The valves in your heart are open and close to control the flow of blood. Heart valve diseases can affect one or more heart valves.
Each heart valve condition has its own causes and risk factors. Some heart valve conditions are preventable. Some risk factors are more difficult to manage. Taking steps to manage risk factors may help you avoid a heart valve condition.
There are factors that raise your risk of a heart valve condition.
Older adults have more heart valve conditions. Your heart valves may be in decline as you age. calcium deposits may accumulate on your valves This can stop your valves from working.
It is important to practice heart-healthy habits. This may help prevent age related problems.
Some heart valve conditions are hereditary. If another member of your family has those conditions, you are more likely to have them as well.
There are congenital heart valve conditions at birth. Congenital defects can be caused by inheritable genetic defects that can be passed from parents to children. A family history of a congenital defect raises the risk of having it yourself and passing it on to your children.
Acquired heart valve conditions can develop in childhood or adulthood. Some acquired heart valve conditions may have a genetic component. Bicuspid and mitral valve problems are more common in families.
A family history of early heart disease may increase your risk of an acquired heart valve condition.
Discuss your family medical history with your doctor. If your family has a history of heart disease, your doctor can help you understand and manage your risk. If your doctor suspects you have a genetic abnormality that causes heart valve defects, he or she may refer you to a genetic counselor.
Certain heart valve conditions are a group of risk factors that raise your risk of heart disease. These risk factors include:
- high blood sugar.
- high blood pressure.
- Your blood contains high levels of triglycerides.
- Your cholesterol levels are low.
- “It’s obese.”
Habitual healthy habits can help prevent and manage diseases. If you have more than one of the risk factors, your doctor may prescribe medication or other treatments.
Problems with your heart valves can be caused by certain health conditions. These include:
- Infective heart inflammation is caused by an infection.
- rheumatic fever can be caused by a disease like strep throat or scarlet fever.
- It can hurt your heart.
If you have a history of heart valve problems, you are more likely to develop one.
- Other heart conditions.
- Chronic kidneys disease.
- There is a disease called diabetes.
- There are autoimmune conditions.
- Marfan syndrome is a genetic condition.
- Carcinoid tumors.
- elevated lipoprotein
Discuss your medical history with your doctor to learn how it may affect your health. They can help you understand your risk factors.
A doctor may implant a pacemaker or internal defibrillator if your heart beats too slowly, too fast or irregularly. Medical devices can help regulate your heartbeat. There is a chance that the device will damage a heart valve.
Your risk of a heart valve condition increases with radiation therapy to your chest. This therapy is used to treat certain types of cancer. It can cause the valves to be narrow.
If your doctor recommends one of these treatments, you should ask about the potential side effects. They can help you learn how to manage the risks.
Some lifestyle habits can increase your risk of heart disease. These habits are included.
- Not eating a balanced diet.
- Not getting enough exercise.
- Heavy alcohol use can weaken the heart.
Poor dental hygiene and skin can increase your risk of a heart valve condition. An inflammation in your heart can be caused by an infection. This can cause damage to your heart valves.
Drug use raises your risk of heart disease.
To help promote good overall health.
- A heart-healthy diet is what you should eat.
- Get some physical activity.
- Take steps to lose weight.
- Take steps to reduce stress.
- Good skin and dental hygiene are important.
- Smoking and drug use are not recommended.
If you use drugs, your doctor can recommend resources to help you quit. They can refer you to a substance use disorder counselor.
A heart valve condition can cause your heart to stop, which can lead to heart failure and other life threatening problems.
There are some heart valve conditions that can be avoided. Managing your risk factors may help prevent a heart valve condition. This includes taking steps to manage your weight and stress, and practicing healthy lifestyle habits. It is important to avoid using drugs.
If you have a heart valve condition, getting a diagnosis and treatment is important to relieve symptoms and reduce your risk of future problems. Talk to your doctor about it.