Inflammation of membrane around heart (pericardium), sometimes with accumulation of fluid between membrane and heart.
Comes on suddenly as result of viral infection, Rheumatic Fever, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Kidney Failure, chronic Heart Failure or a Heart Attack. Person experiences pain in centre of chest, perhaps radiating to left shoulder, and usually finds that coughing, twisting or turning, or taking deep breaths makes pain worse; breathlessness may also be a symptom. Since underlying condition is often serious, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 2 hours and select a remedy from the list below. Fluid around heart may need to be drawn off by syringe; steroids may also be given.
Long-standing inflammation of pericardium can cause a condition. after each inflammatory episode pericardium scars, thickens, and shrinks, progressively restricting beating of heart; this causes sluggish blood flow and oedema in lower pan of body, and eventually Heart Failure. Surgery to remove thickened tissue is the only solution.
Specific remedies to be taken every 15 minutes for up to 10 doses
- Dry cough, exhaustion, pericardium full of fluid Arsenicum iod. 30c
- Sharp, stitch-like pains in centre of chest made worse by warmth and slightest movement, alleviated by cold drinks and by lying on left side, person thirsty Bryonia 30c
- Pain comes on suddenly, and is made worse by cold or sudden emotional shock, person afraid of dying Aconite 30c
- Stitch-like pain in chest, pain subsides when lying on right side with head raised Spigelia 30c
- Fluid around heart, difficulty breathing, dry cough, ankles swollen Arsenicum 30c
- Sudden onset of pain, with severe breathlessness, especially after midnight, person looks flushed and hot, fears for his or her life, and feels as if heart is about to force itself upwards out of chest Spongia 30c
- Severe pain, heavy, tight feeling in chest, shortness of breath, thin pulse; symptoms relieved by stooping forwards but made markedly worse be loss of sleep Colchicum 30c