Heart Valve Disease Symptoms And Treatment

Heart valve disease can affect any of the valves in the heart. The heart valves have flaps for opening and closing with each heartbeat, allowing blood to flow through the heart of the upper and lower chambers and the rest of the body.

The heart has four valves :

    1. Tricuspid valve located between the right atrium and the right ventricle
    2. Pulmonary valve located between the right atrium and the pulmonary artery
    3. Mitral valve, which is located between the left atrium, and left ventricle
    4. Aortic valve between the left ventricle and the aorta

Blood flows from the right and left atria across the tricuspid and mitral valve, allowing the blood to flow into the right and left ventricles. These valves then close the blood flowing back into the atria. Once the heart chambers are filled with blood, they begin to contract, forcing the lung and aortic valves to open. Blood then flows into the pulmonary artery and the aorta. The pulmonary artery carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs and the aorta, the body’s largest artery, is responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.

Basically, the heart valves work by making sure that blood flows in the forward direction and does not secure or leaks. If an individual has a valvular disease, the valve will not be able to do this job properly. This can be caused by regurgitation, stenosis or a combination of both.

Some individuals may experience no symptoms while other disorders such as strokes, heart attacks and thrombosis occur when the heart valve disease is left untreated.

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Valvular heart disease

Mitral valve prolapse

This can also be called floppy valve syndrome, click marbles syndrome, balloon mitral valve or Barlow syndrome. It occurs when the mitral valve does not close properly, sometimes causing blood to flow back into the left atrium.

Most people with mitral valve prolapse do not require symptoms and no treatment as a result. However, symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and coughing may indicate that treatment is necessary.

The treatment includes surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve.

Bicuspid aortic veins

This happens when a person is born with an aortic valve that has two valves instead of the usual three. In very severe cases, symptoms of this type of disorder are present at birth. However, some people may know that they have decades to go without this type of disorder. The valve is usually able to work for years without causing any symptoms, so most people with premolar aortic valve disease are usually diagnosed only in adulthood. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 80 percent of people with this form of heart valve disease will be operated to repair or replace the valve, which usually happens when they are in their 30s or 40s.

Symptoms include shortness of breath during exercise, chest pain and dizziness or fainting. Most people are able to successfully repair their aortic valve with surgery.

Valvular

This occurs when a valve is unable to fully open, which means that insufficient blood is able to flow through the valve. This can affect one of the heart valves, and can be caused by the heart valve thickening or stiffening.

Symptoms can include chest pain, shortness of breath, tiredness, dizziness and fainting. Some people do not need treatment. Other people may use valvuloplasty, which uses a balloon to inflate the valve or flap replacement surgery.

Valve insufficiency

This can also be called a “leaky valve” and occurs when one of the heart valves does not close properly, causing the blood to flow backwards. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, tiredness, palpitations, drowsiness and swelling of the feet and ankles.

The effects of valve failure vary from person to person. Some people need to monitor their condition. Others may need prescribed medications to prevent fluid retention while others have valve repair or replacement.

heart-valve-disease-symptoms

Causes Of Valvular Heart Disease

There are a number of causes of various heart valve diseases. Causes can be :

    • birth defect
    • Endocarditis inflammation of the heart tissue
    • Rheumatic fever inflammatory disease brought on after group A streptococcal infection
    • Age-related changes, such as calcification
    • Heart attack
    • coronary artery disease
    • Cardiomyopathy degenerative changes in the heart muscle
    • Syphilis is a relatively rare sexually transmitted infection
    • hypertension
    • Aortic aneurysms abnormal swelling or protrusion of the aorta
    • Atherosclerosis Arteriosclerosis
    • myxomatous degeneration weakening of the connective tissue in the mitral valve
    • Lupus a chronic autoimmune disease,

Heart Valve Disease Symptoms

Symptoms of heart valve disorders according to the severity of the disease. Usually, the onset of symptoms indicates that the disorder is affecting blood flow. Many people with mild or moderate valvular heart disease experience no symptoms. However, symptoms can be :

    • shortness of breath
    • palpitation
    • fatigue
    • Chest pain
    • Dizziness and fainting
    • a headache
    • to cough
    • Water retention or swelling in the lower extremities and abdomen
    • Pulmonary edema or excess fluid in the lungs
How are heart valve diseases diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of heart valve disease, your doctor will start by listening to the heart using a stethoscope. He or she will listen for any heart rate abnormalities that might indicate a problem with the heart valves. Your doctor may also listen to the lungs to determine if there is fluid retention as well as check your body for signs of water retention, both symptoms of heart valve problems.

