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What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Pectus Carinatum?

The impairments can be controlled by series of measures such as small portions of food at regular intervals, minimal physical activities as advised by your healthcare provider and restricting some activities that worsen the symptoms.1,2

Most pectus carinatum disorders are treated through bracing however some conditions require surgery. There are important rules to be followed on eating and drinking before the surgery.3,4

What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Pectus Carinatum?

What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Pectus Carinatum?

Pectus carinatum a malformation of the breastbone and ribs caused by an unbalanced costochondral abnormality that occurs in one in 1000 patients. The prevalence of the condition is high in boys and more members of the families of the affected, a genetic condition that runs in families.

The signs and symptoms of the condition are cosmetic and don’t produce any complications. However, some patients with pectus carinatum have difficulty in breathing and relocation of thoracic organs. In the worst cases, it can lead to severe cardiac symptoms.1

A study was conducted on a 59-year-old male patient who complained of breathing problems and palpitations after simple workouts or household activities. The patient was subjected to a routine echocardiogram to identify the condition. The reports showed that his heart rate was 220/ min. The cardiologist and lung specialist identified the condition and began with the drug treatment.

In the following year, the patient became orthopneic(reduced abdominal pressure causing difficult or painful breathing) and the symptoms increased. The patient tried controlling his complications with a lifestyle change, reducing food intake, lessening exercises, and a few others. A month later the patient underwent surgery using the Ravitch procedure.

This is a less invasive procedure of bilateral resection to remodel the sternum, ribs, and cartilages. After the surgery, the patient was able to completely recover and he no longer had problems with fatigue and shortness of breath after physical exercises.2

No specific home care is needed for this condition. However, all breathing problems and heart abnormalities require a change in dietary habits and limited physical exercises to avoid worsening the conditions and to cope up with the treatment. This includes:

  • Maintaining Healthy Weight
  • Limit high-calorie intake
  • Increase fruits and veggies intake
  • Avoid high-fat food such as red meat, fried items, and canned food
  • Reduced sugar levels

Quit Smoking – Smoking causes clots in the blood vessels and arteries. Chemicals in cigarettes increase the formation of plaque and increase the risk of cardiovascular risk factors.

Alcohol At Limited Level – Heavy drinking is often related to several health outcomes especially with heart conditions and abnormalities. Alcohol not in limited levels can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure.

A surprising study shows that people who drank moderate levels of alcohol have a lower risk of developing heart condition when compared to people who don’t drink.3,4

Pectus Carinatum is a keel-shaped deformity of the chest and perhaps the second common chest wall abnormality in infants. It occurs alone or along with other genetic disorders or underlying syndromes. During this condition, the sternum and ribs are stressed and become protruded.

The stress causes the chest wall to be bowed out and have a similar appearance to that of a pigeon. Although this deformity occurs at the time of birth, yet medical studies have shown that it can also occur during adulthood.


  1. Meadows-Fernandez, A. Rochaun. “Everything You Should Know About Pectus Carinatum.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 3 Jan. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/pectus-carinatum
  2. Tom Liu, MD. “Pectus Carinatum: Treatment & Symptoms in Kids over Time.” Buoy, 6 Jan. 2021, www.buoyhealth.com/learn/pectus-carinatum
  3. “Chest Wall Disorder: Pectus Excavatum (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth.” Edited by Andre Hebra, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, June 2018, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/pectus-excavatum.html
  4. Steinmann, Cornelia, et al. “Pectus Excavatum and Pectus Carinatum Patients Suffer from Lower Quality of Life and Impaired Body Image: a Control Group Comparison of Psychological Characteristics Prior to Surgical Correction.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Nov. 2011, https://academic.oup.com/ejcts/article/40/5/1138/446807

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 8, 2021

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