Who Is At Risk Of Developing A Heart Murmur
There is a higher chance of developing a heart murmur if you or your child:
- Have a family history of heart murmurs
- Have certain medical conditions such as chromosomal abnormalities hyperthyroidism, endocarditis , some autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, a past history of rheumatic fever or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Women who develop rubella or uncontrolled diabetes during pregnancy are also more likely to have a baby with a heart murmur.
What Other Tests May Be Recommended
Depending on what other clinical signs are present in your dog, your veterinarian will usually recommend X-rays, an electrocardiogram, or an ultrasound examination of the heart . If your veterinarian suspects that the heart murmur is secondary to another disease, blood tests or other tests might be recommended.
An echocardiogram that includes a Doppler examination is the most useful test to determine the location of a heart murmur. With an echocardiogram, the beating heart is imaged, allowing the examiner to evaluate the heart’s size and movement. A Doppler examination is a specialized type of echocardiogram in which the speed and direction of blood flow can be measured across the heart valves and in the heart chambers. The Doppler examination will usually pinpoint the location of the turbulence that is causing the murmur.
The Effect Of Anxiety On The Heart
When someone is anxious, their body reacts in ways that can put an extra strain on their heart. The physical symptoms of anxiety can be especially damaging among individuals with existing cardiac disease.
Anxiety may have an association with the following heart disorders and cardiac risk factors:
- Rapid heart rate In serious cases, can interfere with normal heart function and increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
- Increased blood pressure If chronic, can lead to coronary disease, weakening of the heart muscle, and heart failure.
- May result in higher incidence of death after an acute heart attack.
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About Heart And Vascular Institute
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.
Can Anxiety Cause Heart Murmur
Excessive amounts of thyroid hormone affect heart function in a similar way to anaemia. Stress – emotional stress can sometimes interfere with the force of the heartbeat, increasing the blood flow .
Furthermore, what causes a heart murmur? Causes
- Flow murmurs: Exercise, pregnancy, and anemia can all cause a high blood flow, as can hyperthyroidism, fever, and rapid growth spurts.
- Valve disease-related murmurs: Problems with a valve in the heart, such as aortic stenosis or a bicuspid aortic valve, can lead to a heart murmur.
In this regard, can anxiety cause heart problems?
The physical symptoms of anxiety can be especially damaging among individuals with existing cardiac disease. Anxiety may have an association with the following heart disorders and cardiac risk factors: Increased blood pressure If chronic, can lead to coronary disease, weakening of the heart muscle, and heart failure.
What does a heart murmur feel like?
A typical heart murmur sounds like a whooshing noise, and according to the American Heart Association , it usually feels like a very subtle extra pulse. Heart murmurs are common, especially among young children. They are usually normal and are called innocent heart murmurs.
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Diagnosis Of Heart Murmurs
There are different types of heart sounds. How do you determine what heart murmur sounds like? Your doctor is the one who will be able to detect heart murmurs and their type when he listens to your heartbeat using a stethoscope. If you have a physical exam, your doctor will be able to detect any heart murmurs during that time. Various factors will help your doctor determine whether the heart murmur is an innocent heart murmur or an abnormal heart murmur. One of the factors is how high pitched, or low pitched the heart murmur is.
Another factor that helps your doctor determine whether the heart murmur is innocent or abnormal is how loud the heart murmur is. On a scale of 1 being the lowest and 6 being the highest, your doctor notes how loud the murmur is. Your doctor will check where the heart murmur is coming from by determining where it can be heard from. Your doctor will determine whether changing your bodys position and exercising has any effect on the sound or the heart murmur. An important factor that your doctor will find out is how long the murmur is taking place and when it occurs.
Apart from these tests, your doctor might order other tests to be performed based on your heart problem.
How Is A Heart Murmur Treated
Innocent or harmless murmurs generally do not require treatment because they are not caused by a heart abnormality. If they are caused by another medical condition, treating that condition should get rid of the heart murmur. If your child has a fever when the heart murmur is found, the doctor will often want to see the child again once the temperature has returned to normal. This can also help to see if the murmur is innocent.
