artery that transports the blood from the torso and chest to the heart. The risk is that these aortic aneurysms can end up rupturing or splitting which can cause the blood to leak. That will need immediate medical attention if the aneurysm ruptures or splits.
If you have an aortic aneurysm, you can live with it and you’d have to do what you could to prevent a split or rupture. And the cause of the aortic aneurysm can be hereditary or congenital. If you are unsure that you are at risk for having an aortic aneurysm, then you can do a thumb-palm test to determine whether you are at risk or not.
How Do You Do A Thumb-Palm Test To Determine Whether You Have The Risk Of An Aortic Aneurysm?
What you want to do is to keep your palm flat. Then go and extend your thumb out as you can, and if it does go beyond the palm’s edge then that indicates that there is a risk of having an aortic aneurysm. The point of the test is to flex the thumb as far as you can. If it does, then that is a sign that there is connective tissue disease and that includes the aorta.
Those who conducted research among patients who went for heart surgery which includes aortic aneurysms noted that patients were asked to do the test beforehand. Therefore, it indicated that these patients were at risk of having the condition. That meant those who had their thumbs reaching past their palms were at a higher risk for the aneurysm.
Even though the thumb-palm test has been studied among medical students for several decades, it was only recently when it became part of a study in clinical settings. The point of doing the test was to find that an aortic aneurysm would be identified early on. That way, if there was a rupture, there would not be any mystery of the cause. These aneurysms are not easily identifiable after a split or rupture.
The good news is that those who have a positive test may not have an aortic aneurysm yet as it can take years to develop. That also means that there is not always an immediate risk. However, it is something to know and to monitor if there is a positive test.
How Do You Monitor And Stop An Aortic Aneurysm From Developing?
The best thing to do is to monitor your blood pressure and keep it controlled. High blood pressure will cause the walls of the aneurysm to keep expanding which increases the risk of it rupturing. That means keeping your blood pressure low and that means keeping your weight at an optimal level and limiting the salt and sodium in your diet. Drink plenty of water.
However, if you are struggling to breathe, have radiating pain to your back, having trouble swelling, and having intense back or chest pain, then you must get to the ER right away as that is a sign that the aortic aneurysm may end up bursting. That way you can have cardiologists monitoring you if you get to that point. However, if you keep your blood pressure controlled, the odds of it bursting are less.