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Avatar universal

Aortic Regurgitation

I am a 38 year old female who was diagnosed with Aortic Regurgitation ten years ago.  At the time, I couldn't "feel" anything, but during a c-section, my heart began to skip beats and then others were coupled and sometimes tripled.  Today, I seem to "feel" everything. (skipped beats, chest pain, pressure and tightness) I teach martial arts and am otherwise in excellent health, however, I recently discovered the vitamin/min/herbs I was taking contained Ephedra.  Can Ephedra be dangerous or cause damage.  My blood pressure runs about 85/50 with a resting heart rate of 50.
20 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear sherri,

It would be important to have the degree of regurgitation reassessed to make certain that your valve disease had not progressed. This alone may cause an increase in extra beats or ectopy.

Also, just because these are "health" foods they are not necessarily healthy. Ephedra or ephedrine is a stimulant that may increase heart rate and increase the liklihood of heart arrhythmias.  

Please review any medications including vitamin or herbal preparations with your physician.
Avatar universal
HI THERE SHERRI I AM A 40 YEAR OLD MALE WHO HAD A HOMOGRAFT PUT IN MAY 99 AT 39 YEARS OLD. I HAD A LEAKY AORTIC VALVE BECAUSE OF A CHILDHOOD BOUT WITH RHUEMATIC FEVER. MY LEAK PROGRESSED TILL I WAS NOT ABLE TO FUNCTION AS A NORMAL 39 YEAR OLD. MY BIGGEST PROBLEM WAS THAT MY HEART WAS GETTING TO LARGE BECAUSE OF THE LEAK. THE BEST ADVISE IS TO HOOK YOURSELF UP WITH A GOOD CARDIO AND HE WILL DO HIS JOB IN MONITORING THE HEART SIZE WITH X-RAYS AND ECHOS DONE PERIODICALLY . YOU PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART IN ALL OF THIS AS WELL. KEEP THE DOC UP TO DATE WITH ALL THE SYMPTOMS YOU FEEL..EX..SWOLLEN ANKLES SHORTNESS OF BREATH CHEST PAIN AND INCREASE IN PALPITATIONS. REMEMBER TO STEER AWAY FROM ANY INFECTION AND TAKE ANTIBIOTICS FOR ANY INVASIVE PROCEDURES AS WELL AS AT THE DENTIST. BY THE WAY I AM INTO KARATE, AM A BROWN BELT AND I AM DOING ALOT MORE NOW AFTER SURGERY THAN BEFORE. TAKE CARE AND REMEMBER THERE IS A NORMAL LIFE AFTER HEART SURGERY...THINK POSITIVE...MARIO
Avatar universal
Mario, thank you very much for your words of encouragement.  I was very glad to here about your success after replacement.  This forum is awesome for the information and personal testimonies provided to those of us who were living in "fear" because of lack of knowledge about our particular problem.  Glad to here you are a fellow martial artist as well.  I have been teaching for the past 4 years (2nd degree black belt in KitoRyu Jujitsu and 3rd degree black belt in Shotokan and Ryobukai Karate) and hope to continue.  Thanks to the information I have gathered from this site, I have scheduled an appointment with a doctor to have my valve checked for progression.  Thanks Again!
Avatar universal
Mario and Sherri
I am a 2 degree black belt instructor im 31 years old and was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve about a year ago. My valve is leaky and i am followed about every 9 months by my cardio.  At present i am asymptomatic but on a drug to lower my BP.  Its comforting to know that their are other young people to share this with.. Please feel free to stay in contact.. By the way mario... I have really enjoyed your comments on this board over the last year. Im glad to hear how well you are doing.. Keep up the Karate..Black belt is just the beginning of learning.
Barry
***@****
Avatar universal
Good comments all.

I have the same problem and I'm planning on surgery in March.  Mario, I'm also planning on the homograft and I was wondering about how you came to that decision?

