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- Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:51 pm
Hello. I am a 24 year old female who was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse when I was 15. I was active and played sports in highschool and during all my physicals for school doctors ruled it as a "functional heart murmur" and never restricted my activities. I have never had any symptoms, until somewhat recently. I was also diagnosed with panic disorder back in 2002, since then I notice from time to time shortness of breath and dizziness. I have gained a substantial amount of weight since highschool and it seemed the heavier I became, the more symptoms I noticed. At my last trip to the doctor he listened to my heart and stated that he did not detect any noticable "clicks" or murmurs. I found this kind of hard to believe. Should I push to get more tests done on my MVP, or do you think that most likely my symptoms are coming from weight gain and anxiety?
| Dr. Chan Lowe
- Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:53 pm
Mitral valve prolapse is incredibly common, particularly in women. In fact, in one study they evaluated college girls and upon becoming dehydrated almost all of them had MVP.
We should distinguish between MVP and mitral valve regurgitation. MVP is when the valve flips backwards a bit but does not leak. MVR is when the valve flips backwards and does allow a leak of blood backwards through the valve. MVP is really a symptomless condition for the most part. MVR can cause some symptoms if the leak is severe enough (which isn't necessarily a major leak).
With MVP a click can sometimes be heard but not always. With MVR a murmur can be heard but not always. Increased weight can worsen the problems from MVP and MVR. Unfortunately, the symptoms you are describing are somewhat nonspecific. Significant mitral valve regurgitation could cause them, as can panic attacks or a few other things.
If you are concerned it is reasonable to see a cardiologist. Follow up with your doctor can help determine if this is necessary.