Heart murmurs can occur in people of any age and in most cases indicate a serious condition of the heart, heart valves or vessels. Treatment for heart murmurs is based on the underlying condition, so they can be a symptom of various heart problems. It is imperative that the cause of the heart murmur is clarified by a specialist in internal medicine (cardiologist).
Since heart murmurs can be an indication of serious heart disease, more detailed clarification by a specialist is necessary in most cases.
Doctors understand heart sounds to be altered heart sounds that indicate a pathological change in the heart, the heart valves or the vessels connected to the heart. The doctor usually notices these heart murmurs when listening to the heart sounds with the stethoscope.
Since heart murmurs can be an indication of serious heart disease, more detailed clarification by a specialist is necessary in most cases. The human heartbeat is divided into two phases, known as systole (ejection phase of the heart) and diastole (filling phase of the heart). Depending on the phase during which the heart murmurs can be heard, these are referred to as systolic or diastolic heart murmurs.
Heart murmurs can have very different causes and often indicate pathological changes in the heart or a heart defect. Depending on the phase of the heart murmur, different causes come into question.
Heart murmurs that the doctor hears in the systolic phase can indicate various obstruction and closure disorders of the heart valves. Especially in children, adolescents and pregnant women, systolic heart murmurs that have no pathological significance can occur.
Even with physical exertion, heart murmurs can often occur without any disease value. Diastolic heart murmurs always have a disease-related cause, such as aortic regurgitation or stenosis of the vessels that can be found in the area of the heart.
If a patient suffers from heart murmurs in both phases, this usually indicates a more serious heart defect or a serious dysfunction of the heart. Since there are so many different causes, it is imperative that the heart murmurs be diagnosed precisely by a specialist.
To the cause of a Heart murmur the doctor first listens to the patient's chest with the help of the stethoscope. He describes a possibly occurring heart murmur based on the volume and the time at which he hears it.
If there is a suspicion of a serious underlying illness, the specialist in internal medicine has various further diagnostic options at his disposal, which enable him to reliably assess the heart murmur. These include, for example, an EKG, a stress EKG and an ultrasound of the heart, which provide information about the functionality and appearance of the organ. A cardiac catheterization exam can also reveal the cause of heart murmurs.
Heart murmurs can put those affected into a life-threatening condition without a medical examination. The heart murmurs may increase in intensity and occur more frequently. There is a risk of heart failure or the symptoms becoming chronic. Often the noises trigger fear in the person concerned.
The heart murmur can cause the patient to suffer from severe emotional stress. In severe cases, it can trigger an anxiety disorder or a panic attack. The person concerned suffers from the permanent threatening feeling of being able to lose his life due to heart failure. He becomes restless, irritable and possibly hysterical.
When treating heart murmurs, complications should be assessed depending on the diagnosis. If the heart murmurs are attributed to excessive physical activity through sport or work, this can mean a turning point in everyday life. Changes must be made so as not to endanger the state of health. The use of medication can lead to preparation-specific side effects.
These can burden other organs or affect the psyche. In severe cases, surgery must be carried out. The risks and side effects of an operation must then be considered. Usually, further therapies follow and the administration of medication continues. Here too, a necessary change in current lifestyle is often advised.
Unusual heart murmurs almost always have something to do with a malfunction of the heart, which is why a doctor must always be consulted. Internal specialists and cardiologists are in demand as responsible specialists for heart murmurs.
A heart murmur in need of treatment is not to be understood as the well-known normal palpitations, but rather sounds of the heart that deviate from it. A person affected does not always perceive unusual heart murmurs in themselves. Often it is the family doctor who comes across it while listening. This can be done as part of a routine examination or an examination for another illness, but also when you visit a doctor because of heart problems.
Heart murmurs occur when the heart is abnormally changed. These are mostly defects in the heart vessels or heart valves. Heart defects occur in a wide variety of forms. The focus is on constricted heart vessels and heart valves that do not close completely. Doctors differentiate between systolic and diastolic heart murmurs. While systolic heart murmurs do not always have a pathological background, diastolic heart murmurs are always related to a serious heart disease.
For the clarification of heart sounds, the internist or cardiologist has various examination methods such as EKG, ultrasound or a cardiac catheter examination. The treatment of heart murmurs is based on the knowledge gained from this.
Depending on the cause of the heart murmur, the internist will initiate appropriate treatment. If it is a harmless heart murmur in children, adolescents or pregnant women, they usually wait and arrange a later check-up appointment.
However, especially in babies and toddlers, careful monitoring of the murmurs of the heart is essential to prevent serious heart problems. If there is a problem with the heart valves, depending on the severity, either wait or initiate appropriate treatment. This can mean that the patient has to take medication, but it can also mean that an operation is needed to give the patient a new heart valve.
In any case, if a heart murmur occurs, a specialist in internal medicine (or / and cardiologist) should be consulted so that the severity of the disease and the therapy required can be optimally assessed. Depending on the severity of the underlying disease, the treatment of the heart murmur works better or worse.
With the exception of harmless heart murmurs in children and adolescents, which can occur occasionally and then go away, the noises usually indicate congenital or acquired heart defects. Depending on the type and intensity of the noises and depending on their occurrence during the systolic contraction phase or diastolic relaxation phase of the chambers, conclusions can be drawn about heart valve defects or functional restrictions in the main blood vessels connected to the heart.
The outlook and prognosis for heart murmurs are closely related to the development of the causative heart disease. The heart murmurs themselves are always the expression of flow noises caused by the blood flowing through the valve openings, flowing into the atria and being pressed out of the chambers. This also includes flow noises that arise, for example, from a possible backflow through improperly closed flaps.
In most cases of murmurs of the heart, which are the expression of serious heart disease and can indicate a reduced efficiency of the heart's pumping capacity, the outlook and prognosis are poor if the underlying disease is not treated. However, if the underlying disease is treated successfully, the heart murmurs will go away on their own or other noises will arise, for example caused by the endoprosthetic use of an artificial heart valve, which in this case must be regarded as normal.
To prevent heart murmurs from developing, a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise is recommended. Regular check-ups with a doctor provide early information about possible heart problems. Especially with babies and children, the check-ups with the pediatrician should definitely be attended, as the pediatrician will always check the child's heartbeat for possible heart murmurs.
Heart murmurs should always be clarified by your family doctor or cardiologist. Various measures and home remedies can be used to accompany the medical examination. First of all, it is important to reduce the stress on the heart and circulation by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Affected people usually suffer from a weakened heart and should therefore be careful. Exhausting activities should be avoided until the cause of the heart murmur has been clarified.
Noises that are loudest below the collarbone (machine noises) indicate an open ductus arteriousus and require medical clarification. If a systolic or diastolic heart murmur is suspected, a medical diary should be drawn up in which the type and intensity of the noises and possible accompanying symptoms are recorded. Heart murmurs such as throbbing or rumbling do not have to be pathological. Sometimes it is enough to relax the body through sleep and avoiding stress to clear the noises.
Heart murmurs caused by palpitations can be relieved by deep breathing and the Valsalva maneuver. The home remedy hawthorn strengthens the heart muscle contractions and supports blood flow, while magnesium regulates the heart rhythm and improves the functioning of the nervous system. In principle, however, all types of heart murmurs should be examined by a doctor.