A disease of heart where the heart’s mitral valve fails to function properly and sends the blood in a reverse direction in the heart, is termed as mitral valve regurgitation.
Prevention Of Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Mitral valve regurgitation happens as a result of conditions like mitral valve prolapse. Due to the prolapsed valve or some other problem, the blood cannot flow ahead, and a little blood comes back into the atrium, resulting in regurgitation. You cannot prevent mitral valve prolapse. However, if you have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, then you can try to prevent regurgitation by following some dietary and lifestyle changes. There are no medicines to prevent regurgitation. However, regurgitation can be prevented by repairing or replacing the valve. Your doctor may recommend surgery for valve, even if you do not experience any symptoms. This is to prevent the regurgitation from happening.
Let us have a look at the dietary and lifestyle changes first, which can be used to attempt the prevention of mitral valve regurgitation-
- Eat a heart healthy diet
- Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet to prevent mitral valve regurgitation
- Include healthy protein like fish, lean meat and nuts
- Cut down on sugar, salt and refined grains
- Cut down on trans fats and saturated fats
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause a lot of serious health issues
- Quit the consumption of tobacco in any form
- Stop smoking altogether and say no to substance abuse
- Stay away from alcohol completely, or at least limit the consumption per day
- Too much alcohol can cause dangerous arrhythmias in your heart
- It can also make your heart muscle weaker, leading to a condition known as cardiomyopathy
- Take your medicines regularly
Maintain a healthy weight according to your age and height. Being overweight or obese can lead to complications like increased blood pressure, which can prove to be very dangerous for a valve defect
Exercise daily, as per the advice of your physician. Having a valve problem does not mean that you must stop any physical activity. You can still exercise and maintain a healthy body. Aerobic exercises are good for the heart health. These may include walking, running etc. avoid doing isometric exercises like weight-lifting, as these may cause a sudden rise in blood pressure and can prove to be dangerous. Just make sure to start any exercise after proper consultation with your doctor.
Mitral valve regurgitation can also be prevented with the help of surgery. There are two different approaches to the surgery. The surgeons can recommend either a mitral valve repair or a replacement, according to your condition.
Mitral valve repair–
- The surgeon will try to preserve your own valve
- It can be done by repairing the leaflets of the valve, the cords that support the valves or tightening the ring around the valve
- When preserving your valve is not possible, the surgeon will replace your valve with an artificial one.
Mitral valve replacement–
- The artificial valve can be a mechanical valve or a biological tissue valve
- There are pros and cons for both types of valves
- The mechanical valve will last longer, but you need to take blood thinners throughout your lives
- The biological tissue valve will degenerate over time, but you will not need to take blood thinners, except for a beginning few weeks or so
- Your doctor will be the best to tell you what the right option for you will be.
Mitral valve regurgitation usually is caused due to a valve defect known as mitral valve prolapse. While most people suffering from valve prolapse do not need any treatment, the condition may cause severe mitral valve regurgitation. In order to prevent mitral valve regurgitation, certain diet and lifestyle changes should be made. Also, surgeons may recommend a valve repair or replacement surgery in order to prevent mitral valve regurgitation.