If you haven’t heard of myocarditis yet, just wait. This once-rare heart condition has risen at alarming rates over the last few years, with no end in sight. Thanks to our toxic environment, lifestyle, and pharma, myocarditis is something you need to know about.
Myocarditis often appears with little to no warning, and most individuals with this potentially life-threatening condition are surprised by their diagnosis. Equally concerning, while most cardiovascular problems arise with advancing age, myocarditis tends to impact younger individuals.
Unfortunately, many cases of myocarditis go undiagnosed, leaving the medical community unable to articulate the severity of the problem entirely. Individuals lucky enough to get an early diagnosis are often told it must be a “virus” attacking the heart. Sadly, this commonly used medical tactic of blaming the unknown on a virus leaves patients unempowered and lost.
The truth is that there is a cause of myocarditis, but doctors must be willing to work to find it. Unfortunately, doctors are rarely trained to look for causation. However, identifying the cause of myocarditis gives the patient the best chance for a full recovery. Thankfully, there are many natural ways to reduce inflammation and heal myocarditis for good.
What is myocarditis?
The heart wall consists of three layers. The outer layer of the heart wall is the epicardium, whereas the inner layer is the endocardium. Tucked neatly between these two layers is the thickest layer of the heart, which also happens to be a muscle. This middle layer of the heart wall is called the myocardium.
Myocarditis refers to inflammation (‘itis’) of the heart (‘card’) muscle (‘myo’). When this middle layer of the heart becomes inflamed, it can weaken the heart. As a result, the heart has difficulty pumping effectively, depleting the body of life-giving oxygen.
When a person develops myocarditis, the body produces antibodies in response to the inflammation. Unfortunately, these antibodies wind up damaging the heart.
While myocarditis sometimes resolves on its own, it causes permanent damage in many cases. Myocarditis can cause heart failure, cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke. It can also cause electrical problems within the heart, leading to heart palpitations or arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. Common questions related to myocarditis include:
- How often does myocarditis lead to death?
It’s difficult to quantify the number of deaths caused by myocarditis as many individuals with this condition appear to die from other causes, such as heart failure or cardiac arrest.
According to the Myocarditis Foundation, there were approximately 32,449 deaths worldwide in 2019 due to myocarditis. This number is sure to be drastically lower than the actual deaths caused by myocarditis.
- Why do some people die suddenly from myocarditis?
The heart inflammation caused by myocarditis can disturb the electrical balance of the heart. As a result, the heart may go into an arrhythmia, a fast or irregular heartbeat. Certain arrhythmias can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which is often deadly. According to the Myocarditis Foundation, nearly 20 percent of sudden deaths in young adults are linked to myocarditis.
What are the symptoms of myocarditis?
Symptoms of myocarditis vary from person to person. For some individuals, symptoms may appear suddenly, while for others, they gradually build over time. Some of the most common symptoms of myocarditis include:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Shortness of breath that typically worsens with exertion
- Heart palpitations or abnormal heart rhythms
- Generalized weakness
- Decreased exercise tolerance
- Swollen feet for legs (peripheral edema)
- Lack of appetite
- Recent flu-like symptoms such as temperature, headaches, sore throat, or body aches
- Fainting or sudden loss of consciousness
What causes myocarditis?
Most myocarditis cases are reported 1-2 weeks following an illness. As a result, medical providers often attribute myocarditis to viral or bacterial infections. However, myocarditis is rarely due to viral infections. Instead, these infections likely triggered a cascade of events in an already-weakened immune system, thus leading to myocarditis.
The most likely contributing cause of myocarditis is food-related toxicity. Many of the foods that we consume today are full of chemicals such as pesticides, food dyes, and other additives. Moreover, the standard American diet contains sugar, gluten, and GMOs. Studies show that these inflammatory foods contribute to heart problems. Eating food not part of an ancestral diet increases the likelihood of myocarditis.
Exposure to environmental toxins, such as heavy metals and mold, is another leading cause of myocarditis. In addition, research shows that air pollution contributes to inflammation in the body, which triggers health problems such as myocarditis. Indoor air pollution due to toxic cleaners, air fresheners, candles, and beauty products is also a contributing cause of myocarditis.
