Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a disease in that occurs when the mitral valve that is present between both the left compartments of the heart- left auricle and left ventricle- prolapses in the left auricle, causing some backflow of blood.
Can You Exercise With Mitral Valve Prolapse?
Many people suffering from mitral valve prolapse present with no symptoms throughout their lives. They get diagnosed with this condition on a regular physical examination. Some may present with mild to moderate symptoms. If you are affected by mitral valve prolapse and experience mild to moderate symptoms, you can do aerobic exercises like walking, running, swimming in mild to moderate amounts.
Heart is a muscle and like any other muscle exercise makes it stronger. It is a good idea to do aerobic exercises for a moderate time to strengthen your heart. However, before starting on an exercise routine, you must consult your doctor so that he can chalk out the best exercise plan for you considering the severity of your condition. Another thing to be considered is to refrain from isometric exercises, the one that cause muscles to resist. In easy words, exercises like weight lifting should be avoided. These exercises can increase your heart’s workload suddenly and can increase your blood pressure significantly. This can cause a problem if you are suffering from mitral valve prolapse. Hence, these exercises are best avoided.
Along with proper exercises according to your condition, it is equally important to follow a diet that is heart healthy and, make some lifestyle changes. The trio can be extremely beneficial for the health of your heart.
Diet For Mitral Valve Prolapse
- There is not a fixed diet just for mitral valve prolapse. However, a generally heart-healthy diet will serve the purpose just as well.
- The diet should be nutritionally well balanced and a wholesome one.
- People suffering from mitral valve prolapse usually suffer from severe fatigue and feel very tired. They also feel a lack of energy. Diets nutritionally inadequate can further worsen these problems
- Nutritionists all over the world recommend eliminating caffeine from the diet completely, since caffeine can stimulate the nervous system and can make unstable changes in the body and can further aggravate fatigue.
- People having mitral valve prolapse are also advised to cut down on sugars in their diet. While it is a source of energy, in most cases people are addicted to it. A rise in the blood sugar levels can stimulate the autonomic nervous system.
- People having mitral valve prolapse are also advised to have a mid-afternoon high protein snack
- It is recommended to eat foods that are low on saturated fats and trans fats.
- Also, food low in salt is recommended
- It is best to avoid refined grains and stick to whole grains
- A lot of fresh fruits and vegetables should be included in the diet
- Proteins such as fish, lean meats and nuts are a heart-healthy option
Lifestyle Changes For Mitral Valve Prolapse
Along with a proper exercise and diet, it is important to make certain lifestyle changes as well for mitral valve prolapse:
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure. An increase in blood pressure can cause worsening of your symptoms
- Maintain a healthy weight. Diet and exercise, with proper consultation with your doctor, can help you get rid of excess weight in a healthy way
- It is best to give up on habits like smoking and drinking alcohol
- Alcohol consumption can lead to severe arrythmias and can cause worsening of symptoms
- Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to a heart condition known as cardiomyopathy- a condition in which the heart muscle gets weakened and leads to mitral regurgitation
- Avoid tobacco consumption in any form and Quit substance abuse completely
- Get regular, recommended physical activity
- Consult your doctor regularly
People having mitral valve prolapse (MVP) may not show any symptoms at all. In those who are symptomatic, a mild to moderate physical activity is allowed with a proper guidance of the doctor.