Heart Valve Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Heart valve disease is a common problem. It is caused by problems with heart valves. When a problem develops, it can cause fluid to build up between blood vessels and their valves. This buildup is called an accumulation of fluid. Fluid builds up because there are no valves to keep the blood from flowing through the veins back to the lungs. If too much fluid accumulates, it can put extra pressure on the right side of your heart. This is called congestive heart failure.

The most common heart valve disease is mitral valve regurgitation (MR). Mitral valve regurgitation means leakage or backward flow of blood from the left ventricle through the mitral valve into the left atrium. MR occurs when the mitral valve does not close properly or completely. Blood flows backward instead of forward through the valve.

What is heart valve disease?

A heart valve is a part of the heart that keeps blood from flowing backward through the body. It’s made up of two layers: an outer one made of fibrous tissue covered by a tough membrane; and an inner layer of thin muscle cells. Sometimes the valves can narrow and close off the flow of blood to the chambers inside the heart. This increases pressure within the heart. If left untreated, it can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF) which is often fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated.

In the last century, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Americans who die from CHF. The main cause of death among those over 60 years old is congestive heart failure.

Heart valve disease is an illness that affects the valves inside your heart. The human heart has four main valves: two atria (one on each side) and two ventricles (one on either side). Each valve opens to let blood flow out so it can return to the body after being pumped through the lungs and liver. When one of these valves gets stuck open or closed, you could get problems such as shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest tightness, heart failure, fainting spells, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sudden death, or stroke.

How Do Heart Valves Work?

A few of us know that our heart has four chambers. We also know that some of the valves inside each chamber open to allow blood to flow from one part of the heart to another. But how does it happen? When a person is born, there are two kinds of heart valves in his heart. There are three of them, but only two are working at birth.

As he grows up, more of the heart’s valves open and close. One valve opens to let air into the lungs while another closes so that blood can leave the lungs. Eventually, all four valves will be doing their job. By the way, most of your body organs don’t need heart valves until you’re an adult. So why did God make them?

What are the types of heart valve disease?

There are different types of heart valve disease, and it is possible for more than one valve to be affected.

Valvular stenosis

A heart has four chambers (ventricles). These ventricles pump blood from the left side of your body to your lungs and back again. When a problem occurs in one of the valves inside a ventricle, the valve can become narrowed (stenosed). This condition is known as valvular stenosis. Stenotic valves prevent blood from passing through them properly.

Blood builds up behind the valve, which makes it hard for your heart to push out any more blood. As a result, you get shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, fainting spells, ankle swelling, leg cramps, and lower extremity edema – especially after being active. If you have had any of these symptoms for several weeks or longer, you should see your doctor. You can also do some preventive care at home.

Valvular insufficiency

The valves inside your heart allow blood to flow through it. If you have valvular insufficiency you may be at risk of developing an irregular heartbeat called arrhythmia.

In addition to being able to perform its normal functions, the heart has valves between each chamber that prevent backflow and ensure that only the right amount of blood flows out of the chambers, and only enough oxygenated blood enters the chambers. A valve is made up of three layers; two thin leaflets attached to a thick ring of tissue called the annulus. The leaflets open and close, allowing blood to pass through the valve during systole and diastole. Failure of any part of the valve can lead to either stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (backflow).

Stenosis occurs when the leaflets become too narrow or damaged so that they do not fully open to let blood pass. Regurgitation occurs when one leaflet does not open completely or if both leaflets do not open simultaneously. This leads to the passage of blood through the wrong opening in the heart, resulting in the backward flow of blood from the left ventricle into the mitral or tricuspid valves.

Valvular atresia

A valve is an opening that allows blood to flow through your heart. When there is an obstruction in one of the valves, it can cause serious problems in your body. This condition is called valvular atresia. It can be treated by surgery to replace the damaged valve. Your doctor will help you choose which type of surgery to do. If you cannot get surgery quickly enough, a less invasive procedure may work. However, more research needs to be done before doctors know whether it works better than surgery.

What Causes Heart Valve Disease?

The person is saying that heart valve disease can develop before birth or sometime during their lifetime. They don’t know the cause.

