What Makes Pericarditis Worse? | How To Sleep With Pericarditis?

(Last Updated On: April 11, 2022)

This is the most important and informative article you will ever read. The knowledge of pericarditis will define your future heart health. A lack of this knowledge; it can worsen and become a more severe condition.

Thousands of people are suffering from pericarditis. Most cases of pericarditis are without complications. But there can be complications with chronic pericarditis. So it’s important to identify your symptoms. And the first answer you should have is how to treat?

Before I start treatment, let’s understand the overlook of pericarditis and What Makes it worse. 

I had earlier shared Pregnancy with Heart Disease I hope you read the post.

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What is pericarditis?

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium. A fluid-filled sac with two layers is located in the outer part of our heart, called the pericardium. Its main function is to comfort our hearts and keep them away from infection.

If there is inflammation in these layers, it can result in chest pain. This is because the pericardium helps keep your heart inside your chest wall.

Pericarditis feels like a heart attack, with a sharp pain in your chest that comes on suddenly. The first thing that needs to do is to discover what things are responsible for making pericarditis worse.

To get more information about other heart problems, you must read: 7 Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Men

What Makes Pericarditis Worse?

Now, the big question is, What Makes Pericarditis Worse?

Here you can get your answer. There are many causes of pericarditis, but the given 2 causes play a major role in making pericarditis worse.

Cardiac tamponade: If too much liquid builds up in the pericardium, it can put more pressure on the heart, preventing it from filling with blood. If left untreated, blood pressure rises.

Constrictive pericarditis: This is a rare condition of pericarditis. Constrictive pericarditis involves permanent thickening and scarring of the pericardium.

These tissues cause stiffness, and the heart does not function properly, causing swelling in the legs and difficulty breathing.

However, it would help if you determined the types of pericarditis before coming to the treatment section.

To learn more : High Blood Pressure After Covid-19

Types of pericarditis

There are two types of Pericarditis:

Acute pericarditis

It includes sudden pain, inflammation of the pericardial layer of the heart.

Causes of acute pericarditis include preventing red blood cells, white blood cells, and fibrin that do not enter the pericardial space.

Chronic pericarditis

It is the infection of the pericardium layer of the heart for a long time due to the stiffness and thickening of the pericardial layer of the heart.

It includes chest tightness, shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing.

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Causes

Now let’s look at some causes of pericarditis.

Generally, pericarditis can have infectious or noninfectious causes.

Infectious:

  • Viral (coxsackievirus, influenza).
  • Bacterial (Pneumonococcus, tuberculous, staphylococcus, or streptococcus).
  • Fungal (Aspergillus, Candida, & Coccidioides)
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Uremic pericarditis
  • Malignancy of the heart
  • Side effects of some medications, e.g., isoniazid, cyclosporine, warfarin, & heparin.
  • Radiation-induced
  • Aortic dissection
  • Tetracyclines
  • Postpericardiotomy syndrome: Usually after CABG surgery.

Noninfectious:

  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Tumors impinging on the pericardium
  • Injuries
  • Radiation treatment
  • Autoimmune conditions, like lupus
  • Some rare medications
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Kidney failure
  • Some genetic diseases

In the past 13+ years, I have seen many patients with chronic pericarditis. Unfortunately, most patients have undergone these causes, but those taking regular Healthy Heart Tablets can naturally prevent pericarditis.

I have also covered following posts in depth:

Signs and symptoms

Your symptoms may change, depending on the type of your pericarditis.

However, when you have sharp chest pain, it’s best to seek medical help right away.

About 85 to 90% of people with pericarditis have chest pain. Other symptoms include:

  • If an infection causes it, you may have fever, chills, or sweating.
  • Feeling pain in the neck, shoulders, back, or abdomen.
  • Pain is often felt in deep breathing.
  • It hurts you to swallow; sitting and leaning forward or bending is relieved.
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Anxiety
  • Joints pain
  • Anorexia
  • Increased heart rate (depends upon the degree of fever & anxiety).
  • Weight loss

 You can refer to our earlier guide on:

How to sleep with pericarditis?

Sleeping on the right side is a good option for people with pericarditis. Although some people think that sleeping on your right side can re-limit blood flow to the heart, there is not enough indication to prove that it is harmful.

Also, you can improve your blood flow using the medication, and when it comes to the medication, nothing is better than a Healthy Heart. I highly recommend this product as its ingredients are natural and effective.

You can experience some discomfort during the FIRST TWO WEEKS while your body is trying to adjust to sleeping on the right side. Try Elviros Cervical Memory Foam Pillow to rejuvenate your body from chest pain and sleeping discomfort. Get this product here…  

Diagnostic evalution

The doctor will know your medical history, what your symptoms are, when your symptoms are triggered, and what seems to make them worse.

