damage can result from long-term
mitral valve stenosis. If you have been diagnosed with
the condition, be sure to talk to your doctor about how often you
need to be examined.
Be especially alert for new symptoms or
symptoms getting worse, such as:
Call your doctor if your symptoms get worse or if new
People who have severe mitral valve
stenosis may need to be cautious about their level of physical activity. If you
don't exercise, talk to your doctor before you start. You may be able to do
certain types of exercise that don't put undue strain on your heart.
If you don't have symptoms, discuss exercise with your doctor. If your
stenosis is mild, normal activities, mild exercise, and in some cases
competitive sports may be allowed. But if your stenosis is moderate or severe
and you have symptoms, you should avoid strenuous activity. You may be able to
do low-level activities to help keep your heart healthy.
have a physically demanding job, you may need to change careers. Talk with your
doctor to find out your safe level of activity.
Depending on how bad your condition and
symptoms are, your doctor may advise you to limit salt in your diet to less
than 2,300 mg a day. If you consume too much
sodium, it will cause your body to retain excess
fluid. Excess fluid in the body will cause swelling, breathing difficulties,
fatigue, and other unpleasant side effects.
usually includes avoiding 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). Add
more fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet to replace foods high in sodium.
When you are grocery shopping, check labels carefully for
If you have an
artificial valve, you may need to take
antibiotics before you have certain
dental or surgical procedures. The antibiotics help
prevent an infection in your heart called
If you take an anticoagulant (also called a blood thinner), such as warfarin, you need to take extra steps to avoid bleeding problems, such as preventing falls and injuries. If you take warfarin, you also get regular blood tests and watch how much vitamin K you eat or drink. For more information about safety with warfarin, see:
- Warfarin: Taking Your Medicine Safely.