The heart has many valves and chambers to allow blood to enter and be released in order for the body to work. Some major valves in the heart are the aortic valve, tricuspid valve and the mitral valve.
These valves play important roles and if there is a problem with one of them, it can affect a person’s heart. One issue in particular is called mitral valve regurgitation and it occurs when the valve does not close properly allowing blood to flow backward into the upper heart chamber. When this happens there can be a lack of blood flow to the rest of the body that can ultimately lead to congestive heart failure.
Mitral valve regurgitation comes in two forms: Chronic and acute.
So what would cause the mitral valve not to function properly? Well, although mitral valve regurgitation can occur suddenly, it is usually caused after a heart attack. Other conditions, as well, can weaken the mitral valve including heart disease, hypertension, infection of the heart valves, mitral valve prolapse, rheumatic heart disease and swelling of the lower left chamber of the heart.
Factors which can increase one’s risk of developing mitral valve regurgitation include:
Symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation include:
It is possible to live with mitral valve regurgitation as medications can be prescribed to combat hypertension, thin the blood and release excess water (diuretics). Partaking in a healthy lifestyle, too, can help make living with mitral valve regurgitation easier.
Some lifestyle habits to take on are to quit smoking, follow a heart healthy meal plan full of fruits and vegetables, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. Not only will these tips help with mitral valve regurgitation, but they can also boost heart health to reduce the risk of heart attack.
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