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Heart Valve Disease

What is Heart Valve Disease?

Heart Valve Disease occurs where the valves in the heart malfunction. The heart has four valves;  the tricuspid valve, the mitral valve, the aortic valve, and the pulmonary valve. They open and close each time the heart beats, which allows blood to flow through the atria and ventricles of the heart and in the correct direction.

The blood from the right and left atria flow through the tricuspid and mitral valves. When the blood reaches the right and left ventricles, these valves close so the blood will not flow back. It then flows through the aortic and pulmonary valves to the pulmonary artery and aorta.

Valve disorders range from narrowing or stenosis, or not being able to close properly. This allows less blood to flow through or causes a condition is called regurgitation where the blood flows back. They greatly affect the heart’s ability to pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

Heart valve disorders can cause the blood to clot which can block major arteries in the body which can potentially lead to a stroke or a heart attack. 
 

What are the symptoms of Heart Valve Disease?

  • Chest discomfort
  • Palpitations
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of your ankles, feet, or abdomen 
  • Swelling in your belly, feeling bloated
  • Weakness or dizziness
     

How is Heart Valve Disease diagnosed?

Echocardiogram
An echocardiogram is a form of ultrasound which shows your heart's movement, structure, and function.
 

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
An electrocardiogram records the electrical impulses traveling through the heart.
 

Imaging Test
Cardiac imaging tests are done with ultrasound or CT scan to check the size of your heart and if there is fluid build-up surrounding organs.
 

Stress Test
A stress test is done by monitoring your heart function while you run on a treadmill and  provides information about the likelihood of coronary artery disease.
 

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