Other tests that can diagnose for valvular heart disease include :

    • Electrocardiogram is a test that shows the electrical activity of the heart. This test is used to check arrhythmia.
    • Echocardiography uses sound waves to create an image of the heart valves and chambers.
    • Cardiac catheterization is another test to diagnose valve disorders. This test uses a thin tube or catheter with a camera to take pictures of the heart and blood vessels. This can help to determine with your doctor the nature and severity of the disease valve.
    • A chest x-ray can be ordered to take a picture of your heart. This may be your doctor if your heart is enlarged.

Magnetic resonance imaging can create a more detailed picture of the heart. This can help to confirm a diagnosis and help your doctor determine how best to treat your valve disorder.

A stress test can also be used to determine how the symptoms are affected by physical exertion. The information from the stress test can help your doctor determine the severity of your condition.

Treatment Options

Treatments for heart valve disorders depend on the severity of the disease and symptoms. Most doctors recommend starting with conservative treatment. This includes :

    • consistent medical supervision
    • smoking
    • a healthy diet

Medications that are usually prescribed are :

    • Beta blocker and calcium channel blocker to help control heart rate and blood flow
    • Reduce diuretics for fluid retention
    • vasodilating drugs that open or dilate the blood vessels

Surgery may be needed if the symptoms increase in severity. This can be used to repair heart valves with patient’s own tissues or heart valve replacement with animal valves, donated valves, mechanical or valves.

Valvuloplasty can also treat the stenosis. A small balloon inserted into the heart, where it is slightly puffed up. The inflation will be the size of the opening in the valve and then the balloon is removed.

5 Foods That Increase Cholesterol

Cholesterol is one of diseases that frequently attack not only the elderly but also the youth nowadays which further puts the patients into a higher risk to get high cholesterol, thus, it is important for you to learn and know what foods that increase cholesterol and what foods to avoid. Cholesterol can be caused by rarely doing sports and running an unhealthy lifestyle. This unhealthy lifestyle highly triggers someone to have cholesterol such as often consume junk food, instant foods, be inactive and likes to eat seafood. If the cholesterol level is quickly getting increase, then it may automatically cause other diseases to appear such as heart attack and stroke. Therefore, it is best recommended for you to know in advance the limits of normal cholesterol levels in the body so that you can control and regulate how far the development of cholesterol levels in your body is.

There are 3 kinds of cholesterol in our body including triglyceride, HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol). Below are the normal limits of cholesterol levels in our body.

    1. The normal limit of LDL is less than 159 mg/dl. If this cholesterol level is getting higher then it may give bad impact towards your body’s healthiness.
    2. The normal limit of HDL is 150 mg/dl. The higher the number of HDL means it is better for your body.
    3. The normal limit of triglyceride is similar to the normal limit of LDL. The higher the number of triglyceride means your body is at risk of having more diseases.

there are several foods that cause high cholesterol and triglycerides due to the high cholesterol substances they have. Thus, cholesterol is caused by having an unhealthy diet. Some foods that increase cholesterol in the body are:

seafood

    1. Seafood

Seafood is one of the most principal foods to avoid when you have high cholesterol level in your blood because in every 10 gram of seafood, it contains high LDL level. Thus, it is recommended for you not to eat seafood for more than 10 gram.

    1. Sugar

Too much eating sugar will not only cause you to get diabetes but also cholesterol. Once the obesity occurs, the cholesterol content in your body will be difficult to dissolve.

    1. Poultry

There are some poultry which have high level of LDL including duck and chicken. If you consume them along with the skin, it means that you consume 160 up to 165 mg/dl cholesterol in one meal.

    1. Coconut oil and coconut milk

Both coconut oil and coconut milk contain saturated fat and cholesterol around 185 mg, thus, for those people with cholesterol, it is best suggested to avoid eating these foods.

coffee

    1. Coffee

Coffee is actually fine to be consumed. However, when you add creamer and milk into it, then the effect to our body will be different. Those two contents will bring you into a risk of having higher cholesterol level.

Those are 5 foods that increase cholesterol where cholesterol sufferer must be aware of and avoid.

The Signs and Symptoms of Myocardial Infarction

If you suspect a heart attack to delay until an ambulance is called, can have devastating consequences. The sooner intervention takes place, the greater the patient’s chances of survival. Every minute counts. It all depends on the patient getting to the clinic as soon as possible, where effective procedures can save his life and limit the damage of the infarction. Everyone can learn to recognize the heart attack and react quickly.

