Pericarditis Got You Down? We’re Here to Provide Supplements

Updated: 10/16/23

You’ve been exercising, eating right and taking care of yourself but you feel like something’s missing from your life. Is it possible to be a picture of health on the outside but still not enjoy great wellness? If you’re experiencing fatigue, shortness of breath or chest pains then chances are that you may have pericarditis. Fortunately there is hope for improved well-being and that comes in the form of supplementing! Whether you’re looking to combat inflammation or reduce stomach upset one thing remains true – supplements can help fortify existing wellness plans in order make solid progress towards a healthier lifestyle. Here at, we understand first-hand that pericarditis isn’t easy to overcome; however, with our high quality product line and experienced staff, we look forward to helping people take back their lives and achieving optimal wellness!

What is Pericarditis?

Your heart is one of the most fundamental organs in your body. It pumps blood throughout the body and keeps you alive. So, when anything goes wrong with it, it can be quite scary. One medical condition that many people may not have heard of is pericarditis, which is the inflammation of the pericardium. The pericardium is a thin sac that surrounds and protects your heart. In this post, we will take a closer look at pericarditis, its symptoms, causes, and how to treat it.

Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardium that surrounds the heart. It often causes chest pain, which can be sharp and stabbing. This pain may spread to the back, neck, shoulders, or arms. Other symptoms may include fever, tiredness, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, pericarditis can lead to cardiac tamponade, which is when the pericardium fills with fluid and compresses the heart. This can be life-threatening, and emergency medical intervention is required.

Types of Pericarditis

Acute Pericarditis

Acute pericarditis is the most common type of pericarditis, accounting for about 90% of all cases. It is usually caused by a viral infection, though it can also be triggered by bacterial or fungal infections. The symptoms of acute pericarditis include chest pain, which may be sharp or dull and worsen when lying down or breathing deeply. Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Treatment for acute pericarditis may include over-the-counter pain relievers and ibuprofen to relieve chest pain. In some cases, prescription medications, such as colchicine and corticosteroids, may be necessary.

Chronic Pericarditis

Chronic pericarditis is a rare type of pericarditis that can last for several months or even years. It is often caused by autoimmune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of chronic pericarditis are similar to those of acute pericarditis, but they may be less severe. Treatment for chronic pericarditis may include anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids, or immunosuppressant drugs.

Effusive-Constrictive Pericarditis

Effusive-constrictive pericarditis is a rare and complex form of pericarditis. It occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the pericardium, causing constriction of the heart and impairing its ability to pump blood effectively. Treatment may involve a combination of medications, surgery, and drainage of excess fluid.

Recurrent Pericarditis

Recurrent pericarditis is a condition in which acute pericarditis episodes occur multiple times. It can be caused by various factors, including autoimmune disorders, infections, and trauma. The symptoms of recurrent pericarditis are similar to those of acute pericarditis but are more frequent and unpredictable. Treatment for recurrent pericarditis typically involves a combination of medications and close monitoring by a doctor.

Cardiac Tamponade

Cardiac tamponade is a rare, life-threatening complication of pericarditis. It occurs when excess fluid builds up in the pericardium, putting pressure on the heart and making it difficult for it to pump blood effectively. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, and in severe cases, shock. Treatment typically involves draining the excess fluid from the pericardium.

Pericardial Effusion

Pericardial effusion occurs when the pericardium fills with fluid, which can cause pressure on the heart and lead to cardiac tamponade, a life-threatening condition. The symptoms of pericardial effusion may include shortness of breath, chest pain, and palpitations. Treatment for pericardial effusion depends on the underlying cause but may include medications to reduce swelling and surgery to drain the fluid.

Can Pericarditis Kill You?

The short answer is that yes, pericarditis can be fatal in rare cases. However, the vast majority of people who develop pericarditis do not die from it. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, pericarditis is usually a short-term condition that gets better on its own or with treatment.

Symptoms of Pericarditis

Chest Pain

A core symptom of pericarditis is a severe and constant pain in the chest. Some patients discover that they feel an aching, dull pain in their chest. A good way of alleviating this is to sit up and lean forward. The pain could also spread to the shoulders and to the neck and it could get worse if you lie down, swallow, cough or breathe in. Pain in the chest can be similar to a stabbing pain that gets worse with swallowing.


