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  • Help! Does this sound like MVP or something else?

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    Old 11-05-2003, 02:21 PM   #1
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    Question Help! Does this sound like MVP or something else?

    I'm new to this board, I usually am on the MS board.

    Anyway, here's my situation. I've had shortness of breath for about a year now, sometimes it's worse than others. The main time I get this is when I go up a flight of stairs or while laying down at night. I have to sleep on 2-3 pillows in order to feel like I can breath. Sometimes that doesn't even help!

    I also get occasional heart palpitations, but never any chest pain. I get indigestion easily as well. I've seen the doctor about this, and he said it was allergy related...HUH?? He prescribed Albuterol inhaler, of course that didn't help at all. My doctor's office has a bunch of flakes working there, I need to switch doctors really soon.

    Does this sound like it could be MVP? If so, can that be detected at all from just a stethoscope, or would extensive tests tell? The doctor told me my heart and lungs sounded fine, but that was with a lousy stethoscope, no other testing done.

    I have an appt. made for December 1st, the soonest I can get in. In the meantime, I am afraid something is up with my heart. I'm just curious if any of you have or had similar symptoms as me? Thanks in advance.

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    Old 11-06-2003, 04:29 AM   #2
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    Heart Symptoms

    Hi, Momoftwo

    The symptoms do sound like heart symptoms. . .but there are several heart conditions which can cause the same symptoms (mitral valve prolapse, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension to name a few), and some people with heart conditions get all the symptoms, while others get none. Hence the use of high-tech testing for diagnosis.

    Those same symptoms might also be explained by lung problems. So I guess your doctor was attempting to eliminate that possibility by treating for allergies first.

    Symptoms are a funny thing. Everyone seems to get slightly different symptoms with the same illness. I wonder how doctors manage to diagnose illness from history (the symptoms we tell them about) at all! They do combine the facts we tell them about how we feel with "signs" like temperature, blood pressure readings, readings taken at pulse points, how our various organs or muscles feel when touched or poked, reflexes, etc. But there is only so much you can do with signs or symptoms. Sometimes it's too early in the course of an illness for many symptoms to be apparent. But we often don't want to wait until we have awful symptoms to find out what's wrong, so that's why we rely on tests.

    The first test that was useful in diagnosing my heart problem was a chest X-ray. It may not show mitral valve prolapse, but it can show several sorts of problems with lungs, and an enlarged heart, which is what I have.

    Then the next test that was indicated was an electrocardiogram. They put lots of sticky tapes with wires onto your chest and they can get some detailed information about how your heart is beating.

    After I had the results of these tests, I was encouraged to get an echocardiogram, which is a sonogram of the heart that would really show mitral valve problems very clearly. It's an expensive test, so they would tend to reserve this one for folks who showed clear indications of heart disease on other screening tests.

    My echocardiogram really indicated some serious problems, so they referred me to a cardiologist and did a cardiac catheterization. They run a long flexible tube into an artery in your leg and up into your heart to make pictures and do tests of pressure and see if the arteries are clear. While they are in there, they can also perform some repair jobs if they are indicated, like stents to open up blocked arteries.

    Mitral valve prolapse (a misalignment of a valve in the heart) is good to be aware of, but it's not considered a very serious heart problem all by itself. Significant mitral valve regurgitation (the valve not working well and significant amounts of blood flowing back into the "wrong" place in the heart) would be a more serious problem. Some people undergo surgery for this, if it is indicated. I have mitral regurgitation (with a bunch of other stuff), but my cardio says it's from hypertension, so the thing is to get the hypertension under control, not to operate.

    I hope this is useful information. I would encourage you to find doctors you are comfortable with. I'm considering changing mine, too. . .lousy bedside manner. I'm going to see him later today, so we will see. How has your blood pressure been? That might be something that would interest a doctor and help him know more about your risk of heart problems. If you have a home monitor, you can provide him with a lot of useful information about what is going on with your BP when you experience your symptoms.

    Well wishes,


    Old 11-06-2003, 09:45 AM   #3
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    Pam, thank you so much for replying and giving me so much information! I really appreciate it. I have to admit, it really frightens me because I've seen what my own mother has gone through with heart problems (she's had two heart surgeries). First dealing with MS and now possibly something with my heart, it's a bit overwhelming. I'm too young for this! Ugh.

    My B/P has always been fine, we do have a home monitor that I occasionally use. I've never smoked, but my dad smoked around me as a kid. My husband is going to try and see if we can switch doctors through our insurance, so then maybe I can be seen sooner than December 1st. I hate waiting that long incase it is something serious.

    Thanks again for you post. Take care and God bless!

    Old 11-10-2003, 07:51 AM   #4
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    You said you have MS. Have you ruled out any possible problems with your nervous system that could be contributing to this heart thing??

    Old 11-10-2003, 07:55 AM   #5
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    do you get short of breath in the bath? do your ankles swell up?

    Old 11-10-2003, 10:05 AM   #6
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    Hi I would get another dr i have alot of the same symtoms as you and i have cardiomyopathy it doesent mean you have the same problem as me but its worth haveing a good cardiologist check you out i went to the same dr for two years for my problem and dident know what was wrong untill i got a new one. Good Luck

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