Understanding aortic stenosis: A Cardiologist’s perspective

Picture this: you are living your best life in Port Saint Lucie when you notice your leg swelling. It’s noticeable, not something you can ignore. A strange thought crosses your mind – could this be something serious? Perhaps, even your heart calling out for help? As a cardiologist, I’m here to tell you that it could be a condition known as aortic stenosis. Now, before fear grips you, let’s make one thing clear – understanding is the key. This blog aims to unravel the complex threads of aortic stenosis, helping you comprehend what might be causing your Port Saint Lucie leg swelling and what you can do about it.

What is aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a heart valve disease. It’s when the aortic valve in your heart narrows, preventing the valve from opening fully. This restricts blood flow from your heart into your aorta and may also cause your legs to swell.

What causes aortic stenosis?

The most common cause of aortic stenosis is age-related wear and tear on the valve, especially in people aged 65 and older. Other causes can include a congenital heart defect or inflammation from a condition called rheumatic fever.

What are the symptoms?

Beyond your Port Saint Lucie leg swelling, other symptoms to watch out for include breathlessness, chest pain or tightness, feeling faint, and fatigue. Some people may also experience heart palpitations or a heart murmur.

How is it diagnosed?

A cardiologist typically diagnoses aortic stenosis through a physical exam and tests. These can include an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, or cardiac MRI. In some cases, a cardiac catheterization may be necessary.

How is aortic stenosis treated?

Treatment depends on how far the disease has progressed. For some, regular monitoring and lifestyle changes may be enough. For others, medications or even surgery may be necessary.

Living with aortic stenosis

Living with aortic stenosis is all about managing symptoms and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine check-ups with your cardiologist.

So, if you’ve noticed your legs swelling, it’s crucial not to ignore it. Your body is wise. It sends signals when something is amiss, and it’s our job to listen. Remember, knowledge is power. Understanding aortic stenosis is the first step to managing it.