Valvulopathies are diseases of the heart valves that prevent them from opening or closing correctly. The most severe valve diseases are those that damage the aortic or mitral valve.
Other forms of valve disease have emerged today. Degenerative valve disease is one of the most common, it occurs in elderly patients, which causes hardening, aging, and calcification of the valves, which restricts their mobility and damages their function.
There are four types of Valvulopathies:
The following are the most frequent causes:
Rheumatic or degenerative disease
Heart muscle disease (Cardiomyopathy)
Stenosis, caused by congenital malformations of the aortic valve
Aging, with old age the valves become less flexible and more torn
Rheumatic fever, a rare disease in developed countries
Congenital heart disease, birth defect presenting a defective valve
Valvulopathies generally do not present signs or symptoms at first, as the disease develops, the following signs and symptoms may arise:
Shortness of breath
Palpitations (sensation of irregular heartbeats, such as fast heart rate)
Swelling of the ankles and feet
Loss of consciousness
Diagnosis of Valvulopathies
The Cardiologist will perform a medical history, including an examination consisting of listening to your heart through a real stethoscope and questions about your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history.
We group some of the possible tests that could be carried out:
Echocardiogram, produces video images of the heart, the size and shape of the heart can be observed, and any abnormality
Electrocardiogram, measures the rhythm of the heart
Catheterization, allows diagnosing and treating some cardiovascular diseases
Treatment of Valvulopathies
The treatment provided will be according to the severity of valve disease; common treatment options include:
Lead a healthy life
Do regular and continued physical exercise
Eat fruits and vegetables
Maintain a low-salt diet
Medicines, help to slow down the development of the disease and decrease its symptoms
Medication to control blood pressure
Percutaneous aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis
Percutaneous mitral repair with the MitraClip device, for mitral regurgitation
Living with Valvulopathies
Following the treatment provided by your Cardiologist and leading a healthy lifestyle could help improve quality of life.
The following are the most common recommendations:
Control of Hypertension
Decrease salt intake
Do not smoke
Limit alcohol consumption
Take your medications with the prescribed dose and schedule
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintain a healthy diet
Maintain good oral hygiene
Get enough rest
¿When to go to a doctor?
It is essential to consult a Cardiology specialist to diagnose valve disease and be able to start a treatment that helps you control your symptoms.
When consulting your Cardiologist, try to keep a record of your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.
The stress test examines how the heart works during physical activity.
Your heart does a lot for you every day, show a little appreciation by adopting these changes in your daily habits
Have a constant feeling of danger, your chest hurts, your heart beats too fast, and you can't catch your breath... you could be having an anxiety attack