Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Lifestyle Changes For Mitral Valve Disease

Heart-Healthy lifestyle changes are very helpful in preventing and treating mitral valve disease. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise can help you in controlling the disease condition and prevent worsening of the mitral valve condition.

Exercise And Physical Activity. Exercise and daily physical activities are good for health maintaining blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and also obesity. Mitral valve disease patients have to check with the doctor about the intensity of the workout as the heart is already weak and will not be able to manage excess stress.

The duration and intensity of exercise depend on the severity of mitral valve disease. Consult your doctor before starting your exercise schedule, especially when planning for intensive physical activities. It is advised to perform 180 mins of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. People should avoid a sedentary lifestyle and should actively get involved in doing day-to-day activities. Exercise helps in keeping the body strong and energetic.

Control Intake Of Salt. Reduce the intake of salt in food and drinks to manage mitral valve disease. Salt which contains sodium causes retention of water in the body, resulting in increased blood pressure. Avoid food containing a high amount of sodium. Ask the eateries for low-salt dishes as it is an excellent lifestyle change.

Reduce Intake Of Caffeine. Avoid beverages which are rich in caffeine such as coffee or soft drinks. Caffeine is responsible for irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) and it is better to avoid caffeine when you have mitral valve disease.

Maintain Blood Pressure. In mitral valve regurgitation, there is a backward flow of blood from ventricles into atria, controlling blood pressure can help in preventing mitral valve disease.

Maintain Heart-Healthy Weight. A person weight should be in accordance with your height and your doctor will be the best guide for maintaining it within the optimum range. Maintaining healthy weight is a good lifestyle change.

Measures For Preventing Infective Endocarditis. If the patients have undergone heart valve replacement, doctors may prescribe antibiotics before dental procedures to avoid the risk of infective endocarditis. Make sure that you inform your dentist about your detailed health information about the procedures you have gone through to avoid the risk of infective endocarditis

Alcohol. Intake of moderate amounts of alcohol is good for cardiovascular health. Heavy alcohol consumption can result in arrhythmias and worsens the symptoms of mitral valve disease. In additions, excess alcohol consumption can result in cardiomyopathy. Doctors can provide you a detailed side effect profile of alcohol consumption.

Avoid Smoking. Smoking tobacco is not good for health. It increases the risks of heart attack and worsens the symptoms of regurgitation. Seek measures which can help in quitting nicotine addiction. Maybe a support group will be of great help.

Diet. Eat food which is rich in lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins (lean meats, fish and nuts). Avoid food which is rich in added sugars, refined grains, such as white bread, saturated and trans fats. Mitral valve regurgitation or mitral valve stenosis cannot be treated with a healthy diet but it can definitely help in improving the symptoms. “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” diet or DASH is recommended in patients with heart diseases.

Regular Doctor Check-ups. Make sure to take regular appointments with your cardiologist or primary health care provider. Inform your doctor about the signs and symptoms of mitral valve disease. Your doctor examines the functioning of the valve, and check whether it gets worsens. If there is increased in the symptoms of the disease, the doctors will look for repair or replacement of the valve. If the test indicates only moderate malfunctioning of the valve, cardiologist recommends continuous monitoring with echocardiography (ultrasound). Severe heart valve disease requires repair and monitoring, mild to moderate malfunctioning requires only monitoring.

Pregnancy. Women who intend to become pregnant have to discuss with the cardiologist before family planning. Pregnancy requires the body to work harder and depending upon the degree of mitral valve stenosis the heart pumps blood. Cardiologist and obstetrician should work in coordination with each other until delivery.

Conclusion

Patients suffering from mitral valve disease should maintain a healthy lifestyle by optimum physical activity, controlling heart diseases, reduced intake of salt, caffeine, alcohol, etc. Visit the doctor regularly to monitor the patient condition.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 2, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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