Posted by: Me | 2004/02/06

RE: Mitral Valve Prolapse

Yes doc, I live close to Pretoria, in Randburg, but I am prepared to go to a doctor in Pretoria

Thanks a lot

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Our expert says:
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Me, mail me at and I’ll send you the contact details of an excellent cardiologist here in Pretoria. Good luck.
Mia, what beats me is how you assume I know nothing about MVP (aka Systolic Click Murmur Syndrome, Barlow’s Syndrome, Click Late Systolic Murmur Syndrome, Billowing Mitral Valve Syndrome or Ballooned Valve Syndrome) when Me didn’t ask any question about it. FYI, the disease is limited to the mitral valve, psychological stress elicits palpitations in only about a third of patients, it is not totally benign – it might require valve replacement in a small percentage of people, patients with definite clicks or murmurs should probably avoid competitive sports and anxiolytics will only work of your palpitations are brought on by psychological stress. Good luck.

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Posted by: Me | 2004/02/08

Hello Mia

Thanks so much for your reponse, so I am not going mad, and it is not all in my head!!!! I experience all of the above symptoms that you mentioned and I have been told by some doctors that I have depression. Yeh right!! How come I am not depressed then?

I have panic attacks but got them almost under control now, but the palpitations are the worst, and because you cannot predict them. I get them at the time when I need it the least (very tired or stressed)

I am on no medications and are willing to try anything just to get the palpitations under control.

I am 29 now, and the palps only started after the second child, do you think it could be due to the increase in the blood volume when you are pregnant? I just know I need to get this under control, as I can not go on like this.

Thanks again for your repsponse!!

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Posted by: Mia | 2004/02/08

It beats me that our docs seem to know so little about MVP/Barlows Syndrome. "Me", this syndrome can affect more than just your heart valve. It can, in fact, involve the autonomous nervous system, i.e. the nerves over which you do not have control. It can (not in every case!!) cause panic attacks, heart flutters, heart pain, palpitations, and is involved in "nervous stomach" problems and probably also in spastic colon (irritable bowel syndrome). I have the stupid problem, and stress is the worst. Excercise is good for you. Alcohol and coffee can bring on palpitations. I get awful heart flutters since my early teens and I am now in my early 60's. I was told not to worry, MVP is fairly common in women, and not life-threatening. (I damn well hope it's not). I am on beta-blockers (Inderal, 40 mg x 3 per day) and I have tranquillisers as well. Try not to worry too much, but I had the SAME problems -- intensified symptoms -- after the birth of my second child. The betablockers (chemical name propanolol) gave me blessed relief from palpitations, and it will help the heart pain you get, BUT those flutters are unpredictable. Days pass without them, and then a day comes when I have those flutters every now and then. I suppose taking half a Disprin every 2nd day might also be a good idea. By the way, I never had rheumatic heart disease, but at age 6 almost died from bacterial meningitis, but the docs say that could not have caused it. It is mostly a hereditary thing, but I don't know about anyone in my family who has it.

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