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General Heart Health Tips for Heart Valve Problems

Since people with heart valve problems may have other heart problems, it is wise to take steps to improve overall heart health. These steps include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids (especially after exercise) to prevent dehydration, which may increase symptoms of lightheadedness and palpitations.
  • Keeping your weight within the normal range for your height. Being overweight creates additional stress on the heart.
  • Cutting back on or eliminating caffeine (including coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate). Some nonprescription pain medicines (such as Excedrin) also contain caffeine. Caffeine increases heart rate and may increase episodes of irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
  • Cutting back or eliminating other substances that make the heart beat faster, including alcohol, tobacco, and any medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, epinephrine, or ephedrine, such as cold remedies and allergy medicines.
  • Preventing fatigue. Get plenty of sleep and rest. If you become overtired, your symptoms may be more noticeable or more severe or may occur more often.
  • Using relaxation methods or an exercise program to reduce stress.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Last Revised January 20, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 20, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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