Disclaimer: This page is for informational purposes only. I am not a medical professional, nor affiliated with a medical facility. I do not promote any specific treatment for pericardial diseases.
As a travel writer, I spend a great deal of time researching things. As my battle with chronic relapsing pericarditis continued over most of a decade, I gathered a great deal of research and felt this was a good place to share the best of it. If there is one thing I have discovered, it is that while all pericarditis sufferers have some things in common, we are all on our own journey. One of my goals here is to help medical professionals begin to see those differences and treat us as individuals, not as “typical” cases.
Please feel free to reach out to me on Facebook if you have additional resources you would like to share here. Oh, and if you are interested in what I do when I’m not laying on the couch trying to will the wrapper around my heart to heal, start here.
I wish you wellness fellow zebras!
- Patient Information
- Professional Journals and Physician Resources
- Stress Relief
Whether your journey to diagnosis has been long or short, it still may come with very little information from your provider. How long will it last? Are there activity restrictions? What medicines should I be taking?
The links below will take you to basic patient information from some of the most reliable sources on the Internet.
General Information on Pericardial Disease
American Heart Association
Cleveland Clinic Webchats
Better Health Channel
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
If you are a patient, once you know the basics about our disease, you may find that knowledge gleaned from professional papers can help further inform your recovery plan. You may even want to print some of these for your doctor if you find that your treatment plan varies greatly from what is favored worldwide by top researchers.
Doctors, here is most of what you need to get a handle on everything from garden-variety one-off cases to the complicated chronic zebras. But before you dig in, we’d love it if you read this:
Dr. Klein’s “Complicated Pericarditis”
General Diagnosis and Treatment Guidelines
Recurrent, Chronic or Constrictive Cases
Everyone’s medication plan is different, based on what your doctor prefers and what he/she knows about your history. These are a handful of the basic meds prescribed for pericarditis.
There are mixed thoughts on changing your diet to improve the outcome of pericarditis. The links below are a starting point for healthy eating plans that may help in the long run.
I once had a doctor tell me to think of my inflamed heart like a sprained ankle or knee. You would not hesitate to let that rest, because every step would increase the inflammation and pain in your joint. Exercise increases the rate at which your heart beats, and therefore the number of times per minute that your pericardium is irritated. You may or may not feel pain with each beat like you would with walking on a sprain, but over the course of a day, the irritation builds, leaving you with increased pain tomorrow.
You have probably learned by now that many of the experts recommend keeping your heart rate below 100 while still symptomatic, but if physical activity is an important part of your life, you may find these alternatives to cardio-centric exercise fit into your lifestyle as you begin to recover.
Slow weight training
Sometimes all you need is to hear other people’s stories to put your mind at ease. That is what you will find in these two FB groups.
Physicians welcome! We hope you might learn a few things from reading our posts.
Facebook Support Groups
For those who are contemplating or have had pericardiectomy surgery: