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You have been diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. This means that the mitral valve in your heart is stiff and doesn’t open right. Because of this, blood must move through a smaller opening. In severe cases, fluid can build up in the lungs, leading to coughing and breathing problems. Problems with the mitral valve can also cause a fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations). Over time, mitral valve stenosis may slowly get worse.
Many patients with mitral valve stenosis do not require treatment. Some cases can be controlled with medications. In a few cases surgery is required. Here are things you can do at home.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
Chest pain or shortness of breath
Weakness in the muscles of your face, arms, or legs
Fainting or dizziness
Swelling in your hands, feet, or ankles
Irregular, rapid, or pounding heartbeat
Maintain a healthy weight. Get help to lose any extra pounds.
Cut back on salt.
Limit canned, dried, packaged, and fast foods.
Don’t add salt to your food at the table.
Season foods with herbs instead of salt when you cook.
Begin an exercise program. Ask your doctor how to get started. You can benefit from simple activities such as walking or gardening.
Break the smoking habit. Enroll in a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success.
Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter agents, herbal preparations, or vitamin supplements.
Take your medications exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses.
Ask your doctor for an antibiotic prescription to use before you visit the dentist or before you have any medical procedures.
Keep all follow-up appointments. Some patients with mitral valve stenosis don’t have symptoms; others need close follow-up and surgery.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.