In October 2012 I was diagnosed with moderate AI. I am a black male 45 years old 6.0ft 180 lbs. After an echo cardiogram and TEE it was determined that I was born with a defect in one of my valve leaflets. My heart during the time of the above examinations showed little signs of stress. My symptoms prior to the above exams a were periodic palpitations (which started at the age of 20) and slightly elevated BP 145/90 w/ 25ml Hydro. (elevated BP and hydrochlorothiazide use started in my 40s). No one had ever diagnosed me with AI prior to October 2012 despite regular doctor visits every 6 to 8 months.
In November of 2012, I started a daily exercise routine which simulates 6 rounds of boxing for 30 - 35 minutes every morning except for Fridays (rest day). Since starting this regiment, my palpitations are all but gone and my BP has dropped to around 130/70 w/ 25ml Hydro.
My questions are:
A. Can exercise be used to help or improve the heart function of people diagnosed with AI?
B. If the answer to question A is yes, have there been cases where individuals diagnosed early with AI who increased their exercise were able to maintain heart function with AI without requiring surgery well into their 60s and 70s?
To fully answer this question it would be nice to known the specific problem that you have with one of the leaflets (?bicuspid valve). In most cases, aortic insufficiency is a disease that should be followed with periodic echocardiograms (the test of choice). This is the best way to diagnose and evaluate this valve disease. Exercise has never been studied to control aortic insufficiency, but as a good rule of thumb it is always important to maintain good cardiovascular health. Unless you have a problem with your aorta as well ( this can go along with aortic insufficiency, especially in your age group) then the only limitation on exercise would be with weight lifting as this is discouraged. Otherwise, get a repeat echo in 1 year and continue to exercise.
I have a tricuspid valve; the TEE showed that one of the leaflets is not working properly. So far my aorta is okay along with the rest of my heart and I am seeing the cardiologist every 6 months.
I just wanted to know if exercise could halt or significantly reduce the progression of the condition and if you know of any cases where someone diagnosed early like myself was able to maintain the valve state for longer than 10 years (taking in account they did not drink or smoke and eat properly with regular exercise)
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