Myocarditis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardium, the heart muscle. Myocarditis may occur following a wide assortment of diseases, including bacterial and viral infections, immune system disorders, and the production of myocardial toxins by the body, as well as chemical and radiation exposure.
Myocarditis may be acute or chronic and can occur at any age. Frequently, myocarditis fails to produce specific cardiovascular symptoms or electrocardiogram abnormalities, and recovery is usually spontaneous, without residual defects.Myocarditis is also known as inflammation - heart muscle and Cardiomyopathy.
Myocarditis can be caused by a number of different conditions. The most common cause is infection of the heart muscle by a virus. The virus causes the initial heart muscle inflammation. After the initial viral infection subsides, the body's immune system continues to inflict inflammatory damage on the heart muscles. The condition may be caused by exposure to chemicals or allergic reactions to certain medications and it can be associated with autoimmune diseases.
Myocarditis can also be caused by a variety of conditions such as a virus, sarcoidosis and immune diseases, pregnancy, and others. The heart muscle becomes inflamed and weakened, causing symptoms of heart failure, which may mimic a heart attack.
Myocarditis can be mild and cause virtually no noticeable symptoms. When it is more serious, it leads to weakening of the heart muscle.
The other symptoms of the myocarditis may be included:
Diuretic medicines are also given to remove body water via the urine.
Steroids and other medications may be used to reduce inflammation.
Treatment includes evaluation and treatment of underlying cause. This may require use of antibiotics, reduced level of activity, and low-salt diet.
If the heart muscle is very weak, standard medicines to treat heart failure are also used. Abnormal heart rhythm may require the use of additional medications, a pacemaker or even a defibrillator.
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