I'm glad to hear you are doing well.  You could e-mail me at ***@****

Good luck
Avatar universal
I am a 27 year old female.  I had an ultrasound on my heart and doctor said it was my bicuspid aortic valve.  She said people have 3 leaflet valve and my only has 2 leaflets.   If anyone knows any info on this, it would be great to know.

thanks jodi
Avatar universal
I, too, have a congenital bicuspid AV that needs replaced within the next few weeks to months depending on the outcome of a stress echo on the 28th at CC. However it is also scarred from two bouts of rheumatic fever at ages 6 and 13. By itself, a bicuspid valve can last a long time without replacement as evidenced by myself and others (I'm now 58) depending on many mitigating factors: load, other infections, conditioning, weight, cholesterol levels, etc.

As I understand it, the two leaflets of the bicuspid valve 'chatter' (as well as opening and closing rythmically as do tricuspid valves).

This chattering vibration causes much more movement on the leaflet surface and at the valve 'hinge' over a lifetime, much more than is normal on each beat in a normal heart, at rest or under load, creating eventual calcification to form on the valve surface.

Hope this helps a bit.  



Avatar universal
I have a minor heart murmur(aortic insufficiency) and have been
prescribed Zestril .10 ... can you please give me info. on this drug
including possible side effects ... thank you ...