Anything that contributes to inflammation in the body can trigger myocarditis. Other possible causes include the following:
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Illicit drugs
- Pharmaceutical medications
- Radiation or chemotherapy for cancer
Myocarditis has headlined the news over the last couple of years, leaving many people wondering: Do vaccines cause myocarditis? Can COVID cause myocarditis? Research shows that Covid-19 vaccines undoubtedly contribute to myocarditis. However, the jury is still out on the impact of the Covid virus on myocarditis.
Vaccines, specifically the Covid vaccine, constitute a significant trigger for myocarditis. A review of data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) published in the prestigious Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) in 2021 confirms a significant link between myocarditis and the Covid-19 vaccination. Specifically, vaccines that use mRNA technology pose the highest risk. While all vaccinated individuals face myocarditis risk, adolescent and young adult males are particularly vulnerable.
In 2022, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, M.D., Ph.D., alongside the Florida Department of Health, conducted an analysis and concluded that there was an 84 percent increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among men ages 18-39 within four weeks following the mRNA vaccination. Older men are not out of the woods, however. Males 60 and older still had a 10 percent increased chance of cardiac-related death during that same period. As a result, the Florida state Surgeon General recommends against the vaccine for young men and cautions against its use for others.
While the mechanisms by which the Covid vaccine causes myocarditis are not entirely clear, a recent 2023 study concluded that free spike antigens were detected in the blood of teens and young adults who developed post-mRNA vaccine myocarditis. In all likelihood, a robust young immune system recognizes the vaccine as foreign and mounts an inflammatory response.
Some in the medical community assert that the Covid virus itself causes myocarditis. However, studies have yet to establish a definite link between the virus and heart condition, stating “cause-effect relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and myocarditis is difficult to demonstrate.” In 2021, the American College of Cardiology published a paper that concluded, “Heart and vessels are potential targets for COVID-19. However, there are no findings that present evidence of direct infection and replication of SARS-CoV-2 in heart cells.”
Diagnosis and conventional treatment for myocarditis
Several diagnostic tools help doctors diagnose myocarditis. The most widely used medical tests include:
- Blood tests to look for cardiac inflammation or damage, such as troponin or serum creatine phosphokinase
- Chest x-ray
- Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)
- CT scan
- Cardiac MRI or heart biopsy
Once diagnosed, treatment will depend on the level of severity. Mild myocarditis cases often resolve independently, requiring monitoring of the patient only.
However, conventional medicine has a plan for more severe cases: pills, pills, and more pills. While some of these medications may be necessary for the short term, they are best used in conjunction with natural healing methods. Conventional treatments potentially include:
- Steroids to reduce inflammation
- Pain relief such as NSAIDs, Tylenol, or aspirin
- Antibiotics to treat underlying infections
- Diuretics to reduce edema/swelling in the body
- Blood thinners to reduce clotting risk
- Heart medications to manage arrhythmias or blood pressure
Cardiologist-recommended treatment for myocarditis
Treating myocarditis requires understanding the root cause of heart inflammation in the first place. As a result, it’s essential to obtain the proper diagnostic tests to get an in-depth picture of what’s happening in the body.
Natural Heart Doctor Level 2 Testing Package offers some of the most advanced testing in the world for myocarditis. This comprehensive lab test measures
- Markers of inflammation
- Advanced lipids
- Oxidative stress
- Advanced thyroid
- Advanced blood sugar assessment
- Vitamin D levels
- Intracellular nutrients
- Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
- Wheat/gluten antibodies
- 31 mold mycotoxins
- 27 environmental toxins
- 20 toxic heavy metals
The findings of these extensive tests help to guide recommendations for healing. An NHD health practitioner will explore the underlying root cause contributing to heart inflammation. Then, the patient and practitioner together develop a treatment strategy that best addresses the contributing factors. Finally, by removing the causative agent(s) and providing the body with the support it needs, we enable the body’s ability to heal naturally.
Many people wonder: Can your heart recover from myocarditis? The answer is: Absolutely. The human body is always in a perpetual quest to heal. In fact, inflammation is the body’s initial healing response to injury. Provided with the right tools, most individuals with myocarditis can expect to make a full recovery.
How to live a normal life with myocarditis
There are many natural treatment options for myocarditis. Those who follow the following suggestions have the best chance of healing their heart and living a healthy and long life.
