Does Mitral Valve Regurgitation Cause Fatigue?

Mitral valve regurgitation refers to the backflow of blood from the left ventricle into the left atrium. There are many reasons for mitral valve regurgitation including but not limited mitral valve prolapsed, damaged tissue cords, rheumatic fever, endocarditis, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, trauma, and congenital heart defects. Mitral valve prolapse seems to be the most common cause of mitral regurgitation. Mitral regurgitation can be mild, moderate or severe.

Does Mitral Valve Regurgitation Cause Fatigue?

Mitral regurgitation is most commonly caused by Mitral valve prolapsed. It is a condition where blood flows backward with each heartbeat. Moderate to the severe form of mitral regurgitation can cause congestive heart failure. The heart muscles become weak making it difficult to pump blood. Less amount of blood than usual is pumped with each heartbeat resulting in symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue, and lightheadedness. Mitral regurgitation can cause congestion around the heart and lungs resulting in swollen legs and feet.

Apart from mitral regurgitation, age is also a factor for fatigue. The deterioration of the valve with age can be a factor for mitral valve regurgitation which adds to the symptoms of the disease.

Reasons For Fatigue In Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Patients develop symptoms of fatigue in the form of a headache, poor concentration, loss of appetite, irritation and aching muscles. The reasons for fatigue includes

Loss Of Muscle Strength. People suffering from mitral valve regurgitation has weak heart muscles. These muscles are not closed tightly after each contraction. As the valve is not closed tightly there is leakage of blood from the ventricles into the atrium. There will be an inadequate amount of blood supplied and the heart requires extra energy and efforts than normal to pump the blood. This causes fatigue. The loss of grip over the valve closing can be due to one of the following reasons

  • The valve becomes enlarged
  • Heart muscles become elongated
  • Tissue chords loose grip over the valve flaps

Breathlessness. People with mitral valve regurgitation often suffer from irregular heartbeat and breathing. The irregular heartbeats are due to the difficulty of heart muscles to pump the blood. There will be an inadequate supply of oxygen resulting in shortness of breath. The patients experience difficulty in breathing even at rest. The effect of mitral regurgitation can be seen on the autonomic nervous system. Such patients should limit their physical activity and exercise. Mild intensity exercise such as walking can be done. It is advised to seek professional help regarding the physical activity which can be performed. Avoid exercises which involve sudden exertion. Ideally, a person should walk two and a half hours in a week. People suffering from mitral regurgitation should avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Lung Disease. People with mitral valve regurgitation often develop pulmonary hypertension, as there will be increased pressure on the lungs. The pressure developed on the right side can cause chest pain.

Your doctor will be the best judge to identify the cause of fatigue. There can be many contributing factors for fatigue including heart disease, thyroid disorders, sedentary lifestyle, stress, and depression. Fatigue can be controlled by saving energy, during regular exercise, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and having tight sleep. Patients should maintain a routine physical exercise. Doctor advise intake of food supplements and medication to control the symptoms of fatigue. Mitral valve regurgitation cannot be treated with medicines. Such patients have to undergo mitral valve repair or mitral valve replacement. Your doctor will decide based on the condition. Medicines are given to patients to control the symptoms.


Mitral valve regurgitation produces all the symptoms of fatigue. There will be impaired functioning of the valve decreasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the body, adding to the crisis. The body parts can get numbed. Doctors prescribe food supplements to improve symptoms of fatigue and provide energy to heart muscles.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 7, 2019

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