Many people who suffer from pericarditis report feeling extreme fatigue, even when they haven’t exerted themselves. This can be attributed to the inflammation of the pericardium, which causes the body to feel tired and rundown. It’s important to listen to your body and get enough rest if you’re feeling fatigued.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is another common symptom of pericarditis. The inflammation of the pericardium can put pressure on the heart and lungs, making it difficult to breathe properly. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately, as it could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Pericardial Friction Rub

A pericardial friction rub is a distinctive sound that indicates the presence of pericarditis. This is a sound that is heard when a stethoscope is placed on the chest. The sound is caused by the inflamed pericardium rubbing against the heart.

Swelling in the Legs and Abdomen

Pericarditis can also cause fluid buildup, leading to edema or swelling in the legs and abdomen. This symptom can be especially concerning if it happens suddenly, as it could be a sign of heart failure. If you notice swelling in these areas, make sure to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.


A fever can be a sign of infection, which is why it’s not uncommon for people with pericarditis to have a low-grade fever. This symptom can be easily overlooked, as many people associate a fever with a typical cold or flu. However, if you have a persistent fever along with other symptoms of pericarditis, it’s important to see a healthcare provider.

Difficulty Sleeping

Pericarditis can also disrupt your sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep. The discomfort in the chest associated with this condition can make it hard to find a comfortable position to rest. If you’re having trouble sleeping, your doctor may recommend taking pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate your symptoms.

Flu Like Symptoms

In addition to the above, a person with pericarditis may experience symptoms that are similar to that of a common flu. Fever, as mentioned above, as well as feeling weak, nauseous and lightheadedness can accompany a bout of pericarditis.

Similar to Heart Attack

The symptoms of pericarditis may mimic that of a heart attack, so it is important to seek medical attention if you experience any sudden chest pain. In some cases, tests may be necessary to ascertain the condition you have.

Can Pericarditis be Caused by Stress?

While stress can be a contributing factor to pericarditis, it is important to note that there are many other potential causes of the condition. These can include viral or bacterial infections, autoimmune disorders, and medications. In some cases, the cause of pericarditis may be unknown.

If you are experiencing symptoms of pericarditis, it is important to seek medical attention right away. A healthcare professional can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and prescribe appropriate treatment. In some cases, treatment may involve antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

Symptoms of Pericarditis

Causes of Pericarditis

Pericarditis is a medical condition that refers to inflammation in the sac that surrounds your heart. Although it is considered a rare condition, pericarditis can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Identifying the root cause of this issue can be challenging, as there are several factors that may trigger pericarditis.

Viral Infection

One of the main causes of pericarditis is a viral infection, such as the flu, which can cause inflammation around the heart. Other viruses like HIV, Herpes, and Hepatitis can also lead to pericarditis. This is because the body’s immune system produces an excess of white blood cells to fight off a viral infection, which can also cause inflammation in the heart area. This type of pericarditis is typically mild and resolves on its own within a few weeks.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Scleroderma can cause inflammation in different parts of the body, including the pericardium. When the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, it can cause the body to go into a state of inflammation. In the case of pericarditis, this can lead to swelling and inflammation of the pericardial sac, resulting in chest pain and other symptoms.

Trauma to the Chest

A blow to the chest or a car accident can place stress on the heart, leading to inflammation around the pericardium. Trauma to the chest is one of the leading causes of pericarditis. When the chest experiences blunt force, like in a motor vehicle accident, it can cause the pericardium to become inflamed, leading to chest pain and other symptoms associated with pericarditis.


Certain medications can also trigger pericarditis. Some of these medications include antibiotics, immunosuppressants, and anticoagulants. This is because some drugs can cause inflammation around the heart. If you are experiencing chest pain or discomfort while taking medication, you should speak to your doctor immediately.

Diseases and Other Causes

Other underlying diseases like cancer, kidney failure, and heart attack can also lead to pericarditis. In some cases, the cause of pericarditis might never be identified, and this is known as idiopathic pericarditis. It’s crucial to see a doctor when you experience symptoms to identify the underlying cause and get the right treatment.

Idiopathic Pericarditis

In some cases, the cause of pericarditis remains unknown. This is known as idiopathic pericarditis. It might result from immune system disorders or allergic reactions. Idiopathic pericarditis may also be a result of medications, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which can cause inflammation of the pericardium.

Pericarditis and Lupus

Pericarditis is a common complication of lupus, affecting about 10% of people with the condition. In lupus, the immune system attacks healthy tissue, including the pericardium. When this happens, it can cause inflammation and other complications. Pericarditis can be one of the earliest signs of lupus, even before other symptoms have appeared.

Treating pericarditis in lupus patients typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to reduce inflammation and manage pain. Corticosteroids like prednisone may also be prescribed in more severe cases. Lifestyle changes like reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet can also be helpful.

