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Mitral Valve Prolapse

12/22/2009 - Questions and Answers

Mitral Valve Prolapse

By: Mark Castleden

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I've been unwell for three weeks. My symptoms seem kind of vague, I have had trouble sleeping, and when I do sleep, I sometimes wake up with chest pain. Sometimes I wake up with my heart beating really hard and fast. Also, my feet and legs are uncomfortably cold, especially at night. I've read about the increased incidence of Mitral Valve Prolapse syndrome in hypothyroid patients. Is this something that can occur suddenly?

Question

I've been unwell for three weeks. My symptoms seem kind of vague, I have had trouble sleeping, and when I do sleep, I sometimes wake up with chest pain. Sometimes I wake up with my heart beating really hard and fast. Also, my feet and legs are uncomfortably cold, especially at night. I've read about the increased incidence of Mitral Valve Prolapse syndrome in hypothyroid patients. Is this something that can occur suddenly?

Answer

You do indeed have some of the symptoms that are reported with Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP).

Most of the time, MVP is not a serious condition, even though some patients report palpitations or sharp chest pains, a feeling of tiredness and occasionally shortness of breath such as you stated. Some of these symptoms can also come from being hypothyroid. If you have not had your thyroid levels done in a while, now is the time to have them done as your levothyroxine dose may need to be adjusted.

Thyroid patients can also develop anemia so this should be checked as well.

A physician can usually auscultate (listen) to the heart and determine if a patient has MVP. If uncertain, a cardiac ultrasound can be performed with excellent diagnostic results.

Most patients do not need treatment. If you have MVP, your doctor will give you antibiotic medicine before dental procedures or general surgery, especially if you have mitral regurgitation or thickened valve leaflets. This medicine will prevent a chance infection of the valve from the procedure.

Also remember not to have any large meals or fatty snacks before retiring to bed. These may keep you from sleeping as well as tea, caffeine, chocolate and colas. The fact that you seem to be worrying about having MVP may also be hindering your sleep.

However, don't second guess your problems. See your doctor to have your thyroid levels checked. Have your doctor listen to your heart for signs of MVP. And have blood tests to rule out anemia.

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  • Mitral Valve Prolapse

Footnotes

Created on: 05/29/2003
Reviewed on: 12/22/2009

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