Patient Comments: Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) - Symptoms

For mitral valve prolapse (MVP), what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Comment from: LAF, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I am 47 years old and was diagnosed with MVP when I was 25. I have been having episodes of fainting, dizziness, heart palpitations and extreme fatigue since I was 12. I had rheumatic fever as a child, I believe, when I was in third grade. On July 12, I experienced severe stabbing chest pain for about 15 minutes. On July 13, I passed out four different times during a 30-minute period. When I would barely come to, I could see, but I had trouble registering what I was seeing, as though I was watching what was going on around me from a different world. When I came to the last time and was able to sit up without feeling nausea and dizziness, my left eyelid would not fully open, my head was numb, and my speech was impaired. Since then, I've had numerous spells of chest pressure and tightness with some pain. On September 2, I experienced again severe sharp stabbing pain in my chest that radiated through my left shoulder and down my left arm. I also felt a stabbing pain between my shoulder blades. I had difficulty drawing a breath, and had limited control of my left side, which was shaking uncontrollably. My fingers became cold and I had a terrible pain in my calf muscle. I went to the ER. The doctor ordered a cardiac blood workup, an EKG, and a chest X-ray. All tests came back negative for heart disease. I was told that I had an anxiety attack and the fainting episodes could have been seizures. I told the doctor about the MVP, to which he simply stated that it may be getting worse. I do not have a lot of faith in doctors, and as I don't have medical insurance, it is difficult to find a doctor who will take me on as a new patient. I had hoped that the ER would have been able to help me. Today, I am still experiencing chest pressure and tightness and some stabbing pain between my shoulder blades. I fear that I will have a major heart attack or stroke.

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Comment from: Latiesha, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I feel good sometimes but, when I suffer from mitral valve prolapse (MVP) symptoms they are usually, excessive sweating, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The pain usually starts right behind my scar from my open heart surgery. After the tension in my chest has passed, I can gain a sense of my whereabouts. I have a hard time with my vision during these episodes. I experience these symptoms two to three times a week.

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Comment from: keep calm, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 26

I am a 39-year-old female and was diagnosed at age 9 with mitral valve prolapse. They monitored it throughout my childhood and teens, and I hated it. I felt fine. I studied professional ballet for 16 years, have lots of energy, am quite slim and eat a lot. My blood pressure has always been low. I stopped getting it monitored in my 20s, and about four years ago, I had an echo done by a doctor who was fresh out of medical school. He said I had "severe regurgitation" and that if I didn't have surgery soon, I would be gasping for air on staircases within two years. That never happened. I don't take drugs for it, and I still work out. I'm mainly asymptomatic with only occasional palpitations or sharp pains if I lie on my left side. I do have migraines and occasionally feel anxious but honestly, that runs in my family and no one else has mitral valve prolapse. I think that too many doctors want to perform expensive surgeries and scare people into them. Try to live your life: eat well, exercise, sleep and try not to stress. I still have an internist who really wants me to get it looked at again and I probably will, but the thing is, I've never broken a bone or had a surgery and the last thing I want to do is invite trouble for something that may never kill me.

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Comment from: chippies, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I have suffered from MVP for 20 years, starting out with the feeling of skipping and racing in my chest, to trying to catch my breath. After being told I was having panic attacks, I still felt things were not right, I went to a heart specialist and he did all the right tests and put me on Inderal, this beta blocker has made things better, I still feel the flutter, skipping and racing at times, but much less than before. I do not have caffeine or chocolate it actually makes my heart go crazy, but I find when it acts up I eat a banana and drink orange juice together it really helps, I try not to focus on the skipping and although its scary and hard not too, it helps. No one can understand how this feels unless it happens to you, I know how you all feel and if my story helps, I'd love to know.

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Comment from: Kelekat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I was diagnosed at age 26, six months after giving birth to my eldest daughter. I ended up in the emergency room with an out of control heart rate and an impending feeling of smothering. My cardiologist prescribed Tenormin - 10 mg per day and after one year, weaned me off of it (Thank goodness. It made me weak and tired and unable to function). My most severe symptoms in the years since have been palpitations, and insomnia. However, now that I am in my late 40's, I find that symptoms are appearing at an alarming rate, particularly panic and/or anxiety attacks--those include rapid heart rate and palpitations, a smothering feeling which rather resembles hyperventilation, cold sweats, and numbness in my hands. It is quite disconcerting. Oh, and I've noticed that my sensitivity to Epinephrine has increased. My last dentist's visit which included Novocaine, brought on a 20 minute panic attack, due I am sure to the epi in the Novocaine.

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Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) - Diagnosis Question: How was your mitral valve prolapse (MVP) diagnosed?
Mitral Valve Prolapse - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your mitral valve prolapse (MVP)?

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