Lifestyle Changes For Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Mitral valve regurgitation is a disease of heart, wherein the mitral valve that separates the two left chambers of your heart gets defective and cannot close tightly shut. As a result, there is a reverse flow of blood in the heart.

Lifestyle Changes For Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Many people with mitral valve regurgitation do not need any treatment. If there are signs and symptoms, or if the condition is severe, the doctor may prescribe some medications and if needed, will recommend a surgery to repair or replace the valve. However, whatever the treatment method may be, and even if you do not need any treatment, it is beneficial to make certain lifestyle and dietary changes to your routine. These changes will help you cope up with the problem and will also improve the prognosis of the condition. These lifestyle changes may be including, but not limited to, the following-

Controlling the blood pressure

  • If you suffer from a raised blood pressure, it is important to keep it under control and it is a good lifestyle change.
  • Increased blood pressure can further worsen your symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation

A healthy diet

  • Eating a heart healthy diet is extremely important lifestyle change
  • Though your food may not affect your mitral valve directly, it can certainly help in preventing your symptoms from worsening and can help in preventing other heart diseases from developing
  • It is a good idea to eat food that is low in trans-fats and saturated fats
  • Go easy on sugar, salt and refined foods and grains
  • Include lots of varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Organic is even better
  • Include protein such as fish, lean meat and nuts in the diet daily

Weight management

  • It is important to keep your weight in the recommended range for your age and height
  • Being overweight or obese will further complicate your condition, as it may lead to other problems like high blood pressure and increased cholesterol
  • As mentioned earlier, high blood pressure is a potent hazard for mitral valve regurgitation
  • It is best to sit with your nutritionist and your doctor and chalk out a heart healthy and weight-loss diet for yourself, so that you can lose weight in a healthy way

Prevent infections

  • If you have had a surgery, your doctor will recommend taking antibiotics before any other procedures are done, like before a dental procedure
  • This is to prevent infection in your body and preventing a condition called infective endocarditis
  • Your doctor will be the best person to tell you about this
  • It is better to seek his opinion before going for any procedures

Quit bad habits

  • It is best to quit tobacco in any form, smoking and limit alcohol to a very minimum, if quitting is not possible
  • Too much alcohol can cause arrhythmias in your heart and can worsen your symptoms
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can also weaken your heart muscle, which is a condition known as cardiomyopathy

Exercise regularly

  • It is good to gear up for some kind of mild to moderate physical activity as it is a good lifestyle change for mitral valve regurgitation
  • Aerobic exercises are the best and it is better to avoid isometric exercises like weight-lifting
  • Isometric exercise can suddenly increase your blood pressure, which is very dangerous for regurgitation
  • It is best to chalk out an exercise plan with your doctor and your physical trainer

Visit your doctor regularly

  • Though you may not be experiencing any symptoms, or your condition is mild to moderate and may not need any treatment; it is better to visit your doctor regularly
  • Symptoms can start or worsen very suddenly in mitral valve regurgitation and complications can arise
  • To avoid this, get yourself evaluated and monitored regularly
  • Your doctor can tell you how frequently you need to see him, depending upon your condition

Mitral valve regurgitation may not need any treatment in most cases. However, if needed, medicines, surgery and some lifestyle changes can help in improving the condition.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 5, 2019

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