According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every four deaths in the United States is the result of heart disease. The human heart, which is one of the body’s most essential organs, serves as the major blood-pumping machine of the body. With the heart as the central core of the circulatory system, oxygen is delivered to the body tissues where they are needed. Carbon dioxide and other waste products are also transported from the tissues to where they will be removed.
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Heart diseases are detrimental to the functioning of the heart, causing complications, heart attacks, and consequently death if not adequately addressed. One such common heart problem that will be discussed in this to-do list is mitral valve regurgitation. While treatment for mitral valve regurgitation may include regular monitoring, medications, and ultimate surgery to repair the issue, some mitral valve regurgitation may not need treatment, especially when the regurgitation is mild. To know more about the symptoms, causes, and Natural Remedies for Mitral Valve Regurgitation, read this article to the end.
Mitral Valve Disease
Mitral valve disease is associated with the valve located between the heart’s left chambers. The mitral valve, also known as the bicuspid valve, just like other valves, presents with flaps or cups. These flaps allow blood to flow on the left side of the heart from the atrium to the ventricles in a unidirectional pattern. There are two mitral valve diseases: Mitral Valve Regurgitation and Mitral Valve Stenosis.
What Is Mitral Valve Regurgitation?
Mitral Valve Regurgitation is a type of heart disease where the mitral valve between the left heart chambers doesn’t close completely, allowing blood to seep backward across the valve. It is the most prevalent heart valve disease (valvular heart disease). Blood flow via the heart and to the rest of the body will become insufficient if the leakage is significant. Mitral valve regurgitation is also called mitral regurgitation, mitral insufficiency, or mitral incompetence.
Knowing how the heart functions may be useful in understanding how mitral valve diseases happen. The mitral valve is one of the four valves in the heart that ensures blood flows properly. In every pulse, leaflets (flaps) on each valve open to allow blood flow in one direction and close to reduce back-flow. An improperly functioning valve leads to regurgitation leading to a reduced blood flow on the left side of the heart.
Symptoms of Mitral Valve Regurgitation
A heart attack is one of the most detrimental effects of severe mitral regurgitation. Impaired blood flow in the disease condition results in crushing chest pain, breathlessness, sweat, and rapid cardiac death.
The significant symptoms of mitral regurgitation include:
- Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Dizziness or fainting
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Fast or fluttering heartbeat
- Unusual heart murmur
- Unusual fatigue/tiredness
- Swollen ankles or feet
Causes of Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Several conditions can lead to mitral valve regurgitation or serve as a risk factor for the disease. Conditions that can lead to mitral valve regurgitation include:
The heart muscle that supports the mitral valve can sustain damage in case of a heart attack. It might result in severe mitral valve regurgitation if the damage is substantial. When the problem occurs from a heart attack, it is called Ischemic mitral regurgitation.
Rheumatic fever can be caused by an untreated strep throat infection. Mitral valve regurgitation may occur due to mitral valve damage brought on by rheumatic fever. Rheumatic mitral valve disease is the term used to describe such ailment when it results from rheumatic fever.
Congenital heart defect
Some people are born with structural issues such as faulty heart valves in their hearts. Such people have more chance of coming down with mitral regurgitation.
Cardiomyopathy or thickening of the heart muscle
Cardiomyopathy, or thickening of the heart muscle is a disease that may impair the mitral valve’s ability to seal, thereby causing regurgitation. Dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies are two cardiomyopathies associated with mitral valve regurgitation.
Damaged tissue cords
The tissue fragments that keep the mitral valve flaps attached to the heart wall may stretch or rip with time, especially in persons with mitral valve prolapse. Blood might abruptly flow through the mitral valve due to a tear, necessitating surgery to replace the valve. The rupture of the cords might also result from a chest injury.
Endocarditis is an infection of the heart’s lining, which can affect heart valves.
Mitral valve regurgitation can arise as a rare side effect of radiation therapy targeted to the chest region to treat cancer.
High blood pressure in the lungs can also lead to mitral valve leaks.
Treatment for Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Treatment for mitral valve regurgitation aims to enhance heart function, lessen signs and symptoms, and avert difficulties in the future. When discussing treatment choices with you, your healthcare professional will consider your symptoms and the severity of your regurgitation, among other things. Some of the possible therapies for mitral valve regurgitation are:
Modifications to a healthy lifestyle
Most heart valve regurgitation causes are unpreventable. But by taking several proper healthy lifestyle changes, you can lower your risk of developing any cardiac conditions. Good dieting, tobacco abstinence, and regular exercise are some lifestyle changes that can address the disease. You should also keep a healthy weight and limit your alcohol intake
Medications may be required as a cure for mitral valve regurgitation. The approach is to address the problem and lessen symptoms. Diuretics, Blood-thinners to prevent blood clots, and blood pressure medications are some of the categories of drugs that can be prescribed for mitral valve regurgitation treatment.
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, a damaged mitral valve may eventually require surgical repair or replacement. A surgeon may conduct mitral valve repair or replacement together with another procedure if you need surgery for another heart issue.
Mitral valve repair
Mitral valve repair is advised as the first line cure for mitral valve regurgitation in severe cases. Mitral valve repair keeps the current valve in place and might save the heart from failing. In general, patients who have mitral valve repair surgery usually have positive results.
