- Mitral valves prevent blood from flowing backward in the ventricles around the heart. Mitral valve prolapse is when the mitral valves no longer are able to prevent the back flow of blood because they have been thickened due to excessive proteins in the system. When these valves thicken they expand, or prolapse, and are unable to completely prevent the blood from flowing backward through the ventricles. This expansion is what is know as mitral valve prolapse.
- Most symptoms are felt in the chest and involve heart activity. Many people report feeling irregular heartbeats called palpitations, and others report general and painful chest pain. Additional symptoms include unexplained anxiety and migraine headaches.
- When the heart experiences blood flowing backward, that can mean that muscles and organs are not getting the oxygen they need to function properly and recover from exercise. Therefore fatigue is a common symptom. When people with mitral valve prolapse are active, they tend to experience long periods of fatigue due to the decreased flow of oxygen.
Shortness of Breath
- Symptoms of mitral valve prolapse usually start out at an almost insignificant and unnoticeable level, and gradually progress to a more prominent state. One symptom is shortness of breath or dizziness due to lack of proper bloodflow. When mitral valve prolapse is becoming more noticeable, the shortness of breath and dizziness can occur even when the person is lying down.
- In some cases the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse could appear to be mental conditions. Some of the symptoms are severe and unexplained anxiety, the onset of panic attacks, and bouts with depression for seemingly no reason. It is thought that the lack of oxygen to various organs also applies to the lungs and the brain. In many cases, these conditions are extremely complex in their origins, in other cases a person can feel anxiety because their system lacks oxygen and the heart speeds up to try and maintain the necessary level of oxygen.