Do you get chest pains? Are they worse when you lie down and improve when you sit up? What about shortness of breath? These are all symptoms of pericarditis, which is an inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart. This painful condition can be life-threatening.
Read on to learn about what causes pericarditis and what you can do to reverse it.
As mentioned above, the pericardium is the sac that surrounds the heart, which helps to protect the heart inside the chest wall. This sac actually has 2 layers: one that tightly adheres to the heart and the other that more loosely surrounds it. A thin layer of fluid separates these layers and lubricates them, allowing them to glide easily when the heart pumps.
When inflammation occurs in the pericardium, the consequences can be deadly. As friction between the two layers causes irritation, fluid increase, and pressure on the heart. This pressure can eventually block blood flow, causing a heart attack.
Symptoms of Pericarditis
We mentioned the positional chest pain above along with shortness of breath, but here are some other symptoms to be aware of:
- Muscle or Joint Pain
- Weakness or Fatigue
- Dry Cough
Causes of Pericarditis
Conventional doctors will say the following may cause this condition (and they may be correct):
- Infection- viral, bacterial, fungal or other
- Pharmaceutical Induced- perhaps pills or vaccines
- Open heart surgery
- Auto-immune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer Metastasis
- Idiopathic- aka “The doctor does not know.”
But through a holistic cardiologist lens, here are the actual causes:
- Lack of sleep: Quality and quantity are crucial for heart (and overall) health.
- Unhealthy dietary choices: Wheat, corn, soy, sugar, artificial ingredients, conventional dairy all can stoke pericarditis.
- Environmental Toxins: Air pollution, mold, household synthetic cleaning products, and EMF (electromagnetic field pollution)
We can reverse the trajectory of our health simply by making the following changes:
- Eat organic Paleo foods
- Get quality sleep
- Get plenty of sunshine- especially on your chest (but don’t allow yourself to burn)
- Reduce your chemical exposure
- Get chiropractic adjustments
- Talk to your doctor about red light therapy for your chest
Along with the lifestyle options above, supplements can be useful in reducing inflammation and the symptoms of pericarditis. Some options are:
Talk to one of our health coaches about dosing and other health questions. Your first consultation is FREE!