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Avatar universal

Exercise with regurgitating aortic valve

I am currently 37, and was diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and enlarged heart in 1998, which was initially described as "moderate". This has since been downgraded to "mild," and the heart is no longer enlarged.

Initially I was advised against exercise, but at a later point was allowed to run a half marathon. On my last visit to the cardiologist he advised I just exercise aerobically (which is about 147bpm for my age), and that I avoid competitive sport.

Having been involved in competitive sport for most of my life this came as a blow to me.

I am confused as to what my limits should be. What kind of risk would I be running if I exercised in the 150's or 160's, or if I were to undertake competitive sport.

I was in discussion with another person in my position, who had moderate regurgitation, and his cardiologist said just to carry on as normal, and he is a fell runner (i.e. up and down steep hills). Is medical science clear about this issue, or is it more a matter of opinion?

I would not want to train to the extremes I used to, but just push it a bit in the gym, and play the odd game of veterans rugby.

Would I really be taking a risk doing this?
5 Responses
239757 tn?1213813182
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
cjg,

I would exercise without restriction. If the amount of regurgitation limits you symptomatically, it may be an indication for valve repair.  

One way to look at this would be with exercise echocardiography.  Also, you should have intermittent echocardiograms to make sure your heart is not starting to suffer any damage before you are aware of the symptoms.

good luck
Avatar universal
My question is...Should everyone with mitral valve regurgitation have it repaired or replaced? What if you are told it is very serious but it is inoperable?
I am a 41 yr old white female, had a major heart attack, was in a coma for 3 weeks, and hospital for 3 months. I also have congestive heart failure, and had to have a defibrillator (ICD)due to my heart beating wayyyyy too fast. Am also on Toprol XL for this. I thank each and everyone in advance for any suggestions you can give me since I can never get a question posted. P.S. Does anyone else share my fear of asking their Dr's questions, or is it just me?
Avatar universal
Hi Marei
Wow!  You've sure been through a lot.
I'm sorry, but I cannot answer your question regarding your heart. But, I can reassure you that you are not the only one who does not like asking their doctor questions.
I don't know if it's because we do not want to feel like we are questioning them or maybe it's because we know they are very busy and do not want to take up too much of their time. I know for me it's a combination of those 2 things and I hate to feel like I am some sort of complainer, so I often just smile and keep my mouth shut.
But, I do know that the wonderful people at the cardiac rehab have taught me that it is your body and health and you have a right to ask any questions you want (and to expect to receive the answers, if possible, in "layman's terms").  Your life counts just as much as the next guy's, so take the time you need.  Although it's easy for me to say this, I do find it difficult to apply myself.
I'm not really comfortable about writing down questions and pulling out a "list" when with the doctor.  So, I find it helpful to discuss some of my questions with my fiance before I go to the appointment and he comes in with me.  If I forget, or I do not feel comfortable asking a lot of questions, he asks them for me.  It sounds kind of wimpy, but it works for me.

Besides that, often a loved one or a good friend would like to go with you when discussing such an important issue( I would want to be with my loved one if he were going for the appointment).  I find it is helpful in that it includes them in what is going on. It also helps prevent unnecessary worry or arguments later when he tries to tell me I shouldn't be doing some particular physical activity when he now knows that the doctor said it was okay haha.

I hope this helps a little.  I wish you all the best.
Janne
Avatar universal
Thank you!! I'm not alone! My husband goes in with me too, and I pull that wimpy game also, but today he didn't let me. He pulled out a list of questions and handed it to me, hehe. The Dr was more than happy to answer them and I finally got some answers. Im at stage 3 of 4 on my congestive heart failure, and they are sending me to the Cleveland Clinic for a heart transplant consultation. It's scarey to me, but my family is so very supportive and were happy that I may be getting a new lease on life, rather than my inability to really live a quality life right now.  I really appreciate the things you said, you helped more than you'll ever know..Thank You!
Avatar universal
I think Drs. do like for us to ask questions...I imagine since the invention of the internet they get asked alot more questions than days past....We now tend to read and research until we get information overload. Who knows if thats a good or bad thing....I also take a list of questions to my Drs. and Ive never had any of them get angry about it.....If they did I would just find one that didn't get angry.... We pay them for their expertise, we certainly have the right to be informed about our own medical conditions.....
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