An abnormal heart murmur can indicate an underlying problem that needs to be treated. Treatment may include medicines and/or surgery, depending on how severe the problem is.
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When A Heart Murmur Becomes A Problem
When undetected or not closely followed, an abnormal heart murmur can create cardiovascular problems later in life or maybe sooner.
A heart valve keeps blood moving in the heart. Heart valve abnormalities may lead to one or more problems, such as:
- Stenosis, or not enough blood getting to the heart, leading to the heart not pumping normally
- Regurgitation, or the heart not closing properly, leading to leaking
Other congenital problems like “hole in the heart” and cardiac shunts can also affect the size of the heart and how it works. These problems can also lead to heart murmurs.
Most people in the United States with heart valve disease don’t have symptoms for very long periods in their lives. Often their cardiologist will find the problem because of someone having symptoms.
Heart valve disease symptoms may include:
- Not able to do exercise or a lot of physical movement
- Swollen ankles, feet or belly
- Difficulty breathing when lying flat to sleep
- Palpitations or fluttering heart beats
Often these symptoms start unexpectedly and without a known reason. This can be frustrating and sometimes cause fear or worry.
Types Of Heart Murmurs
There are two types of heart murmurs – innocent heart murmurs and abnormal heart murmurs. Innocent heart murmurs are normal, which means the person having them has a healthy heart. This is more common in infants and children. Innocent heart murmurs are normal types of heart sounds. An abnormal heart murmur produces a fast heartbeat sound effect that is not normal. That is, an abnormal heart murmur indicates that you might have an underlying problem, such as another heart problem.
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Important Information About Heart Murmurs
It is important to have regular physical exams to detect any abnormal heart sounds. If a murmur is heard, further evaluation will be required to determine why the murmur is present, which valve is involved, and the severity of the problem.
If the murmur is due to a heart valve problem:
- Follow-up with a cardiologist will be required to evaluate the progression of the valve disease.
- Most people who have a heart murmur require measures to prevent valve infection. These include:
- Tell all your doctors and dentist you have valve disease
- Take good care of your teeth and gums
- Take antibiotics before you undergo any procedure that may cause bleeding
- A wallet card may be obtained from the American Heart Association with specific antibiotic guidelines. Call your local American Heart Association office or nationally, 800.AHA.USA1 or go to www.heart.org/HEARTORG.*
How Anxiety Symptoms Can Affect The Heart
However, research suggests certain symptoms that come with chronic anxiety could have a lasting, negative impact on the cardiovascular system by putting extra strain on the heart. Some symptoms of anxiety, like chest pain, even mimic those of cardiovascular disease. Other symptoms include:
- Rapid heart rate Frequent tachycardia, or rapid heart rate, can interfere with normal heart function and overtime increase the risk of heart attack, especially in patients with cardiovascular disease.
- Increased blood pressure Stress and anxiety cause cortisol levels to spike which increases blood pressure and heart rate. Frequent spikes in blood pressure weaken the heart muscle and could eventually lead to coronary disease.
- Sleep problems Sleep helps to lower your blood pressure when you are sleeping. When anxiety starts to negatively affect your sleeping patterns, it could have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure and heart health.
People with anxiety often respond to stressors in ways that can be detrimental to heart health. Self-medicating by smoking, drinking alcohol, or overeating, are all known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Forms of anxiety disorder, such as social anxiety disorder, can also lead to social isolation and loneliness. Many studies have linked both social isolation and lonelinessto poor health outcomes and increased risk of heart disease.
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Eating Plenty Of Fiber
Fiber is extremely important for supporting heart health. Foods that are high in fiber, such as oat bran, wheat bran, and other whole-grain products, help lower inflammation throughout the body. One way that they do this is by supporting a healthy balance of gut flora in the microbiome. When we eat fiber, fiber particles travel through the digestive tract and into the intestines relatively intact. In the intestines good gut bacteria break down and feed on the fiber, producing anti-inflammatory compounds as by-products. These anti-inflammatory compounds are then absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream where they can then circulate through the bloodstream and reduce inflammation. Eating a diet high in fiber is associated with lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of developing heart disease.
