I wanted to see if anyone could offer any sort of advice or share experiences on an adult heart murmur.
I'm 30 and I went to see my doc yesterday. After using her stethoscope, she had a reaction of some surprise saying "I've never heard your murmur this loud before... have you ever been told you have a murmur?"
Well, the answer was no. Outside of an EKG last year that showed possible LVH, I've never heard any other issues related to my heart--though the reason I got the EKG to begin with was over some palpitations and intermitten chest pain. To hear that I apparently have developed a sudden murmur, and that it's loud, is causing me a great deal of anxiety (something that I've always had a LOT of trouble with).
From what I've read, murmurs are usually only a problem when they're accompanied by symptoms. Well, I've had some symptoms --palpitations here and there, as well as occasional twinges of pain, most of which my doc thought was fibromyalgia (a lot of my chest pain is muscle related, tender to the touch and all--but now I'm second guessing everything), and I do get occasional dizziness (though I've got fluid in my ears currently). So now I'm freaking out, which can't be making this problem any better.
I'm waiting for a cardiologist's office to call me back so I can schedule an echo, which my doc recommended, and I'm trying not to panic. If anything, I guess I just want to hear from someone that's had a non-'innocent' murmur, and hear that whatever COULD be wrong is treatable at the very least. Help?
The following user gives a hug of support to RisaA: BensonB (01-24-2012)
I don't want to sound like I'm offering medical advice or anything, but just in an attempt to put some worries to rest, I believe that loud murmurs have the same potential as quiet murmurs to be benign, they just merit further investigation. Anxiety and stress can apparently be contributing factors to enhancing murmurs. You also mentioned you've been getting palpitations, which is very common among many people (myself included). Have you had a lot of stress in your life recently? It's also entirely possible and that they're unrelated and harmless.
Again, I'm no medical professional, but as you say, worrying won't help the situation, and while being worried is a natural reaction, it's best to just think positive and realize there's a good chance this is nothing. Still get yourself checked out of course.
The Following User Says Thank You to BensonB For This Useful Post: RisaA (01-25-2012)
Thanks for the response. I appreciate it! Though it does nothing to change whatever might be going on, it still really helps to hear that.
I am under some stress, even if just dwelling on my own health. I'm a typical 'cyber'chondriac, and I tend to focus on symptoms to a rather unhealthy degree, researching stuff on the internet, etc. I do go to cognitive behavioral therapy, though, which has definitely helped.
I was born into an anxious family, though, which in my experience is purely a learned behavior. My mother instilled this in me from a very young age (perpetually anxious person), so generalized anxiety attacks, big or small, are a very common part of my life.
Other than that, things are pretty great. My husband and I want to start having kids in no more than two years, but I'm definitely worried that whatever is wrong with me will prevent that from happening.
Yeah I was in the same boat. Went to the doc for some strange beats, and told he could hear a murmur. First time I ever heard that, and freaked me out. The Cardiologist said he was not concerned.
First up, most murmurs are not a sentence of a bad heart. They are quit common, and usually have to do with some leaking of the valve. (which everyone has to varying degree's.)
Some one month later I finally had my echo done which showed my heart to be structurally sound and valves working fine.
Treatment, well usually nothing, to drugs, to an operation to replace a bad valve. It's hard to say unless they actually find anything worth treating.
You stated possible LVH. Left ventricular hypertrophy develops in response to some factors, such as high blood pressure, that requires the left ventricle to work harder. As the workload increases, the walls of the chamber grow thicker, lose elasticity and eventually may fail to pump with as much force as a healthy heart.
Do you have high blood pressure?
Try not to freak out, easier said than done. And just wait for most likely an echo to be done to see what could be causing it.
Read my post yesterday about 'Stress even after Good Diagnosis' to see what freaking out and stressing about things can do to your health.
The Following User Says Thank You to Jimmysyd For This Useful Post: RisaA (01-24-2012)
Hi, Jimmysyd, and thanks for that reply. It is reassuring to hear that.
As far as the LVH, no, I don't have high blood pressure as far as my doc and I know. In fact, she was a little surprised to see that on the EKG, considering that my blood pressure is "always great", according to her (I can't help but wonder, though, if my anxiety is often pretty bad... how good can my blood pressure ALWAYS be?). So, while I definitely worried about that after hearing about it, I calmed down after a while. But... it's just frightening that something like a 'loud' murmur can come on so suddenly. I've never really felt right, for lack of a better word, in my chest for about the past year, from the occasional palps to just the way I feel it beating... I don't even know how to explain it. Perhaps a lot of that is just me being sort of hyper-focused on account of my anxiety. I go through some periods of a few weeks feeling fine, but then... it always seems to come back.
I'd feel better if I knew that even if something is wrong, there's still treatment available for whatever it is. I tend to have trouble even thinking about the fact that there's still life after my echo is done. Heh.
It's scheduled for the 2nd of Feb, so... I've got about a week to anticipate it.
Lol, I'm not sure if I feel better or worse after hearing that, but I get what you're saying, and it is comforting to know that you're doing well now after going through that.
In a way, I'm starting to look forward to my echo on Thursday, even if just to stop waiting and start getting any necessary treatment underway. I'm kinda sick of thinking about it and wondering. The good news is that I got my bloodwork results back from the doc yesterday, and everything on that front looks good, so I'm hoping it's at least a good sign of some kind.
I keep thinking I'm feeling better, but then something new will pop up, and I seem to be constantly hyper-aware of my heartbeat. Just can't win!
I had the echo done Friday of last week (they had a scheduling error), and while I was SURE that they were going to find something that warranted sending me to the hospital immediately, they didn't. I haven't heard the results yet, but I'm trying to keep myself calm thinking that whatever is wrong with me clearly can't be that bad or they would have called me already.
A little over a week ago, though, I noticed some swelling in my upper arms and a little in my feet. I told my doc about the swelling in the arms (it was all I had noticed when I talked to her), and she said that she didn't hear anything that could indicate heart failure when she detected the murmur initially, so it's likely not that. Plus, my bloodwork all came back pretty normal. I had been taking some Cipro for a UTI when I first noticed the arm swelling, and read that a lot of people had swelling as a side effect, so I thought maybe, but... I don't know.
I left a message with the office today that the swelling is still there and in my feet, so I'm hoping to get a call back (and hopefully with some good news from my echo, as well).
There have been some chest pains, but it's been accompanied by some gas (a perpetual need to burp, it seems), and the pain seems to be dependent solely on how I move, or tenderness when I push on certain spots. This is nothing terribly new, but I have no idea what's going on with me. Just waiting...