Endocarditis is a condition in which the endocardium- the inner lining of your heart’s valves and chambers gets inflamed. It needs to be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, it can lead to life-threatening complications. Most commonly it occurs because of bacteria. However, it can also occur because of viruses and fungi.
When germs enter your body through any route, they circulate in the blood which travels from your heart. Those germs can accumulate in the part of your heart that is damaged, leading to endocarditis. To treat the condition your health care provider will administer antibiotics, most commonly through intravenous route. Sometimes they may also advise getting surgery done.
People who have any hard defect valvular defect or any other heart problem are at increased risk of getting endocarditis. Endocarditis, if left untreated, can lead to life-threatening complications. Therefore, if you have any heart condition and have got an infection, you should not take it lightly as it can lead to endocarditis that can become life-threatening.
If you are diagnosed with endocarditis or have any symptoms of it you should visit the health care provider as soon as possible. To get an expert opinion, you can visit Kulsum International Hospital.
What are the signs and symptoms of endocarditis?
The onset of endocarditis symptoms can vary depending on the causative organism. It can be sudden or gradual. If you have any heart condition, these symptoms may be severe and sudden.
The common symptoms of endocarditis are:
- Chest pain upon breathing
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Painful joints and muscles
- Swelling in your feet, legs, or abdomen
- A new or changed heart murmur- the heart sound made by blood rushing through your heart
Less common symptoms of endocarditis are:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Red and tender spots under the skin of your toes or fingers
- Tiny red or purple spots in the skin
- Blood in urine
- Spleen tenderness
- Red spots on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet
What are the causes of endocarditis?
Endocarditis occurs because of germs such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. When you have an infection in any part of the body and the load is quite high, it may enter your bloodstream. The germs circulating in your blood can accumulate in your damaged part of the heart, leading to endocarditis.
When germs enter your bloodstream, your immune system is activated to get rid of them. But when the load is quite high, it cannot get rid of them, leading to endocarditis. Therefore, you should not take any incommonly,commonly bacteria or other germs present in your throat, oral cavity, or gut can cause endocarditis under the right circumstances.
Endocarditis can occur due to reasons such as:
Improper Dental Care
Many people think dental care does not affect your overall health. But this is not the case. Taking care of your dental hygiene is very important. When you do not take care of your dental hygiene, bleeding may occur, increasing the chances of infection. Moreover, a dental procedure can also increase the risk of infection of the oral cavity, which in turn, increases the risk of endocarditis.
You need to take extra care of your oral hygiene if you have any heart disease because the risk of endocarditis is quite high in them.
A catheter is a hollow tube that serves as a connection between the inside and outside of your body. You may need to get them for a long time, which can lead to infection and increase the chances of endocarditis.
IV Illegal Drugs
Using contaminated needles for IV drug abuse can lead to endocarditis.