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Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome - Finding Hope

Updated on April 18, 2015
brakel2 profile image

A medical background and interest in research created Audrey Selig's interest in writing about medical issues.


I have mitral valve prolapse syndrome, and my writing took me down a path to find this information. It all began following my retirement, when I decided to follow a dream and concentrate on my writing, I soon learned that my writing had a life, and words began to come to the surface from deep inside me. After seven writing courses and one published article, I decided to write for the Internet. I came upon Hubpages, and this website became my main pursuit. Little did I know that this decision would change my life and that I would discover the strange disorder that had been eluding my physicians and me for years. Someone once said, "Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together." I hope that others might learn through my experience.

This Disease Can Cause Stress

Unhappy stressed attractive female
Unhappy stressed attractive female | Source

A Little History

First, I will tell you a little about my past. I learned when I was old enough to understand, that I had a heart murmur that doctors said I would outgrow. In addition, I was a nervous child, but quite bright, and almost skipped a grade in grammar school. I was tall and gradually developed a delicate appearance, but always pushed myself to do better,and had many friends. My bright auburn hair was my shining glory. My least shining glory was my anxiety that developed to the point that I needed medication. In the morning especially, I could hear my heart beat and sometimes felt breathless. Attributing it to anxiety, I later entered college, graduated and went on to have a career in the social work field. My career took me from caseworker, to medical social worker,and finally, to supervisor in the welfare field

Discovering Heart Disease

In the 1990s, after marrying and raising a family, I began to have problems with my blood pressure and panic attacks and hyperventilation. I actually believe that I did rapid breathing all my life, along with a fast pulse, especially in the morning. Counseling and meditation helped me. I finally went to an internal medicine physician who helped control my blood pressure and ordered an echocardiogram. In the midst of the procedure, the technician asked me if I knew I had heart disease. That was a shocker, and I knew that he was not supposed to disclose such evidence to a patient. The scene, still pictured in my mind, was of this tall overpowering male technician with a probe over the skin near my heart and skinny me, on the verge of trepidation. He dictated as he examined me, releasing even more details about my condition. The physician finally diagnosed me with mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation (leakage) because the mitral valve of the heart does not close properly.

Breathing Techniques

I still wondered about my other symptoms, as I was beginning to have more problems. Mornings became more difficult, and small issues felt like shocks to my system and made me suck in air, instead of breathing properly. Help was on the way, as I ordered an inexpensive biofeedback machine and used it faithfully. In addition, I learned that playing a harmonica would help breathing, so I practiced my breathing on the harmonica. I checked to see how long I could breathe on the inhale and the exhale portions of breathing effort. My husband timed my breathing three times a day Sometimes when my breathing wasn't regular, I felt as if I had brain frog, and often I could only concentrate on one task at a time, with difficulty handling interruptions. .Regulating breathing is important in preventing breathlessness that can bring on panic.

Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome - Profiles

Panic | Source
Brain fog
Brain fog | Source
Fire can bring on panic attack
Fire can bring on panic attack | Source
Mitra valve prolapse syndrome can bring on breathlessness and affect lung capacity over time
Mitra valve prolapse syndrome can bring on breathlessness and affect lung capacity over time | Source

Discovering Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome

When I began to write for Hubpages, I finally decided to do a research project on mitral valve prolapse to determine if it can cause panic attacks and other symptoms. I had read about this possibility on the Internet, but several physicians had stated the impossibility of this association. One physician, a neurologist, had told me that any doctor who believes this is a quack and suggested that I stop reading the Internet.

Following many hours of research from reliable medical sources, I learned that there is an association, a central nervous system disease, called Dysautonomia, and that many patients who have MVP suffer from the associated disorder. My symptoms are many of those of the sufferers of MVPS. The central nervous system takes over in times of stress and causes a myriad of symptoms.

Information is now available on the Web, in published books, and the Internet contains a list of physicians who deal with this disorder. Patients can find a support group on the Internet and a medical center in Alabama that deals with the disorder. Patients usually take beta-blockers to lower heart rate, anti-anxiety medicine, educate themselves on the disorder, follow good nutrition, and find good medical care.

Harmonica Helps Breathing

Playing the harmonica develops lung capacity and may ward off bad breathing and panic attack
Playing the harmonica develops lung capacity and may ward off bad breathing and panic attack | Source

The Diagnosis and Further Treatment

After I wrote the article, my physician did an evaluation and listened to my symptoms. She diagnosed me with the disorder and treats me with beta-blockers and anti-anxiety medication. In addition, I do home therapy, undergo counseling, take medication, do relaxation exercises, follow a nutritional plan, continue breathing exercises, and remain under the care of a psychologist and cardiologist. Before I go out, I do a breathiing exercise to avoid problems away from home. I take magnesium supplements, as studies have found that patients with MVPS are often low in magnesium. My physician also suggested acupuncture, but I have not followed that suggestion. I plan to look into it.

