Pericarditis is an inflammation of the membrane (pericardium) surrounding your heart. When this membrane, or sac, is irritated and swollen, it causes chest pain and limits your heart’s ability to function.
Prevention of pericarditis centers around promptly treating infections and other medical conditions that can lead to its development. At Dignity Health North State, our primary care doctors and cardiovascular specialists offer personalized care to diagnose pericarditis symptoms in Northern California. For the expertise you deserve, Find a Doctor online.
The symptoms of pericarditis sometimes mirror those of a heart attack and can include:
- Chest pain — often a stabbing pain over the front of the chest
- Increased pain when leaning forward or standing up
- Pain in the shoulder area or upper back
- Heart palpitations
If you have severe chest pain, don’t try to self-diagnose it. Instead, call 911 or seek emergency medical attention right away. Dignity Health North State provides emergency care at these hospitals:
There are three types of pericarditis: acute, recurrent, and chronic.
Acute pericarditis usually lasts less than three months, but may clear up within a week with treatment. A recurring case is repeated episodes of acute pericarditis, while chronic pericarditis describes symptoms that last for more than three months.
Pericarditis has a range of causes, including:
To diagnose the cause of pericarditis, your doctor will order a series of blood and cardiac tests.
Pericarditis Treatment at Dignity Health North State
As with many cardiovascular conditions, the goals of treatment for pericarditis include reducing symptoms, preventing further complications, and treating any underlying disorders. If your case is mild, rest and over-the-counter pain relievers can help. For severe pericarditis, your doctor may recommend prescription medication or surgery.
To avoid life-long pericarditis or other serious health consequences, talk with a Dignity Health North State provider about personalized treatment. Our doctors are here to help you regain and maintain optimal health, so contact us today.
Dignity Health North State extends care for all types of pericarditis in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.