I am writing in regards to a heart murmur. I am 21 years old and when I was younger I was born with a heart murmur which my pediatrician always said was "innocent" and nothing serious. I went to a new PCP when I became older and he said the murmur was not even present anymore. Today I go to a new doctor in NYC and he immediately asks if anyone told me I had a murmur upon listening to my heart. I am going to some of NYCs top cardiologists but in the mean time was wondering any "paleo" hacks that might help :)
I work in cardiac surgery (in data, not a dr.), as it turns out, so might have a bit of useful info.
Heart murmurs in childhood are fairly common, I understand, and yes most of the time are no cause for concern. And yes, there is variance amongst doctors & equipment on the ability & accuracy to hear.
But please don't think that all heart murmurs are nothing serious. Often a person has a heart murmur because they have a valve issue. Sometimes this is minor. But, as the years go on and we age, this valve issue (called insufficiency or regurgitation) can get worse, and lead to heart failure. This is why people get their heart valves replaced.
That is one thing that gets me - my mother was told she had a heart murmur when she was young, and that it was no big deal. She had mitral valve regurgitation. No one ever did anything about it, and that, combined with other issues, cause her to now have heart failure and she can't even walk a block without having to stop to catch her breath.
I wanted to put that out their, to clear up the whole "murmurs are no big deal" belief. Sometimes they aren't a big deal. Sometimes they aren't a big deal, but then do become a big deal.
But, in your case, dinis, since they no longer hear the murmur, my guess would be that you had a PFO (patent foramen ovale), also known as a hole in your heart between the two ventricles. This is fairly common in childhood, and the hole usually closes up as the person reaches adulthood, which may have been what happened to you. Therefor, you had a murmur when you were young, but don't anymore. So, if this is the case, it would not be a valve problem, and wouldn't be any cause for concern.
As far as diet, no, really, there isn't any diet issues related to heart valves/murmurs/PFOs. However, if you did have heart failure (which you don't), you would work on sodium intake. And of course, eating paleo would help keep you healthy and your muscles strong (including your heart muscle!), so I would imagine that would help.
But, I am not a doctor! I do know A LOT about the heart, but am not a doctor, and even if I were, wouldn't be able to diagnose you over the internet.
If you are concerned, I would say go and get an echocardiogram. They are non invasive- it's just like an ultrasound that they give pregnant women, but over your heart. But since it sounds like you are already seeing a cardiologist, you probably have already had one, or will have one shortly.
Of course, eating healthy and living healthy is about the best you can do. I remember reading that the heart prefers to run on fat so make sure your fat intake is healthy and decent. I have heard it said that many heart murmurs are not necesarily cause for alarm, so that would be one for the experts to listen for and probably also something you should specifically research yourself. One thing I have heard many times is that listening for heart irregularities and successfully interpreting them is something that very few doctors have much experience in or are any good at. In fact, there was a recent phone app designed for med students designed to help them with exactly that type of problem and the app was wildly popular among med students precisely because of a big knowledge gap in that area. So it does not really surprise me that you have gotten varying responses from different doctors. It might be that your heart murmur has always been exactly the same but some of your doctors were better at detecting it than others. Ironically, my dog also had a heart murmur for many years and some vets could detect it every time and others couldn't. Seems like none of the local vets are diligent readers of their patient's charts, so each time they listened to his heart long after a previous visit, they had forgotten all knowledge they had of him previously. The dog lived to an old age until cancer (not heart related) finally got him.
I have always been under the impression that heart murmurs were not uncommon. I am 43 years old and, like you, I was born with a heart murmur. For the majority of those 43 years I ate the typical crap American diet and while I've had health issues over the years (which until going Paleo I had not attributed to nutrition) my heart was never as issue. Even earlier this year, in the midst of full-on metabolic derangement, my heart functioned perfectly, and I have no issues doing strenuous, high-intensity workouts such as CrossFit. (Other than pure exhaustion!) I am sure that heart murmurs are as unique as the individuals who possess them, but good diet and functional fitness can only serve to bolster health and longevity.
When I was in my early twenties my regular doctor told me I had a heart murmur. Went to the cardiologist who told me that he could make it louder or softer, worse or better, by the way he positioned me on the table. He demonstrated this as he did an echocardiogram. So, to some degree, whether a doctor hears it depends on the type of the murmur and even how the doctor goes about listening to your heart.
I have since been to different doctors over the years (many doctors, as I've traveled from California to D.C. to Puerto Rico to Ohio etc.) and not one of them has heard this murmur. So my advice would be 1) not to stress out about this; 2) follow up with a second opinion from a cardiologist; 3) eat a Paleo diet (can't hurt, can only help!).
I had a heart murmur a couple months back, got an echocardiogram and it turned out to be nothing. Lady that was doing the echocardiogram had no idea why I was there, she said I had nothing to worry about. Coincidentally, I had the murmur right around the time I ditched my high carb diet (600grams) and went for a more paleo approach. I have no idea if that had anything to do with it, or if it was just coincidence.
Thanks guys and gals for all your responses.. to correct some misunderstandings I was born with a heart murmur and my pediatrician told me and my mom all my life is was not a concern and then i moved onto a new doctor and he said he didn't hear anything so it may of been a childhood thing... now I am 21 and onto a NEW better doctor and he brought it up randomly w/o me bringing up previous history.. going to a cardiologist next week to see whats up for a stress test and a echocardiogram. hopefully nothing serious! i will keeep ya posted thank you for your help!
I've had a heart murmur since infancy and so has my husband and our youngest daughter. It's the "innocent" murmur for all of us. At 3oyo, my husband's wasn't detected during an extensive cardio workup prior to entering the LEO academy. Mine was barely noticeable during a cardio workup a couple years ago for some irregular heartbeats. I checked out fit as a fiddle. Our 11yo hasn't suffered and isn't restricted from any physical activity. So, I'd imagine your's is nothing to worry about either. :-)
Ironic you mention the LEO academy.. that is why I went to my doc cause I needed medical clearances to go forward in the hiring process. I am concerned now that this "murmur" will disqualify me from advancing further and being hired. We will see what happens when I see the cardio on the 9th.
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