Aortic stenosis is characterized by the narrowing of the aortic valve that constricts blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Certain unavoidable genetic factors, such as congenital heart defects or age-related calcification, contribute to the development of aortic stenosis. However, one can still take some measures to reduce the risk or slow down the disease progression. Here are a few expert suggestions to prevent the flare-up of the condition.
It is important to plan regular check-ups and screenings with the nearest healthcare provider to understand the prognosis of the condition. Detecting heart problems early can help manage them more effectively.
Manage blood pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for aortic stenosis. Doctors primarily suggest maintaining a healthy blood pressure through a balanced exercise and rehabilitation plan as prescribed by the doctor. This includes nutrition changes with a heart-healthy regime that includes plenty of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins and limits saturated and trans fats. Also, reduce sodium (salt) intake to help control blood pressure.
Cardiac rehabilitation specialists will suggest a series of low-intensity exercises to keep heart health in check. Maintaining an active lifestyle, coupled with a balanced nutritional regime and regular exercise, can help reduce the strain on the heart and lower the risk of developing aortic stenosis.
Manage cholesterol levels
High cholesterol levels can lead to atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of arteries, which can indirectly affect the aortic valve. Follow the healthcare provider’s recommendations for cholesterol management.
Manage chronic conditions and infection
Work with a healthcare team to manage overall blood sugar levels effectively. Diabetes is a leading risk factor for aortic stenosis. Further, infections, such as rheumatic fever, can damage heart valves, including the aortic valve. Promptly treat infections and seek medical attention for a known bacterial infection like strep throat.
Consider genetic factors
If aortic stenosis runs in the family, discuss the risk and overall outlook first with a healthcare provider and consider genetic counseling. Doctors may suggest prescriptions to help manage these risk factors, such as blood pressure or cholesterol-lowering prescriptions.
While one can reduce the risk and promote overall heart health, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance and regular monitoring, especially for those with a family history or other risk factors for this condition.