Does Mitral Valve Prolapse Cause Panic Attacks - Hyperventilation

MVP May Link to Panic Attacks and Hyperventilation

Scientists and physicians have studied over the years the premise that mitral valve prolapse can initiate hyperventilation and/or panic attacks. Mitral valve prolapse and mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation are abnormalities of the mitral valve in the heart, often congenital in origin. MVP can be defined as a condition where the valve between the upper and lower chambers of the heart does not close properly. A healthy mitral valve directs the flow of blood, preventing it from flowing backwards. About 10% of the population is afflicted with this condition, many of them unaware of the problem, according to physicians at the Washington School of Medicine.

MVP and echocardiogram

MVP with regurgitation represents the leakage of a valve that may worsen over time, causing various symptoms. An echocardiogram analyzes the problem by detecting disturbances when a probe rotates on the skin near the heart, allowing excellent display on the computer. Older adults may be unaware of the issue due to lack of adequate technology in earlier years. A physician may have informed them they had a murmur that would disappear, as they grew older. Some patients are without symptoms and remain unaware of the problem,

Controversy about panic attacks and heart

Hyperventilation and panic attacks appear to occur in a small segment of the population who have mitral valve prolapse. Some physicians are unwilling to admit to this fact due to conflicting information in the studies. A prominent neurologist from Oklahoma City claims that he has known many MVP patients, none of whom suffered the secondary problems.

A secondary disease

Mitralvalveprolapse, com is a website founded by several patients who have MVP. This website refers to the panic and anxiety as a separate entity called dysautonomia or mitral valve prolapse syhdrome, a central nervous system disorder that is prevalent in patients with MVP. According to this article, 40 percent of patients with MVP also have the secondary disorder. Recommended treatment includes education about the conditions, healthy diet, exercise, medication, and positive mental attitude. Suggested medication includes beta-blockers, anti-anxiety medication, and avoiding medicine with stimulants.

Normal Heart and Heart with Valve Problem

View of mitral valve prolapse
View of mitral valve prolapse | Source

A Physician Works on Mitral Valve Prolapse Issue

Confusion often exists about mitral valve prolapse symptoms
Confusion often exists about mitral valve prolapse symptoms | Source

Two books have been written about MVP/D, the latest being “Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome/Dysautonomia Survival Guide. The founders of MVP site along with Dr. John Furiasse, whose wife is afflicted with the disorder, wrote the book. Dr.Phillip C.Watkins, director of the Autonomic Disorders and Mitral Valve Prolapse Center, Birmingham, Alabama, wrote a forward stating that the center will use the book as an instruction manual, making use of the good clinical information. He states that every physician should read the book to learn what happens to the body when the symptoms are active. Patients can purchase the book, join the website and contribute to the forum. Lynn Frederick, RN, MS, wrote the other book entitled “The Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome.”

Heart Patient

Special care was needed in delivery for this heart patient..
Special care was needed in delivery for this heart patient.. | Source

Physicians Examine Lung Involvement in MVP Patient

Cardiologists do thorough study to ensure correct diagnosis
Cardiologists do thorough study to ensure correct diagnosis | Source

Documentation of the disease

Physicians from WebMD have written an article about Mitral Valve Prolapse, interviewing patients about their MVP symptoms. Out of 30 respondents, roughly half reported panic attacks and anxiety, from mild to severe. Many of them had trouble breathing, similar to hyperventilation but found some relief from anti-anxiety medications and beta-blockers. Beta-blockers slow down the heart rate and control blood pressure.

Michael C. Plewa and Richard Worthington, authors of the article “Mitral Valve Prolapse” indicate that some patients suffer panic attacks and have documented the findings. However, other reputable sources, , Johns Hopkins, and the Cleveland Clinic do not mention this affliction.The American Heart Association asserts that current studies indicate a connection between the secondary symptoms and the heart problem that is not understood by researchers. They believe that it may not be cause and effect but a separate issue.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it appears that consistent unanimous evidence does not exist to support the theory that mitral valve prolapse causes panic attacks and/or hyperventilation. Evidence can be found for each side of the issue.However, evidence does exist that it may be an associated disease in in some patients. Each patient must be evaluated on an individual basis. One cardiologist stated, that some experts do not know which came first, MVP or MVPS. Patients should discuss their symptoms with their physicians and locate one who understands the entire issue.

copyright 2011 Audrey Selig

Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome - Finding Hope Link to second article

You Tube Video MVP

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Comments 23 comments

Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

I found this interesting as I do have issues with my mitral valve plus I do have anxiety issues for which I am on medication. Never would have thought the two of them could be connected.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

I am glad you read my hub and gave such good feedback. I have these same issues which is why I wrote the article. I learned a lot by doing the research. Wish we could have a conversation.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Another comment re Cari Jean. I hoped that by writing the article after doing the research, that it might help others. Best of luck with your health problems. You are a survivor.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 6 years ago from Oklahoma City

