Endocarditis has been in the news a lot more lately in the last couple of years so it is important to know what it is and how we can assist our bodies to fight it. Endocarditis is a condition that affects the inner lining of the heart. It can come on slowly (chronic) or quickly (acute). The most common type of endocarditis is bacterial, viral, or fungal. The good news is most people can recover from endocarditis but some do die from heart failure or stroke due to endocarditis.
Some of the symptoms of endocarditis include:
- Fever and chills
- Shortness of breath
- Chest Pain
- Heart murmurs and irregular heartbeats (either abnormally fast or slow)
- Blood in the urine
- Enlarged spleen, which can cause indigestion or feeling uncomfortable when eating, pain and tenderness, usually on the upper left side of the abdomen
- Fluid buildup in your arms or legs
- Red or purple spots or bumps on your skin (such as on your hands or feet) or spots that indicate broken blood vessels
- Abdominal pain, loss of appetite and weight loss
- Fatigue and muscle, joint and back pains
- Night sweats
- Depending on where an infection started, bleeding gums or other signs of an oral infection
- If a virus is a cause, symptoms like cough, runny nose, or gastrointestinal symptoms (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endocarditis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352576)
Endocarditis causes and risk factors:
- Having an infection or virus that can spread to the heart. Viral infections that can trigger endocarditis include adenovirus, coxsackievirus, herpes virus, influenza (flu) virus and parvovirus B19.
- A congenital heart defect that causes an abnormality or a damaged heart valve.
- An artificial heart valve or another device in the heart, like a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
- An autoimmune dis-ease that can damage the heart, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus erythematosus.
- Drinking too much alcohol, which can lead to reduced heart function and increased risk for heart failure.
- Drug use such as cocaine and amphetamines.
- Poor dental health increases the risk of bacterial endocarditis by potentially leading to the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth.
- Undergoing treatments including hemodialysis for end-stage kidney disease, having a central venous line catheter that goes into a larger central vein in your body, radiation therapy to treat cancers or treatments for ischemic heart disease.
- An existing medical condition such as cancer, diabetes, an eating disorder, end-stage kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, trauma or injury to the chest or esophagus, or skin disorders such as recurrent infections.
- Taking certain medications that may cause the immune system to become hyperactive, leading to myocarditis or pericarditis that may damage the heart. Examples of medications that may be problematic include antibiotics such as penicillin, antidepressants, benzodiazepine, diuretics, certain heart medicines (such as amiodarone, hydralazine, methyldopa, and procainamide), certain psychiatric medicines, seizure medicines, and some weight-loss medicines.
- Exposure to environmental triggers that cause the immune system to attack the heart, such as heavy metals like copper and lead or radiation.
The first recommendation, of course, is to visit your Dr. if you are experiencing any of the above-noted symptoms in partnership with the possible causes and/or risk factors.
There are some natural preventions/remedies you can engage in to protect/promote healing for yourself, too. Here are a few:
- take care of your teeth and gums. Oral dis-ease has been associated with heart dis-ease. I had rheumatic fever as a child and I now have to take an antibiotic before any oral work as the bacteria may cause heart disease. Brush and floss your teeth after every meal to reduce the risk of endocarditis.
- take precautions against bacteria and viruses of any type. Clean a wound right away. Stay away from those who are sick. Wash your clothes after spending time in a medical facility.
- reduce alcohol use. Eliminate any street drug use.
- drink lots of good liquids – purified water, coconut water, and herbal teas.
- follow an anti-inflammatory diet (click to go to the grocery list).
- protect yourself with the body’s master anti-oxidant, glutathione. My recommendation is the most bioavailable form on the market today found here https://neumi.com/totalhealth.
To your health,