Avatar universal
Hi to all.  I am 33 yr. old female. I had open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve in August.  I had aortic stenosis and regurgitation as well.  I opted for the Ross Procedure - so as not to need coumadin or further surgery to replace a pig valve.  I am feeling wonderful - Normal in fact!!  I jog, swim and play tennis.  Surgery is a scarry thing - but once it is allll over with - you will be glad!!  Hang in there to those of you facing open heart surgery.  Consider all options - especially if you are young and don't want further surgery later in life!  I wish you all a long and happy life!
Avatar universal
HELLO TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED IN RESPONSE TO SHERRI.FOR MANY YEARS I WANTED FEEDBACK FROM PEOPLE WHO HAD AORTIC VALVE PROBLEMS AND WERE INTO MARTIAL ARTS. I FINALLY HAVE HOOKED UP WITH ALL OF  YOU AND I WILL CERTAINLY KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOU ALL. I AM INTO KYOKUSHINKAI KARATE AND HAVE MY BROWN BELT. MY LAST SHOWING FOR THE BROWN BELT WILL BE FEB 8TH AND AM VERY NERVOUS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THE LAST SHOWING WILL MEAN 15 CONTINUOUS FIGHTS OF 30 SECONDS EACH, MEANING 7 MINUTES. I DO NOT KNOW IF I COULD MANAGE IT BUT I WILL GIVE IT MY BEST. TO EVERYONE LISTENING, I HAVE THE FULL STERNUM CUT AND I WEAR IT WITH PRIDE. NO TALK OF COVERING IT UP OR OF FEELING INSECURE ABOUT IT. I WENT THROUGH AORTIC HEART SURGERY AND DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF AND FRANKLY WOULD NOT TRADE IT IN FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. I MET MANY NICE PEOPLE ON THE NET AND BECAUSE OF THE SURGERY ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN UPS AND DOWNS FEEL I AM A MUCH BETTER PERSON BECAUSE OF IT. IN RESPONSE TO ROBERT THE HOMOGRAFPH WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE A LIFETIME OF COUMADIN FOR ME WAS A NO NO. THAT WAS MY PERSONAL CHOICE AND DOES NOT MEAN THAT PEOPLE THAT CHOOSE A ST JUDE OR CARBOMEDIC VALVE MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE. THERE IS NO PERFECT VALVE. I HAVE ALWAYS SAID THAT THE BEST VALVE IS YOUR HEALTHY NATIVE VALVE.THE BEST ADVISE IS TO SIT DOWN WITH YOUR SURGEON AND CARDIO AND TALK ABOUT YOUR FEARS AND CONCERNS AND TOGETHER YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE. NOT EVERYONE CAN RECIEVE A HOMOGRAPH AND NOT EVERYONE IS MADE FOR THE ROSS PROCEDURE. IF MY VALVE WEARS OUT NEXT YEAR I WILL HAVE NO REGRETS. IN LIFE NOTHING IS GARAUNTEED, MAKE YOUR CHOICE AND DO NOT LOOK BACK, THINK POSITIVE AND REMEMBER WE SHOULD FEEL FORTUNATE THAT THERE IS TECHNOLOGY TO HELP US. ONE MORE THING THAT I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD VALVE SURGERY. PLEASE ONCE YOU ARE ON YOUR FEET AFTER THE SURGERY VOLUNTEER AT THE HOSPITAL IF ONLY TO SHOW  NOT YET OPERATED PATIENTS THAT THERE IS A NORMAL LIFE AFTER SURGERY. I FIND THAT THE CARDIOS AND SURGEONS SOMETIMES FOCUS TOO MUCH ON THE TECHNICAL SIDE INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT THE OTHER SIDE OF SURGERY, WHEN I VOLUNTEERED MOST PATIENTS FREAK OUT WHEN I MENTION I AM NOW INTO KARATE AND THAT THEY HOPE TO DO AS WELL AS I DID...I WILL STOP THIS VERBAL RAMBLING AND PROMISE TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOU FELLOW KARATE FOLLOWERS..KEEP WELL AND SO LONG FOR NOW...MARIO
Avatar universal
To Mario, it's nice to know that there are others who get nervous at test time!  When I tested for 3rd degree in Shotokan, I had strep throat, a high fever and could barely catch my breath.  However, I tested sick rather than put the test off and have to "think" about it everyday for weeks.  You see, my instructor is also my husband....so I "live" martial arts 24/7.  He is in his 39th year.  If there is anything about the martial arts to which you have a question, this guy can answer it.  He trained with Nishyama Sensei in LA in Shotokan and Yamazaki Sensei in Ryobukai in Anaheim.  He received his black belt in KitoRyu Jujitsu in 1964. He is currently Yondan in Kodokan Judo, Rokudan in both Jujitsu and Karate. Ok, enough about martial arts, I am scheduled for an echo next week. So far, blood tests and ekg are all normal.  However, this pain in my chest is not.  Could you tell me of your symptoms prior to surgery.  I usually get up and by 7am am full steam ahead until late night.  Very active person, however, recently the couch seems to be a very good friend.  I haven't trained in two weeks and don't seem to have the energy to either.  I have a burning sensation in the center of my chest, pain in the center, sometimes on the left and shortness of breath.  I seem very fatigued.  Can a heart valve problem cause all of these symptoms?  My 47 year old brother who is very athletic and healthy recently had his 2nd angioplasty for 3 arteries blocked 90%.  Now, I wonder if genetics could have dealt me a problem worse than a faulty valve.
If you can help I would appreciate it.  ***@****
Avatar universal
Hi everyone.  Just a note to Sherry about her symptoms...yes, it sounds alot like my symptoms, but you are wise to check it out now.  I was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve when I was 35, but was asymptomatic so I just kept an eye on it and used antibiotics for dental work.  Last year when I was 55, I just failed big time...sob, tightness no energy, etc.  After fiddling around with my family doctor who wanted to call it asthma, I got with my cardiologist and started the journey to valve replacement surgery which I had at the Cleveland Clinic 1-21.  I feel funny writting about how good I feel already...I keep waiting for the horrible pain, the depression, but I feel great- a little stiff and a bit ouchy, but all I take is Advil or Tylenol for pain and Lopressor for BP.  Depression was when I could not play with my dogs or really tend to my farm chores.  I'm just concentrating on not overdoing things.

I had a homograft,  I just could not do the coumedin with my chosen life style, but I agree with Mario that everyone must study all the choices and decide for themselves.

The only glitch I had was that I did have a tiny stroke and lost the use of my left hand, but it started coming back the morning after surgery...I get a little more back every day...I can put my contacts in now!  Stud earrings are still a challenge, but we'll get there!

I don't do martial arts, but I do run agility with a wondrous Border Collie and I raise Sheep and Pygmy Goats.  I show the goats nationally.  I ride my own motorcycle. And I love life and am so eagerly awaiting to see how well I will get!

I know I am blabby and I will try to get better, but I just have this huge debt to repay everybody who helped me out of my black struggle with the panic of the unkown.  I would be glad to talk with you. ***@****
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