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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Mitral Valve Prolapse (Holistic)
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
Visit your doctor for a simple blood test to find out if taking 500 mg a day of magnesium might help control symptoms
Avoid stress as much as possible and develop coping skills to help prevent stress-related symptoms
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.
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.
People with dysautonomia symptoms should avoid stressful situations and should work on techniques for coping with stress.
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.
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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 StarsReliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 StarsContradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 StarFor an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
Magnesium deficiency has been proposed as one cause of the symptoms that occur in association with MVP. 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.
In one report, deficient levels of L-carnitine were found in five consecutive people with MVP. 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.
Last Review: 06-01-2015
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