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Leaky Heart Valves

I am a 27 year old female, in very good physical condition and was just told by my PCP that I have 2 heart valves that are "slightly" leaky.  The cardiologist called these leaks "not impressive". This conclusion was reached after I had an echocardiogram.  The reason I initially saw my PCP was for what felt like palpatations in my chest and slight chest discomfort.  He heard a murmur so I was sent for the echo.  I must say this news is fairly worrisome because I am so young and in such good health otherwise.  Should I be worried?  My PCP tried to reassure me that this is a mild condition and the only thing I need to do as of now, is to have another echo in 1 to 2 years to check on the valves.  My questions are: is this something that could go away due to the fact that it is mild, or will I have it forever and could it potentially get worse?  How often should I follow up with this?  Are there medications I should be taking now, even though my my symptoms aren't bad, to prevent progression?  Should I still maintain my exercise routine of running almost every day?  Also, do you think I should get a second opinion?

3 Responses
592969 tn?1248329005
Heart valves can get better.  I have spoken to several people that have told me that their heart valves improved with age.  If you watch your diet eating mostly vegetables and fruit and try to reduce your meat intake (if you eat meat), you may see an improvement.  Know your cholesterol levels and make sure that your LDL is 100 or below, HDL 52 or above, Triglycerides as low as you can get them preferably below 150.  If your cholesterol is high, try to get it down by diet watching what you eat.  Stay away from processed meats such as hotdogs, deli meat, chicken nuggets (anything that is already cooked).  Warning signs of valves getting worse are shortness of breath.  I was told by my doctor at the age of 40 that it was normal to have a slightly leaking valve at this age.  I, apparently, have one (not sure which one).  My doctor did not tell me to followup with another echocardiogram.  Heart murmurs should be watched, but sometimes there is no changes in them for years even 15 to 20 years.  My mom had a heart murmur that she was born with (the aortic valve) and hers did not change for over 40 years.  
Avatar universal
I would listen to the cardiologist before your PCP.   If the remarks do not indicate problems; I would agree there is nothing to worry about.   Upwards of 60% of normal people have mild leakage of one valve or another... in fact; I have 3 trivial/leaky valves and do not worry about it.   I also was being sent in for a murmur I had since birth... however none of these mild leaks have anything to do with it... its just something that echos pick up on many normal people.   I wouldn't worry about it as you will find hundreds of others posts with questions similar to yours with the same answer..   did they say which valves were leaking?
367994 tn?1304957193
I don't believe trivial and mild regurgitation is going to improve as it most likely a congenital condition.  I have moderate to severe mitral valve regurgitation due to an enlarged left ventricle.  The doctor believed the valve could function normally if and when the left ventricle returned to normal size...the LV returned to normal size with medication but the MVR remains.  Also, it may be possible as one ages there is paradoxically some calcification of the valve opening that may correct the leakage.

You may have some leakage but it likely never to progress.  You don't need any medication, and a followup is assurance there is no progression.
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