Valve Stenosis Causes The Heart To Work Harder For You

November 12, 2012

Valve Stenosis Causes The Heart To Work Harder For You

Valve stenosis is one of several conditions that affect the heart and how it pumps blood to the body. It occurs when the valves have narrowed.

Your heart has four valves, which are the:

  • Aortic

  • Mitral

  • Pulmonic

  • Tricuspid

These valves ensure the blood flows in just one direction through the heart.

Valve Stenosis: One Cause For Heart Valve Disease

Valvular heart disease, which occurs because of either valve stenosis or insufficiency, happens when the valves of the heart do not work right.

In valve stenosis, the tissues that make up the valve leaflets become harder, which reduces the opening and amount of blood that flow through it. If it’s a mild narrowing, it’s possible the heart’s overall functioning is not comprised. Should the valve be very narrow, the functioning of the heart is lessened, which means the body isn’t getting enough blood.

Valvular insufficiency happens with leaflets don’t shut off completely, letting blood to leak backwards across the valve. A stenotic valve demands that the heart works harder, which puts strain on the heart and decreases the flow of blood.

It’s possible to have both conditions in one or more valves. Whatever the valve disease, the heart muscle must work harder to get the right quantity of blood to the body.

Valve Stenosis: The Causes Of Heart Valve Disease

There are various types of valve disease, which can occur at birth or later on in life. And, sometimes the cause of it is never known.

Congenital Valve Disease – Abnormality that occurs before birth, which could be because of an improper valve size, irregularity in way leaflets are attached or malformed leaflets. It tends to affect the pulmonic or aortic valve.

Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease – This abnormality also occurs before birth and affects the aortic valve. Rather than three normal leaflets, it’s only got two leaflets. When there is no third leaflet, the value could be:

  • Leaky

  • Stenotic

Acquired Valve Disease – This includes issues that crop up with valves that were normal once and could contain variations within the valve structure or infection.

Infections – There are two common infections that can cause valve disease like rheumatic fever and infective endocarditis.

Valve Stenosis: What Does Rheumatic Fever and Endocarditis Cause

When you have rheumatic fever, it can cause a number of things:

1 – Inflamed heart valve leaflets

2 – Leaflets become short, thick and scarred

3 – One or more valves become stenotic or leaky

Rheumatic fever is typically caused by a streptococcal infection that’s been untreated. Rheumatic fevers happen mostly in children between five and 15 but valve disease symptoms are not seen for years. However, the valve is not infected with rheumatic fever. Antibodies that the body develops react with the heart valves, which will cause the inflammation and scarring.

Endocarditis is a serious infection that is oftentimes life-threatening. It happens when germs get into the bloodstream and attach to the heart valves surface. Endocarditis:

  • Attacks the valve, which causes growths, holes or scarring to occur

  • Can cause a leaky stenotic valve

Valve Stenosis: Changes Occur In Both Congenital and Acquired Causes

Bear in mind that both conditions can cause changes to occurs such as tearing or stretching the chordae tendineae and the papillary muscles. When either one happens, the leaflets can flop back and cause the leaky valve.

They also occur because of mitral valve prolapse, which causes the mitral valve leaflets to flop back into the heart’s left atrium when the heart is contracting. It’ll also cause the valve’s tissues to become stretchy and abnormal.

There are several other conditions can affect the heart valve. The best thing you can do for yourself is to eat right and get plenty of exercise to keep your valves open and blockage-free. While you can’t stop the aging process, you can do your part to slow down the diseases that crop up because of it.

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