What is Heart inflammation?
The scientific term used for heart inflammation is Myocarditis. It is a condition in which the heart muscle is also known as myocardium the muscular layer just above the heart wall is inflated. This very muscle is accountable contraction and relaxation for the pumping of blood into the human body.
As a result of this inflammation, the working of this muscle that is pumping blood becomes less operational. This ineffective performance causes certain problems like breathing problems, chest pain, and an abnormal heartbeat. And in severe cases, it results in causing blood clots and this further results in high risks of heart attack or stroke, heart failure and to the extreme can cause death.
Ordinarily, this inflammation is a response of the human body to any wound or infection. Just imagine that you’ve cut your finger, you’ll notice that after a while the skin around the cut is inflated and eventually becomes red. Our immune system produces cells that deposit around the wound and start the repairing process.
Heart issues have become quite common these days. There is a 34% rise in deaths due to heart problems.
In the majority of cases, the causes of myocarditis are unknown or the exact cause cannot be found. It is really difficult to find the exact cause but if found it is mostly infection that finds its way up to the heart muscle. The infection can be bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic.
As the infection hits the heart muscle, the immune system retaliates in order to get rid of the infection. This process results in inflammation that often plays a role in weakening the heart muscle.
Other than infections, some autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, also results in inflated heart muscles.
One of the most dangerous thing about heart inflammation is that irrespective of gender or age, it may continue without showing any symptoms. If in some cases symptoms do develop they resemble that of flu.
- Shortness of breath
- Chest ache
- Joint pain
- Lower extremity swelling
Treatment may include:
Therapies that reduce inflammation, like corticosteroid therapy.
- Therapies that treat fluid overload, Diuretic therapy.
- Lifestyle changes such as stress relief, fluid restriction, rest and a low salt diet.
- Antibiotic therapy
However, the treatment depends upon the basis and rigorousness of the inflammation. If myocarditis continues and is at a moderate stage then the abovementioned treatments can be opted for. But in case the heart is failing or sinking the doctors may have to perform some invasive procedure. Implantation of a defibrillator or a pacemaker is essential. Not only this, but heart surgeries are also performed in serious conditions. There are heart surgery hospitals in Chennai specifically deals with heart inflammation and are highly equipped in this regard. In case the heart has been extremely damaged, the doctors may advise a heart transplant.
The outlook is mostly positive. According to the Myocarditis Foundation, USA, there are about 10-15% chances of recurring of heart inflammation. It is opined that 5-20% cases of unexpected death in young adults are because of myocarditis.