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  1. #1
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Anyone have a murmur?

    I have a slight heart murmur, I was probably born with it. I didn't even know I had it until I was in my teens. From what I understand, instead of boom-boom, my heart beat goes boom-foom. It's called systolic emission or something like that and it's very slight.

    From what I know generally heart murmurs aren't always serious or dangerous. Although I know you can't get into the military if you have one! And it would probably keep me out of elite competition- like at the Lance Armstrong level. I guess for what I do, I'm okay.BUt does anyone know just how much you can push yourself? How about when you get older? I'm not planning on climbing the ventoux or anything but wonder sometimes. I suppose I should ask my MD, but I am curious if anyone else has this condition and what they do.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  2. #2
    Pre-med Roadie
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    i have a heart murmur and an atrial septal defect....but i can still do just about whatever i want. sometimes i can feel my heart really pounding but it has been fine all along. i used to run the 1.2 mile at my middle school and i would want to pass out every time.....lungs would be fine but my heart would be pounding so hard. who knows what the deal was....i was too young to know about bonking and all the other crap.

    ask a doc and see what he says. mine says to stay in sports.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Yes, I've got a heart murmur and have had it for 34 years. I get it checked periodically (the whole battery of heart tests) just to keep an eye on things. My most recent test was a couple months ago, and they discovered that instead of ONE leaky valve, I actually now have TWO leaky valves.

    BUT here's the thing: I also have what they call, an athlete's heart. It's slightly larger (more muscular) than a normal heart would be in a person my size. They tell me it pumps more blood through the valve than "normal", then a bit backwashes, and a "normal" amount of blood continues on its way. So I've been told that all the exercise I've been doing has actually helped my heart compensate for it's problems.

    And as for how much riding you can do, and how much you can push yourself ... check out my website (the links are in my signature)!!


    BUT I would strongly advise going for testing every few years.

  4. #4
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    I have a slight murmur. I was born with it and when I was younger (I'm 30 now) I had it completely investigated by a cardiologist -- because at the time I was applying to the US Naval Academy, and EVERYTHING had to be documented. The cardiologist determined that it was so slight that I did not have any physical limitations.

    I have been an athlete all my life without any problems. I have also done some very difficult endurance races, run marathons, trained at high altitudes, and raced MTB and cyclocross.

    Of course, I am not an elite athlete/cyclist, but I don't think I can blame that on the murmur. My advice to you would be to see a specialist, and make it clear to him/her that you are an athlete. The doc will give you the proper testing and advice you need to put your mind at ease.

  5. #5
    Aluminium Crusader :-)
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    I'm no Dr Butt........

    After passing out a few times as a young kid (about 10), I was told I had a slight murmur which was described as a "noisy valve", but no doctor has been able to detect it with a stethoscope for the last ten years (I'm now 37).

    As far as I know there at least a few different types of
    murmurs (first Google hit: http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/ar...rtmurmurs.html), obviously requiring different precautions, and some -- probably including mine -- can disappear as we age.

    Mine was insignificant enough for me to have no sporting restrictions, and I've had my heart up to it's max a gazillion times over the last 20 years.

    In my 20s I occasionally experienced an arrhythmia, but I was told (after scans), that it was not serious, was most likely caused by anxiety (exacerbated by coffee), and was not related to my childhood murmur

  6. #6
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    Remember: advice is worth just what you pay for it. But not every time.

    2 things: was the label "systolic ejection (flow) murmur? If so it is just a rumble of the turbulence often made by a strong heart pushing blood through the outflow tract particularly common in thin types. Second: a murmur is known by the company it keeps. Are there any related symptoms? If none then no worries, mate, as they say in Oz. The only definitive diagnosis is that arrived at by an echocardiogram, a non-invasive ultra sound exam of the heart muscle, the valves and the great vessels. This test is better than 90% reliable. Depending on your health insurance, your relationship with your primary care doctor and your anxiety level about getting an explanation for your murmur, you may or may not be able to obtain this study except by paying for it yourself--probably around $700. There is no such thing as a murmur that has never given you any signs (things you can see) or symptons (things you feel) that can hurt you when you exercise. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Yep, I have a heart murmur. Was told by ther first cardio dr. that it is a symptom of a defective heart valve, caused from an infection that went to the heart? This dr told me I would probably need to have the aortic valve replaced. The next cardio dr I consulted did a much more thorough test, stress etc., and said that my heart condition was called Aortic Stenosis of the heart valve. Basically the aortic heart valve should have 3 flaps that open and close as the heart beats, mine instead has only two flaps so its irregular. Thus the murmur. I am 44 and so far it hasn't prevented me from running or biking, although I sometimes feel a little pain and it can tend to skip a beat or two. Probably need to get back to the cardio for some updated tests but I am apprehensive about what they may say and I don't want to have major surgery. So, in light of this, just one more compelling reason to ride and exercise more.

  8. #8
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    It seems to be pretty common. I know there are the type of murmurs you can get from illness like scarlet fever or whatever, but i gather most of us had it from birth. I guess we can pretty much do what we want, obviously doing sports is better for your heart than inactivity! Unless you're in real danger or have something really wrong. So far there hasn't been any problem, I see a doctor regularly and there hasn't been any change. However, there is heart disease in the family, the type related to cholesterol. Everyone on my father's side of the family has had bypass, but I don't think it's related to the murmur. Last time my cholesterol was checked, two months ago, it was low. Anyways, because of the family history, it's something I am conscientious about as I get older.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  9. #9
    Punkyhiggs
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    I also have a heart murmur/arithmia. I have had it since childhood and am now 39. I am a 19yr Navy SEAL Veteran, Cyclist, Climber and Runner. I have never had a problem w/the murmur, although every time I see a new doctor, they freak out for a while. Just listen to your body, it will tell you if it's broken or not.

  10. #10
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    Journeyman,

    If you have a bicuspid aortic valve, get an echocardiogram and follow up with the doc on a regular basis. Don't " listen to your body"!

    bakhurts.

  11. #11
    wackodacko
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    I dont know if i have a heart murmur, but i have this thing called a MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE where it beats funny sometimes... anway, the thing is, it only starts acting up when i'm stressed (not physically, but stressed from work) and not doing anything.. so if i'm stressed while lying down or sitting down then it starts feeling funny. But once i start getting my heart rate up by going up the stairs, biking, running, etc it goes away, and also never appeared in my treadmill test while pushing the limits, but it did when i was in resting mode. So yeah the doctor said i should be fine if i just keep exercising. Weird huh?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wackodacko
    I dont know if i have a heart murmur, but i have this thing called a MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE . . .So yeah the doctor said i should be fine if i just keep exercising. Weird huh?
    Not so wierd; I have the same thing. Dianosed when I was mid-20s. I used to take a very minimal dose of inderal (sp?) but stopped it when I got pregnant with my first child.

    I used to feel the funny beats only when I was resting or very tired. Lately I have not had a "flip" since I have gotten more fit by riding my bike; I cannot remember the last time I felt one. Mitral Valve, from what I have read, is actually pretty common and medication is generally not needed.

    Wait I remember when I last felt a flip-when I first started riding my bike again, and I was maxing my heart rate out going up the hill to our house.--two years ago. Haven't felt it since, 'cuz I am in good enough shape to not be maxing my heart rate out going up a hill. . . unless I want to!
    I . . can . . . doooo . . . it

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