The heart, the most important organ, keeps blood flowing to the different corners of our body. The heart is regarded as the tireless muscle because it can pump more than two thousand gallons of blood in a day. The blood pumped by the heart can travel throughout our body in less than 60 seconds. Therefore, we need to take extra care of it. If we don’t take extra loving and care, it becomes sick. Many people in the world are suffering from different kinds of heart diseases. Valvular heart disease is one of them. In this article, we are going to draw a detailed picture of Valvular heart disease. Don’t go anywhere; stay with us!
A bookish definition of Heart:
The heart is called a muscular organ of our body. Through the blood vessels of the circulatory system, it pumps blood. The heart is established in the middle compartment of our chest, especially between the lungs.
Oops! Do you know about Valvular heart disease?
Valvular Heart Disease
A human heart contains four valves. The aortic and mitral valves are on the left, and the pulmonary and tricuspid valves are on the right side of the heart. When anyone or two of the heart valves are damaged or defected, it is known as Valvular heart disease. Valvular heart disease occurs due to aging, but some patients suffer from the disease due to congenital abnormalities, specific disease, rheumatic heart disease, and pregnancy. Most of the patients use medicine as a treatment, but when it goes to the critical stage, surgery such as valve repair or replacement is needed.
The mitral and tricuspid valves manage the running of blood between the upper and lower chambers of the heart called the atria and the ventricles respectively. The pulmonary valve manages the running of blood from the heart to the two lungs of our body. On the other hand, the aortic valve manages the running of blood between the heart and aorta. In this process, the blood passes to the rest of the body.
Valvular heart disease most commonly affects the mitral and aortic valves. The regular function of the valves is to keep the flow of blood in proper force, run it to the proper directions, and do it on time. If you are the victim of Valvular heart disease, your valves will become so narrow and hardened that they cannot open fully and close completely. A narrow and hardened valve allows blood to store in the adjoining heart chamber. On the other hand, an incompetent valve allows blood to come back again into the previously exited chamber. The heart muscle enlarges and thickens for poor pumping action and in this way, it loses its elasticity and efficiency. Blood in these heart-chambers can clot and thereby increase the risk of stroke or pulmonary embolism.
The harshness of valvular heart disease may vary from person to person. It depends on the physical condition or physical fitness of a patient. Most of the time, during a mild level you may not realize the symptoms, but you may face a heart failure or other complications during the advanced level. So, the treatment depends upon the physical condition or the level of the disease.
Symptoms Of The Valvular Disease
Let’s know about the Symptoms of the valvular disease
The symptoms of valvular disease depend on the quickness of the development of the disease. It may advance slowly, and in that case, you may not understand it because your heart adjusts with the condition of the body, and then, it seems difficult to realize the severity of the symptoms. Sometimes, you can suffer from a valvular disease, but you may not understand any symptoms related to it. On the other hand, if you have a small valve leak, the symptoms may be severe.
A person with valvular heart disease often suffers from congestive heart failure. It may be the shortness of breath, become out of breath after a very short physical work, the bump of the feet, ankles, hands, and abdomen, or feel severe pain in the left hand. Some patients may find all the stated symptoms, and some others may have one or two, if they suffer from valvular disease.
If you are a patient of valvular heart disease, you may also find other symptoms in you. Are you interested to know more about? Then, pay me some fees! Ha, ha, ha. No, you need not pay me. I was making funs. So, let’s have a walk. A patient may suffer from palpitations and mild or severe chest pain. He/she may feel tired, dizzy, or sometimes faint. He/she may suffer from fever with bacterial endocarditis. Another common symptom of valvular disease is the rapid growth of weight.
Causes Of This Valvular Heart Problems
There are many causes of valvular heart disease. Some causes can be from birth that means some causes are congenital, and others may be caused by the passage of time. Let’s see what are the other causes of valvular heart disease:
- With the growth of age, the tissues of the heart valve may be degenerated.
- Another cause of valvular heart disease may be Rheumatic fever. If a patient of Rheumatic fever does not take proper treatment, it may cause valvular heart disease.
- The aortic valve may be damaged due to high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
- When a person becomes the victim of a heart attack, it may damage the muscles of the heart, and these muscles control the heart valves. So, it puts pressure on the heart valves, as a result, valvular heart disease may be caused.
- Valvular heart disease may be caused due to bacterial endocarditis. Bacterial endocarditis refers to an infection of the heart muscles and heart valves. It causes valvular heart disease.
- The heart valves may be damaged due to rheumatoid arthritis, carcinoid tumors, systemic lupus erythematosus, or syphilis.
- If you are a patient of cancer, and if you take radiation therapy, it may cause valvular heart disease.
- If you are a patient of migraine headaches, and if you take the medicine named Methysergide, you may encounter a valvular heart disease.
