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What Are The Symptoms Of Pericarditis?
The chest pain symptoms associated with pericarditis can be described as:
▪ Sharp and stabbing (caused by the heart rubbing against the pericardium)
▪ The pain may increase with coughing, swallowing, deep breathing or lying flat
▪ Pain can be relieved by sitting up and leaning forward
▪ You may feel the need to bend over or hold your chest to breathe more comfortably
▪ Pain in the back, neck or left shoulder
▪ Difficulty breathing when lying down
▪ A dry cough
▪ Anxiety or fatigue
▪ In some people, pericarditis can cause swelling of the feet, legs or ankles
This swelling may be a symptom of constrictive pericarditis, a serious type of pericarditis. In constrictive pericarditis, the patient’s pericardium hardens and/or thickens, preventing the heart muscle from expanding and affecting the function of the heart. Therefore, inflammation occurs and the pericarditis pain gets almost unbearable for the patient. The heart may be compressed by the constrictive process, which may cause blood to back up into the lungs, abdomen and legs, causing swelling.