Duration of an inflammation of the heart muscle

An inflammation of the heart muscle (Myocarditis) can have both an infectious cause and a non-infectious cause.
The most common cause of so-called myocarditis is primarily viral pathogens. The bacterial pathogens follow the viral pathogens only in second place. The disease often begins slowly and insidiously and is therefore often only noticed late by the affected patient.

The symptoms are initially very unspecific and manifest themselves, for example, through exhaustion and palpitations and you may not interpret them correctly right away. In contrast to many other diseases, myocarditis often takes a long time to fully recover. It is a serious illness and, if left untreated, can be serious, and in some cases even fatal.

Duration of illness

The average duration of heart muscle inflammation is usually around five to six weeks.
In some patients, however, inflammation of the heart muscle can last significantly longer and then even last two months. Like many other diseases, the duration of the disease also depends on the person affected with myocarditis.

Depending on how old the patient is, how healthy or what pre-existing illnesses the patient has, the duration of myocardial inflammation naturally changes. Older people, who may also have other serious pre-existing conditions, may be more affected by the disease than young, healthy patients.

Furthermore, of course, the extent of the inflammation and the associated damage to the heart muscle cells also play an important role in the duration of the disease. It is therefore extremely important to correctly interpret the symptoms as early as possible in order to treat the disease at an early stage. The course of an inflammation of the heart muscle is therefore very variable and varies in every person.

Duration of healing

It is difficult to say how quickly and when a heart muscle inflammation has actually completely healed. Even if you feel completely healthy and productive again after a relatively quick period of recovery and rest, that does not mean that the heart muscle and its surrounding tissue have already completely recovered and regenerated. This can take a few weeks longer than the existing symptoms such as tiredness and weakness are felt. During this time, too, you should take it easy and avoid sporting activities and physical exertion. Otherwise this can lead to the healing process being delayed and significantly prolonged. In the worst case, the disease can intensify again and then possibly lead to consequences of the disease that cannot be reversed.

For many patients it takes several weeks before they feel as physically fit again as they felt before the onset of the illness. Those affected often notice a rapid fatigue with everyday things such as climbing stairs or shopping.

Duration of therapy

Heart failure, which occurs as part of an inflammation of the heart muscle, is treated with beta blockers.

In the case of mild forms of myocardial inflammation, physical protection and the avoidance of alcohol and cigarettes are in the foreground.

In this case, physical protection means not only doing without sport, but also doing without other heavy physical exertion such as carrying heavy things or cleaning the apartment. Due to the strict bed rest, the risk of developing a thrombosis, i.e. a blood clot in his veins, is significantly increased, so that during this time thrombosis prophylaxis with anticoagulant drugs must be carried out.

Read about this too Measures for thrombosis prophylaxis

Excitement and stress, just like physical activity, can lead to increased exertion and thus to increased strain on the heart. Therefore, the patient should take care not to expose himself to any or at least little stress during the recovery period.

If an inflammation of the heart muscle has caused severe damage to the heart muscle, so that it is weakened and so-called heart failure develops, then medication is used in the therapy. The heart failure, which arises in the context of an inflammation of the heart muscle, is treated in the same way as a heart failure independently of a myocarditis. These drugs also include beta-blockers, which are mostly well known in the population, which lower blood pressure and reduce heart rate. Furthermore, the affected patients can be treated with so-called ACE inhibitors. These drugs also have an influence on blood pressure and have a positive effect on the heart muscle cells.

If myocarditis is triggered by a bacterial pathogen, antibiotic therapy suitable for the pathogen should be started immediately. Autoimmune diseases can also occasionally trigger myocarditis. Antibiotics should not be used here, however, as they have no influence on the disease.
If there is an autoimmune cause of myocardial inflammation, so-called immunosuppressants are used, which are supposed to dampen the body's defense against itself.

Duration of symptoms

In principle it depends Duration of the symptoms a heart muscle inflammation on the one hand from the Heaviness the heart muscle inflammation and, on the other hand, on the patient's state of health.
A general prognosis about the duration of the symptoms is therefore difficult to give up.

A mild form of myocarditis, mostly viral usually heals without consequences and without therapy.

In a very severe form of myocarditis, which results in a permanent impairment of the heart's pumping capacity, symptoms remain lifelong Heart failure exist if these are not treated for life.
If an affected person is health impaired by previous illnesses, heart muscle inflammation can be longer and more severe than in a young and otherwise healthy patient.

How long should you take it easy physically?

The duration of physical rest differs depending on the symptoms and the severity of myocardial inflammation.
Experts recommend three to six months of physical rest. If the symptoms of myocarditis persist after this period, even longer rest may be necessary.

At the end of the rest phase, a new diagnosis (ECG, echocardiography, MRI) should be carried out. If there are no signs of persistent heart muscle inflammation, a slow increase in physical activity can be started. The patient should pay attention to warning signs (e.g. shortness of breath) that suggest that the heart muscle inflammation is still present.

How long should you not drink alcohol after an inflammation of the heart muscle?

Alcohol consumption should be avoided during heart muscle inflammation. The alcohol can further intensify the inflammation of the tissue and cause permanent damage to the heart muscle.

If necessary, the healing of an inflammation of the heart muscle can be delayed by the regular consumption of alcohol. For this reason, alcohol should also be avoided if possible for a period of three to six months after a heart muscle inflammation.
Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol in particular is a risk factor for delayed healing and permanent damage.

Length of sick leave

The Length of sick leave In the case of myocarditis, depends on the severity of the disease, the general condition of the patient and the type of activity the patient is doing.

It is not possible to specify the duration of a sick leave in general, but must adapt the duration of a sick leave individually to each patient. If a patient with heart muscle inflammation has a job for which Hard physical work is necessary, a sick leave must of course cover a longer period.

In principle, it should be an uncomplicated viral myocarditis for about three months sports or heavy physical exertion are avoided. After this time a Echocardiography and a EKG carried out to permanent heart damage or dangerous Arrhythmia to be able to exclude. If these examinations are normal and the patient is symptom-free, he can go back to his activity or exercise.