Very thorough and interesting hub. Job well done.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi LL -Thanks so much for your kind comments. I did spend time working on this hub and am glad you took time to read it. I will look for your hubs. Have a great day.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Thanks for writing this article. I have the same issues, have for years. I didn't realize there was a possibility of the two being connected. Rated up and useful.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

I appreciate the kind comments about the hub. It is nice to be able to connect with others with similar problems. It would be nice to have a little support group. I will look for your hubs.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thank you for your comments about mitral valve disorders


Beberlee profile image

Beberlee 5 years ago from Philadelphia

I really think that it does. I have mvp and anxiety.. good imfo :)


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thanks for your comments and for reading my hub. I have been reading yours and really like them Good luck with MVP and anxiety. We need to keep in touch about progress


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Very interesting and worth pursuing if one suffers from anxiety attack. It was years before my MVP was discovered since it is so minor (thank goodness)!


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

I'm glad your MVP is mild. You probably don't have leakage. Mine was discovered in the nineties. Thanks for reading my hub. I read your profile and will read hubs. You sound like an interesting person. Take care and happy writing.


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 5 years ago from trailer in the country

I have MVP....and had a panic attack that caused me to lose my last job...I never knew there was a connection until this year, when I did a report on panic attacks.

I think it is more prevalent than it is documented...just like myself, no doctor has that information about me, since I never went to the doctor about the panic attacks...


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

I am pleased that you read my hub. Finally some doctors recognize the connection. Others think you're crazy. I hope you don't have the any more. I still have weird reactions to sudden shocks, and I work on it all the time. I read about your little red book and it impressed me. I do want to read more hubs. Good luck with your writing.


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 5 years ago from trailer in the country

I was pleased to see your article...it reminded me that much of what I experience is connected to a real reason.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thanks for read


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Enlydia. I did not finish what I was saying. I hope you are better now with the MVP and issues from it. I have a harmonica that I use anytime I feel as if I am sucking in too much air. That's kind of a fun thing and very helpful. You take care now.


conradofontanilla profile image

conradofontanilla 5 years ago from Philippines

I read somewhere that beta blocker induces bleeding in the lungs as side effect. This should be rechecked. My cousin was diabetic (one leg amputated due to gangrene) and hypertensive. He had check up and the doctor discharged him. At the door of the clinic he vomited blood ....About hyperventilation. If you breathe so fast the air you inhaled goes only as far as the bronchial tube and does not reach the airsacs of lungs so you are not getting the oxygen needed. Usually, one breathes into a bag that allows fresh supply of air. The doctors shows you how to do this.

I understand that in mitral valve prolapse the valve allows the backflow of blood and may cause irregular heart beat that makes the patient panic. As part of the panic the patient breathes, as a way to counter the irregular heartbeat, so fast that brings on hyperventilation. So the link is psychological.

Dr. Arturo V. Estuita, a chelationist in the Philippines, says that infusion chelation therapy can remedy prolapse if it is not congenital. The valve can be damaged by free radicals that if controlled make room for the valve to heal. The damage might consist of inflammation caused by free radicals. Inflammed or scarred valve (with stenosis) does not close properly. Some doctors ignore free radicals as cause of disease so they do not factor them in, in their diagnosis.


PanicAnxietyInfo profile image

PanicAnxietyInfo 4 years ago from Sydney

I had no idea that this happened. Thanks for this hub, very informative - I am going to do a little more research into this to help people with anxiety and panic attacks I deal with.

Really helpful thank you.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Panic - You must be an expert on panic. I am glad you located this hub and found it interesting and helpful. I like doing research and have another hub that follows this one. Thanks for your nice comments. Best of luck to you in your research work and your writing.


B.K. Pravin profile image

B.K. Pravin 4 years ago from India

Thanks for writing a very useful hub. I think you have solved a puzzle. I really do believe that there may be a relation between MVP and panic problems. I have OCD, anxiety, and also diagnosed with MVP. I do occasionally experience panic problems with heaviness in breathing. I believe they may be connected with one another. Very encouraging hub. Good luck. God bless you.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi BK Thank you for your comment and for reading my article. I am glad if this helped you understand your problem. The research was so helpful, and some doctors used to downplay this issue and tell you not to read the Internet. My heart doctor now says there is a connection for some people. It is so great to be able to understand what is happening to your body. I loved looking into the issue, and I believe it has helped others. Stop by again.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Conrad - Thanks for reading my article and commenting. You have knowledge about the disease which is good. I know it is bad to hyperventilate. I do breathing exercises three times daily and play the harmonica to regulate my breathing as much as possible. It was nice to be able to do the research for this article for myself and others. I learned a lot and hope it will add to the knowledge of others. Good luck with your writing and thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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