Pericarditis Diagnosis

If you are experiencing symptoms of pericarditis, it is important to see a healthcare provider for a diagnosis. Your provider will likely perform a physical exam and order certain tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X-ray, or echocardiogram. These tests can help to identify inflammation in the pericardium and rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.

Living with Pericarditis

Most people recover from pericarditis very quickly. However, it could take several months or it could never get resolved for some people. Pericarditis can reoccur regardless of surgical and medical intervention, leaving patients uncertain about the future of their health. And considering the fact that this condition is not visible or linked to living an unhealthy lifestyle, there is a vast lack of understanding between the effects of living with pericarditis. This can mean sufferers could end up feeling alone, causing them to deal with side effects like palpitations, anxiety and panic.

For many patients, living with pericarditis can be emotionally and physically challenging to deal with. But it is important to develop healthy systems to manage the stress and anxiety that come with the condition, and there are multiple support channels that can help you, including the following:

  • Discuss with your doctor about enrolling for counseling or undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Talk to your family and friends to educate them about the condition so they can be there for you and help you with what you are dealing with.

Pericarditis and Exercise

Those who live with this condition know that it can be challenging to balance symptom management with exercise. But the good news is that regular exercise can actually help reduce inflammation in the body and decrease the frequency of flare-ups.

Start with Low-Impact Exercise

If you’re new to exercise or returning from a pericarditis flare-up, it’s best to begin with low-impact activities such as walking or swimming. These exercises are less likely to exacerbate symptoms and can help you build strength and endurance over time. As you progress, you can increase the intensity of your activity to include jogging, cycling, or resistance training.

Monitor Your Symptoms

It’s important to pay attention to how you feel during and after your workout. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or other symptoms, stop immediately and consult with your doctor. You should also keep a journal to track how you feel after each workout so you can identify patterns and adjust your routine as needed.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can exacerbate pericarditis symptoms, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated before, during, and after your workouts. Make sure to drink plenty of water and use sports drinks if needed, especially if you’re exercising in hot weather or for extended periods.

Practice Stress-Management Techniques

Stress can increase inflammation in the body, so it’s important to manage stress levels when living with pericarditis. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques can help you reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Incorporating these practices into your workout routine can be a great way to stay motivated and manage your symptoms.

Having pericarditis does not mean you cannot exercise. It just means you need to exercise a little more caution with what you do. Start slow, listen to your body, and always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. Exercise can be a great way to improve overall health and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with pericarditis.

Can Pericarditis Come Back?

Pericarditis can occur in different ways, but if it’s caused by an infection, the recurrence rate is relatively low. According to research, only 15 to 30 percent of people with viral pericarditis experience recurring episodes. Similarly, recovery rates are high even without treatment, with 80 to 90 percent of people making a full recovery within a few weeks. However, if your pericarditis is caused by an autoimmune condition or other underlying health issue, it may come back more frequently, and you may require long-term management.

Treatment for Pericarditis

Some patients who suffer from pericarditis often get better within days or weeks without having to begin any treatment (x). However, for those who don’t, there are treatment options available to deal with the condition.

Treat the Underlying Cause

The advisable treatment method is to treat the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if the condition was caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor should prescribe antibiotics to deal with the infection in a bid to cure the pericarditis.

Over the Counter Medications

Pericarditis can cause severe chest pain. To manage the pain and inflammation, you can take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin. These medications can help relieve pain and swelling. However, if your pericarditis is severe, you may need stronger prescription medications.


Doctors may prescribe colchicine, an anti-inflammatory medication specifically used to treat pericarditis. Colchicine can also help reduce the likelihood of future flare-ups. This medication leads to toleration, but it may cause stomach upset or diarrhea in some people.


If your pericarditis is severe or chronic, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids. These are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can reduce inflammation in the heart’s lining. However, corticosteroids can have side effects, such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and increased risk of infections.

Rest and Fluids

During flare-ups, it is important to rest and drink plenty of fluids. This helps your body fight off the inflammation and reduce the risk of complications. Your doctor may advise you to limit physical activity and avoid strenuous exercise until your symptoms improve.


If there is a lot of fluid buildup around the heart, pericardiocentesis may be necessary. This is a procedure where they insert a needle into the pericardium to remove excess fluid. This can relieve symptoms such as chest pain and difficulty breathing.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to medications and medical procedures, lifestyle changes may also be recommended to help manage pericarditis. Quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress can all help to reduce inflammation and improve overall heart health. In some cases, dietary changes may also be a recommendation for individuals with pericarditis.


