Pericarditis problems : hi All Pain... - British Heart Fou...

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Pericarditis problems

Darron_12777 profile image

hi All

Pain before Christmas with a cold, crushing but sharp pains in chest and now keeps popping back up. I am 22 and a non smoker and former MMA UK champ, so as you could imagine my training levels were very hardcore.. i now maybe once or twice a week with the symptoms will try and do some light-slow weights with long rests. These have actually helped the pain quite a bit as it seems to strengthen the heart. However, if I have sex, for days after I am in intense pain with shortness of breath and pain in left hand.. hope someone else can touch in here?

All the best

12 Replies

have you have pericarditis confirmed ?

I’d suggest you go to see your GP just to be sure. They can then advise best plan for future.

good luck 😉

Are you self-diagnosed as having pericarditis, or have you been diagnosed by your GP or a cardiologist?

If you're 'self-diagnosed' I strongly urge you to see your GP as soon as you can book an appointment. I'm not a trained medical professional - but I do have recurrent pericarditis and if I had those symptoms it would mean complications of the current flare I'm trying to recover from.

But it could be anything, and only a trained medical professional can determine what is going on.

If you've been diagnosed and are under medical supervision for the condition you need to report your symptoms of pain-shortness of breath-pain in left hand as these symptoms indicate complications of pericarditis - but also several other conditions and only your doctor is able to work out what is going on.

Either way, if I had those symptoms I'd be ringing round the surgery the minute the phone lines were open.

Please update this discussion as soon as you've spoken to your doctor.

So originally I had Myocarditis 2 years ago and was out of training for a year, and was diagnosed with pericarditis through a stethoscope in January as have been taken omeprazole and ibuprofen ever since.. have repeatedly reached out to GP, and my doctor who took care of me in 2018 & the one I saw on Feb. None have booked me in soon enough and I could only imagine things getting not so better..

Is there any way you can go private? I did and it sped up investigations rather nicely. Too long a story to post here but in short, despite my GP marking me as 'urgent', once I got to the Rapid Access Chest Pain unit I was told I wasn't really 'that urgent' and further investigations would take months to book.

Left there, went home and within a few hours of Internet search found a cardiologist willing to see me the next day. Was booked almost immediately after that first meeting for an echocardiogram that showed I needed long-term cardiac care and was transferred to the private cardiologist's NHS list - where further investigations (more echocardiograms and an angiogram) bookings now only take 2-3 weeks. Bit faster now since that going private thing;)

Keep this discussion updated as you go along, please. I know with the coronavirus crisis getting NHS bookings is going to take longer so going private for one or two consultations might be the only way to get the attention you need. Once you've had one or two private consults you'll likely be transferred back to the NHS but with specific opinion from the cardiologist for treatment and care, so things will move a bit faster even with the current crisis.

Laughing but not joking - where ever you go just now for any further care, be very careful to wash your hands before touching your face. As you've had myocarditis followed by pericarditis diagnosed, you could be considered to have 'pre-existing conditions' which might make contracting the coronavirus more serious for you than it does for others.

I am not panicking and going full-on with any preventive measures but given I'm still trying to recover from a current flare, I am following some common sense precautions including minimising my contact with 'the general public'. If you work it may be more difficult for you to do that, but there are ways to keep yourself safer even if you are 'out and about' and heading into a daily workplace.

Unfortunately I couldn’t afford going private self employed PT struggling to pay bills currently so this a double thumbs down. In a very sticky situation, hoping for a miracle really as I’m only 22 ahah..

Given your circumstances, book those NHS appointments and ask to be put on the cancellations list. Until your appointments, avoid anything that brings on your symptoms - nothing remotely strenuous until you've been seen.

Too, avoid humid conditions (no steam baths or long hot showers), and avoid mould. Try to eat a well balanced diet including lots of green leafy stuff and fruit, but also good quality protein meats and cheese if you can tolerate it. Avoid anything too salty (to prevent possible fluid retention that will go straight to your pericardium), and avoid processed foods - no full English for now until you've been seen and advised. Best to avoid alcohol for now as well.

Be sure to get at least 7 hours a night sleep - eight hours is better but at least seven.

These tips should help you get through to your appointments but do not hesitate to ring at least 111 if you have another episode of pain (bonus, if they send you to hospital via ambulance you might get their full attention to your symptoms. Er, you might also be exposed to coronavirus - you'll have to weigh the risks against something serious going on that without medical attention could go on to be very serious).

I'll be thinking of you. Please keep this updated!

Thank you. Will do

Hi, Darrin.

I too have this condition and is still ongoing. My only advice is to listen to the medical advice from your doctors.

Think rest is key for getting the condition cured. Exercise may drag the recovery out over a longer period and impact you more long term. The inflammation around your heart will just get aggravated the more you do.

Very annoying an affects me drastically, can have sex or exercise and I’m a 22 year old athlete so this is very frustrating. Anyone else have this issue?


Recently been diagnosed with first pericarditis episode. Only managed to get sensible diagnosis & treatment by going to A&E, with cardiologist guidance alongside,.

Chest pain + shortness of breath, worsened by exercise, + history of heart issues = A&E in my book (and was recommended by my cardiologist over phone, as she could not admit me direct without an echo from A&E).

Get an echocardiogram. Leaving pericarditis & possible fluid untreated creates risk of permanent damage to the heart muscle, I’ve been told. Also I’ve been told no strenuous exercise, which I know is doubly hard for fit people, but at only 22, you’ll probably want your heart to last you a while yet, I reckon ...?! 😉

Sorry for late response

I spoke to them of a vague testing to 2 different people and the have advised I continue lifting weights.. I still have sharp pain & random moments of difficulty breathing.. no struggle in exercise but lay awake at night feeling hopeless

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