PERICARDITIS

Description

  • Swelling and irritation of the pericardium
  • Pericardium the thin sac-like membrane surrounding the heart
  • It can be life threatening when left untreated

Symptoms

  • Chest pain
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heart rate
  • A general feeling of illness (known as malaise)
  • Anxiety
  • Dry cough
  • Swelling in the ankle, feet and leg
  • Breathing difficulty when lying down

Causes

  • Develops shortly after a major heart attack
  • Systemic inflammatory disorders
  • Injury to your heart or chest
  • Kidney failure
  • AIDS
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cancer
  • Certain medications

Risk Factors

  • People with heart diseases
  • Heart attack survivors

Diagnostic Tests

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Computerized tomography (CT)
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Treatment

Medications:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Corticosteroids

Hospitalization and procedures:

  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Pericardiectomy

Medications

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others)
  • Colchicine (Colcrys)

Prevention

  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight (if overweight)
  • Quit smoking
  • Keep diabetes, high bloob pressure and cholesterol in check

Lifestyle Management

  • Rest completely
  • Do not take over-the-counter medications in excess
  • Monitor the symptoms
  • Incase things worsen, visit the doctor immediately
  • Stay active