Is a heart murmur a heart condition?

Are you worried that your heart murmur is the beginning of the end? Well, let’s pump some blood into this conversation and find out if a heart murmur is really cause for alarm.

What is a Heart Murmur?

First things first, what even is a heart murmur? Are we talking about the beating organ in our chest or an elusive sound that only dogs can hear? According to health professionals (whatever those are), a heart murmur refers to any unusual sounds heard during your heartbeat. These noises can range from whooshing and swishing to more musical notes like humming or chanting. Okay, I made up that last part but you get my point.

Turbulent Blood Flow

The reason for these extra sounds may have something to do with turbulence within your arteries – basically when blood doesn’t flow smoothly through your body but “pushes” against the walls of veins and arteries instead. This turbulence creates vibrations which spreads throughout your chest cavity where it can be detected by stethoscopes! The result: a weird noise which we call a heart murmur!

Now before you panic just because there’s an unusual phlegmy-noise coming from deep inside you, there are different types of murmurs (phew)!

Types of Heart Murmurs

Some people have innocent childhood murmurs while others might develop them due to underlying conditions causing damage to their valves. While they both involve extra sounds in between normal beats:

  1. Innocent Childhood Murmurs

    • Usually harmless
    • Often disappear on their own
    • Children grow out of ’em
  2. Abnormal/Pathological Murmurs

    • Caused by defects or disorders such as valve problems and congenital heart disease
    • Might require treatment

Well now that we know there are 2 distinct types of heart murmurs, let us take a closer look at the more serious one.

Abnormal/Pathological Heart Murmurs

An abnormal or pathological murmur is a sign that there might be something wrong with your pumped-up ticker. These types of murmurs often happen because anything from anatomical defects to whacky infections could be screwing up the blood flow in your body! What this basically means is that your blood may not be flowing correctly and can cause damage over time.

Symptoms and Treatments

Symptoms vary depending on what’s causing the issue – for example, if you have valve disease (which weakens valves), symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain/discomfort, fatigue/tiredness when doing physical activity etc.

Sounds pretty terrible right? Relax – it’s not all doom and gloom folks!

Treatment options range from medications to surgical procedures which help restore proper function where possible. If surgery isn’t necessary, monitoring lifestyle aspects such as diet/exercise habits along with different medications can address these issues just fine!

When Should I Get Tested?

Okay but now we’re back to square one – do YOU even need treatment? How do you know if the hiccups in your heartbeat are harmless innocent childhood murmurs or dangerous abnormalities caused by underlying conditions?

To give an answer for everyone would require reading every person’s medical history (and ain’t nobody got time for that.) However here are some basic guidelines:

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors increase one’s likelihood of having an abnormal heart murmur:
Congenital disorders
History of infection
Familial cases

If some/all apply to you then consider visiting a doctor specializing in cardiac health care ASAP!

Your Medical Exam

During routine check ups with PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS the physician/operator will listen closely during heartbeat exams/routine tests. If anything seems out of place, additional tests may be ordered to determine an actual diagnosis.

Seeing a Cardiologist

In cases where the initial exam results are not clear enough (or too worrying), people might get referred to specialized cardiac doctors who can further investigate with more advanced equipment and procedures such as echocardiograms or electrocardiography studies. Whatever happens though, just remember that getting tested is better than dealing with greater health problems down the line!

Summary: Innocent Murmur vs Abnormal Murmur

Heart murmurs generally refer to any unusual sounds heard during your normal heartbeat cycle but these sounds can differ between types:

1) Innocent/Functional Heart Murmurs: often harmless/have no severe symptoms and usually disappear on their own
2) Abnormal/Pathologic Heart Murmurs: caused by heart disease/or other disorders which require medical attention/treatment

Treatments/solutions vary depending on individual circumstances and might involve surgery along with medication/diet changes etc. Tests for hearing anomalies typically occur during routine checkups at primary care physician offices unless you have risk factors increasing likelihood of having an abnormal heart murmur- in which case visiting cardiac specialists like cardiologists becomes appropriate.

Well there you go folks! You should now understand everything needed about heart murmurs (but if not, maybe see a doctor instead). The main takeaway here is: don’t jump into conclusions without seeking professional advice from qualified physicians/cardiologists/endocrinology? Maybe I made up that last one actually…Either way off you pop and keep thumping everyone!