What Does It Mean When Your Heart Is Murmuring
The loudest murmurs, suggesting more turbulence of the blood flow, can be heard over a wider area of the heart. Importantly, the significance of heart murmur does not depend just on the loudness: some quiet murmurs can indicate very serious disease, while some louder murmurs may be relatively benign.
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How Can Stress Affect Your Heart
While theres limited information out there about how stress is connected to heart murmurs, stress has been known to increase the likelihood of certain behaviors and events that play a role in negatively affecting heart health.
These behaviors and events include smoking, overeating, and bodily responses like an increase in cortisol levels, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Stress is also known to create anxiety, which is connected to physiologic heart murmurs.
Can You Ride A Horse With A Heart Murmur
Can You Ride A Horse With A Heart Murmur? Most murmurs are relatively benign and have little impact of performance or life span. But horses with clinical signs of congestive heart failure or suspected pulmonary hypertension are unsafe to ride. Veterinarians must advise owners not to ride these horses and the risks involved if they do.
How long can a horse live with a heart murmur? They may range from grade 1-6/6, but most horses have a murmur that is grade 1-3/6, if it can be heard, Reef says. It is more likely to be associated with congestive heart failure, with a poor to grave prognosis for life, about 3-6 months with supportive therapy.
Can exercise make a heart murmur worse? If you have an underlying heart condition, vigorous exercise can increase the stress placed on your heart, and in some cases may lead to arrhythmias or a more rapid deterioration in heart function.
Should I buy a horse with a heart murmur? And would anyone buy a horse at a sale, knowing it had a heart murmur? Thankfully, though a heart murmur is not an uncommon finding on examination, the majority of horses are not troubled by this condition, and their sale prices and performance potential are often completely unaffected.
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Road To Recovery And Aftercare
Your doctor will let you know about how you can recover and how to take care of yourself. Certain medications might be prescribed at first, and other times you might need to undergo surgical treatments. Your rate of recovery will depend on your age, whether you have other heart conditions, your overall physical health, and whether you are willing to make any lifestyle changes. You might need to follow a specific diet and lifestyle after treatment, and if you follow what your doctor says, then you might heal faster. Asking your doctor about precautions and how you can recover is a good idea.
Keep Your Diet Low In Saturated Fat
Saturated fat is a major culprit when it comes to heart disease. Eating too much saturated fat drives up cholesterol levels, which facilitates the process of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis describes a buildup of plaque on arterial walls. Plaques are accumulations of cholesterol and other debris in the bloodstream, which then builds up on the sides of blood vessels. The formation of plaques greatly increases the risk of conditions like coronary artery disease. These plaques impeded blood flow, and in some cases, they may break off from the wall of the blood vessel and travel to other parts of the body. These plaques can then form blockages in the heart, brain, and lungs, leading to very serious and potentially life-threatening symptoms.
So, how can you limit saturated fat in your diet? You can limit saturated fat in your diet by avoiding fatty cuts of meat and whole dairy products, such as cream, cheese, and whole milk.
Guard Your Heart: Addressing The Relationship Between Anxiety And Heart Disease
Recent studies are investigating the complex relationship between anxiety and heart disease. Not only does anxiety and depression appear to be prevalent in patients with cardiovascular disease, but evidence suggests that anxiety could also be the cause of negative long-term effects on heart health, which could eventually lead to heart disease.
How Do They Fix A Heart Murmur
Valve Surgery Surgeries for heart murmurs often include valve repair and valve replacement. These surgeries treat the underlying valve problems in your heart that are causing the murmur. If you do need surgery, your cardiothoracic surgeon will try to make sure your surgery is as minimally invasive as possible.
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