WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Conditions

Heart Murmur

Heart Murmur

A heart murmur is an extra sound heard in your heartbeat, usually only audible over a doctor’s stethoscope. Some can be very quiet whilst others make a swishing noise. Although most are harmless (innocent murmurs), they can also be indicators of a more severe heart problem (abnormal murmurs).

An innocent murmur occurs when blood is moving noisily through a healthy heart. They may be caused by a faster blood flow than usual or by an increased volume of blood passing through the heart. Certain illnesses, such as anaemia or having a fever, can cause the faster blood flow. Innocent murmurs are very common in children and are also often heard in pregnant women.

Abnormal murmurs are often due to congenital heart defects, where parts of the heart or the blood vessels attached to it do not develop properly before birth. Septal defects are holes in the septum, which is the wall separating the right and left sides of the heart. Valve defects can generally be split into valves that are too narrow, or valves that leak due to not closing properly. Hearts and valves can also become damaged or overworked as a result of other illnesses, such as rheumatic fever and heart attacks, or due to ageing.

If a heart murmur is related to another heart problem, other symptoms may be present. These may include blue colouring of the skin, fast breathing, chest pain, dizziness and shortness of breath. A heart murmur will normally be noticed during a physical examination in a routine checkup. There is a grading scale from 1 to 6 which GPs use to measure the volume of a heart murmur, and they also evaluate the pitch, timing, length and location of the sound, both within the heartbeat cycle and in the chest.

If a murmur is thought to be abnormal, a chest x-ray will normally be taken. An electocardiogram is another common test, which measures the heartbeat. Treatment for abnormal murmurs varies according to the individual situation, but may include medicine or surgery. Innocent murmurs do not require treatment as the heart is normal and healthy.

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I am 17 years old, and I was diagnosed with having a heart murmur while having a colonoscopy done. They told my mother that it's harmless, but I'm not too sure. When these, "episodes" of chest pain happen, it takes my breath away, I'm not sure if I breathe fast or not at these times, but I know I breathe heavily. I also get light headed a lot and have passed out a few times, (not during the "episodes" though). Idk if that may be because of that, or if it could be my sinuses. If someone could help, I'd greatly appreciate. Thank you.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have been having fainting episodes, pain in between my shoulder blades. I found out today that I have a heart murmur. I also have very high anxiety. My question is, is my heart murmur causing my fainting? I also have blueish toes, fatigue and trouble breathing.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I kept falling over, so saw my gp. He diagnosed a heart murmur (never knew I had one) which was causing the falls and said it was grade 2 and did a ecg that day. He asked me to come back later for another ecg. The nurse asked me if I have been stressed and said it did show something up on the ?sinus rythm and that the doctor would review. I never heard anything. Since then I have one episode of bad chest pain that was on and off for a day. Bloods came back fine.since then I have looked in to my family medical and my mother sister aunt and even my daughter have a heart murmur. My daughters caused vacant episodes and she was under the cardiologist as she's grown she's not had episodes for a long time. My auntie recently went to her gp who did a ecg and she ended up rushed to hospital having a replacement valve. Couldit be a genetic valve issue. Should I go back my gp hasn't really told me my results





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I was born with a heart murmur that they said was innocent at birth. Now I'm 13 and I'm having more and more chest pains and trouble breathing. I have had a few tests done and they said nothing was abnormal, but the problem keeps getting worse. HELP!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

About 3 years ago, and always suffered with High Blood Pressure. I am high wired for want of a description and always on alert (my nature, nothing to do with illness). My female doctor advised me to try and calm down and suggested some tablets called Serenity. I purchased these tablets and one day suffered an Arrhythmia attack which scared the living out of me, this attack lasted for 30 hours so off to hospital I went and couldn't come up with a reason but suggested tablets as bogus. I still don't know whether or not these did the attack but since have been to Cardiologist which said I had leaking heart valves and the Arrhythmia not dangerous. To date I have had numerous attacks and ended up with a heart attack in which a blood clot found it's way to my major artery. Hospital doctors tell me it could be the blood pooling in the bottom of the heart which thickened and caused the clot. So please don't take these attacks lightly and get on to blood thinners pronto (which I am on now). I have had a stent and feeling okay now but nothing should be taken lightly and get 2nd opinions if not happy.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I was told I was born with a systolic murmur and as I went for a op on my leg the nurse told me I still had it and I'm 21 yr old, I get chest pains like stabbings that make me nearly fall over and struggle to breath, I feel constantly tired, my muscles ache all the time and my back and I gasp for air throughout the day. Been to A&E twice because I thought I was having a heart attack but they said I was fine. I aren't fine and paracetamol won't fix it.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Heart Health Checkup App don't ingnore it





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My fathers doctor just told my dad that he recently got a second heart murmur.. how bad is that? Should he get treatment?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My doctor heard a heart murmur 3 weeks ago, apparently I was first diagnosed with one when I was 4 years old but no doctor has ever said anything about one since I have been going to doctors myself. I am now 60 years old and have 3 children. I am waiting to see a cardiologist. I have Lupus SLE, Arthritis and problems bottom vertebrae in my spine, This heart murmur was found when I went to the doctor as I suddenly lost my hearing. I do get palpitations but they sound like a normal heart beat unless I am walking or doing something. I get slight chest pains at times and these could be at any time even when in bed. Is this anything to worry about? My doctor has worried me because he keeps insisting if I get chest pain to phone 999





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Iv been told by my doctor I could have a soft stolic murmur im so scared ciuld u give me advice. She said I could of been born with it.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Body Check: Semen

    In Videos - Dr Christian discusses the importance of semen and what it can tell…

  2. Doctor Responses: Diabetes

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper answers your common questions about coping with diab…

  3. Doctor Responses: Periods

    In Videos - Doctor Pixie answers your most frequently asked questions about per…

  4. Am I Normal Periods

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper discusses all matters relating to periods and what i…


Am I Normal?

Share, explore, vote, watch… Am I Normal? is a bold new Channel 4 project that will redefine what you think of as ‘normal’.

Visit Am I Normal? >