Cause of death No. 2 : Heart attack

Every day about 767 people in Germany suffer a heart attack. That’s 280,000 people a year. Around 49,000 of the men and women affected die as a result, most of them before they go to hospital.

The reason: many patients are still waiting far too long to call the ambulance; because they wanted to wait or because they repressed the heart attack because they did not want to bother anyone out of false consideration and, above all, because they did not interpret the alarm signs correctly. It should always apply: Better to call the ambulance once too much than not at all or too late.

signs-of-myocardial-infarction

Heart attack: alarm

The most common heart attack symptoms are severe chest pain lasting for more than five minutes, which may radiate into the arms, shoulder blades, neck, jaw, upper abdomen. In this case, immediately call the ambulance at 112 or the local emergency number. Further alarm signs :

    • Strong tightness
    • heavy pressure in the chest
    • fear

In addition to chest pain, there may be shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and in many cases women may even be alarmed by it. In addition, potential signs may include unconsciousness, pale, pale complexion, and cold sweats.

No flash out of the blue

A heart attack means that a coronary vessel is closed by a clot (blood clot). As a result, part of the heart muscle is cut off from the oxygen supply: hence the pain and nausea.

Two major dangers bring the heart attack with it:

    • The one danger is a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia, the ventricular fibrillation triggered by the heart attack. The heart stops pumping and cardiovascular arrest occurs. In the ambulance and in the clinic are defibrillators available that can eliminate this cardiac arrhythmia electrically.
    • The other danger that a heart attack brings is the pumping failure of the heart. The longer the heart attack occurs, the more heart tissue is lost.
Myocardial infarction: sign under stress

Unexpected and sudden – this is how people experience their heart attack. But many have had complaints before. Signs that have clearly warned of the infarct, but were not taken seriously. A warning sign that precedes the dramatic event of days, weeks, sometimes even months, is the angina (chest tightness). This leads to pain or a feeling of pressure in the chest or only shortness of breath.

The difference to the heart attack is that these signs occur only under load (for example climb stairs, mountain walks, snow sweep) and disappear after a few minutes in peace. For chest pain, even with unexplained gastric or back pain, which only occur under stress, the heart must be thoroughly examined.

Vitamin D For The Heart Health

In recent years, the warnings of the harmful effects of sun on our skin. The danger posed by the sun’s rays should not be underestimated, as it is ultimately responsible for the development of skin cancer. This is also the reason why more and more people avoid sunlight – with far-reaching consequences for their heart health, among other things.

Vitamin D – the sun hormone

The vitamin D was in many scientific studies a great similarity to various steroid hormones certified, so it was henceforth referred to as hormone. Since then, vitamin D has been known as the sun hormone. The explanation for this name lies in the fact that vitamin D is formed by the body itself, and only in conjunction with the sunlight.

As a messenger, it then reaches the bones, the muscles, the brain, the immune system, the pancreas and many other body organs via the blood in order to fulfill its specific tasks. But how does the body react to vitamin D deficiency?

We examine this question using the example of the cardiovascular system.

vitamin-d-for-the-heart-health

How sunlight creates vitamin D

In the liver, the precursor of vitamin D is formed. When the sun’s rays shine on the skin, vitamin D becomes the first precursor of vitamin D3. The skin itself then forms another precursor of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Now the vitamin D3 has to be transported from the skin back to the liver, where it is processed further.

The resulting vitamin is now called calcidiol and is the basis for the vitamin D metabolism dar. About the blood, the calcidiol then finally enters the body cells in which the active form of vitamin D3 – the calcitriol – arises.

Please note: In the form of calcidiol, vitamin D3 is offered as a nutritional supplement. Calcitriol is available exclusively as a prescription drug.

Vitamin D3 capsules

Supplementation in case of sun deficiency. For decades, the important influence of vitamin D on bone health has been emphasized. For a sufficient intake, a daily dose of 600 IU / was recommended, while at the same time a vitamin D blood value of 20 ng / ml was considered normal.

Today, however, many experts believe that this value should be at least 50 ng / ml, so that the vitamin D can develop its optimal effect. In view of this new knowledge, an amount of 4000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 is now considered as supplementation (dietary supplement) for a recommended dosage, as long as one does not spend enough time in the sun.

However, the amount of vitamin D actually needed can always be viewed individually, as it depends on various factors. On the one hand, the starting point, ie the quantity produced by the body itself, has to be considered.