Conclusion - Hope for Others

If it were not for the excellent information on medical sites on the Internet and the discovery of Hubpages, this breakthrough would have never happened to me. I would never have undertaken the extensive research necessary to write the article. May others benefit from my story and find closure and relief from discovering information that will help their illnesses and lead them on the path to peace of mind. They need to use good websites, as mentioned below in my original research article, and have a good physician. May they never give up looking for answers and if they believe in God, ask Him to guide them to optimum health.

copyright 2011 Audrey Selig

Does Mitral Valve Prolapse Cause Panic Attacks - Hyperventilation - Research hub with links to good websites

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Normal and heart with mitral valve prolapse
Normal and heart with mitral valve prolapse

Living With Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome

Books on Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome

The Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome/Dysautonomia Survival Guide
The Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome/Dysautonomia Survival Guide

Written by a family suffering with the disease and who founded the website for support.. The forward is by a physician whose wife suffers from the disease



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    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi DawnCheri Hello to a fellow Okie. I am so happy you read my article. I know people in Yukon. Anyway, what about the benydryl? Is that for allergies? Like the doctor says, whatever works. The diet sounds great. I have been talking to my husband about giving up our occasional fast food trips. We eat out a lot and then eat mostly salads with a little dressing on the side. I drink decaf tea every day and lots of water. I have read on this site about all the people who eat whole foods and then feel great. So we are halfway there, and you are all the way. I was so excited when I saw your comment. It would be great to talk to you, but I guess that is impossible. Take care and thanks again.

    • profile image

      DawnCheri 5 years ago

      Just read this article and the comments posted! Great information! I was diagnosed with MVP when I was 51. Until I didn't even know I had a heart murmur!! Anyway, I have always been hyper, active and at times would fall into the category of "HIGH STRUNG"! LOL Began having panic attacks at age 30, was also diagnosed with polymyositis (which has since "burned " out) and now RA. I have found...for me, eliminating all caffeine, sugar, processed foods, and wheat products has helped me the most! Now I drink decaf green tea, and lots of pure water, eat good whole foods and proteins, exercise, and try to rest when I am feeling tired. And as far as getting stressed out..when I do on occasion feel "wonky" I take about a 1/4 teaspoon of Benydryl ..helps me calm down ...Doc says its great if it works! :-) And I agree about a support group....I see you all posted from OKC? I am in Yukon!! :-)

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi DOM - Thanks for reading my hub and for your nice comments. It is great to have you as a follower. I see you on the forums and other places on HP and always like your input. Orange juice and potassium for the heart are two great choices. My vitamin has potassium, but I will ask my doctor about a supplement. I know some vitamins do not absorb well. I eat lots of potassium rich bananas and just started eating more avocado. Thanks for the suggestions.

      I just read your hub on the hubbers who have helped you. Excellent article and tribute to some great people. Thanks for your forum answer on sharing!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Wonderful hub brakel. I voted it up and shared it. I was wondering if any of your doctors had suggested a potassium supplement to help with your MVP? Potassium helps regulate the heart beat, slowing it down. This helps the mitral valve seal properly, preventing blood from entering the atrium. Vitamin C is also a wonderful treatment for heart disease in general.

      Again, awesome hub! You just gained a new follower!

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Conrad - Sorry to be so late with my comments, as I thought I already did it. Thanks so much for reading my hub and for your thoughtful comments. You sound very knowledgeable. The information from your chelationist is excellent. Junk food is so bad for all, I agree. I think some restaurants and schools are showing improvement. Also, good information on the mitral valve from your chelationist. Good luck with your writing, and I will visit your profile out of interest.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 6 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      You are so right. I am glad you found the article that I researched. My thoughts are with you. We do have hope for the future. You are young and have a whole life ahead of you Maybe you could read some books on the issue. Good luck and and stay healthy. Come visit again. You can come back and comment any time

    • profile image

      mae britanico 6 years ago

      thanks a very informative posts,, and also for giving us hope.. im 25 yrs old having MVP.. yes.. strict diet, medications, stress management.good doctor and Prayers are the all we need.. Godbless us all..

    • conradofontanilla profile image

      conradofontanilla 6 years ago from Philippines


      My chelationist, Dr. Arturo V. Estuita, says that infusion chelation therapy can remedy prolapse if it had set in adulthood. In such a case it is not considered congenital but due to damage on the valve done by free radicals. Chelation therapy controls free radicals, removes metals, like copper and iron, that accelerate production of free radicals. Junk food produce free radicals.

    • ArtzGirl profile image

      ArtzGirl 7 years ago from San Diego

      Great article! I look forward to following your writing! ; )

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 7 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hey that's great. Caffeine Can do bad

      Things. Glad you read my hub. Congrats on beating MVP and taking control of life. I will look for your hubs. I wish there was a support group for our disorder on HP.

    • ArtzGirl profile image

      ArtzGirl 7 years ago from San Diego

      I had symptoms that would appear like a MVP in my early 20's. I went to the doctor, and they took me completely off of all caffeine. Much to my surprise, the symptoms of this went away.

      I don't think people realize how much certain foods and drinks have on their bodies.

      When I follow The Perricone Prescription Diets, I find that my body performs 100% better, than when I start eating a lot of junk food or other things.


      This may not work for you-- but I was amazed how quickly my symptoms of the MVP relieved by giving up Dr. Pepper, Coffee, and a lot of the caffeinated Tea that I was drinking.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 7 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      You are welcome Take csre.

    • Beberlee profile image

      Beverly 7 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks :)

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 7 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Beberlee - I hope you are doing well with youor MVP Thank you for reading my hub. I hope that it helped you. I wish we could have a support group.Good luck, and I will be reading your hubs. If you have any questions, you can email me.

    • Beberlee profile image

      Beverly 7 years ago from Philadelphia

      I have mvp found out when I was 19,


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