Myocarditis - Symptoms

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What are symptoms of myocarditis?

Myocarditis can be mild and cause virtually no noticeable symptoms. The most frequent symptom of myocarditis is pain in the chest. When myocarditis is more serious, it leads to weakening of the heart muscle. Myocarditis can then cause heart failure (with symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, fluid accumulation in the lungs, etc.) as well as heart rhythm irregularities from inflammation and/or scarring of the electrical system of the heart.

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Comment from: Barch, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I"m a 50 year old woman in good health other than being hypertensive and in the throes of menopause. When I get a hot flash my heart beats rapidly (sinus tachycardia), I get very anxious, feels like a panic attack, and I sweat buckets. Five days ago while I was home alone I had what I thought was a hot flash but I didn"t feel as anxious as usual and I was getting stabbing pains in my heart and my heart felt fluttery. In about 5 minutes most of the other symptoms subsided somewhat except the chest pains and a new symptom - extreme fatigue. About an hour later my heart began racing again and hurting more. The pains were shooting down my arms and I was feeling lightheaded. I couldn"t concentrate on anything and my head hurt. I tried to stand up but fell back on the couch. I couldn"t catch my breath. The next day I went to the doctor and he took 4 vials of blood and did an ECG. He said I have 2T waves (I have no idea what that is) and that I have symptoms associated with myocarditis. The only way to confirm this is with a heart biopsy and that was not going to happen. The next day the doctor himself called and told me that my CPK levels were very high and the myocarditis was caused by Coxsackie virus. He said it"s possible to have a heart attack and drop dead and he then told me that the hospital was expecting me. I"m told him that I was not going to lose my house over hospital bills and that I would be fine at home and I have help. So he reluctantly called in some prescriptions for me and told me to stay in bed for at least the next 10 days for 21 out of 24 hours and to not be up for more than a half hour at a time. Staying in bed has been pretty easy for now because I"m so tired. But it"s only been 5 days. Anyway, all you beautiful menopausal women out there, do not confuse menopausal symptoms with heart problems. You know your own body better than anyone. If your symptoms feel off or you"ve got a new one, go to your doctor!

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Comment from: Cgarz10, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: April 11

I was 19 years old, all of a sudden I woke up one night with chest pressure and I couldn"t take deep breaths. I went to the hospital and they told me I had indigestion. They sent me home and I went back 3 times before they finally found enzymes in my blood. I spent the week in the hospital diagnosed with myocarditis. Fortunately I made a full recovery until a year and a half later, I noticed the same symptoms. Again I went to the hospital and got sent home 3 times until they found enzymes again. I had myocarditis again. They never found out what caused it. The last time it affected my heart rate (it wouldn"t increase with exercise) so I had a pacemaker in. That was a year ago. Now I"ve been working out again, getting back into shape, and I noticed chest pressure after a workout 2 weeks ago. So I"ve been resting. That"s when I started getting really stressed, depressed, and getting anxiety attacks. My doctor says I have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I live in constant fear that I"m going to have a heart problem again. But 2 nights ago I woke up from a terrible sharp chest pain, one of the worst I"ve ever had. I was petrified. I took Xanax .25mg to calm down and I was eventually able to fall back asleep. The whole next day my chest was in pain, so I went to the hospital and they found nothing. It doesn"t feel like the same pain as myocarditis. I don't know what it could be, maybe I hurt some muscle. It is possibly stress but unlikely.

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