Congenital valve disease

Congenital Valve Disease is an abnormal condition where the valves inside the heart do not develop properly during fetal life. A congenitally malformed heart does not function normally. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the legs, enlarged liver, kidney problems, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, cough, vomiting blood, enlargement of leg veins, weakness, loss of appetite, weight gain, skin rash, edema (fluid retention), trouble swallowing, fever, unusual bleeding from various places (including the mouth) and difficulty breathing. It can be fatal if left untreated.

Bicuspid aortic valve disease

Bicuspid aorta valve disease is a defect in your heart valves. It affects one out of every five adults over 40. This disease tends to be milder than other types of heart valve defects.

The heart has four main parts. Your lungs breathe air into your body through two tubes: your trachea and your bronchi. From there air passes directly into your windpipe (tracheal). Then it goes down into your lungs where small blood vessels take the air away from you and send oxygenated blood back up to your heart. From your heart, your blood travels through arteries to all parts of your body. Your heart pumps the blood through your arteries by forcing it against the walls of the artery.

When the blood gets stuck in an artery, it can cause a lot of pain and damage to your arms, legs, hands, feet, head, eyes, nose, ears, neck, throat, chest, stomach, intestines, bladder, liver, kidneys, pancreas, testicles, ovaries, penis, rectum, muscles, joints, bones, skin, nerves, spinal cord, brain, sinuses, lymph glands, spleen, tonsils, appendix, and gallbladder.

Acquired valve disease

Acquired valve disease is a condition where your heart valves become damaged. This can cause serious problems such as shortness of breath during exercise. It can also lead to blood clots which travel through your bloodstream and could cause stroke or death. If you suffer from acquired valve disease you will need surgery to replace your faulty heart valves.

Rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever is an illness caused by streptococcal bacteria. It can damage your heart, joints, blood vessels, lungs, skin, and brain. This disease used to be common before antibiotics. A person who has rheumatic fever will feel tired, achy, stiff, sore throat, swollen glands, headache, nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, and chest pains. If you do get sick, see your doctor right away. Treatment includes rest, medicines, and sometimes hospitalization.

The name “rheumatic” means relating to the joints. With this disease, the body’s own immune system attacks its own tissues instead of foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses. Streptococcal bacteria are responsible for most cases of rheumatic fever. People at greatest risk include anyone born between 1900-1930; children under five; those with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes mellitus, or HIV/AIDS; and people over 55. There was once a vaccine against rheumatic fever, but it was withdrawn because of side effects.


Endocarditis is inflammation of the inner surface of the heart. It affects the valves in the heart. Infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Bacteria are often responsible for causing endocarditis. The bacteria enter through tiny openings in the skin (called portals of entry) and travel to the bloodstream. Viruses cause endocarditis by entering the body through mucous membranes such as those covering the eye, nose, or mouth.

After entering the body, the virus travels throughout the lymph nodes before it reaches the bloodstream. If you know where your portal of entry is, you will be able to avoid getting sick.

The two most common types of endocarditis are bacterial infection and viral infection. Bacterial infections occur more frequently than viral ones. There are many different kinds of bacteria that can lead to an infection. Bacteria live outside of humans but can become harmful if they enter our bodies.

A few examples of bacteria include strep throat germs, staphylococcus, pneumococci, salmonella, e-coli, and Shigella. Although we can’t see some of these bacteria, we do sometimes get sick because they have entered our bodies. Most commonly, however, we won’t get sick unless the bacteria multiply inside of us. This happens when bacteria infect a part of our body such as the lungs, intestines, brain, or kidneys.

Mitral valve prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a defect of the valves of the heart where the middle piece of the mitral valve doesn’t close normally. Instead, the top edge of the leaflet hangs over the bottom edge. MVP is more common than previously believed. It occurs in approximately 4% of patients referred for echocardiography because of symptoms suggestive of cardiac disease. MVP was first described by Dr.

An estimated 10 million people worldwide experience some type of valvular dysfunction. However, only half of the affected individuals seek medical care. Mitral valve prolapse is the abnormal movement of one or both leaflets of the mitral heart valve. This happens when the normal muscle tissue in the back part of the left ventricle becomes stretched out. When this occurs it can cause blood to flow backward through the mitral valve instead of forward. Sometimes blood flows backward from the right side of the heart into the lungs.

