• BreathAndBeats

Heart Valve Disease Causes Disruption In Your Blood Flow

Heart valve disease is a medical condition that would affect one or more valves of the heart. The valves have the function to keep the blood flow in the proper and correct direction in the heart. But there are cases where the valve(s) may not function the right way, such as not close and/or open properly. This in result will cause the blood flow to be disrupted, from the heart to the body.

Symptoms

It happens usually that the people who suffer from the heart valve disease do not experience any sign or symptom of it for years. These symptoms are:

  1. An abnormal sound, known as the heart murmur. (A doctor can listen to the heart beating and sounds with the use of a stethoscope)

  2. Fatigue

  3. Experiencing shortness of breath, especially during an activity active or while lying down

  4. Ankles and feet swelling up

  5. Dizziness

  6. Fainting

  7. Irregular heartbeat

Causes of heart valve disease

There are 4 heart valves, namely, the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve and aortic valve. Each of these valves have flap like structures (like leaflets or cups). These flaps would open and close just once each time the heart beats. The causes can be various in adults, such as, certain heart diseases or infections, history of heart attack(s) or even presence of the heart valve disease at birth (congenital)

Heart Valve - Breath And Beats

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Diagnosis

The initial diagnostic step is that the doctor will conduct an examination by the use of a stethoscope. This helps the doctor to listen if there is presence of a heart murmur, as this is a sign of the disease.

Also, the doctor will prescribe certain tests, such as:

  1. Echocardiography

  2. Electrocardiogram (ECG)

  3. Chest X-ray

  4. Exercise tests or stress tests

  5. Cardiac MRI

  6. Cardiac catheterization

Risk factors for heart valve disease

There are few factors that can increase the risk of this disease:

  1. Old age

  2. Medical history of infections that may affect your heart

  3. Heart attack in the past

  4. Certain forms of heart disease

  5. High cholesterol and/or high blood pressure

  6. Diabetes 

  7. Presence of certain heart conditions present since birth (congenital)

Complications

Complications that can occur because of heart valve disease are:

  1. Heart failure

  2. Stroke

  3. Blood clots

  4. Heart rhythm abnormalities

  5. Death

Treatment

The treatment for this medical condition depends on the severity of it. The specialist will generally recommend lifestyle changes and prescribe medications. There are other options as well, as mentioned above, which are based on the severity and best suited according to the medical case of the particular patient. These are:

  1. Heart valve repair

  2. Heart valve replacement

  3. Lifestyle and home remedies

  4. Have a healthy diet

  5. Maintain healthy weight

  6. Regular physical activity

  7. Avoid alcohol and tobacco products

  8. Better mental health and less stressful environment

https://www.mayoclinic.org/

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