Endocarditis is a condition where an infection is caused in the valves of the heart. Heart being the central part of the blood circulation system, an infection in it is caused only when the heart valve is damaged previously. It is a fairly serious disease and, if left untreated, can even be fatal. For instance, an infection of the mouth can spread to the endocardium of the heart through the blood stream.
The symptoms of the condition may differ from person to person and mainly depends on the infection, which is responsible for the endocarditis. Mainly, patients with endocarditis usually suffer from symptoms similar to the flu. For instance, you may suffer from fever, chills and night sweats. Apart from this, patients will also develop an irregular heart beat and rhythm. Skin lesions may appear on your hands and feet. Similar growth may also appear on the roof of your mouth.
Blood in urine, nausea and swelling in abdomen and legs are other common symptoms of the endocarditis. Usually, treatment is commenced as soon as the disease is diagnosed. People with heart conditions are at a greater risk of the disease than others. Treatment with antibiotics is the best remedy for the condition.
Diagnosis for the condition is simple and a visit to the doctor’s clinic is necessary. Usuaslly, a patient will be able to notice the symptoms related to endocarditis. The doctor will listen to the heartbeat with a stethoscope for any irregularities. If the doctor is unable to diagnose the disease simply, further diagnostic tests may be necessary. These tests may include a blood test for the infection, an EEG or ECG, MRI or CT Scan and X-Ray.
In most cases, antibiotics are enough to treat the condition. Patients may be kept in the hospital for a few days, so that the antibiotic can be given through an IV. Patients may be advised to continue with the IV antibiotic transfusion for another 2 to 6 weeks. However, hospitalization is only needed for a week at the most.
In case of chronic endocarditis, surgery may be needed in order to completely remove the infection from the valve in the heart. This is only reserved for people who may have permanently damaged a portion of their heart’s valve. At any rate, patients will have to visit the doctor for a follow up checkup.
Endocarditis results in some symptoms, which the patients can notice easily. For instance, many people report that flu like symptoms are common when the infection is caused. In such a case, you may suffer from high fever, night sweats and chills. Muscle and joint pain is also quite common.
If you feel any of the symptoms related to endocarditis and if you suffer from a disorder of the heart, visit a doctor immediately. If you are diagnosed with the condition, the doctors will advise you on how to pursue the treatment.
People who do not suffer from endocarditis or have not been diagnosed by a doctor should not seek treatment for the disease. Often, flu like symptoms can be indicative of flu itself and not endocarditis. Even when a heart patient suffers from the same symptoms as those present in flu, a doctor should be visited in order to conform the presence of the infection in the body.
Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment when it comes to endocarditis. Many people suffer from side effects of antibiotics, which include severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, vaginal itching and discharge. Some people may also experience allergic reaction toward the antibiotics. Allergy to the medications may lead to rash on the skin, breathlessness and swelling of the mouth and lips.
Treatment usually involves getting admitted to the hospital for a week or two. However, the treatment does not end after the patient is released from the hospital. In fact, most people need to be given IV transfusions for 2 to 6 weeks more. The antibiotics are also used during this time. Patients must also visit the doctor’s clinic during this time to ensure that the treatment is working and the body is free from the infection, which caused the endocarditis in the first place.
Recovery may take varying amounts of time, depending on the infection and effect of the antibiotics. However, generally a week of hospitalization is needed at the beginning of the treatment, following which patients can be discharged. However, another couple of months are required for the medication to take effect and remove the infection completely.
In case of normal antibiotic treatment for the infection, the cost may be anywhere from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,500, depending on the varying cost of the doctor, medication and diagnostic tests.
If you need to undergo a surgery in order to get treated of the disease, the cost of treatment will be much higher. The cost of the surgery may range from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000, depending on the place of the surgery.
Results of the treatment are permanent. However, a similar infection may occur at a later point of time, which can lead to endocarditis. People with heart conditions are at a greater risk of suffering from the disease, which is why they should take precautions to avoid getting infected once again.
Some people prefer pursuing the homeopathic route when it comes to the endocarditis treatment. This is mainly done to avoid the side effects from antibiotics. However, since endocarditis infects the valves of the heart, traditional medications work the best. Alternative treatments do not offer as much safety as traditional medications does.