What is myocarditis?
In the case of myocarditis, the heart muscle is inflamed. This inflammation can be acute or chronic. A distinction is made between infectious and non-infectious causes. Infectious myocarditis is caused by pathogens. They can primarily be viruses such as herpes, measles and influenza, but often bacteria and fungi can cause myocarditis. If there is a non-infectious cause, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatism, medications, radiation, or vaccination can lead to myocarditis.
6 signs of myocarditis
Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) cannot always be recognized as such, which can complicate the diagnosis. Myocarditis can occur, for example, after surviving a stomach cold or flu. Myocarditis may also be asymptomatic.
Myocarditis is often reported as infection, so symptoms can be nonspecific. Particularly severe or persistent fatigue can be the first indication of myocarditis. In addition, other symptoms can occur, which appear a few weeks after infection. This includes:
At the latest, when the fatigue lasts longer than after a usual injury or is particularly severe, a doctor should be consulted to clarify whether the symptoms are due to myocarditis.
Treating myocardial infections
Myocarditis must be taken seriously, as it can permanently impair cardiac output and become life-threatening. However, if myocarditis is recognized in time and affected people take adequate care of themselves, the chances of a full recovery are good. In order for the heart to be able to fully recover, absolute protection must be provided. Any physical exertion should be avoided for three to six months.
Beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors are often prescribed to strengthen the heart further. Patients can also receive short-acting immunoglobulin as an infusion. These proteins also support the immune system and fight viruses. In order to know if the treatments are working successfully, it is essential to have regular checkups with your doctor.
Preventing myocarditis after injury
To prevent myocarditis in the first place, you need to take the time to recover from the infection and relax. Anyone who starts exercising again too early is at particular risk of developing myocarditis. You should feel fully fit again before you start exercising. When you decide to start exercising again, start slowly and gradually increase the load of the exercise.