Heart Murmurs & Mitral Valve Prolapse, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 627
Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.
HEART MURMURS & MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE, INVITEⓇ HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 627
Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH
InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health care professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that Invite Health has to offer at invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code podcast at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started. † [00:00:34]
Amanda Williams MD, MPH: [00:00:40] We’ve all come to realize the importance of having a healthy heart, and if you have high blood pressure or any other problem that may arise throughout your life when it comes to the cardiovascular system, there’s always room for concern. And if you’re diagnosed with a particular heart condition, it can be incredibly overwhelming and a lot of what ifs and what do I do when told that there is a cardiac condition? Certainly, we can look at a very common condition that oftentimes is incredibly harmless and is asymptomatic, meaning it’s not creating any problems for you, but that is heart murmurs. And we know that heart murmurs are very common in children, and we see this in upwards of 75% of children can have a heart murmur. And then when we get into adulthood, it’s estimated that somewhere around 10% of the population will have a heart murmur. So, it is relatively common and for the most part, they are considered to be innocent but there can be reasons for alarm and to have concern. So, I want to talk a little bit about murmurs today and what you should be doing if you’ve been told in the past that you have a heart murmur or maybe something such as mitral valve prolapse, this is usually the most common causative reason as to why someone in their adulthood can experience a murmur. So, we’ll talk a little bit about that. I am Dr. Amanda Williams, scientific director at Invite Health. And when it comes to the cardiovascular system, clearly this is very complex, a lot of moving parts, we’ve got electrolytes, we have an electrical conduction system, we have the heart muscles themselves, we have upper chambers and lower chambers. There’s a lot of areas where things can kind of go haywire, which is why we want to do everything in our power to protect our heart as we go throughout our life, want to eat the right foods, those high antioxidant foods. We want to have a healthy, active lifestyle, definitely important to make sure that we have good blood circulation and of course we want to take the right nutrients, omega three fatty acids, for example, coenzyme Q10 in the Ubiquinol form. Looking at nutrients such as vitamin K2, definitely important, Vitamin D3, also key and magnesium, which I’m going to get into in some detail, because when it comes to heart murmurs, magnesium can become your new best friend. So, understanding that heart murmurs for the most part, are considered to be, not a life-threatening condition and for the most part remain to be asymptomatic. So, meaning if you didn’t know because your doctor didn’t tell you, oh, I’m listening through the stethoscope and I can hear a murmur, you wouldn’t probably recognize this because it’s not creating any symptoms nor is it really impacting the true functionality of how the heart is working. † [00:03:56]
[00:03:57] But what we have to look at is, you know, what causes the murmur itself. So, you have different valves, so the heart itself has four valves, you have the aortic valve, the mitral valve, the tricuspid valve and the pulmonary valve. In any of those valves, we can have an interruption of how that valve is opening or closing. So the amount of blood that’s flowing in or out can be impacted based on those valves. It’s kind of like, if you’re closing a door in your house, maybe it sticks a little bit. So as you’re closing the door, you have to pull it a little harder for it to completely close. It’s the same concept for thinking about the heart valves, so as blood is flowing out of one chamber into another chamber, it may create this kind of flapping sound because that valve door, we can think about that door closing, that valve is taking a little longer, and so this is the disruption and what the doctor can hear in a stethoscope for this wooshing sound. And so the normal beat that you’re listening for is kind of a lub dub. So sometimes you’ll hear an extra beat, for example, now, this isn’t something that the average person is sitting around with a stethoscope listening to heart rates and heartbeats all day long. But what we do know is that this is a very common condition, like I said, estimated that 75% of children at some point will have a heart murmur, and it’s estimated that about 10% of adults will have a harmless murmur. Usually, the most common valve that creates this problem is the mitral valve. And mitral valve prolapse is a fairly common diagnosis. And when someone is told that they have mitral valve prolapse, once again this can create room for concern. Because you go, oh my goodness, does this mean, you know, I’m going to drop dead of a heart attack or have a stroke? Because oftentimes, doctors aren’t the best at explaining what exactly mitral valve prolapse is.† [00:06:03]
[00:06:05] So it’s a condition in which the two valve flaps of the mitral valve don’t close smoothly or evenly. And because of this, it throws off that normal Lub dub sound, so the heart itself is, you know, pumping or contracting, the musculature of the heart. It’s forcing that blood in and out of those chambers. And so, you can kind of get this little regurgitation of blood, a little bit of blood kind of flows back through slowly through that valve because the valve didn’t properly open or close. So hence, this is mitral valve prolapse. The reason I kind of zeroed in on this is because this is going to be the most common reason as to why someone has a detectable murmur and, in most cases, this is completely harmless. However, we do know that this can, you know, potentially create some problems further down the road if we add insult to injury with other cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, problems with cholesterol, so we always want to do right by the heart, by taking the right nutrients and of course following an anti-inflammatory diet is definitely very, very important. Now, there’s other reasons as to why a murmur can occur. We can look at a congenital