Mitral Valve Prolapse, referred to as MVP, affects more people then other heart disorders. The number is unknown as there are many people who have it and have no idea they have it. Most people with MVP do not show any symptoms and have nothing to worry about, on average it is not at all life threatening. However there can be complications and there are people who have symptoms, including myself.
Mitral Valve Prolapse is when the valve on the left side of the heart does not close properly when the heart beats. It is kind of floppy instead of shutting. It is usually not a worry unless there is Mitral Regurgitation which is when the blood leaks back into the left side of the heart after the valve should have been shut. People with regurgitation often have symptoms and may require medication or even surgery to repair the valve. The risk of stroke or heart attack is greater if regurgitation is severe.
Though many people do not show symptoms there are some who do, I am one of the people who experience scary symptoms related to MVP. People’s symptoms may vary and people often feel scared until they finally get diagnosed and treated correctly. My symptoms (and these are common ones) are heart palpitations, migraines, anxiety, lightheadedness, sudden severe fatigue and severe chest pains. The worst really is the chest pains especially when they get bad and radiate down your left arm, classic sign of a heart attack. They can be very uneasy and will land you in the Emergency Room a couple of times, mainly out of fear of a heart attack. Chest pains typically need to be treated with medication and tested to verify the reason for getting them. I find that I need to relax at some point either late morning or early afternoon and sometimes close my eyes for a few minutes to try to ease the sudden fatigue. Your body can feel so drained you feel like you never slept the night before. Palpitations can be scary but are the easiest to get used to unless your heart is really racing. It is just uneasy at first being able to feel your heartbeat throughout your body without checking for your pulse. Migraines can be partially prevented by watching the foods you eat. Certain foods such as hot dogs and certain deli meats are known to be a possible trigger for a migraine. That is not saying you will get a migraine every time you eat hot dogs though. Anxiety I am not sure how to cope with, beside medication, as I have tried to relax but my anxiety is not always triggered by any stress. There are many medications that can ease the symptoms of MVP, it is up to you and your Doctor to find the right one.
My situation was shared here as I want people who have MVP to know they are not alone in feeling these symptoms. It is often brushed aside by many Doctors as a disorder that has no danger and the thought that you can not possibly have symptoms. If you do have MVP and you are suffering from these symptoms talk to your Doctor about these symptoms being from MVP. A lot of times people end up getting treated for depression or anxiety and really it is the MVP that is causing the anxiety.
I am not a Doctor I can not say that if you have these symptoms that you have MVP and I also can not say that if you have MVP and these symptoms that it is strictly from the MVP. I am speaking from my experience with it and I have heard many people say their Doctor told them that it can not be MVP causing their symptoms. There is a bit of controversy over it and everywhere you look you get different information about it.
Please note that if you have any of these symptoms you should talk to your Doctor right away, chest pains go to the hospital. This is a guideline for people who have MVP and have been under a Doctor’s care. There are many causes of chest pains and you need to get it checked out right away. It is better for the hospital to tell you to go home you are okay then it is to not go and find out you were not okay. I am under care of my Doctor and still worry with every chest pain.