- Eat like our ancestors
If you’re wondering: “What is the best anti-inflammatory for myocarditis?” The answer is food. As the name suggests, myocarditis is an inflammatory disease. So it stands to reason that the best way to heal from this heart condition is to reduce inflammation in the body. Unfortunately, the standard American diet is the number one cause of inflammation.
Healing from myocarditis requires removing high-inflammatory foods, such as sugar, processed grains, seed oils, food dyes, pesticides, and other added chemicals, from the diet. Moreover, adding in organic produce, grass-fed and pasture-raised meat and poultry, organ meat, wild seafood, nuts, and seeds, ensures that our bodies have the tools they need to fight off the oxidative stress that leads to inflammation.
- Sleep like a baby
Sleep is one of the most critical factors that drive a successful recovery from any disease, including myocarditis. But, unfortunately, sleep is significantly underrated in today’s day and age.
A lack of quality sleep is associated with increased markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein, cytokines, and interleukin-6, among others. Inflammation drives myocarditis, so it stands to reason that getting quality sleep will lower the risk.
Prioritizing sleep is essential for speeding up myocarditis recovery. Aim for 8-9 hours of quality sleep each night. To improve sleep quality, remove distractions from the bedroom, eliminate electronic use before bedtime, and try to rise and sleep in the same rhythm as the sun.
- Embrace the sunshine
Many of us have been told to protect ourselves from the sun. Unfortunately, this misguided advice is detrimental to our health. The sun is our friend and should be embraced.
Studies have shown that sunlight lowers inflammation and strengthens the immune system. Clearly, the sun’s anti-inflammatory properties come from its ability to produce vitamin D. Nitric oxide also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a 2021 study found that those living in areas with the highest exposure to sunlight had a lower risk of dying from Covid-19.
When healing from myocarditis, aim to spend as much time in the sunlight, preferably naked, as safely possible.
- Keep moving (safely)
The inflammation associated with myocarditis can cause scarring on the heart, which can lead to life-threatening arrhythmias. Therefore, strenuous exercise should be avoided in the early stages of myocarditis. Rest is an integral part of the healing process.
However, light exercise should be resumed immediately after getting clearance from a cardiologist. Studies show that most people return to exercise three to six months after a myocarditis diagnosis. Exercise helps move oxygenated blood around the body and rebuild the heart’s strength.
- Consider evidence-based supplements
Conventional medicine throws pills at myocarditis, many of which have no scientific basis. Some doctors prescribe antibiotics, but are antibiotics the best treatment options for myocarditis? Since most cases of myocarditis are not bacterial or viral, antibiotics do nothing except destroy the healthy gut flora.
However, many natural supplements help to reduce inflammation and heal the heart, such as:
- Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation, improve heart function, support immunity, and thin the blood.
- Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10) is found in all cells in the body. This energy powerhouse acts as an antioxidant, reducing inflammation and improving heart function.
- Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer that helps to decrease inflammation and subsequent heart scarring. Magnesium also helps to reduce blood pressure and stress.
- N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a precursor for the great detoxifier glutathione. NAC is a potent anti-inflammatory that may support healing from myocarditis.
- Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body.
- Reduce stress
Few health practitioners discuss stress’s detrimental impact on the body, specifically the heart. However, research shows that chronic stress triggers inflammation in the body, contributing to heart issues such as myocarditis.
Finding ways to reduce stress, manage anger, and seek joy regularly is imperative. Meditation and yoga are both excellent stress-reduction strategies. Other ways to reduce stress include prayer, deep breathing, exercise, time in nature, and surrounding oneself with high-vibration individuals.
- Stay hydrated
Hydration is essential for healing from myocarditis. Adequate water intake helps push toxins out of the body, thus lowering inflammation.
While hydration is essential for lowering inflammation, it is only effective if drinking high-quality water. After all, what good is it to reach your daily water goals if you are pouring additional chemicals into your body? Drinking only pure, high-quality water free from environmental and chemical toxins is the key to healthy detoxification.
Myocarditis is a serious and sometimes life-threatening health condition that needs immediate attention. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with myocarditis, consider working with one of our highly-qualified health practitioners.
Our health practitioners can work with your current medical team to offer additional strategies to support your body’s natural healing mechanisms. Despite what you may have been told, it is possible to find healing from myocarditis. We would be honored to walk with you through that healing process.
Medical Review: Dr. Jack Wolfson, 2023