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Mitral Valve Prolapse (Holistic)

About This Condition

This common heart condition caused by a valve abnormality can lead to occasional breathing problems. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Shake on the salt

    Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, try more salt in your diet to help prevent symptoms associated with MVP, such as heart palpitations or anxiety

  • Monitor your magnesium

    Visit your doctor for a simple blood test to find out if taking 500 mg a day of magnesium might help control symptoms

  • Ease the stress

    Avoid stress as much as possible and develop coping skills to help prevent stress-related symptoms

About

About This Condition

The mitral valve is one of the four valves separating chambers of the heart. Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a common and occasionally serious condition in which the cusp or cusps of the mitral valve bulge into one of the heart chambers during the heart’s contraction. This bulging is caused by abnormalities in the valve’s structure. When serious, mitral valve prolapse may progress to mitral regurgitation, where the incompetent valve can no longer keep blood from leaking backwards into the wrong chamber of the heart.

Symptoms

Most people with MVP experience no symptoms. Some may experience difficulty breathing during exertion or when lying down, tremor, fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. Some develop dull chest pain, palpitations (awareness of the heartbeat), anxiety, and other symptoms associated with the “fight or flight” response. When MVP causes these symptoms, it is referred to as dysautonomia syndrome.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

People with dysautonomia symptoms should avoid stressful situations and should work on techniques for coping with stress.

Eating Right

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

Recommendation Why
Don’t be shy with the salt
Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, getting the amounts of salt found in a typical Western diet may help prevent symptoms associated with MVP, such as heart palpitations or anxiety.

In people who have dysautonomia, low salt intake may be part of the problem. Therefore, unless there is another health problem (such as high blood pressure) that is worsened by high salt intake, people with MVP should not restrict the amount of salt in the diet.1

Supplements

What Are Star Ratings?

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Supplement Why
3 Stars
Magnesium
If deficient: 500 mg daily
Magnesium deficiency may be one cause of the symptoms that occur in association with MVP. In one study, people taking magnesium experienced a significant reduction in weakness, chest pain, anxiety, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

Magnesium deficiency has been proposed as one cause of the symptoms that occur in association with MVP.2 In a study of people with severe MVP symptoms, blood levels of magnesium were low in 60% of cases. Those people with low magnesium levels participated in a double-blind trial, in which they received a placebo or magnesium (500 mg per day for one week, then about 335 mg per day for four weeks). People receiving magnesium experienced a significant reduction in symptoms of weakness, chest pain, anxiety, shortness of breath, and palpitations.3

1 Star
L-Carnitine
Refer to label instructions
In one report, deficient levels of L-carnitine were found in five people with MVP. One person was given L-carnitine and experienced a complete resolution of MVP symptoms.

In one report, deficient levels of L-carnitine were found in five consecutive people with MVP.4 One of these people was given L-carnitine (1 gram three times per day for four months) and experienced a complete resolution of the symptoms associated with MVP.

References

1. Frederickson L. Confronting Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome. New York: Warner Books, 1992.

2. Galland LD, Baker SM, McLellan RK. Magnesium deficiency in the pathogenesis of mitral valve prolapse. Magnesium 1986;5:165–74.

3. Lichodziejewska B, Klos J, Rezler J, et al. Clinical symptoms of mitral valve prolapse are related to hypomagnesemia and attenuated by magnesium supplementation. Am J Cardiol 1997;79:768–72.

4. Trivellato M, de Palo E, Gatti R, et al. Carnitine deficiency as the possible etiology of idiopathic mitral valve prolapse: case study with speculative annotation. Texas Heart Inst J 1984;11:370–6.

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