Heart murmur?

In April I went abroad to see a private doctor, who, in addition to supervising my treatment for hypothyroidism, also diagnosed me with a heart murmur. She seems to think it is related to my hypothyroidism and she'd like me to get an echocardiogram. I asked my NHS gp about it, and he listened and couldn't hear it. He suggested that I might have had a virus at the time the murmur was heard and sometimes when the virus goes away the murmur goes too.

I've been back to the private doctor, who listened again and said it is still there. She would still like me to have an echo to determine what kind of murmur it is. I'm planning to have a dental implant this year, and she said the dentist might want to give me an antibiotic if I have a heart murmur.

Does anyone else here with ht also have a heart murmur? Any suggestions about what to do about this? Will a private echo cost me an arm and a leg? Can I have a private echo without the prescription of a UK doctor? I can ask my gp again I guess, though I think I'll get the same answer. I can change doctors and/or surgeries and ask again. I can ask my NHS endo about it. I'm not sure of the best route forward.

Or am I overreacting? I know heart murmur can cause fatigue, which is one of my main symptoms, so it seems like it would be worth getting sorted out, and I'm concerned about the implications of having dental work.

Sorry so many questions. I'm not originally from the UK and have not had much treatment on the NHS so I feel unsure about how to go about things.

TIA...x

24 Replies

oldestnewest
  • I am NOT recommending this company, as I know nothing about them, but they do display their basic prices quite clearly (unlike many who force you to call them):

    selectgp.co.uk/prices/medic...

    And another said £80 as well.

    I suggest doing a search for "private ECG test" (or something like that) and ringing round the ones that are close enough to you.

    Make sure that you can walk out of the door with the results (in whatever form) under your arm.

    Rod

  • Hi.

    Thanks for the link. My mistake, I confused ecg with an echo. I'll need a referral for an echo.

  • This is a link which may give you some information. I had very bad palpitations/tachycardia with levothyroxine but since I stopped it, I have had no problems since.

    web.archive.org/web/2010122...

  • Thanks for that. I've had palps in the past (maybe 15 years ago) and an ekg to confirm that they were benign. No murmur at any time before. This recent diagnosis was out of the blue and not related to any symptoms I was having at the time. I was there for something completely different but she was being thorough.

  • Hi. Ive just seen your posting because I too have been diagnosed with a loud murmur and referred for an echocardiogram. Im a little worried about it especially as Im on T3 only. What happened with your diagnosis?

  • Hello PB. Just to say, I have the murmur mine is due to LVH (left ventricle is enlarged). I have had ECG,s and echocardiogram. Apparently there is nothing structurally wrong and no high blood pressure which can be the main issue causing it. It is thought now that 'quite likely caused by hypothyroid'. Doesn't give any problems as yet anyway! If it is your thyroid apparently it does in many cases heal with proper thyroid treatment.I would insist on a check just to be sure. Maybe that helps a bit it's what was told to me by GP.

  • This is interesting as want to have a check again on the old ticker so ill say this to GP. Thanks Cupi :)

  • Really interesting, thank you! I looked online and only found info about hyperthyroidism and heart murmur, but the private doctor seemed to think there was a connection between uat and hm. Like you, my blood pressure is fine.

  • Im the same as Shaws had awful heart palpitations when on levo, i dont have them on Armour.

    I was born with a heart murmur and it never effected anything i did. I think its called an innocent heart murmur. I use to have to take 3 days of amoxycillin before any dental treatment and continue on it for some days after. However, they now believe that you dont have to take antibiotics for this, but do check!

    In fact you may be able to give this as a reason for an echocardiogram to your GP. Youre having major dental work done soon and your worried. I ended up having an ecg because i was given doxycycline (very strong antibiotic, given for something else) which gave me tachycardia. I kind of remember him saying its ok its not a problem and then showing me the valve jumping all over the place!

    Can the private doc not recommend someone close to them and get it done while there?

  • Hi BexyLS.

    My GP doesn't believe I have a murmur, so whatever reasons I give him for needing an echocardiogram are of no use if (as is his opinion) I don't have a murmur. I have heard that dentists no longer use antibiotics routinely the way they used to for people with a heart murmur (my mum has the 'innocent' kind so I know a little about it). I should ask my dentist. If they do nothing (no antibiotics) I guess I don't have to worry about it! But because I'm so fatigued, I think it should be investigated in any case.

    The private doctor is happy for me to have the echo wherever I choose, but it is apparently very expensive, so I wanted to have a go at getting a referral from my GP (as is my right if there is a medical need). If it is as little as £80, it might be worth just paying to have it done.

  • Hi A heart murmur, need not be significant, however, in the first instance she needs to be under an endo, not a private dotor as it is important for her correct treatment. make sure they are good. The heart murmur needs an echo ( like ultra sound) to establish what is happening. if she is not breathless at all, it is probably Ok as most likely the Mitral Valve which can leak from birth and not too serious unless it gets worse. She may need cardiac meds. and at the extreme end valve repair surgery.

    Best wishes,

    Jackie

  • Hi Jackie.

