Understanding Heart Disease
Heart disease is a broad, umbrella medical term that is used to refer to a wide number of diseases that involve your heart. Heart disease includes things like congenital heart defects (heart defects that you were born with), heart infections, diseases of your blood vessels like coronary artery disease and arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms).
Situated at the very center of your cardiovascular system is your heart. Your body's blood vessels are used by your heart to pump blood to all of the cells of your body. Your blood contains oxygen that your cells have to have.
Your mitral valve is also referred to as the bicuspid valve or left atrioventricular valve. It is a dual-flap valve that divides the upper (atrium) and lower (ventricle) chambers of the left side of your heart. Your mitral valve has the job of controlling the flow of blood from your left atrium into your left ventricle.
What is Floppy Valve Syndrome?
Floppy valve syndrome is a condition that takes place when your mitral valve does not close the way that it is supposed to. This can cause blood to leak back into your left atrium. This is something that is called mitral valve regurgitation.
Floppy valve syndrome is the most common heart valve abnormality in the United States. As much as 10% of the general population of the United States may have some form of this syndrome.
The Causes of Floppy valve
The specific cause of floppy valve syndrome is not known at the present time. However, floppy valve syndrome has been associated with several different things. Some of these include:
- Medical conditions, such as osteogenesis imperfects, polycystic kidney disease, Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Graves disease and scoliosis
- Minor chest wall deformities that you may have
- Heredity (your genetic makeup).
Floppy Valve Syndrome Risk Factors
There are some risk factors that may increase your likelihood of developing floppy valve syndrome. Some of these are:
- Chest wall deformities that you may have
- A thin chest diameter
- Graves disease (a disease that affects your thyroid gland)
- A family history of floppy valve syndrome
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Scoliosis (a condition that causes curvature and deformity of your spine)
- Being a female
- Marfan syndrome (a disorder that affects your connective tissue)
- Low body weight
- Being between the ages of 14 and 30
In most instances, floppy valve syndrome does not bring about any problems at all, and it usually does not require any treatment. However, when floppy valve syndrome does produce signs and symptoms, it may result in serious, life-threatening complications.
The signs and symptoms of floppy valve syndrome may vary greatly from person to person. Some of the possible signs and symptoms that you may experience include:
- A persistent cough
- Anxiety, panic attacks and depression
- Heart arrhythmia (a racing or irregular heartbeat)
- Low blood pressure when you are lying down
- Chest pain that is not the result of coronary artery disease or a heart attack
- A heart murmur
- Shortness of breath or having difficulty breathing that often takes place when you are lying down flat or doing physical activity
- Migraine headaches
- Lightheadedness or dizziness.
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