With great power comes great responsibility. You must have heard this quote in motivational reference websites. Alike is the functioning of our human body organs. Didn’t you get it? Heart is one of those organs in our body whose healthy condition is mandatory to continue actively living. Similarly, if heart undergoes any disorder or ailment it can turn lethal if not paid proper attention and treatment.
What and How of Endocarditis
Our point of discussion here is Endocarditis, which is a rare heart condition involving inflammatory infection in or around heart lining, heart valves, or heart muscles. Since ages we know how dangerous any infection can turn depending, which virus or bacteria has bowed to it. Endocarditis is known to exist as infective endocarditis, bacterial endocarditis, and fungal endocarditis. Nonetheless, all of them are highly infectious.
In most cases, endocarditis is infection of the endocardium caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria. And in the rarest of the cases, fungi or other infectious micro-organisms lead to this infectious endocarditis. Statistics claim that rate of having endocarditis is almost twice in men as compared to women.
When germs like bacteria or fungi originating from anybody part of ours spread themselves into the bloodstream, they tend to aim for any area close-by the heart. If not detected in appropriate time, these bacteria can start infecting heart valves or heart linings leading to serious damage to the heart. Alike other heart diseases endocarditis can turn life taking after reaching a certain level of infection.
Can Ordinary Bacteria Really Cause Endocarditis?
Bacteria (or rarely fungi) just need a little access to our body and they can easily start their play. Even the smallest acts like morning gum injury while brushing or any skin bruise can welcome bacteria in our body. But in usual scenarios the white blood cells and immune responses of our body quickly throw these bacteria germs out even after they got into bloodstream. However, if a person possesses faulty heart valves or weak immune system their body is prone to attract germs floating in the blood to the heart and hence leading to a deadly disease like endocarditis.
Can Endocarditis Lead To Sepsis?
What is sepsis & is it connected to endocarditis? Sepsis is a severe blood inflammation which has the potential of taking someone’s life. When certain chemicals are released into the bloodstream so as to fight against infection triggering responses throughout the body, cascades of alterations occur causing havoc in multiple organs and eventually leading to their failure.
Now, let us head to the linking of sepsis and endocarditis. Sepsis is a severe condition of blood infection and the cause of endocarditis is bacteria flowing in bloodstream itself. Henceforth, when bacteria or fungi that are swimming in the bloodstream start reproducing and multiplying themselves seriously, they lead to endocarditis. People with normally healthy heart valves are also highly vulnerable to endocarditis, when severe sepsis is in play.
Who is in Most Danger?
Sepsis progresses via a three stage process, starting from casual blood infection, going to severe sepsis and winding up with the deadly sepsis shock. Following the bloodstream, sepsis can cause damage either to a particular organ or to the whole body at once. But, endocarditis is just the severe inflammation near heart valves or heart lining.
People who are addicted to injecting illicit drugs in their body are the ones highly susceptible to either of the diseases. Other than that the ones having weak immune system and prosthetic heart valve (or pacemaker or defibrillator) are also at a risk of getting sepsis or endocarditis. Moreover, the ones who have inborn heart defects including faulty heart valves tend to get endocarditis in later stages of their life.
Having said that you must have realized that endocarditis can lead to sepsis. Both of these are very serious ailment, which is why root symptoms should never be ignored. Try to strengthen your immune system before getting into any trouble.