Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Living With Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Watch for symptoms. After you are diagnosed with Reference mitral valve regurgitation Opens New Window (MR), it is important to watch for symptoms of Reference heart failure Opens New Window. These symptoms show that your heart is weakening and MR is getting worse. Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling in your feet and ankles. If new symptoms develop or if your symptoms become worse, call your doctor.
Be active. You may need to be cautious about physical activity if you have symptoms, irregular heart rhythms, or changes in your heart size or function. But regular activity, even low-level activity such as walking, will help keep your heart healthy. If you want to start being more active, talk to your doctor first. Your doctor will help you create a safe exercise plan. For more information, see Reference Mitral Valve Regurgitation and Exercise.
Limit sodium. Your doctor may advise you to limit sodium in your diet. If you consume too much salt, it will cause your body to retain excess fluid. Most of the sodium in our diets comes from processed foods, not the salt shaker. Foods to avoid include potato chips, pretzels, salted nuts, processed meats and cheeses, pizza, canned soups, canned vegetables, olives, fast foods, and frozen dinners (unless the label clearly states the product is low-sodium).
When you are grocery shopping, check labels carefully for sodium content. Your doctor may advise you to limit salt to less than 2,300 mg a day. Add more fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet to replace foods high in sodium. Read labels carefully to identify Reference sources of hidden sodium in your diet.
Prevent endocarditis. Take good care of your teeth, and see your dentist regularly. If you have an Reference artificial valve Opens New Window, you may need to take Reference antibiotics Opens New Window before you have certain Reference dental or surgical procedures. The antibiotics help prevent an infection in your heart called Reference endocarditis Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 9, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology