Hello. I really hope that you can help me because on some other public forums and health sites no one was able to answer me on questions which are my main concerns. And I am still looking for the best answer, something that can help me. OK, at my last physical examination I was diagnosed with constrictive pericarditis. I am feeling OK, I don't feel any consequences but I do know that I need to treat it. Now, the main thing that I really want to know is constrictive pericarditis life threatening heart disease or not? Is my life at risk?
Good day there.
Yes, you should not be so worried because constrictive pericarditis isn't life threatening heart disease. And there are a couple of ways that can help you. For example, anti – inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen are usually given in this condition and they will help you when you are having a pain. Also, they will help you to reduce the swelling. Sometimes, this condition – the condition of pain, can last for more than 15 days and in this case doctors will give a medicine that is called colchicine. This also will help you to reduce the chances of the inflammation coming back. You can expect having a lot of pain, but it is treatable. Good luck.
Do you even know what constrictive pericarditis is, Carlos?
Constrictive pericarditis is long-term, or chronic, inflammation of the pericardium. The pericardium is the sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart. Inflammation in this part of the heart causes scarring, thickening, and muscle tightening, or contracture. Over time, the pericardium loses its elasticity and becomes rigid.
It is a quite rare condition in adults, especially rare in children. You can consider yourself special in that way.
It can become a serious health issue. If it’s left untreated, a rigid pericardium can lead to symptoms of heart failure, and may even be life-threatening. There are effective treatments for the condition.
I would suggest you to start treating this as soon as possible. I mean, it's your heart in question, man. You simply don't play with your heart. Talk to your doctor again and make him tell you what exactly are you supposed to do to start treating this. Like Eric told you, there are some medications that can help you but it would be better if you let your doctor tell you about this. Wish you all the best.
Let's talk about the treatment. Treatment focuses on improving your heart’s function.
In the early stages of pericarditis, the following may be recommended:
- taking water pills to remove excess fluids, which are called diuretics
- taking pain killers to control pain, which are called analgesics
- decreasing your activity level
- decreasing the amount of salt in your diet
- taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as Advil or Motrin
- taking colchicine (Colcrys)
- taking corticosteroids
If it’s clear that you have constrictive pericarditis and your symptoms have become severe, your doctor may suggest a pericardiectomy. In this surgery, parts of the scarred sac are cut away from around the heart. This is a complicated surgery that does have some risk, but it’s often the best option.
Hey there. I think that you didn't give me the answer that I have expected to get. When I asked is this life threatening or not I really want to know can I treat it with some good medications or I need some other therapy for it. Like I could read from Adria's post it can become life threatening after some time, when your condition progresses in the wrong way because you aren't treating it. I am quoting it. But I don't think that I understand it very well. What this means? Thank you for your support.
Hello everyone. It is treatable and that is the best thing, right? I believe that there are several ways to treat it but I know that most of the patients are treated with non – steroidal anti – inflammatory drugs. Those medications usually work by reducing the inflammation of the pericardium. Also, they relieve the chest pain that you can feel. Also, some doctors can recommend ibuprofen as well and high – dose aspirin. But like others already told you, it is very important to treat it right and on time. Constant treatment is the only way to take care of this heart disease. Good luck.