Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Heart Murmer Often Not a Cause for Concern

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Heart Murmer Often Not a Cause for Concern

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: What is a heart murmur? How is it treated?

Dear Reader: A heart murmur is a sound made by turbulent blood flow within the heart. (Think whitewater rapids as opposed to a gently flowing river.) Your doctor hears this sound with a stethoscope.

Most often, a murmur occurs in a healthy heart. Sometimes, people have murmurs just with a normal flow of blood through their hearts. In other cases, a heart murmur may indicate a problem. Murmurs may be caused by a structural abnormality of a heart valve. Heart valves normally cause blood to be pumped in only one direction. When, for example, blood is being pulled in the wrong direction by gravity, the valve keeps that from happening.

Heart murmurs also may be due to an abnormal connection between two parts of the heart.

Heart murmurs often do not cause symptoms. However, when the heart damage that causes the murmur also causes the heart to malfunction, symptoms occur. …

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