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Aortic stenosis is a disease affecting the aortic valve where due to scarring or calcification the valve gets smaller, making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood out to the rest of the body. It’s common for people to live with this condition for many years before developing any symptoms. Later, as the valve opening gets smaller, people may become short of breath, have worsening of angina (chest pain with exercise) and can faint when they exercise. When someone has worsening symptoms, the valve is generally replaced through a delicate surgery with either a valve from a pig heart or a mechanical man-made valve.

Reducing the factors that can cause aortic stenosis with lifestyle changes may help to slow aortic stenosis…

What Causes Aortic Stenosis?

The three main causes of this condition are either calcification (presumed due to small amounts of damage over time like a scarring), a congenital issue (something that people are born with) or rheumatic heart disease (scarring following an infection).

Can One’s Lifestyle Reverse Aortic Stenosis?

Reducing the factors that can cause aortic stenosis with lifestyle changes may help to slow aortic stenosis, but it has not been proven to reverse it. The factors that can be changed with lifestyle include high blood pressure, insulin resistance/diabetes and smoking.

Niacin does not appear to have a role in aortic stenosis except in extremely young people with a family history of severe cholesterol problems.

Contributed by

Ben Brown, MD
Medical Director, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

To your best health!

in collaboration with...

Dean Ornish, MD.
Program Founder

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