If you’ve been told that you have mitral valve prolapse (also commonly referred to as “MVP”), there is no need to panic. In most cases MVP is not a serious heart condition and does not require any type of medical intervention. In rare cases, MVP can result in mitral valve regurgitation – which may or may not require treatment. But if you have been told that you have MVP, there is no need to panic.
The mitral valve controls the flow of blood through your heart. When your heart beats, the mitral valve opens and closes – allowing blood to flow from the upper chamber of your heart to the lower chamber. The valve is designed to open only in one direction. However, when you have mitral valve prolapse, the valve does not close as smoothly as it does when there is no prolapse. Instead, the valve bulges a little bit every time it shuts.
MVP is not a serious heart condition in the majority of people who have it. If your doctor suspects anything abnormal about your MVP, he or she will likely monitor you for an extended period of time to determine if the condition is becoming problematic, or if it is causing your heart to work harder than normal, thus potentially causing damage.
Who Has this Condition?
Many people have MVP. In fact, it’s an extremely common problem associated with this specific heart valve. But there is very little reason to worry because most people with MVP lead a normal life and do not have to adjust their lifestyle, eating habits, or exercise routines whatsoever. MVP can be found in both men and women, and it is more prevalent in people whose family members also have the condition.
How Will I Know if I Have Mitral Valve Prolapse?
It’s entirely possible that you will not know if you have MVP unless a doctor happens to discover it while listening to your heart with a stethoscope during a regular check-up. In some cases, individuals with MVP have described their condition as feeling like their heart sometimes palpitates or pounds too hard or too fast.
I Have MVP – Now What?
In most circumstances, MVP does not require any type of treatment. If you have been told that you have MVP, it is important to remember that it rarely develops into a serious condition. Nonetheless, if you have been diagnosed with MVP and are concerned, you should schedule an appointment with a cardiologist so your MVP can be evaluated and so that you can rest assured that your condition is not life-threatening. In most cases, an electrocardiogram or an echocardiogram will be ordered and the results will indicate whether you require any type of treatment or further monitoring of your MVP.
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