Pericarditis: An Often-Missed Cause of Chest Pain

Inflammation is common to most health problems. And when inflammation hits the heart, it is painful and possibly life-threatening.

You see, the sac that surrounds the heart is called the pericardium. It helps to protect the heart inside the chest.

Actually, there are two layers to the pericardium: one tightly adhered to the heart and one loosely surrounding the heart. In between is a thin lining of fluid that helps the two layers glide easily.

Enter inflammation

When inflammation hits the pericardium, doctors call that pericarditis. And the consequences can be deadly.

Inflammation or irritation causes friction among the two layers of the pericardium. This can lead to chest pain or shortness of breath if the fluid level in the area increases. As the fluid level in this space increases, blockage of blood flow can happen. This is very bad.

Symptoms of pericarditis

Chest pain is the most common symptom. It is a pain that is often described as positional: worse when the person lies down and relieved by sitting up. Shortness of breath may be a complaint as well.

Other symptoms that go along with pericarditis include fever, chills, and generalized muscle or joint pains.

Diagnosis is usually by taking a good history and a good set of cardiology ears to hear a “friction rub” with a stethoscope. ECG and echocardiography can also be helpful.

Typical causes of pericarditis

  • Infectious- viral, bacterial, fungal, other
  • Pharmaceutical induced- think pills and vaccines
  • After open heart surgery
  • Auto-immune: Lupus or rheumatoid
  • Cancer metastasis
  • Radiation
  • Idiopathic

Idiopathic means the doctors don’t know the cause.

Treatment in the medical community increase NSAID’s like aspirin and ibuprofen, or steroids.

Real CAUSES of pericarditis

Here is a list of causation in the eyes of a holistic cardiologist

  • Lack of adequate and timely sleep. If you know me and you know the science and you have common sense, you realize that sleep is essential for heart health.
  • Lack of adequate sunshine. The yellow round disc in the sky was here before us and we evolved in the sunshine. High levels of vitamin D are nature’s anti-inflammatory.
  • Unhealthy dietary choices. Grains such as wheat, corn and soy can stoke pericarditis. Sugar, artificial ingredients, and conventional dairy are other problem foods.
  • Environmental toxins- air pollution, mold, household synthetic cleaning products, and EMF (electromagnetic field pollution)

Holistic Remedies

First off, start with organic, Paleo foods. Get quality sleep and plenty of sunshine, especially to your chest. Minimize your chemical exposure. Get adjusted by your chiropractor. See if your DC has a red-light laser to shine into your chest.

Regarding supplements, here are three products I think would really help to resolve the inflammation and the symptoms of pericarditis.

  • Daily Defense– 2 scoops 2x per day. Loaded with anti-inflammatories, vitamins and minerals to support health.
  • Curcu Gold– High dose of curcumin which is excellent for inflammation control. 2 caps 2x per day
  • Omega DHA– 4 caps 2x per day. Massive dose of fish oil to put out the inflammatory fire.

Need more help? Schedule with a Drs. Wolfson health coach FREE by clicking here.

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