Occasionally, but not often, the murmur can be traced to a dysfunctional thyroid gland. “An overactive thyroid may cause turbulent blood flow in the heart,” says Dr. Collier. Here’s how to tell if you have a hidden thyroid problem.
An “innocent” murmur might develop when you’re pregnant, due to the increased volume of blood pumping through your body, explains Joy M. Gelbman, MD, a cardiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City. If a doctor doesn’t detect any other underlying cause, the murmur will likely go away after the pregnancy. Read up on these things cardiologists do to protect their own hearts.
Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart and valves that can cause a murmur, Dr. Gelbman says. It typically occurs when bacteria from another part of your body—commonly your mouth—travels through your bloodstream to become lodged in the heart. (Night sweats can also be a sign of endocarditis.) Maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly to help prevent periodontal infections, the American Heart Association suggests.
Dizziness or lightheadedness
It’s normal to feel a little unbalanced after standing up too quickly or lightheaded after going long periods without eating or drinking. But feeling dizzy without any obvious reason could be related to a heart murmur. “Some people with severe valve issues have blackout episodes or fainting,” says Dr. Collier.
Infants who aren’t eating well or aren’t growing normally could have a number of different issues, including a growth hormone deficiency, but the problem could be a heart murmur. While it may be just an “innocent” murmur that will disappear over time, a doctor should evaluate any potential congenital heart disease or heart defect, according to the Mayo Clinic.