Thank you for taking the time to post on our forum.
These are great questions, and your wife is very lucky to have someone as thoughtful as you looking into her health!
The cardiac cycle, or heart beat, consists of both contraction (systole) and relaxation (diastole) of the heart. The left ventricle is the main pumping chamber of the heart. Patients with abnormal heart function can have a problem with the heart contracting (systolic dysfunction), or relaxing (diastolic dysfunction). Abnormal heart function can lead to fluid backing up in the lungs and other serious symptoms, called heart failure.
Your wife appears to have what is called "diastolic dysfunction", which means that by echocardiogram, there is evidence that the heart has a difficulty with relaxing. When it is severe enough, this may lead to difficulty with the heart filling, and symptoms of heart failure. Reassuringly, however, your wife's echo report was read as "mild" diastolic dysfunction. While this does not typically cause patients symptoms, this is typically monitored by a cardiologist over time to assure it does not get worse. The most common cause of diastolic dysfunction is hypertension. Although there is not much evidence evaluating patients long term with mild diastolic dysfunction, if this is the only issue noted on echocardiography, it is unlikely to affect her life-span.
It seems unlikely that your wife's symptoms are solely due to her mild diastolic dysunction, but it is possible if her diastolic dysfunction has gotten worse over the past 3 years, and it is reasonable to seek an evaluation by a physician to be certain this is not the case. Eating excessive salt may cause fluid retention, and in patients with abnormal diastolic funciton, this may cause shortness of breath. However, shortness of breath and cough are fairly non-specific symptoms, and as such it is difficult to fully assess the cause of these symptoms without a full evaluation by a physician.
I hope you find this information helpful. Very best wishes into the future!
Thank you for responding to my questions. I appreciate this very much. Should I be worried if it has gotten worse? She likes to argue, which I don't think is good for her. But she said that she need to let it out. She has insomnia as well. Thank you in any case.
Also, can her condition be reversed? Can she go back to normal health again? Will a healthy nutrition and exercise be good enough for her?
Here are the rest of the report (from my original post):
Tricuspid Valve: The triscupid valve is normal in structure and function. Physiologic triscupid regurgitation.
Aortic Valve: The aortic valve is not well visualized. No indication of aortic valve regurgitation.
Mitral Valve: The mitral valve is normal in structure and function. Mild mitral valve regurgitation.
Aorta: The aortic root appears normal.
Pericardium: No pericardial effusion is seen.
1. Global left ventricular systolic function is normal.
2. Doppler study of the mitral inflow suggest abnormal left ventricular relaxation (mild left
ventricular diastolic dysfunction).
I want to thank you for responding to me. And if you have the time to look this over, it will be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, I will start looking for a cardiologist to set up an appointment. If you do not have the time, I want to thank you for your initial response.