According to your condition, They will recommend you some physical examinations, including:

X-ray: X-ray will show the shape of the heart, whether it is enlarged due to fluid or not.

CT scan: more detail of the heart can be found than X-rays and dispels other potential problems such as pulmonary clots and erotic tears.

MRI: This radio uses waves and a magnetic field; this technique shows the width of the walls of the heart

Echocardiogram: This creates an image of the heart using sound waves.

Electrocardiogram: A wire is applied to the chest to measure the heart’s electrical activity.

You cannot be able to prevent pericarditis, but you can minimize the risk of pericarditis. It’s always wise to go for natural and herbal options over chemical ones. So I highly recommend healthy heart products as their ingredients are natural and effective.

Treatment

By the way, pericarditis can be treated in many ways. But the treatment of pericarditis depends on its cause. When its cause is known, it can be treated correctly. For example, if you have a bacterial infection, you will be treated by giving antibiotics.

Colicin

Colicin is an inflammation-reducing drug that helps reduce your symptoms and prevent pericarditis from recurring.

NSAID

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed for both pain and inflammation to treat it. These include ibuprofen or aspirin, which provide quick relief.

Corticosteroids

It is a very effective medicine. Corticosteroids are beneficial in reducing the symptoms of pericarditis. But studies have shown that early use of corticosteroids may increase the risk of recurrence of pericarditis.

Usually, a diuretic (“water pills”) helps you get rid of excess fluid caused by constrictive pericarditis.

I have already shared a post related to this topic When To Hold Digoxin? I hope you read this post.

Management

I have already shared some recommendations as a part of pericarditis management. However, it’s very important to know about these surgical managements.

Surgical management

  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Hook needle to V lead- guided by EKG and echo
  • Look for ST-elevation
  • Withdraw fluid
  • Afterward, watch for cardiac tamponade (PP), dysrhythmias, pneumothorax

Now, come to the last point, but not the least is its complications.

A few things to pay attention to:

  • Pericardial effusion
  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Pulsus paradoxus
  • Hypotension

I also wrote an article on Is Low Blood Pressure A Sign Of Covid? also you can read.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes pericarditis flare-ups?

In many cases, the pericarditis cause is unknown. Viral infections are a normal trigger, but the cause also be:

  • Heart attack
  • A chest injury
  • Heart surgery
  • Certain medicines
  • Another medical condition

Pericarditis develops suddenly and is short-lived or develops over time and chronic.

What should you not do with pericarditis?

For mild pericarditis, rest and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications — taken under your doctor’s suggestion — maybe that’s needed. While you recover, avoid strenuous physical activity and also competitive sports. Such activity triggers pericarditis symptoms. Instead, ask your doctor how long you need to rest.

How do you calm pericarditis?

Mild cases of pericarditis are treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Your health care provider also prescribes colchicine or corticosteroid medicines.

Does exercise make pericarditis worse?

Thus, continued exercise with pericarditis accelerates muscle wasting and deconditioning. In addition, there can be a risk of worsening performance and predisposition to musculoskeletal injury to await healing.

Conclusion

Recovery from pericarditis takes time. It will take weeks for symptoms to resolve in some cases completely.

Most cases of pericarditis are mild and without complications. But there can be complications with chronic pericarditis, including fluid buildup and constriction of the pericardium.

Treatments for these complications are available, including surgery. Research about medical treatment options is ongoing.

If pericarditis becomes chronic, you may need to continue taking NSAIDs or other drugs.

Seek help right away if you have any chest pain, as it can signify something more serious.

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Do you have any questions about choosing the best treatment for early and long lasting recovery? Ask in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “What Makes Pericarditis Worse? | How To Sleep With Pericarditis?”

  1. I was diagnosed with pericarditis in mid January. I was put on colchicine, predisone and anti-inflammatories. The condition seemed to improve on higher dose of predisone but when weened off the pain returns. Doctors haven’t been proactive in determining underlying issue or other testing. I have chest pain, trouble breathing, difficulty swallowing and more. What should I be asking my cardiologist to do? What tests should be be running? I had covid in April 2020 and long haul syndrome since. Could this be related? I’m so uncomfortable and the pain and shortness of breath is awful. So hard to sleep and get thru the day. I just feel like doctors are not taking this seriously as a chronic conditon. It’s been 7 weeks with not much improvement. I do have underlying sjogrens syndrome and awaiting test results for lupus etc.
    Thoughts are appreciated!!

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