Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Can Stress Cause Heart Valve Problems

What Exactly Is A Heart Murmur

How stress can damage your heart | The Check Up

Harvard Medical School describes a heart murmur as the sound of turbulent blood flow within your heart. When a doctor using a stethoscope hears an unusual sound between heartbeats, this can often represent that turbulent flow from a heart murmur .

If your heart doesnt have a murmur, the doctor will hear your blood flowing through your heart with a rhythmic lub dub sound.

If your heart does have a murmur, your doctor will hear a whooshing or swishing sound, which occurs between the lub dub sounds. It can happen when your heart squeezes or when it relaxes . Diastolic murmurs are almost always abnormal or pathological.

There are 2 types of heart murmurs:

  • Flow murmur
  • Abnormal

A Little Clip Can Make A Big Difference

Once, problems with the internal structure of the heart and its valves could only be fixed with open-heart surgery.

Not anymore!

The AMITA Health Heart & Vascular Institute is widely recognized for pioneering and deploying many of the most advanced treatment options for structural heart problems, including the minimally invasive MitraClip procedure to repair a leaky mitral valve.

This catheter-based procedure allows doctors to repair the leak without opening the chest or temporarily stopping the heart. Thats why the relative risk to the patient and recovery time are significantly decreased.

“The clip does not prolong life, but it does improve functional capacity, such as walking farther without experiencing the symptoms that brought them to us for treatment,” says Dr. Shivaraju. “These improvements usually lead to a better quality of life for the patient and the family.”

What Are The Symptoms

Some people are not aware that they have a heart valve problem because the heart is coping and they don’t have any symptoms. However, damaged heart valves increase the workload of the heart and can place additional strain on the heart muscle. In time, depending on which heart valve is affected and how badly, the following symptoms may appear:

  • Shortness of breath

Recommended Reading: How Does Stress Affect The Heart

Anxiety And Heart Attack Recovery

Anxiety disorders come with a high degree of fear and uncertainty. When this fear and certainty keeps the heart attack or heart disease patient from following the advice and treatment plan of their cardiologist, it can have a major impact on recovery. Anxiety can interfere with:

  • Sticking to prescribed exercise regimens
  • Taking prescribed medications
  • Following through with a healthy diet
  • Getting a proper amount of quality sleep
  • Reconnecting with friends and family
  • Confidently resuming job career and family responsibilities

What Can Go Wrong With The Heart Valves

East Tennessee Cardiovascular Surgery Group Heart Valve ...

If any of the four valves are diseased or damaged the flow of blood through the heart is affected and the heart cannot work efficiently enough. There are two main ways that valves can be affected:

  • Valves can leak: the valve does not close firmly enough to prevent the blood in the chamber leaking back through the valve. This is called valve regurgitation. The heart has to work harder as it tries to cope with the normal flow of blood as well as the extra blood that has leaked back through the valve.
  • Valves can narrow: the opening of the valve is narrowed and can not open fully, restricting blood flow between chambers. This is called valve stenosis. The heart has to work harder to overcome this restriction.

Heart valves can leak and narrow at the same time and it is possible for more than one heart valve to be affected.

Both leaking and narrowing valves can place additional strain on the heart muscle. The aortic and mitral valves, on the left side of the heart, are most commonly affected.

Read Also: What Are Stress Reduction Techniques

What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Murmur

Most physiologic heart murmurs are discovered during routine checkups, when your doctor listens to your heart with a stethoscope.

Its unlikely youll have noticeable symptoms from the murmur itself. However, if theres an underlying condition causing the murmur, such as hyperthyroidism or fever, you may have symptoms from that condition.

If you have an abnormal murmur, it may be a sign of an underlying heart condition. Symptoms that may indicate an abnormal murmur include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cyanosis
  • Swelling in your legs or bloating in your abdomen

You may also experience weight gain and excessive sweating.

Key Points About Heart Valve Disease

  • Heart valve disease is when one or more of the hearts valves dont work right.
  • There are 2 main heart valve problems. A heart valve may leak . Or it may become narrowed .
  • One cause of heart valve disease is coronary artery disease and heart attack.
  • Some common symptoms are chest pain, palpitations from irregular heartbeats, fatigue, and dizziness.
  • An echocardiogram is the best test for looking at heart valve function.
  • Medicines may help ease symptoms. You may need heart surgery to fix or replace a valve.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Being Stressed Out

How Bacterial Pneumonia Damages The Heart

Bacterial pneumonia is an infection that affects one or both of the lungs. It creates an inflammation of the alveoli and causes them to fill up with cellular debris, pus, and fluid. This makes it more difficult for the body to turn oxygen into carbon dioxide. The most common symptoms of bacterial pneumonia are pain while breathing and breathlessness. Bacterial pneumonia can be mild or very serious. A severe case of bacterial pneumonia can even cause respiratory failure and death. Unfortunately, those are not the only risks and dangers that bacterial pneumonia creates. Recent studies have shown that bacterial pneumonia can do serious damage to the heart.

