What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial Endocarditis?
My inbox just received an email that I can relate too.
The email reads, “Adam, What are the symptoms of bacterial endocarditis? Is chest pain a symptom of endocarditis?”
Before I dive straight into the answer, you should know that I was initially diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve as a little boy. I think I was five years old when I learned about my heart murmur.
From that moment on, I had to pre-medicate every time I saw the dentist. My mom told me it was very, very, very important to take medication every time I went for a cleaning or a cavity filling.
Now, I don’t like the dentist to begin with… So, this just added to my resistance. 🙂
At the time, I had no idea that my parents and dentist were protecting me from the problems of bacterial endocarditis. For those of you who don’t know, bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the heart’s inner lining (endocardium) or the heart valves. Problems of bacterial endocarditis can damage or even destroy your heart valves.
According to the American Heart Association, there are about 29,000 cases of endocarditis diagnosed a year.
Now that we all know what bacterial endocarditis is, I can get back to the original question, “What are the symptoms of bacterial endocarditis? Is chest pain a symptom of endocarditis?” Fyi, symptoms of endocarditis may develop slowly (subacute) or suddenly (acute).
- Fever which may be present on a daily basis for months before other symptoms appear.
- Fatigue, malaise (general discomfort)
- Night sweats
- Small dark lines, called splinter hemorrhages, may appear under the fingernails.
- Enlarged spleen
- Mild anemia
- Murmurs result from changes in blood flow across valves when clumps of bacteria, fibrin and cellular debris, called vegetations, collect on the heart valves. The mitral valve is most commonly affected, followed by the aortic valve.
In review of these symptoms for bacterial endocarditis, my research did not indicate chest pain as a symptom of bacterial endocarditis. However, I would suggest additional research if you are nervous about your condition.
I hope this helps answer your question of, “What are the symptoms of bacterial endocarditis?” and “Is chest pain a symptom of bacterial endocarditis?”
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.