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Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: young female w/ MVP and almost constant chest pain


 miss311 - Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:14 am

Hi
I'm a 23 year old female and I have Mitral valve prolapse and a heart murmur. I've known about it since I was about 10. I've had frequent and unignorable chest pain since I was 17. About 5 years ago I was put on anxiety meds for my social phobia and test anxiety (I'm a college student) and I also began experiencing acid reflux and was told to take an otc med. So for 5 years I've still experienced chest pain. I've visited 3 different cardiologists, all acknowleding that I have MVP and a heart murmur but saying I'm too young for chest pain and dismissing me with a perscription of Toradol...which will cure the pain for the moment and then it comes back. I'm not overweight for my height, I don't eat badly, and I go for walks almost everday, yet I still have pain. The pain is on the left side of my chest and sometimes feels as though it's shooting straight through to my back. Sometime it will go from the far left to about midchest. Many times it's accompanied by shortness of breath. I just want to know that I'm not crazy like the doctors around here are making me feel. I really would like to find out what is wrong with me, but I can't find one to listen. Any advice you can give to me would be helpful. Also, is there something I can do to make doctors take me seriously? I've tried dressing nicely for appointments, taking my mom, nothing seems to get me anywhere. I'm sorry this is long..I tried to give good information. Thanks again
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:07 pm

User avatar Hello -

Your symptom of concern, the left-sided chest pain, is classic for MVP syndrome. It is atypical for coronary artery disease, but young women generally do present with atypical heart disease symptoms (when it is present). While it's very likely your symptoms are due to MVP, and can be treated, you should be given the courtesy of a reasonably thorough cardiological workup. This would ease your mind and satisfy the highest ethical standard of care, something to which everyone is entitled.

It's an unfortunate fact of life that young, otherwise healthy women -- and women in general -- are taken less seriously regarding heart disease than are men by a majority of doctors. That you've met three. and that they were all cardiologists, who would make a summary judgement based on statistics, is shocking. (Statistically it is entirely likely your chest pain is due to MVP -- but what if it weren't? Who would answer if something bad happened?).

You're gone above and beyond the call of duty to get your doctors to treat you as a patient and not as "just" a young, apparently healthy woman. This is a problem that will improve over the coming years, as it has become an issue and a cause. Still, as your story proves, not everyone is on board yet.

I want to repeat that I believe, based upon your description of the symptoms, that what you're feeling is due to MVP syndrome. At the very least, you should have been prescribed a beta blocker drug to help manage this. Toradol isn't appropropriate for this sort of pain; although it will do no particular harm, it's not a solution, either.

I also want to repeat that you are entitled to be treated as a human being with a potentially serious complaint that deserves to be explored and anything serious ruled out. An EKG an echocardiogram and a stress test would be appropriate. You may have had one or two of these, but apparently not a stress test. All should be done based upon symptoms. I hope also your meds for social phobia are working well for you.

I hope this is helpful. Please follow up with us here as needed. Best of luck to you.
 miss311 - Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:22 pm

Thank you so much for your reply. I try to stay informed with anything MVP related because I've had such little help in this area. I hope to find a cardiologist with your midset one day! Just because I'm and young female in college, the ones I have seen simply blame it on stress, "You're too young!" is what the tell me. It's nice to hear someone say I'm not. Thanks for your time again!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:37 pm

User avatar You're very welcome. I hope you find someone who will take the time to at least listen and talk back to you. They're out there. :)

Please stay in touch with us here and if any further questions arise don't hesitate to bring them to us. Good luck to you.

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