Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

You'll have regular follow-up appointments with your doctor to monitor your condition. You'll need to continue taking all your medications as prescribed.

Your doctor may suggest you incorporate several heart-healthy lifestyle changes into your life, including:

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, poultry, fish, and whole grains. Avoid saturated and trans fat, and excess salt and sugar.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Aim to keep a healthy weight. If you're overweight or obese, your doctor may recommend that you lose weight.
  • Getting regular physical activity. Aim to include about 30 minutes of physical activity, such as brisk walks, into your daily fitness routine.
  • Managing stress. Find ways to help manage your stress, such as through relaxation activities, meditation, physical activity, and spending time with family and friends.
  • Avoiding tobacco. If you smoke, quit. Ask your doctor about resources to help you quit smoking. Joining a support group may be helpful.

For women with aortic valve stenosis, it's important to talk with your doctor before you become pregnant. Your doctor can discuss with you which medications you can safely take, and whether you may need a procedure to treat your valve condition prior to pregnancy.

You'll likely require close monitoring by your doctor during pregnancy. Doctors may recommend that women with severe valve stenosis avoid pregnancy to avoid the risk of complications.

Prevention

Some possible ways to prevent aortic valve stenosis include:

  • Taking steps to prevent rheumatic fever. You can do this by making sure you see your doctor when you have a sore throat. Untreated strep throat can develop into rheumatic fever. Fortunately, strep throat can usually be easily treated with antibiotics. Rheumatic fever is more common in children and young adults.
  • Addressing risk factors for coronary artery disease. These include high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol levels. These factors may be linked to aortic valve stenosis, so it's a good idea to keep your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control if you have aortic valve stenosis.
  • Taking care of your teeth and gums. There may be a link between infected gums (gingivitis) and infected heart tissue (endocarditis). Inflammation of heart tissue caused by infection can narrow arteries and aggravate aortic valve stenosis.

Once you know that you have aortic valve stenosis, your doctor may recommend that you limit strenuous activity to avoid overworking your heart.

Aug. 17, 2017
References
  1. Problem: Aortic valve stenosis. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Problem-Aortic-Valve-Stenosis_UCM_450437_Article.jsp#.WCn02cnFjVY. Accessed March 8, 2017.
  2. What is heart valve disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hvd. Accessed March 7, 2017.
  3. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Valvular heart disease. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 8, 2017.
  4. Otto CM. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of aortic stenosis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 22, 2017.
  5. AskMayoExpert. Aortic valve stenosis (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  6. Otto CM. Medical management of asymptomatic aortic stenosis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 8, 2017.
  7. Otto CM, et al. Medical management of symptomatic aortic stenosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 22, 2017.
  8. Gaasch WH. Indications for valve placement in aortic stenosis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 22, 2017.
  9. Nishimura RA, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2014;148:e1.
  10. Ruiz CE, et al. Transcatheter therapies for the treatment of valvular and paravalvular regurgitation in acquired and congenital valvular heart disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2015;66:169.
  11. How can I make my lifestyle healthier? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/ToolsForYourHeartHealth/Answers-by-Heart-Fact-Sheets-Lifestyle-and-Risk-Reduction_UCM_300611_Article.jsp#.WC9socnFjVY. Accessed March 10, 2017.
  12. Daniels BK. Echo Information Management System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 18, 2016.
  13. Clavel MA, et al. The complex nature of discordant severe calcified aortic valve disease grading: New insights from combined Doppler echocardiographic and computed tomographic study. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2013;62:2329.
  14. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 14, 2017.
  15. Mankad R (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 27, 2017.

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