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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Mitral regurgitation is when blood flows backward through the mitral valve because it does not close properly. The mitral valve is between the left ventricle and left atrium of your heart. The lower left ventricle pumps blood into your upper left atrium. The valve opens and closes to direct blood flow through your heart.
- Diuretics: This medicine is given to remove extra fluid that has collected in your heart, lungs, or legs. They are often called water pills. You may urinate more often when you take this medicine.
- Blood pressure medicine: This will help lower your blood pressure and keep your heart from working too hard.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or cardiologist as directed:
You may need to return for more tests to check your heart. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods: Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. You may need to limit the amount of salt you eat. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Exercise: This will improve your heart health. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Start slowly and increase activity as you get stronger. Stop if you feel short of breath.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
Contact your healthcare provider or cardiologist if:
- You have a fever or are more tired than usual.
- You are short of breath when you exercise or lie down.
- You cough more than usual, especially when you lie down.
- You are dizzy.
- Your ankles and feet are swollen.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- Your heart is beating faster than normal for you, and you feel fluttering in your chest.
- You have chest pain that feels like squeezing, pressure, or fullness.
- You have chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes or returns.
- You are nauseated and have trouble breathing.
- You have a severe headache, a cold sweat, and feel lightheaded or dizzy.
- You have weakness or numbness in one arm or leg, or on one side of your face.
- You are confused and cannot speak clearly.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.