The good news about mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is that in most cases it’s benign and there’s no cause for worry. Yet, for a small percentage of those with mitral valve prolapse complications can be quite serious—including transient ischemic attacks (TIA) from blood clots, and even sudden death from uncontrolled cardiac arrhythmia.
These more serious mitral valve prolapse symptoms can develop if the severity of the mitral valve prolapse advances due to leakage and/or infection of the valve. Deterioration of the mitral valve tissue itself can also occur when the valve is strained to the point of rupture—causing progressive mitral regurgitation (MR) and eventually dysfunction of the valve. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend mitral valve repair surgery, or even replacement of the valve itself.
How to Ward Off Severe Mitral Valve Prolapse Symptoms and Complications
If your mitral valve prolapse is highly pronounced, you can take steps to prevent more serious complications from developing, including:
- Use antibiotics prior to surgery and dental treatments to prevent infection of the mitral valve. If your doctor recommends this, it’s sound advice and should be followed.
- Take a daily aspirin to prevent a TIA, or “mini-stroke” which can cause blurred vision, amnesia, and damage to the retina. A daily aspirin can help to prevent the small clots that can form due to mitral valve prolapse that can break away into the circulatory causing neurological symptoms to develop. But talk to your doctor before adding a daily aspirin to your routine.
- Add a high-quality omega-3 oil to your daily routine (1-2 grams daily) which, like aspirin, helps to prevent blood clots. Like beta blockers, omega-3 oils have a positive effect on heart rate variability, and a calming effect on the electrical circuits of the heart—helping to prevent arrhythmia.
- Take a combination of CoQ10 and magnesium. The research on magnesium is positive, demonstrating less symptomology and complications as well for mitral valve prolapse. In my personal clinical experience, CoQ10 (50-150 mg daily in divided doses) and magnesium (300-400 mg daily of a broad spectrum magnesium) help to assuage diastolic dysfunction which may be a common occurrence with mitral valve prolapse.
You Can Also Take Steps to Prevent Your Symptoms from Worsening
As with everything, an ounce of prevention is always worth that pound of cure. High blood pressure is a huge contributing factor when mitral valve prolapse is associated with moderate leakage of the mitral valve. So, if your blood pressure is elevated it’s important to work with your doctor and take steps to lower it.
If you’re troubled by your mitral valve prolapse symptoms, it’s also important to avoid caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol. You can also follow my metabolic cardiology approach to support your heart with the right nutrients. To reduce emotional strain, I also recommend using a form of relaxation such as mental imagery, yoga, quiet meditation or prayer.
Finally, schedule regular checkups with your doctor and report any changes in the frequency or intensity of your symptoms.