In addition, the amount absorbed by the intestine also varies greatly with the dose delivered. It depends a lot on the intestinal health. In addition, the weight of humans also plays an important role. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it often disappears into the fat deposits, especially in overweight individuals.

Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2

It is impossible to take an overdose of vitamin D due to sun exposure to the skin. The situation is different with the supplementation with vitamin D3. Here is an overdose, which could then cause heart problems, not completely excluded.

To optimally benefit from the effects of vitamin D supplementation, vitamin D3 should be taken together with vitamin K2 (as MK-7). Both vitamins have a synergistic effect that dissolves calcium deposits inside the arteries and heart valves and transports them to where the calcium really belongs – to the bones.

vitamin-d-for-the-heart-health-4

Inflammation can cause cardiovascular disease

Vitamin D has so many positive benefits on the cardiovascular system. This finding is particularly important, as every second person dies from the consequences of a disease of this system. Especially people with a high blood pressure suffer a heart attack up to three times more frequently than people with normal blood pressure values.

Some cardiology specialists now want to make history about the widespread misconception that cholesterol is the cause of cardiovascular disease. They are convinced that it is not cholesterol but arterial inflammation that is the cause of all cardiovascular problems and heart disease.

The causes of arterial inflammation

Much of these inflammatory reactions are due to a wrong diet. For the rest, cardiologists blame vitamin D deficiency. This thesis was confirmed among other things in the context of an eight-year study (Ludwigshafener risk study) to 3000 participants. The study found that vitamin D deficiency significantly increases the risk of dying from heart disease. This relationship has also been confirmed by American studies.

The explanation for the effectiveness of vitamin D in terms of cardiovascular disease is based on the fact that vitamin D can protect against inflammation of any kind.

In light of this, it is not surprising that many recent studies have confirmed the link between vitamin D deficiency and the ever-increasing death toll of people with heart disease.

The Brazilian study on vitamin D

These studies were conducted in hospitals specializing in the treatment of patients with coronary heart disease. One of these studies was conducted in Brazil and published in 2012.

In the 206 patients who participated in this study, initially the vitamin D level in the blood was measured. Thereafter, the participants were divided into two groups. One patient group had a vitamin D level of 10 ng / ml or below and was therefore considered to be deficient. The other group had a vitamin D level of 20 +/- 8 ng / ml, which was considered normal. After all, these were patients who already suffered from coronary heart disease.

Of the study participants who had severe vitamin D deficiency, a significantly higher percentage died during treatment at the hospital than from those patients whose vitamin D blood levels were normal for their condition.

The scientists came to the following conclusion:

Severe vitamin D deficiency has a significant effect on the mortality rate of patients with acute coronary syndrome (circulatory disorder in the coronary arteries).

In other words, the likelihood of you dying after a heart attack in the hospital is significantly greater if you only have an insufficient amount of vitamin D in your blood.

The Danish study on vitamin D

In September 2012, a Danish study was conducted at the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with the Copenhagen University Hospital. This study involved more than 10,000 Danes whose vitamin D levels were measured between 1981 and 1983. Over the years, the values ​​were checked regularly.

The leader of this study, dr. Peter Brøndum-Jacobsen, announced the following result:

We have seen that low vitamin D blood levels significantly increase the risk of developing heart disease or worsening existing conditions compared to optimal vitamin D levels. Our results showed that the risk of developing ischemic heart disease increased by 40%. This condition describes a constriction of the coronary arteries, which leads to strong circulatory disorders of the heart muscle, causes pain in the chest area and finally can cause a life-threatening heart attack. The risk of having a heart attack increases by 64%. The risk of premature death is increased by 57%, and the risk of dying from heart disease generally increases by as much as 81%.

The American study of vitamin D

Another study was conducted at the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. Almost 28,000 patients over the age of 50, who had no heart disease by that time, participated in this study. For all participants, the vitamin D value in the blood was first determined. Subsequently, they were divided into three groups based on the measurement results (very low value, low value, normal value). The normal guideline value for this study was 30 ng / ml.

The study found that those patients who had a very low vitamin D level were twice as likely to succumb to heart failure than those who had normal vitamin D levels in the body. In addition, study participants in the group with the lowest vitamin D levels were 78% more susceptible to strokes and 45% more susceptible to coronary heart disease.

Overall, it has been found that very low vitamin D levels are twice as likely to cause cardiac failure than is the case in normal people.

