Mitral Valve Regurgitation - Living With Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Watch for symptoms. After you are
mitral valve regurgitation (MR), it is important to
watch for symptoms of
heart failure. 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 Mitral Valve Regurgitation and Exercise.
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our September 2011 issue, we gave a reader's question about preventing heart disease to James Beckerman, MD, WebMD's heart health expert.
Q : Heart disease runs in my family. What can I really do now to help prevent it?
A : Cut out these five things to greatly reduce your risk:
Smoking (or hanging around with smokers). Smoking is the most dangerous -- yet most reversible...
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
sources of hidden sodium in your diet.