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My Aortic valve is leaking badly

Question: 
Three years ago I was diagnosed with severe aortic regurgitation due to a Bisucspid Aortic Valve.  I am now 31 years old with a blood pressure stats around 145/50.  I've always been extremely active playing basketball and lifting weights regularly.  Before diagnosis I felt great and had no idea anything was wrong with me.  However, since being diagnosed I have been a nervous wreck thinking about the possibility of surgery.  In recent weeks I have felt some chest heaviness associated with sprinting and exercise.  I've also felt shortness of breath too.  I can't tell whether it is angina or just my nerves and anxiety getting the best of me about my condition.  Aside from my faulty valve and high blood pressure, every other health measurable (ie. cholesterol, blood sugar,) is excellent. Here are my questions.  I really want to avoid surgery at all costs and am skeptical it will fix the problem.  My fear is that I will be worse off in the long run and that my active lifestyle will be taken away from me.  Are there any medications or drugs I could take that have shown beneficial to remedying a BAV?  If I opt for surgery, will I be damaging my brain and how dangerous is the surgery?  Will I be able to lift weights again (with no restrictions)? I also wanted to ask you your thoughs on Linus Pauling and Vitamin C.  He advocates 15 grams of Vitamin C daily and supports its strong correlation with helping and preventing heart disease. I appreciate your time and support and thank you in advance for your assistance.

Treatment for Bisucspid Aortic Valve (BAV) depends on whether your heart is tolerating your condition. Since you were born with BAV your heart
has done pretty well.

Despite many blood tests for my elderly mother they cannot seem to get it right

Question: 
Hello Dr. Doctor T, My 92 year old Mom has been in the hospital for heart, brain, kidney, and stomach tests. They're having a hard time of it lowering her B.P. from around average systolic of 200.Do any of the tests that her cardiologists, intern, nephrologist, and lab perform in the hospital adequately measure levels of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, individual deficiencies in B vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin D3, etc.? I have read where magnesium stores inside the body cannot be measured adequately by blood testing. Is this true for all vitamins/minerals/nutrients? If so, then where does one get the correct tests performed? Thank you greatly!

At age 92 the focus of medical care should be on comfort measures, no longer on trying to reach the perfect numbers. At that age, many patients cannot tolerate a lower blood pressure and become confused when their BP goes down to a more 'normal' level. Unless she has side effects I would not be all that aggressive.

I cannot feel the pulse of my neck artery

Question: 
I have a sore throat and put my fingers on my throat to check my glands when I felt my pulse. It was very strong so I checked my left side and I had to really press hard to feel the pulse. I can even feel the throb in my neck while not touching it. My gland does not feel swollen But I am curious to know what's going on. I have never felt this before. Is it okay?

This one of those situation where a one minute exam could provide you with an answer I now have to guess at. Feeling the pulse in your neck and listening there with my stethoscope would do just that! If you are older & at risk for atherosclerosis and blockages in your arteries and I also couldn't feel your pulse and/or heard a noise in the artery I'd tell you the blood flow might be impaired and needs to be examined with a Doppler ultrasound study.

My elderly mother is on lots of medications that are always adjusted but do not seem to make her any better

Treatment of the elderly has been a subject on my list of to-do's for a while. Elderly patients often have a laundry list of problems with their associated treatments and live a life centered on when to take the next pill.

I cannot tolerate using Statins. What should I do?

Question: 
I am 57, 5'10, 160lbs non-smoker RN.  I exercise 5 days a week. and eat a very low fat no beef diet.I have borderline hypertension which I treat with Ramapril 10mg daily.Father had CAD at 65 had his first of 2 bypasses.My cholesterol is 250  LDL 140  HDL 60 with normal trig.I have tried Lipitor and Zocor and had side effects.I do not want to expose myself to the radiation of the calcium scan.  Is the carotid IMT scan worth doing as an alternative?What drugs would you recommend.  I took care of my father and do not want to have CAD but the statins I've tried were intolerable so far.  

Your numbers indicate you are in good shape, exercise more than adequately and eat a healthy diet.
Your problem is a high cholesterol and LDL, because your HDL is great.
Statin side effects can indeed be very troublesome. If they were related to leg cramps, maybe this can be of help:
http://www.cardiachealth.org/ca-blog/since-i-started-taking-zocor-i-ha

Was CPR the right thing to do?

Question: 
hi I did cpr on man about 60yrs on sunday, he fell his head was split and he was chasing boys at the time he has had heart problems before , i did it never stopped.  ambulance eventually came about 10 -15 mins i thought he was dead as they shocked him also, but now he is on ventilator and was sent for a scan he still is in intensive care with ventilator what could this mean? could i have done this any better ? i didnt give mouth to mouth

CPR is all about getting blood to the brain. The new guidelines for CPR that just came out support what you did.  It is debatable whether this man’s brain did not get enough oxygen vs. the result from the injury he sustained, or even whether he is on life support because of his brain or his heart.

http://www.cardiachealth.org/ca-blog/how-do-i-perform-cpr/

Can Beta blockers cause shortness of breath?

Yes. Beta (β) blockers stop the action of epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) on your lungs.  Adrenaline helps to relax the small airways of your lungs and make breathing easier. With adrenaline blocked, you may experience symptoms similar to asthma, such as wheezing and trouble breathing.

Coronary CT angiography (CCTA)

 Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) is a noninvasive imaging modality which can be used to evaluate the anatomy of the coronary arteries. CCTA allows direct visualization of the coronary artery wall and lumen with the administration of intravenous contrast. The degree of coronary luminal stenosis can be reliably estimated, as can the presence or absence of both calcified and non-calcified plaques.

How does the heart-lung bypass machine cause blood clots?

Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is a technique that temporarily takes over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery, maintaining the circulation of blood and the oxygen content of the body. In a small percentage of patients this causes complications that may include a stroke. This depends to a large extent on the patient’s condition, but also on the procedure. A more complicated operation carries a slightly higher risk than a simple procedure. This is where the experience of your cardiac surgical team comes becomes very important!

Why do women have mitral valve prolapse (MVP) more often than men?

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) affects approximately 150 million people worldwide. Studies have shown that MVP is more common in women than in men. According to The Framingham Heart Study, 7.6% of women and 2.5% of men have MVP. Some forms of MVP seem to be passed down through families (inherited).

  • Mitral valve prolapse often affects thin women who may have minor chest wall deformities, scoliosis, or other disorders,
  • Mitral valve prolapse is sometimes associated with some connective tissue disorders, especially Marfan syndrome.

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