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Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome: Natural remedies help women to reduce symptoms

If you are diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse, have no fear as natural remedies can help you to endure the annoying symptoms of this benign disorder.

Woman can reduce symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse with these remedies.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Mitral Valve Prolapse is not truly a heart disease but rather a benign condition of both sexes where a floppy valve presents a murmur sound when physicians listen to your heart. The function of this valve is to keep the blood flowing in one direction through the left side of the heart and to prevent backflow of blood when the heart contracts. The valve consists of two triangular-shaped thin fibrous membranes connected to cords, which attach to the heart muscle. When the heart contracts, the two membranes billow up to close off the opening between the upper atrium and the lower ventricle on the left side of the heart. Prolapse means that the two membranes are a little loose, somewhat floppy, so the valve doesn't close as firmly as it should. Mitral valve prolapse is thought to affect millions of people and many don't even know they have this dysfunction. Yet others are plagued with symptoms, which are not life-threatening, but just a nuisance.

Women are far more likely than men to be diagnosed with this syndrome and oddly, there is even a specific body type related to this malady. The typical profile is a slender female with long arms, tapering fingers and a wide hand span. They also seem to be very limber and loose-jointed. Doctors pick up on this diagnosis when listening to the heart and hear a click murmur. Further studies with an echocardiogram will confirm the prolapse and offer pictures for review.

Women with MVP may experience heart palpitations making them more aware of the beating of their heart. Skipped beats or irregular heartbeats are also part of this syndrome and scary at times although the person's heart may be truly healthy. Other symptoms include migraine headaches, a dizzy, spacey feeling, shortness of breath, balance disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and panic attacks. Conventional medicine such as beta-blockers help, but there are also natural remedies that can help ease up the symptoms and make a woman feel comfortable.

Increase your fluid intake

Hydration therapy is a fancy name for drinking more water. Fluid is necessary to maintain blood pressure and the carotid arteries in the neck are lined with sensors called baroreceptors that sense the fullness or emptiness of the arteries. Women with MVP have very sensitive barorecptors so with an insufficient amount of fluid in the body; one may suffer from the symptoms of weakness and lightheadedness. It's important to drink water and fluids, at least 8-10 glasses. Avoid caffeine, which will only depletes the amount of fluid in the system.

You feel what you eat

This is just a play on words as many have heard the statement, "you are what you eat." A woman with MVP can benefit by eating foods that contain key nutrients that can help ward off the underlying causes of MVP. Sometimes vitamin and mineral supplements will be needed to obtain the maximum amount. One of the most important parts of diet modification in MVP is to stay away from sugar and high-carbohydrate diets that produce swings in blood sugar. This puts women in a roller-coaster effect with an upward high only to crash with a period of extremely low blood sugar.

Magnesium is probably one of the most important nutrients to take when you have MVP. It plays an important role in restoring cellular metabolism and replenishing depleted energy reserves. Magnesium also relaxes the muscles. Magnesium can be taken in supplemental forms as magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate. Make sure to eat a variety of nuts and legumes, along with greens such as spinach. Whole grains and milk provide magnesium as well.

Co-enzyme Q10 is an essential enzyme for energy production within the mitochondria (your powerhouse of cells) and it also enhances the pumping action of your heart, output of blood and the general cardiac efficiency. It is truly helpful for the fatigue that one feels when they have MVP. There are not too many food sources for this co-enzyme, so supplementation is a better choice. But do indulge in eating fish, organ meats (such as liver and kidney) and whole grains that include the entire germ.

Several of the B-vitamins can help with the symptoms of MVP. They basically can help relax the body reducing high levels of lactic acid in the blood, which is associated with anxiety and panic attacks. As a supplement it's best to take a B-complex formula that contains all the nutrients in the vitamin B family. Foods high in vitamin B are many and each serves a specific part of this complex. Include these foods into your diet: eggs, fish, nuts, dairy, chicken, pork, beef and fortified cereals, just to name a few.

Exercise is helpful

Having MVP is not an excuse to live a sedentary life. Exercise in moderation is important and necessary to evade symptoms. Make sure to not engage in exercise that causes overexertion as too much will release catecholamine (stress hormones) and lactic acid that can provoke hyperventilation and other symptoms of this syndrome.

Meditate and relax your troubles away

We know that relaxation techniques are used and effective for many illnesses. It can relieve stress, help alleviate chronic pain and even lower blood pressure. Using relaxation helps women with MVP whose symptoms are worsened by stress. Meditation can put you into an oasis of good thoughts, clearing your mind of stressful events. Some women use a mantra, a word or phrase to repeat allowing your thoughts to wander and find peace. Others find yoga a way to not only strengthen the body, but also allow the deep breathing to relax the body and soul. And don't forget about biofeedback where a specialist can train you on a mechanical device to ease tension, control temperature and brain wave patterns. You can observe the meter and think your way to a more relaxed state. With some practice many patients learn to get into this state of relaxation without the machine.