- Some diet drugs may also cause valvular heart disease.
Isn’t prevention better than cure?
There goes a proverb that prevention is better than cure. If you lead a healthy life, you may not be a victim of valvular heart disease. It can be a great joke that if you are ill-fated, nothing can protect you from a disaster, but it is better to be conscious from the very beginning of your life. Will you please go ahead to know more about how to prevent valvular heart disease? Let’s jump –
- If you suffer from a fever, and if you have a sore in your throat, please consult a doctor, and take proper treatment.
- Rheumatic fever is one of the main causes of valvular heart disease. So, be careful, if you are a patient of Rheumatic fever. Taking proper antibiotics for rheumatic fever can be safe for you.
- A heart-healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of blood pressure, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.
- If you smoke, please leave it from today/
- Don’t drink much alcoholic beverage in a day.
- If you are a victim of other forms of heart disease, you must consult a doctor, and pass your days according to his prescription.
- A balanced diet and regular exercise can make your heart fit.
- Try to control your blood sugar if you are a diabetic patient.
It is necessary to diagnose early whether you are a valvular heart disease patient or not. To do this, you have to go through some processes. There is a normal process of indicating valvular heart disease. During the test, the doctor pays attention to individual heart sounds, and it is known as murmurs. You may face the following tests to diagnose the disease:
It is also known as an ECG or EKG. This test is done to calculate the electrical activity of the heart, the thickness of the heart muscle, the regularity of heartbeats, and the heart-muscle damage from coronary artery disease.
The doctor goes for a chest X-rays for observing the condition of the chest. It is also done to measure the size of the heart.
Stress testing is also known as treadmill testing. It is used to calculate blood pressure, heart rate, etc. During exercise, ECG changes breathing rates. To do this test, you are asked to take exercise on a treadmill, and a small metal sensor is applied to your skin to monitor your heart’s electrical activity.
This test is to assess your heart function. At the time of this test, sound waves spring up the heart, and they are recorded and translated into images by the process.
If your heart becomes abnormal in size, shape, and movement, the picture will reveal it. When the heart contracts, the ejection fraction, or volume of blood pumps out to the body; then, Echocardiography can be used to calculate them.
For measuring the force irregularities from corner to corner of the valves, or to monitor the backflow of an injected pigment on an X-ray, a kind of fiber is entered into the heart chambers in this method.
Treatment of This Heart Disease
We are trying to recommend some treatments for valvular heart disease. If you follow, you may be benefited.
- Your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics for you to prevent bacterial endocarditis.
- If your doctor becomes silent, tell him to adopt a watch and wait for policy for all cases.
- Never smoke. Always try to follow the prevention tips, and lead a heart-healthy life. If you are drunker, leave it today; if you take excessive salt and diet pills, leave it today because all of them raise your blood pressure.
- A patient with valvular heart disease needs clot-preventing medicine. In that case, Antithrombotic medicines including aspirin or ticlopidine are prescribed to avoid unexplained transient ischemic attacks.
- Long-Term antibiotic therapy is needed for a patient having a rheumatic fever because it prevents a recurrence of streptococcal infection.
- Anticoagulants such as warfarin are prescribed for the disease to avoid a higher risk of blood clots.
- To make a stenotic valve wide, Balloon dilatation is used in a blood vessel.
- If you have a damaged valve, you may need to repair or replace it by valve surgery, but it depends on a patient’s age, condition, and the specific valve affected.
Cardiac Surgery or Valve Surgery
Do you have any idea about Cardiac Surgery or valve surgery? If not, let’s know about it.
One or more of your heart may not work well because of problems. At that time, medicines may not work. Therefore, you need heart surgery to repair or replace the heart valve.
Do you want to learn how a cardiac surgery or valve surgery is done? It will be a great experience for you, and you will have the taste without paying a single coin. To do the surgery, at first, the surgeon cuts the breastbone of the patient and opens the chest. Then, the heart-lung machine is connected by him. This machine is great. Can you imagine, it acts as the heart and lungs? Yes, the machine works as an artificial heart and lungs, and the surgeon works on the real heart. When the surgery is done, and the heart works as usual and starts beating, the artificial machine is then taken out. Again, the breastbone is joined together with a special kind of glue. Within four to six weeks, the patient becomes natural. Are you afraid? No, you need not if you are fortunate.
Valvular heart disease is a serious kind of disease. So, you should not neglect it if you are the victim of this disease. My mind is laden with sorrow after writing the article, as thousand of people all over the world are dying a premature death because of this serious valvular heart disease. Friends, never neglect a single symptom regarding this disease. You must call an ambulance if you have severe chest pain. Consult a doctor if you suffer from persistent shortness of breath, dizziness or palpitations. Try to be healthy all the time. Remember, our prayers are always with you.