If your pericarditis is severe or recurrent, you may need surgery. In some cases, a surgeon may need to remove part of the pericardium, the heart’s protective lining. Another option is to drain the excess fluid that builds up around the heart. Surgery is usually a last resort, but it can be lifesaving.

Supplements for Pericarditis

Grapefruit Seed Extract

This supplement comes from the grapefruit seed and possesses antioxidant properties. The grapefruit seed is made up of components like flavonoids (which is the chief source of the antioxidant properties found within the fruit), vitamin C and E, limonoids, citric acid and sterols and other minerals. It is also useful in maintaining overall health by supplementing the daily intake of vitamin C and E. The ideal dose for grapefruit seed extract supplement is one capsule per day.

Rhodiola Rosea

This supplement comes from the Rhodiola plant, which is present in some arctic regions. It contains multiple amino acids and it promotes athletic endurance, improves mood and burns fat. This supplement contains a lot of flavonoids, essential oils and tannins. The recommended dose for rhodiola rosea powder is 200 mg per day or depending on the desired effect.


Astragalus has been standardized to contain 50 percent polysaccharides, which are digestible carbohydrates that help to maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the body. The recommended dose for astragalus extract powder is 1,300 mg to be taken daily with meals or as directed by your doctor.


Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that curcumin can help reduce inflammation in the body, making it an excellent choice for people with pericarditis. You can find curcumin in supplement form, or you can add turmeric to your diet by using it as a spice in cooking.

Hawthorn Berry

This supplement is extracted from the hawthorn, which is an herb that can improve mood, heart health. It has supported cardiovascular function, improve blood pressure and stabilize cholesterol levels. The berries contain flavonoids, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents that reduce free-radical damage. The ideal dose for hawthorn berry extract powder is 1,200 mg. Take it 1-2 times daily.

Vitamin C

Possibly the most popular supplement in the world, Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is known for its usefulness, especially when combined with other enzymes and solutions. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, enhance the immune system, and protect cells from oxidative stress. All of these benefits make it valuable for those dealing with pericarditis symptoms. Although many fruits and vegetables are good sources of Vitamin C, it is sometimes helpful to supplement with the recommended daily dose, especially during flu season. The ideal dose for vitamin C supplement is 1,000 mg to be taken daily.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3-6-9 contains fish oils, flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil to benefit heart health, reduce inflammation and improve mood. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for heart health, and studies have shown that they can be particularly beneficial for people with pericarditis. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy circulation, which can reduce the likelihood of experiencing pericarditis symptoms. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in foods like fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, or you can take them in supplement form. The ideal dose for omega 3-6-9 is 3 gels to be taken once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor.


Magnesium aids mental performance and exercise. It is a mineral that plays an important role in heart health, and studies have shown that it can be particularly helpful for people with pericarditis. Magnesium can help reduce inflammation and support healthy immune function, which can help alleviate the symptoms of pericarditis. You can find magnesium in supplement form or in foods like nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. The ideal dose for magnesium gluconate is 700 mg. Take it only once per day.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in energy production in the body. Studies have shown that CoQ10 can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health, making it an excellent choice for people with pericarditis. You can find CoQ10 in supplement form, and it’s often included in heart-healthy multivitamins.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is crucial for overall health, and studies have shown that it may help reduce the risk of developing pericarditis. It can also reduce inflammation and support healthy circulation, which can help alleviate pericarditis symptoms. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, but you can also take it in supplement form to ensure that you’re getting enough.

Oregano Oil

Oregano extract may promote the overall health of the urinary tract. It is also a naturally occurring antibiotic that helps fight bacterial infections. It is also a powerful antioxidant and it could help lower cholesterol levels in the body.

As a dietary supplement, the recommended dose is 2,000 mg (1 level teaspoon) daily with water, or as directed by your medical doctor. However, it is important to state that the appropriate dose for oregano extract powder depends on a lot of factors, among which includes the user’s age, health and several other conditions.

The Bottom Line

Pericarditis is a relatively rare condition, but it is essential to recognize its symptoms so that you can seek medical attention promptly. If left untreated, it could lead to serious health complications. The early diagnosis of pericarditis is critical, and your doctor may recommend various tests to help determine the underlying cause. With the appropriate treatment and care, most people with pericarditis will recover fully within a few weeks. Remember that it is essential to maintain good overall health to prevent pericarditis, and if you have any concerns about your health, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor.

Pericarditis can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right supplements, you can support your heart health and alleviate your symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Curcumin are all excellent choices for people with pericarditis. Talk to your doctor about which supplements are right for you, and start supporting your heart health today.

Author: BulkSupplements Staff