Several studies have been done to determine whether bacterial pneumonia has an impact on the heart. Scientists analyzed the autopsies of humans, mice, and rhesus macaques and found that living things that have suffered from pneumonia have a much higher possibility of acquiring heart problems in the future. The mice autopsies showed more troponin in the blood sample of mice sick with bacterial pneumonia than in the blood of healthy mice. Troponin is a well-known signal of a heart problem. These mice were also found to have an abnormal heart rate.

What The Experts Do

Stress and Heart Disease

Taking Steps Toward Stress Relief

I certainly get stressed, but exercise is part of my de-stressing, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H. Im a big activity tracker. I make sure to get 10,000 steps every day. When the kids go to bed, I go to my elliptical trainer, which faces a flat-screen TV. I decompress, watch whatever I might have watched anyway, and get to my 10,000 steps.

Also Check: What To Eat To Reduce Stress

Recognize Stress Sneaking In

Going through a divorce can be quite stressful, but until recently researchers didnt know how long the health effects of that stress might last.

In a recent study that followed participants over 18 years, women going through two or more divorces had a rise in heart attack risk that was similar to that of a smoker or a person with diabetes. The study found a higher heart attack risk in men whod had multiple divorces too. Though men did see a health benefit from remarriage, women did not. Even decades after a divorce, relationship stress can leave a powerful imprint on your health.

Work-related stress can also harm your heart. Research has found that people who are more worried about losing their job are nearly 20 percent more likely to have heart disease. But people who are happy in their jobs may be chronically stressed as well because of the competitiveness of their jobs or because theyre trying to balance their work and home life, Blaha says.

Surprisingly, even stress related to enjoyable events may raise your risk of a heart emergency. During a recent World Cup soccer event, heart attacks more than doubled in one German city during days when the nations team was playing.

Anxiety And Heart Disease

The association between anxiety and heart disease has not been as fully studied as the relationship between depression and heart disease.

However, Una D McCann, M.D., director of the Anxiety Disorders Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, believes the connection is strong.

Recommended Reading: How Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosed

Distinguishing A Panic Attack From A Heart Attack

Panic attacks and heart attacks can share similar if not identical symptoms. Anyone suffering from sudden and severe chest painwhether being treated for anxiety disorder or not should go to the emergency room. The physician will test the patients blood for specific heart muscle enzymes. If none are found, its usually not a heart attack.

A cardiologist sensitive to the issues of anxiety and depression will know how to sort out panic attack symptoms from heart attack symptoms, and will be able to refer the patient for treatment for panic disorder or any other type of anxiety.

Stay on Top of Your Heart Health

If you have a new or existing heart problem, it’s vital to see a doctor. Our heart health checklist can help you determine when to seek care.

Can Heart Valve Disease Be Cured

Cardiac Problem Fatigue

In some cases, heart valve diseases can be cured, relieving the symptoms of heart valve disease and improving quality of life and the general prognosis. However, the only way to completely cure heart valve problems is through heart valve surgery to fix the physical problem. This typically involves heart valve repair or heart valve replacement by a cardiothoracic surgeon in a hospital setting.

Open heart surgery is the standard surgical approach for repairing and replacing heart valves. During the procedure, a cardiac surgeon cuts opens the sternum to access to the heart and work on its structures. The heart is stopped and a heart-lung machine temporarily takes over the functions of the heart and lungs during surgery. Open heart surgery recovery can take five to eight weeks.

Minimally invasive heart valve surgery is the alternative to open valve surgery. It is a surgical option where a surgeon repairs or replaces the affected valve/s but accesses the heart in a much less invasive manner. During minimally invasive valve surgery, the doctor makes smaller incisions and does not cut the sternum. This can benefit the patient in several ways.

Read Also: Can Stress Cause Headaches And Dizziness

The Role Of Genes In Anxiety Disorder

Just like a major heart attack, a burn is a horrible thing, says McCann. About 33% of patients who have really severe burns develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Which makes us wonder about the 66% who do not get PTSD. We think genes are a huge part of it. Were currently researching whether this same genetic vulnerability holds true for cardiac disease.

Johns Hopkins Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center

The Johns Hopkins Womens Cardiovascular Health Center provides education, comprehensive treatment and diagnostic services to prevent and manage heart disease in women.

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.

Don’t Miss: Does Stress Cause Herpes Outbreaks

Don’t Ignore These 5 Signs Of Heart Valve Disease


Do you ever get the sense that somethings “just not right?” Do you chalk it up to getting older? Aging naturally causes a lot of physical changes, so its tempting to write them off as you would the occasional wrinkle or gray hair.

