Diastolic Heart Disease and Circulation Problems

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Submitted by Dr T on October 22, 2011 – 1:24pm

Question: 
I’m 46 yrs old and weigh 160lbs. I recently had a heart ultrasound and was later told by my family physician that all 4 valves (Aorta, Mitral, Tricuspid and Pulmonary) were regurgitating blood back into the heart, but that it was nothing to worry about because 2 valves were in the ‘very minor’ stage and 2 were in the ‘minor stage’. Diastolic disease was said to be the cause and no need to do any follow up for 3 years. Also, I’ve had swollen calves and ankles,feet turning white/numb when flexed and toes turning purple quite often. I was told after I had my legs ultrasound that everything was fine, no circulation problems. What is causing these symptoms and should I worry about heart disease???

Your doctor is probably correct in that your valve leakages are unimportant. However, I am concerned your swollen legs may be the result of a ‘dilated cardiomyopathy‘ causing some degree of heart failure and peripheral edema. Although there are other causes for peripheral edema, circulation problems in your legs have been excluded with the ultrasound.

Causes of cardiomyopathy includes coronary artery disease, hypertension and obesity (metabolic syndrome), so these issues need to be excluded as well, including your risks for heart disease.

I recommend you get a consultation with a cardiologist.

Hope this helps,

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