    Just to clarify, I am under the treatment of an NHS endo. The problem is that the private doctor has diagnosed a heart murmur and my GP does not agree, or at least he says he does not hear it. I know a lot of people have the 'innocent' kind but apparently one needs an echo to tell if it's benign or more serious. This is where the problem lies. I'm not sure how to go about getting one unless my GP will refer me.

  • Hi Yes you are quite right about it needing to be checked out, most important.Have you tried being vague with GP ? ie another doctor said but you cannot remember who?As you cannot see even a consultant privately without a referral.A private echo is about £200 usually. Different hospitals charge vastly different amounts so, in any case you need to shop around., hone and asdk for pricing dept. The other thing is in the private sector your private cardio ( with a referral) does the echo. That is far better as some small hospitals do not do them correctly. As a moving picture essential someone good does them. If you had a name of who was best for you, make sure as some cardios useless, then the doctor you saw abroad could refer you to someone privately in this country. However you would have to tell them you can only afford an echo privately and need to have the other tests NHS. It should be OK like this,some will do that. An initial consultation , without tests , with a cardio is usually £ 150, ask his secretary, profs can chaarge up to £ 300. there are laid down charges in the UK ,so they have limits. It is all the tests , at a private hospital that cost.Essential to ask prices, they are all used to that, say you are self funding.

    Sorry I was in a rush yesterday. I hope this is some help. One way or another you must have this checked, if only for your piece of mind.

    Good luck with it.

    Jackie

  • Hi, the same thing happened with me. The GP couldn't hear murmur on two occasions but the Cardiologist could and the echocardiogram diagnosed a mitral value prolapse. I've to have another echo later to see if it's different and note if it's progressive. Again, most likely caused by the damage before hypothyroidism was eventually diagnosed. Cardiologist says if breathless need to see him. Cardiologist said gentle exercise is good.

  • Wow, how did you get the referral to the cardiologist?

  • Hi, I had to go to a private GP for the referral as my own NHS GP told me twice there was nothing wrong with me but I knew the pain wasn't muscular or imagined.

  • Gosh, your gp wouldn't refer you for *heart pain*?!

    My friend just had a mitral valve repair and when I asked how they diagnosed her, she said she went to the gp with a sore left arm. I was thinking a sore left arm wouldn't get me anywhere with my gp. In fact, I've had a sore left shoulder for about six months and haven't bothered going to him for it because I just can't think of anything he'd do.

  • Hi Tia I started of with one heart murmur then a few years ago was told I had 2 from past experience GP are not always able to hear a murmur And as for fatigue it could also be the thyroid ( I have never had any problem with my murmurs ) but I to would be worried maybe going private would be a good option or Chang doctors i have asked my doc several times to do a t3 test was told not necessary sometimes I think there have blinkers And only see in one direction hope you get sorted soon all the best Angela

  • can you get a second opinion from another GP? just read a post from another member with your rights to a second opinion (alangardner). I saw my gp yesterday she listened to my heart and i do have a murmur but im not worried. I was born with it and it has never caused me problems. Obviously with hypo i have to watch my self and i will. Have you had anymore thoughts on the situation pb?

  • I may ask the endo about it, because I've had some heart pounding and I think I may be overmedicated, so this gives me the opportunity to email him and see what he thinks. If I get no joy from him, I could see another gp in my surgery, but they're all much of a muchness in my opinion. I'm seeing the only one who knew my TSH should be under 1 to give me the best chance of feeling better, and he's the one who doesn't hear the hm. So it's swings and roundabouts.

    I understand the whole thing about the 'innocent' murmur, but because I've never had this before (I'm in my 40s), I think it's only sensible to make sure it's not anything serious and to see if it's the cause of my tiredness, which increasingly looks like it's going to get me a diagnosis of cfs. (I think it's thyroid related, but doctors think that as long as I'm 'adequately' medicated with levo, it must be something else.)

    Endo is now looking for something else to pin the tiredness on, so he might be willing to look at hm as a possible cause.

  • i would say that is a good way to go definitely. it should get you an ecg. another thing with the heart pounding is you're not getting on with levo or your dose is still too low(?) the thyroid uk girls will know more about that tho! but i reckon you're right the ecg is the first route to take to get a diagnosis and ease your mind really. good luck! when i had my ecg done a fair few years ago now the specialist put the scan to my heart and the next thing the whole room was filled with the pounding of my heart! the previous user had left the sound turned up loud! we both jumped out of our skins! :)

  • Funny - they should check the volume before they use it!

    My last tsh test (in Dec) was .13, so I suspect I may be slightly overmedicated. Definitely not from my dose being too low. I had the feeling that my heart was beating too hard, and I was aware of it even when at rest at night. I told the private doctor and she took my bp because apparently this can be a symptom of high bp. Mine was normal though.

    I think I'll ask the endo about it.

  • I was given heart tests before I had an operation a few years ago and was told I had a heart murmur but it was nothing to worry about, I'd probably been born with it and many people have it. I also believe its called an innocent one. Since finding out, I've met other people I know, who also have them. So what I'm saying I think (I hope) its nothing to worry about. But reading this I've remembered I have to have another ECG this year just to check it out. So thanks for reminding me. Hope you get more information on yours soon "punctured bicycle"!

  • p,.s. I have Hashimotos

You may also like...