If the pressure in the heart increases too much, the blood will be forced back into the heart again. A person who has mitral valve prolapse does not necessarily need surgery. Many people do not know about their condition until a problem develops. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations (anxiety), fainting, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, leg swelling, headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and confusion. It can occur at any age, but most often affects women between 20 and 50.

It can affect anyone, especially those who exercise vigorously. About 1 in 100 Americans have this disorder. Most people learn of their condition after an episode of fainting, which is sometimes mistaken for a heart attack.

What are the symptoms?

Heart valves keep blood flowing smoothly through the chambers of your heart. Heart valves allow blood to flow from one chamber to another through small openings called ventricles. If any of the four different kinds of heart valves become damaged or diseased, it can cause heart problems such as congestive heart failure (CHF) which is also known as a heart attack.

Symptoms of heart valve disease include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, fainting spells, dizziness, swelling of legs or ankles, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing up blood, and leg weakness. It can also lead to other serious medical conditions including high blood pressure, stroke, kidney damage, and irregular heartbeat.

What causes heart valve disease?

Heart valve disease is caused by damage to one or more of your four valves. A damaged valve can make it difficult for blood to flow through the valve opening (pulmonary artery). This can cause you to feel tired or short of breath. Damage to the aortic valve can cause you to have chest pain and difficulty breathing. Damage to the mitral valve can cause fluid to build up in your lungs.

How Are Heart Valve Diseases Diagnosed?

When you think about your heart valve problems, you might remember that the first symptom of heart disease is often chest pain, especially after exercise. But there are other ways to diagnose heart valve diseases, including tests done at a doctor’s office or hospital. There are two major types of heart valves: the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve.

The mitral valve is located between the left upper chamber (left atrium) of the heart and the lower chamber (the left ventricle). It controls blood flow from the left side of the heart to the body. This important valve can be damaged by a problem known as a leaky mitral valve, which allows some of the blood to rush back through the valve instead of flowing forward. Damaged valves may cause fluid buildup behind the leaflet tissue of the valve.

This may narrow the valve opening, making it difficult for the leaflets of the valve to close properly. If a person has a leaking mitral valve, his/her pulse will be strong in both arms but weak in the leg because the return flow of blood is greater than the amount going out. This pattern is typical of someone who has an abnormally large volume of extra blood in their veins.

How Is Heart Valve Disease Treated?

As you can see, heart valve disease is not curable. It cannot be treated in any way except by changing your diet to one which will remove fats and cholesterol from the bloodstream. You must stop eating foods high in fat and cholesterol. This includes all kinds of meat, fried food, whole milk products, soda pop, and many other foods. Your doctor will tell you how much fat and cholesterol you should eat each day. He or she will make up a special diet plan just for your case.

You must follow this plan closely. If you do not, you could end up sicker than ever before. When you take your medicine properly it will help prevent symptoms of heart failure. At first, doctors may recommend surgery to correct problems with your heart valves. However, if you don’t have serious complications after surgery, they won’t try another operation.

A patient who has had a heart attack, congestive heart failure, or valvular disease knows all too well the meaning of “chronic.” Chronic means are long-lasting. People who suffer from chronic diseases have no cure. However, there are ways to manage their condition and keep them healthy.

Most patients with chronic conditions live longer than people without such conditions. That’s because most physicians understand the importance of prevention as well as early diagnosis and treatment. Today, better education, new drugs, and surgical techniques allow us to control some chronic illnesses at an earlier stage.

Even so, in many cases, the only solution is to control the inflammation process that leads to the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Here we discuss the treatments available for these conditions.

Heart valve replacement surgery

A heart valve is made of tissue. It works to close off one part of your heart from another part, so blood can flow only one way through it at a time. Over time, the valves get worn down by being used too much. This makes them stiff and less able to open and close properly. When this happens your doctor will replace the old heart valve with a new one.

In some cases, a diseased portion of the heart has to be removed first. After the diseased section has been removed, the surgeon does what’s called an artificial heart valve replacement. Here the heart muscle is left intact, but it is covered with a patch of other tissue (usually taken from the patient’s leg). This patch is attached to the rest of the heart. It acts just like a real heart valve would act if it was healthy.