The best vitamin D supplier is the sun

All the research results about the vitamin D clearly show that our body relies on this vitamin so that diseases that are also due to a vitamin D deficiency, not even arise. Use this information for the sake of your health. Expose yourself to natural UV radiation as often as possible. Bring sun to your skin whenever possible, but remember the following recommendations:

    • Do not expose yourself to the blazing sun, because the sun’s rays can also be reached in sheltered places.
    • Depending on the skin type, the sun should not last longer than 5 to a maximum of 40 minutes.
    • Avoid the midday sun, as the dangerous UVA radiation is highest during this time.
    • Do not use sunscreen for short stays in the sun, as sunscreen with sun protection factor 15 will almost completely block vitamin D production.

If you also check your diet and optimize it, it should soon improve your heart 🙂

How to check your vitamin D level with a home test, how to evaluate the result and how you can determine the right vitamin D dosage for you, read here: Vitamin D – The right intake.

What Causes Fluid Around The Heart (Pericardial Effusion) In The Elderly.

Pericardial effusion is a condition that shows the accumulation of fluid around the heart. The bilayer structure surrounding the heart is known as the pericardium, and normally there is a thin layer of fluid between the layers. High volume fluid may accumulate in the pericardium as a result of injury or illness – it may also be due to inflammation or bleeding.

Too much fluid around the heart can put extra pressure on the heart and leave it untreated – it can be a deadly condition.

Is fluid around the heart dangerous?

The answer depends largely on the cause of the excess fluid. There are a variety of causes, and different causes correlate with the danger of the disease.

 

what-causes-fluid-around-the-heart

In many cases, the fluid around the heart is the result of a viral infection and will clear itself – in which case the condition is less dangerous. When fluid around the heart is the result of trauma or autoimmune disease, it is very dangerous.

Types of fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion)

There are four types of pericardial effusion: fibrinous effusion, serous effusion, purulent effusion, and hemorrhagic effusion. Serous effusion is associated with irritation of the pericardium, with excess fluid excreted from the visceral layer of the serous pericardium.

The fibrous effusion contains fibrin, which is organized and forms adhesions. Hemorrhagic effusion is the result of mixing blood with other substances in the body, and purulent effusion is an accumulation of pus around the heart, often caused by infection.

 

Symptoms of fluid around the heart

Symptoms of pericardial effusion gradually increase with increasing fluid retention. Symptoms may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, difficulty breathing while lying, chest pain on the left side and chest fullness.

If symptoms of chest pain persist, call 911 immediately for a few minutes, or when breathing becomes increasingly difficult or painful.

What causes fluid around the heart?

As mentioned, there are a number of causes of pericardial effusion that vary in severity. Occurs in some cases, when the cause cannot be determined, it is known as idiopathic pericarditis.

Causes of fluid around the heart are:

    • Inflammation of the pericardium caused by heart attacks and heart surgery
    • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus
    • Spread of cancer, especially lung cancer, breast cancer or melanoma
    • Perikardkarzinom
    • Radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer
    • Waste product in the blood as kidney failure
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Virus, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections
    • Breast or heart trauma
    • Certain prescription medicines, such as As medicines for the treatment of hypertension, epileptic seizures or tuberculosis drugs
Diagnosis of pericardial effusion

Your doctor will perform a series of tests to correctly diagnose pericardial effusion. These tests include:

    • Medical examination
    • Echocardiogram that uses sound waves to get a picture of your heart. Your doctor will examine the space between the heart and pericardium to determine the extent of fluid retention. There are two types of echocardiograms: transthoracic or transesophageal, which is either a device over the chest or a tube in the esophagus.
    • Electrocardiograms that recorded electrical signals from the heart
    • Chest X-ray
    • Use of MRI or CT Scan as imaging techniques
    • blood tests
Guidelines on Pericardial Casting Treatment

The treatment of pericardial effusion is based on the underlying cause of the disease. This means that your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, corticosteroids or aspirin. If these treatments are not successful, your doctor will need to drain the fluid around the heart by inserting a thin needle and catheter. Other treatments include balloon pericardiotomy – which uses a deflated balloon to stretch the layers around the heart -, open heart surgery, and the removal of all or parts of pericardium, which is often used in recurrent cases.

To avoid complications from pericardial effusion, it is best you see your doctor the moment you begin to experience symptoms. When it comes to matters of the heart, you do not want to fool around. If you have any breast-related symptoms, you should have yourself examined as this may also be an indication of a heart attack.