In many cases, myocarditis resolves on its own or with therapy, resulting in full recovery. The therapy of myocarditis focuses on the etiology as well as the symptoms, such as heart failure. People with moderate instances should avoid competitive activities for at least three to six months. Those who have severe inflammation should try to find a heart transplant if possible.
The severity of myocarditis varies depending on how much damage is done to the heart muscle. If left untreated, myocarditis can lead to serious complications including permanent heart damage or death. However, with proper treatment, most people with myocarditis will make a full recovery.
Myocarditis can be diagnosed based on the results of several tests. The doctor will first do a complete medical history and physical examination to identify any other conditions that may be causing or contributing to the patient's symptoms. Then laboratory tests will be performed to look for evidence of infection or other problems such as cancer. Finally, specialized tests will be done to confirm the diagnosis of myocarditis and to see how severe it is.
People with mild myocarditis can be given medication to reduce their risk of further heart attacks and strokes. People with moderate myocarditis may need to limit their activity until they recover from the illness. Those with severe myocarditis may require special care in the hospital setting while their hearts repair themselves.
With treatment, full recovery is possible.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the muscle tissue of the heart. The cause of this inflammation can be something as simple as a virus or something more serious like what is called "autoimmune." Autoimmune means that the body's own immune system is causing the problem instead of a foreign substance such as a virus. Autoimmune diseases are when the body attacks itself. They can be divided into two groups: systemic and organ-specific. Systemic autoimmune diseases affect the entire body while organ-specific diseases attack only one part of the body. Heart disease is the number one killer in women and men who have these diseases. Around 20% of people will develop some form of cardiomyopathy at some point in their lives. These are problems with the heart muscle that lead to decreased contraction ability and increased relaxation rate.
The good news is that myocarditis can be diagnosed with simple blood tests and treated successfully with drugs to kill any viruses or bacteria that may be causing it. In addition, there are ways to prevent further damage to the heart muscle.
You should avoid heavy exercise for a few weeks until your pericarditis has resolved and your heart has returned to normal. This can assist to lower your chances of having low blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms. If you participate in a lot of sports, you may need to restrict your activity for at least three months.
Pericarditis is usually caused by some type of infection. The most common infections that cause pericarditis include tuberculosis, viral illnesses such as the flu or herpes, and certain medications. In some cases, no cause can be found even after testing. The most common symptoms of pericarditis are pain over the chest area, feeling like something is blocking your heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Some people also have fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
Your doctor will perform tests to determine the cause of your pericarditis and find out if it is going to resolve on its own or if further treatment is needed. These tests may include: blood tests, electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram (ECHO). A blood test called a sedimentation rate can be used to see how much blood cells stick to the bottom of a glass tube when they roll through the bloodstream. High levels may indicate an underlying problem such as pericarditis or heart disease.
When Can I Start Exercising Again After Myocarditis? Cardiologists often prescribe a three to six-month rest period following viral myocarditis to allow the heart tissue to recover without strenuous physical activity. Many people are able to resume light exercise at this point, but others may need more time before starting back at the gym.
Those who have had severe cases or those with persistent symptoms should see their doctors prior to resuming exercise. The doctor may want you to start with low-intensity activities such as walking and gradually work up to higher-intensity workouts over time.
People who have had milder forms of myocarditis can begin exercising again after they have healed completely. In some cases, patients may be able to continue working out even after they have fully recovered if they remain active and don't overexert themselves. However, others may need additional time off before returning to their regular routines.
It is important not to push your body too hard when you first start exercising again after myocarditis. You should feel relieved and happy after completing your workout, not exhausted or frustrated. If you experience any symptoms that are similar to those of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), call your doctor immediately. ACS includes pain in the chest, arms, or neck; nausea; vomiting; dizziness; fatigue; shortness of breath; and cold sweats.