Where to find support if you experience mitral valve regurgitation

Mitral valve regurgitation is a common kind of heart disease in the United States. Not only does it impact many people today, but its prevalence is expected to double by 2030

Fortunately for mitral valve regurgitation patients, there are plenty of resources available to make living with the condition easier. Understanding what mitral valve regurgitation is, what symptoms to look for, and what support is available can lessen the impact this heart disease has on a patient’s life. Learn more below.

What is mitral valve regurgitation?

Mitral valve regurgitation is a type of heart valve disease that allows blood to leak backward via the mitral valve each time the left ventricle is contracted. This can be caused by issues with the mitral valve itself or problems with other parts of the heart that lead to leakage. Cases of mitral valve regurgitation can range from mild to severe, and in advanced cases, it will prevent an adequate amount of blood from reaching the body.

What are the symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation?

Typically, mitral valve regurgitation will be discovered when a doctor hears a murmur or whooshing sound through their stethoscope when listening to the heartbeat. In addition to this distinctive noise, those impacted may experience:

  • Tiredness or general fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing and shortness of breath
  • Chest pains

If a doctor suspects a patient has mitral valve regurgitation, they will typically order an echocardiogram, a CT scan, and/or an MRI scan to gain more information.

What support is available to mitral valve regurgitation patients?

For patients who have been diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, there are many ways to find support, including :

Learning more about the condition. Because heart disease is a concern for many Americans, there are ample resources and information available to those impacted. The American Heart Association has a robust library of web pages aimed at awareness and education for patients and their families.

Joining an online support group. Nonprofits such as Heart Valve Voice US offer a great opportunity for heart disease patients to connect via online communities. In addition to its community outreach, Heart Valve Voice also promotes awareness and provides resources for patients living with heart disease.

Participating in clinical trials. Participating in a clinical trial can be a great opportunity to increase researchers’ knowledge regarding mitral valve regurgitation in addition to gaining access to potential new treatments and therapies. Clinical trials test for both safety and effectiveness, and participating is a fantastic way to help science move forward. 

Talking to your doctor about treatment. In many instances, medical treatment is not necessary for mitral valve regurgitation, but in some cases, medications may be prescribed to prevent the symptoms from worsening. Patients may be prescribed diuretics to lessen fluid buildup, blood thinners to prevent clots, and/or high blood pressure medication to keep the pressure on the heart lower. In some advanced cases, surgery may be necessary to replace the damaged valve.

If you have been diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and would like to learn more about clinical trials you may be eligible for, Antidote’s Match tool can help.