Replacement of the mitral valve
The surgical removal and replacement of the mitral valve is the ultimate cure for mitral valve regurgitation. The procedure is done with the aim of removing the dysfunctional mitral valve and replacing it with either a mechanical valve, a valve made from cow, pig, human heart tissue, or a combination of these (biological tissue valve). The process is known as a valve-in-valve operation.
If a mechanical valve is used to replace your mitral valve, you would always need to take blood thinners to avoid blood clots. Over time, biological tissue valves degrade and typically need to be replaced.
Controlling the blood pressure
Managing your high blood pressure is crucial if you have mitral valve regurgitation.
Consume heart-healthy foods
Mitral valve regurgitation is not explicitly impacted by nutrition. However, a balanced diet can prevent other heart conditions from weakening the heart muscle. Consume foods low in sugar, salt, and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and unsaturated fats. Eat a mix of fruits and vegetables, nutritious grains, and lean proteins like fish, nuts, and lean meats.
Nutrition and Supplement for Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Potassium and Magnesium
A different study suggests that eating more potassium in your diet can benefit your heart function by also lowering your blood pressure.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Oil from specific fish, vegetables, and other plant sources contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Since the body cannot produce these fatty acids, they must be obtained through foods, which are common fish oil.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids function by reducing the body’s triglyceride synthesis. Stroke, heart disease, and coronary artery disease can all be caused by high triglyceride levels. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids help reduce blood triglyceride levels.
Grape seed extract
High dosages of grape seed extract (GSE) have been demonstrated to effectively lower blood pressure in those diagnosed with prehypertension, an early stage of high blood pressure. A study discovered that eating 100mg-800mg of GSE daily for eight to sixteen weeks dramatically decreased blood pressure since it is high in antioxidants.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
The molecule known as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) resembles a vitamin. The body cells employ CoQ10 to create the energy required for cell growth and upkeep. Additionally, it is an antioxidant, preventing harmful chemicals from harming the body. Naturally, CoQ10 is found in modest amounts in a wide range of foods, but it is especially abundant in organ meats like heart, liver, kidney, beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.
Hawthorn is a supplement for treating arrhythmias, congestive heart failure (CHF), hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, and other heart disorders that increase the risk of heart valve diseases. Hawthorn actively serves as a natural remedy for mitral regurgitation and congestive heart failure
Natural Remedies for Mitral Valve Regurgitation
The essential nutrients that are abundant in blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are highly beneficial to the building of heart muscles. In addition to being high in antioxidants like anthocyanins, berries are also known to reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative stress, which are factors in the development of heart disease.
According to studies, numerous risk factors for heart diseases can be decreased by consuming a lot of berries.
Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats, lowering cholesterol levels and negating the risk of heart disease. Fiber and micronutrients, including magnesium, copper, and manganese, which are heart-nourishing elements, are abundant in avocados. This makes it a strong natural remedy for mild mitral regurgitation.
Fish oil and fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are well contained in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna, and they have been intensively researched for their potential to improve heart health.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish may serve as a preventive factor against the development of heart disease and may even somewhat lower the risk of heart mitral valve disease and arrhythmias. According to research, constant consumption of fish daily can help valve diseases.
Flavonoids, an abundant antioxidant in dark chocolate, can improve heart health. Interestingly, multiple studies have linked eating chocolate to a lower risk of heart disease.
Taking a piece of chocolate once in two days may lower your risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke
Lycopene, a substance with potent antioxidant effects, is abundant in tomatoes. Since oxidative damage and inflammation contribute to heart disease, antioxidants work to counteract dangerous free radicals which can attack the heart muscle.
An increased risk of heart attack and stroke is associated with low blood levels of lycopene. Blood pressure and endothelial function, which supports the heart muscles, are all improved with the consumption of tomato products making tomatoes a naturally available remedy for the mitral valve remedy.
Recent studies have supported garlic’s significant therapeutic effects and discovered that it is a great food substance for the heart. Garlic contains allicin, a substance known to have a wide range of medicinal properties.
Garlic is a natural cure for mitral valve regurgitation and according to one study, ingesting 600-1,500 mg of garlic extract daily for 24 weeks had the same blood pressure-lowering effects as a typical prescription medication. Garlic can also lower total cholesterol levels to a significantly low amount in the body.
Almonds provide a huge variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for heart health, making them exceptionally nutrient-dense foods.
Additionally, they are a wonderful source of fiber and unsaturated fats nutrients that can help prevent heart disease. According to research, consuming almonds may also significantly impact your cholesterol levels.
Olive oil contains heart-healthy properties in form of antioxidants which can reduce inflammation and lower the risk of developing chronic diseases.
High consumption of olive oil is known to decrease the risk of developing a heart condition by 35%. Additionally, larger consumption of olive oil was linked to a 48% decreased chance of passing away from heart disease.
The relationship between nutrition and heart disease becomes stronger as more data comes to light on the effect of these food substances as natural remedies for mitral valve regurgitation and other heart diseases. Almost every facet of heart health, including blood pressure, inflammation, cholesterol, and triglycerides, can be affected by your diet. Thus, there are a lot of benefits to acquiring by tapping into the powerful effect of natural food substances and supplements as cures for heart diseases. These heart-healthy foods on our to-do list can help keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of coming down with mitral valve diseases.
Before opting for any herbal remedy as a core source of treatment for mitral valve regurgitation, ensure to seek professional advice. Always consult a cardiologist to receive treatment if you notice any of the symptoms that may be associated with heart disease.