Some of these changes, however, are warning signs of serious heart problems clogged coronary arteries, irregular heartbeat, heart valve damage or even heart failure yet they can easily be misattributed to stress, a sedentary lifestyle or weight gain. These five red flags should never be ignored, and are all caused by the same culprit:

Eating Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables

What causes Heart Valve Disease हारà¥?ठवालà¥?व रà¥à¤

Eating loads of fruits and vegetables is very therapeutic for the heart. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that fight against inflammation. Antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids fight against oxidative damage that occurs within cells and contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Many vegetables are also packed with nitrates that naturally increase the movement of the endothelium in blood vessels, allowing them to dilate more readily. This in turn decreases blood pressure, which takes the pressure off of the heart and decreases the incidence of heart palpitations. To add more nitrates to your daily diet, eat foods like beets, arugula, and spinach.

To support your heart health, incorporate lots of fresh fruits and veggies into your diet on a daily basis. Great options include kale, carrots, sweet potato, swiss chard, celery, pomegranate, blackberries, blueberries, and watermelon.

Recommended Reading: What Can Stress Do To Your Heart

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.

How Can Heart Valve Problems Cause Shortness Of Breath

There are two main types of heart valve problems or diseases. The first one is valvular regurgitation and the second is valvular stenosis. Both can cause shortness of breath, along with a variety of other symptoms. Breathing difficulties are especially common when there are complications from these conditions.

With valve regurgitation, one or more heart valves do not close properly during the cardiac cycle. This allows blood to leak backward or regurgitate into the chamber/s that it came from when the heart beats. Dyspnea may occur because the heart must work harder to supply the body with oxygenated blood. It also occurs when the lungs become congested with fluid .

In valvular stenosis, shortness of breath may occur for similar reasons to heart valve regurgitation. But, dysfunction occurs because the affected valve is stiff or fused and has a narrow opening. The narrowed opening reduces the amount of blood that can flow through it, making the heart work harder to pump blood. Heart failure is a complication of heart valve stenosis.

Regurgitation and stenosis can affect the mitral valve, the pulmonary valve, the tricuspid valve, and the aortic valve. These are the four functional valves of the heart, which serve to regulate blood flow through the organ and its great vessels. When one or more of the valves fails or functions abnormally, then heart function diminishes and dangerous symptoms and complications can arise.

You May Like: How To Relax Mind From Stress

How Can A Respiratory Illness Like Covid

Michos explains that cells in the lung and heart are both covered with protein molecules called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE-2. The ACE-2 protein is the doorway that the new coronavirus uses to enter cells and multiply.

ACE-2 normally plays a favorable role in protecting tissue by being anti-inflammatory. But if the new coronavirus somehow disables those molecules, these cells may be left unprotected when the immune system springs into action.

There are multiple mechanisms for heart damage in COVID-19, and not everyone is the same, Michos says. Temporary or lasting damage to heart tissue can be due to several factors:

Lack of oxygen. As the virus causes inflammation and fluid to fill up the air sacs in the lungs, less oxygen can reach the bloodstream. The heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body, which can be dangerous in people with pre-existing heart disease. The heart can fail from overwork, or insufficient oxygen can cause cell death and tissue damage in the heart and other organs.

Myocarditis: inflammation of the heart. The coronavirus may infect and damage the hearts muscle tissue directly, as is possible with other viral infections, including some strains of the flu. The heart may also become damaged and inflamed indirectly by the bodys own immune system response.

Stay on Top of Your Heart Health

If you have a new or existing heart problem, it’s vital to see a doctor. Our heart health checklist can help you determine when to seek care.

Diagnosis Of Heart Valve Disease

Life Insurance with Mitral Valve Disorders

Your doctor will examine you and ask about your symptoms, lifestyle and day-to-day health. They may also ask about your medical history, including whether youve ever had rheumatic fever.

Your doctor may listen to your heart with a stethoscope. Your heart valves can make unusual sounds if the valve isnt working properly. A murmur doesnt always mean theres a problem with your heart or valves. Sometimes its caused by blood flow .

If your GP thinks there may be a problem with your heart, theyll refer you for more tests. These may include the following.

Read Also: What Essential Oils Are Good For Stress And Anxiety

Treatment Of Heart Valve Disease

You may not need treatment if you have mild heart valve disease without symptoms. Your doctor will probably recommend regular check-ups and echocardiograms. You need to see your doctor if you start to get symptoms.

If your heart valve disease is causing symptoms, the main treatment is usually surgery. Deciding on the best treatment can be complex, so its usually done by a team of heart specialists. This may mean travelling to a hospital with a specialist team to have your treatment.

- Advertisement - spot_img
Popular Articles
Related news