What is Aortic stenosis?
Blood flow to and from the heart is managed by heart valves. Aortic valve is one such valve located in the aorta, the main artery which carries blood to your body from the heart. In aortic stenosis, the valve becomes narrow and does not allow blood to pass properly. The heart then needs to pump harder to push the blood through the aorta. This exhausts the heart muscle leading to further complications.
Aortic valve stenosis can develop in different age groups due to different reasons.
- In infants due to birth defects
- In adults due to a history of rheumatic fever
- In the elderly due to deposition of calcium on the valve
Most patients experience symptoms only when the disease is in advanced stages. Common symptoms are:
- Syncope (fainting)
- Chest pain
- Breathlessness and dizziness after physical activity
Common diagnostic tests
Aortic stenosis causes an abnormal heart sound called murmur which can be detected with a stethoscope. Other tests are:
Stress Test: A stress test shows how your heart works during intense activities. It involves:
- 15-minute walk on treadmill
- ECG (Electrocardiogram) at rest and after walk: If you have aortic stenosis, your ECG will be abnormal.
Echocardiography: In this test, ultrasound waves are directed to the heart through a device called transducer. Different areas bounce off the waves differently these waves are picked up by a recording device to create moving pictures of your heart.
Chest X-ray: Used to see if any irregularities are found in the heart structure which can indicate aortic stenosis.
CT (Computerized tomography) scan and MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging): These tests create detailed images of your heart helping the doctor to get a better understanding of your condition.
Basics of managing aortic stenosis
Here are some tips on living with aortic stenosis:
- Reduce salt in your diet.
- Avoid strenuous exercise.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee.
- Avoid alcohol.
Treatment at Madhavbaug™
As the effects of aortic stenosis can lead to chronic heart failure (CHF), we may recommend HFRT programme for patients with aortic stenosis. At Madhavbaug™, we have designed a holistic therapy for treating CHF. Our ideology – “Whatever it takes” is a promise of doing everything possible to provide the best care to our patients. So, the therapies for CHFcombine the best of modern diagnostics, Ayurveda principles, diet and physiotherapy. This ensures your symptoms are reduced, your exercise capacity increased, your symptoms reduce and you are able to live a productive life.