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is it safe to travel abroad with a heart murmur

By Anonymous January 26, 2009 - 2:08pm
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I also was diagnosed a heart murmur, in my case was "functional" and benign as well. I experienced PVCs and PACs which were terribly annoying and worrysome. They used to drive me crazy and it was a vicious cycle!

But I got tired of feeling this way. They were worse when when I would get too excited or stressed or not sleep well. During my time in the Navy I had not choice but to travel on orders. I do not recall any problems related to my heart murmur but I do remember being apprehensive about going anywhere! The anxiety would cause the heart to skip beats.

In my case the murmur disappeared totally after I learned that magnesium defficiency could trigger heart murmurs. I took magnesium for a while and the murmur was gone, just like that! It was good it worked because I never liked taking the beta blockers the doctor gave me. I continue to take magnesium today along with calcium to maintain good heart health.

You did not mention if you were traveling to a high altitute area or not. I was able to take a trip to Peru and my heart was fine at 15,000 feet above see level. To prepare for that trip I took Ginko Bilova for 2 weeks (it is a natural blood thinner) and 2,000 mg of Omega 3 oils. I also packed them with me to my trip along with my magnesium on powder form.

I hope you follow up with your plans to travel. Stay away from cafeine and alcohol as they can make you anxious. Chamomille tea will be nice to drink while you are traveling. You may want to consider bringing a supplement that can help you stay relaxed: Valerian, Gaba, Rodhiola are among my favorites that work well and without side effects. And above all, do NOT think about it, use breathing relaxation when boarding the plane and have fun! I used to obsese and dwell on the symptoms to the point that my quality of life was suffering. I think I wasted too much good energy doing that.

Best of luck!

January 26, 2009 - 11:28pm
Expert HERWriter

Hi Anon,

I actually have a heart murmur. I was diagnosed as a young child. Mine is the harmless kind of murmur..Described perfectly by Susan.

I've had the opportunity to travel all over the world and never had a problem. The only time there was any concern was about my murmur was when I was pregnant with my daughter, Amanda. The doctor wanted to make sure that there wasn't too much stress on my heart during the delivery. So, they put me through a battery of tests beforehand. Everything turned out great. No heart issues and a healthy 9lb 6oz girl.

Did a doctor diagnosis you? If so, you need to contact them to see what kind of murmur you have. Then, you need to ask if it's safe for you to travel with your particular heart murmur.

Here's some information from our encyclopedia on heart murmurs as well as a diagram... Click her to learn more http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/heart-murmur

Let us know if you have any more questions and what kind of murmur you or a loved one might have.

Best in health,

January 26, 2009 - 2:40pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question.

In general, yes, it is safe to travel with a heart murmur but since there are two kind of murmurs, we need a little more information from you.

Do you know what kind of heart murmur you have?

An "innocent murmur" is just as it sounds. It's a harmless swooshing sound made when the heart beats. There is usually no other issue with the heart and any kind of safe or normal activity, including travel, is fine.

An "abnormal murmur" is not as harmless. It may be a sign of certain heart problems like congenital heart defects in children or heart disease in adults. Depending on the advancement or severity of the heart condition, you would exercise more caution when traveling. And if traveling overseas, someone with an abnormal murmur would need to make sure they have a contingency plan, in case of an emergency, as well as insurance and documentation or medication that will tell authorities and medical personnel abroad that they have a medical condition. And anyone with an abnormal heart murmur or heart condition may want to talk to their doctor before taking a long distance trip.

Anon - is this question for you? Do you know what kind of murmur you have? Or is it for a child?

January 26, 2009 - 2:18pm
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