heart problem, you know, babies born with a hole in the heart. Which is, you know, or a septal defect where the heart itself didn’t properly develop. So, this is something that you will hear clearly, a detectable murmur. But this is going to be found in pediatric cases, when we’re looking at adult cases with that murmur, we’re going to be looking more as the mitral valve being that flappiness, which creates that, the issue in terms of the sound, hence a murmur. Now, symptomatically, if someone is having a more severe problem with a murmur, there could be conditions such as chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling kind of lightheaded. These are going to be clear indications that you need to, you know, seek out medical attention for that and do further testing. They can do, you know, EKGs, echocardiograms, a Doppler exam as well, to really see how much of that blood flow is either backing up or not getting through and this is something that is, you know, always worth researching or investigating into, if you are having any type of a symptom associated with a murmur. † [00:08:45]
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[00:08:46] Now, when it comes to nutrition, what can you be doing? Well, we know that there’s really at the end of the day, not much we can do to necessarily reverse this, but what we do know is that magnesium, the power of magnesium has been shown to be the most effective way to deal with a mitral valve prolapse type of murmur. In the American Journal of Cardiology, over 20 years ago, they talk about this, they talk about how magnesium supplementation is highly advisable for those who are dealing with mitral valve prolapse and with that audible murmur that the doctor can detect. So, supplementation with magnesium on a daily basis would be incredibly advantageous. Now, we can also look at the other nutrients that we know the heart relies on, which would include coenzyme Q10, certainly there are research studies that date all the way back to the 1980s, that show that supplementation with coenzyme Q10 definitely something that should be looked at for those who have mitral valve prolapse, they did stress EKGs and they were able to induce a more severe prolapse effect of that mitral valve. And then they found that when they gave those patients coenzyme Q10, that the severity of that prolapse definitely improved. So, this is another reason as to why we talk about the cardiovascular system and the key nutrients to which the heart is highly reliant on, which includes coenzyme Q10, omega three fatty acids, magnesium, of course, Vitamin D, all of these nutrients, at the end of the day, we know can do so much when it comes to giving us that overall support. Looking at the pathophysiology of mitral valve prolapse and understanding that, you know, roughly about 3% of the general population has this, which means you’re talking millions of Americans are dealing with mitral valve prolapse, but they generally don’t know this because, like I said, it’s going to be asymptomatic. It’s highly unlikely that someone who has mitral valve prolapse, is experiencing any type of symptoms, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, it’s very out of the norm to have mitral valve prolapse with symptoms. Generally, it is always going to be considered an innocent murmur or an asymptomatic condition. † [00:11:28]
[00:11:29] Now, if you know that you have mitral valve prolapse, are there things you should be doing? Yes, of course, because we don’t want to make things worse and never travel down the road where we’re going to have to have some type of surgical intervention. So, this is why, you know, following, you know, a healthy diet, a Mediterranean heart, healthy diet, along with supplementation daily of magnesium, omega three fatty acids such as fish oil, or Krill oil, taking your coenzyme Q10 in that Ubiquinol form would be incredibly advantageous. Now, if you’re not exactly sure, maybe you’re like, you know what? When I was little, I remember someone once telling me that I had a murmur. Do I still have it? Probably not. We know that oftentimes we can have these murmurs in childhood and we, in a sense, kind of outgrow them, but we know that there are different reasons as what can make a murmur worse. Certainly, things like exercise, does that mean you shouldn’t exercise? No, not at all. But we know that this is a more pronounced way to actually hear that type of a murmur, the more blood that we can have pumping through the heart, can make it easier, in a sense. To be able to detect that murmur actually occurring, so this is a reason why oftentimes doctors will have people do a stress EKG so they can try and get that blood flow up so they can detect any level of abnormality that is occurring when it comes to, you know, exercise itself. So, heart murmurs in general are harmless, we know that we can call it a leaky heart valve. Sometimes doctors will tell you the full name, they may say, oh, you have mitral valve regurgitation, or mitral valve prolapse. You know, if it’s a more nefarious conditions, such as a hole in the heart or something along those lines, you will be having symptoms such as trouble breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, things along that line. But we know that when it comes to the treatment of an asymptomatic, quote unquote, innocent murmur, there’s not much that most doctors are going to do other than kind of a watch and wait and encourage their patients to make sure that they’re following healthy lifestyle modifications. Getting out there, exercising and getting that blood pumping through the heart, is definitely key. Taking things such as magnesium, coenzyme Q10 and omega three fatty acids definitely can be incredibly beneficial. So that’s just a little bit of a background on murmurs. The heart itself is quite complex and there are many ways to discuss cardiac murmurs but to keep it in a very simple fashion, murmurs, commonly heard, generally speaking, are not a problem. And there are definitely things that you can be doing to support the health of your heart. Magnesium and Co Q10, being your two best friends when it comes to heart health. So, I want to thank you so much for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts, or by visiting invitehealth.com/podcast. Do make sure that you subscribe. You leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And we will see you next time for another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast.† [00:11:29]
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