Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Endocarditis is the infection of the inner covering membrane of the heart or heart valves. It is a serious disease and should be given proper treatment. The disease may represent a variety of signs and symptoms depending upon the cause behind its occurrence. Endocarditis possesses the potential risk of heart failures if left untreated. Once you are diagnosed with the disease, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease and seek the immediate help of your physician.

The Signs and Symptoms of Endocarditis:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Symptoms resembling flu such as high fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or above, tiredness, pain in muscles and joints, shivering, sweating at night, and headaches
  • Abnormal heart noises between heartbeats that your heart may produce known as Heart murmurs
  • Shortness of breath while doing any physical activity
  • Nausea with diminished appetite
  • Bloody urination
  • Swelling of abdomen, legs or feet

New skin rashes such as small red spots on palm or soles, paleness all over the body, red and painful lumps on the fingers and toes, or reddish-brown lines seen in nail beds confusion.

You should seek medical help when you develop any of the above-stated symptoms as soon as possible. These symptoms may be manifesting itself even with the less severe infection. But you are at the higher risk of getting endocarditis or have a family history of heart disease or dental infection; you should contact your physician.

Serious Effects of Endocarditis

The serious potential effects of the endocarditis are listed below-

  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Uncontrolled infection
  • Spread of infection from the heart to various parts of the body, especially joints and muscles
  • Death due to damage to heart valves

As you can see endocarditis have serious consequences, you may require emergency medical help. You should rush to your doctor to avoid them.

What Do You Do If You Have Endocarditis?

  • The general awareness of your health will help you to get quick and effective treatment of endocarditis.
  • You should be alert to the signs and symptoms and see your physician. Your blood sample is tested first to assess the mixture of antibiotics to be suitable for you.
  • You will have to get hospitalized, so that intravenous transfusion of antibiotics can be facilitated.
  • Your blood samples are investigated regularly to monitor the progress of treatment.
  • Your fever and other serious symptoms are tackled by the hospital. Once it gets subsided, you can go home and continue antibiotics.
  • If you have opted antibiotic treatment at home, you have to meet your physician regularly so that he can rule out any side effects of the medications.
  • You will have to continue antibiotics from two to six weeks depending upon the seriousness of the infection.
  • If the cause of infection is fungi, then you have to take antifungal medicines.
  • You have to maintain oral hygiene by regular meetings with a dentist as it may be a cause of infection.
  • Your symptoms and tests results are the indications of the severity of the disease.

Your heart may not able to pump sufficient blood to your body. You may undergo surgery as next level of treatment. Your doctor will recommend you surgery if you have following symptoms-

  • Your symptoms and test results show already happening of heart failure.
  • Your fever cannot be managed to settle down in spite of undergoing antibiotic or antifungal medicines.
  • The infective organism is aggressive fungi or drug-resistant bacteria.
  • You observe blood clots even with antibiotics or antifungals.
  • An artificial heart valve is implanted in your heart prior to the infection.
  • An abscess or fistula is shown by your ECG (electrocardiogram) results.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 19, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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