Pericarditis is a heart condition that occurs when the tissue surrounding it becomes inflamed and irritated. This tissue is called the pericardium and can alter through arising illnesses and infections. Patients can manage their symptoms of pericarditis by visiting their cardiologist regularly. When living with pericarditis, it’s important to seek the proper medical care to control symptoms and avoid other complications that can stem from this disease. Here, Myocarditis Foundation touches on how you can maintain your health following a pericarditis diagnosis.
Reducing Symptoms of Pericarditis
The best way to prioritize your health is by following the prescribed care plans to alleviate symptoms of pericarditis. The most common symptom of pericarditis is a sharp pain in the chest that gets worse when you cough, lie down or take a deep breath. Some additional symptoms include:
- Abdominal and leg swelling
- Low fever
- Heart palpitations
For acute pericarditis cases, your doctor may suggest that you get plenty of rest. Along with an over-the-counter medication regimen this can sometimes provide relief. Following treatment, acute symptoms can last from one to three weeks by properly following your after-care instructions.
For chronic cases of pericarditis, a patient may need more extensive treatment methods such as surgery. Surgeons may choose to perform a pericardiocentesis (which drains fluid from the pericardium) or a pericardiectomy (which removes the pericardium). In serious cases, treatment may be necessary for three months or longer.
Treating Underlying Illnesses
Pericarditis can occur through arising underlying diseases. That’s why after being diagnosed, patients should have an evaluation for any illnesses that could be causing pericarditis. Symptoms of pericarditis can occur through many underlying conditions, including:
- Systemic inflammatory disorders
- Heart trauma such as heart attack or surgery
If the underlying illness is left untreated, this can lead to recurring pericarditis symptoms. Depending on the cause, your doctor may prescribe medications that treat diseases that evoke pericarditis episodes. Maintaining good health, scheduling regular cardiology appointments, and adhering to after-care instructions can assist patients with living a long and healthy lifestyle after a pericarditis diagnosis.
Avoiding Complications of Pericarditis
Pericarditis can evolve into more serious heart conditions such as:
- Pericardial effusion
- Chronic constrictive pericarditis
- Cardiac tamponade
With the right treatment plan, you can tackle your diagnosis before the disease worsens. Receiving an early pericarditis diagnosis can give doctors enough time to monitor, control, and treat the illness. In addition, it can allow patients to gain the motivation to make certain lifestyle changes. Changes like ample rest, exercise, and healthy dieting can play a huge role in preventing and avoiding future complications.
Learn More about Pericarditis at Myocarditis Foundation
Myocarditis Foundation aims to raise global awareness of myocarditis and other diseases. With leading experts and doctors on our board, we have the tools to provide patients with the support they need. We offer many resources for patients, healthcare providers, and researchers to understand and gain knowledge of this disease. In addition, we also give families and patients an outlet to connect with others who have similar experiences. To learn more about myocarditis, pericarditis diagnosis, and other heart conditions, contact us today.