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Mitral Valve Prolapse
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a weak or bulging mitral valve in your heart. Your mitral valve has 2 flaps that open and close. It allows blood to flow through your heart in one direction. MVP is a common heart condition that often has no signs or symptoms. Most people who have MVP are born with it.
You may need any of the following:
- Blood pressure medicine is given to lower your blood pressure. A controlled blood pressure helps protect your heart.
- Heart medicine helps your heart beat more strongly or regularly.
- Antiplatelet medicines , such as aspirin, keep platelets from sticking to a damaged part of your artery. Platelets are a part of your blood that helps heal injuries. They may cause a blockage in your artery and keep blood from flowing to your heart.
- Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots from forming. Clots can cause a stroke, and can be life-threatening. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. If you are taking a blood thinner, follow these and other safety precautions you receive:
- Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin and a soft toothbrush on your teeth to keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports, such as football.
- Many medicines cannot be used with blood thinners. Tell your dentist and other healthcare providers that you take blood-thinning medicine. Wear or carry medical alert information that says you are taking this medicine.
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much. You will need to have a blood test called the INR regularly. The INR shows how long it takes your blood to clot. Your healthcare provider will use the INR results to decide how much medicine is right for you.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about the foods you eat. This medicine works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found mainly in green leafy vegetables. Ask your dietitian or healthcare provider for a list of foods that are high in vitamin K.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact 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 more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your MVP:
- Floss and brush your teeth regularly. Tell your dentist you have MVP. Professional tooth cleaning, tooth decay, or gum problems could lead to a heart infection.
- Eat heart-healthy foods. Heart-healthy foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, chicken (without skin), lean meats, and fish. Eat two 4-ounce servings of fish high in omega-3 fats each week. Examples are salmon, fresh tuna, and herring. Ask your dietitian or healthcare provider for more information on a heart-healthy diet.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask your healthcare provider which liquids you should drink, and how much to have each day.
- Stay active. Ask your healthcare provider which activities are best for you.
- Do not use alcohol or caffeine. These could make your MVP worse.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting. Avoid being around others who smoke.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever, sore throat, or body aches.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Part of your face droops or is numb
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
- You have shortness of breath or chest pain.
- Your heart beats faster than normal for you, or skips beats.
- You suddenly feel dizzy or faint.
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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.