To improve your quality of life, your doctor may recommend that you:
- Control high blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure reduces the strain on your aortic root. Cutting back on salt helps you maintain your blood pressure within a normal range.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Food doesn't directly affect aortic valve regurgitation, but a healthy diet can help prevent other heart disease that can weaken the heart muscle. Eat foods low in saturated and trans fats, sugar, salt and refined grains, such as white bread. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and proteins, such as lean meats, fish and nuts.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Keep your weight within a range recommended by your doctor.
- Exercise. How long and hard you're able to exercise depends on the severity of your condition and the intensity of exercise. Ask your doctor for guidance before starting to exercise, especially if you're considering competitive sports.
- See your doctor regularly. Establish a regular evaluation schedule with your cardiologist or primary care provider.
If you're a woman of childbearing age with aortic valve regurgitation, discuss pregnancy with your doctor before you become pregnant. Pregnancy causes your heart to work harder. How a heart with aortic valve regurgitation tolerates this extra work depends on the degree of leakage and how well your heart pumps. Throughout your pregnancy and after delivery, your cardiologist and obstetrician should monitor you.
Sept. 03, 2014
- Heart valve disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/hvd/hvd_all.html. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Roles of your four heart valves. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Roles-of-Your-Four-Heart-Valves_UCM_450344_Article.jsp. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Gaasch WH. Pathophysiology and clinical features of chronic aortic regurgitation in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 16, 2014.
- Gaasch WH. Course and management of chronic aortic regurgitation in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 16, 2014.
- Aldea GS. Minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 6, 2014.
- Foster E. Echocardiographic evaluation of the aortic valve. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 17, 2014.
- Maganti K, et al. Vascular heart disease: Diagnosis and management. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85:483.
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