A healthy heart is crucial for the proper functioning of the body. The heart is an organ which is indispensable for the survival of the human beings. It is a major part of the cardiovascular system apart from the blood vessels and blood. The heart functions like a pump and by pumping the blood though the blood vessels, it provides the whole body with vital nutrients and oxygen necessary for the body cells and tissues.
The linings of the heart
The heart is a very complex organ and its structure, is comprised of four chambers, which are divided by valves, and a sac with two layers filled with fluid, which makes uo the lining of the heart. Pericardium or pericardial sac is the medical term for the lining of the heart, while the fluid in the sac is called pericardial fluid. The heart has also inner lining, which is called endocardium. Pericardium and endocardium can be infected by the harmful bacteria, which can cause various diseases of the lining of the heart. The two most common diseases of the lining of the heart are endocarditis and pericarditis.
Endocarditis is the medical name for the condition when the inner lining of the heart is inflamed. When this inflammation occurs, the heart chambers and heart valves are inflamed. Sometimes endocarditis is referred to as valve infection, since mitral and pulmonary valves are most infected. Endocarditis can be infective and non-infective endocarditis. Infective endocarditis is caused due to harmful bacteria or due to other harmful pathogens. On the other side, non-infective endocarditis is caused due to the mechanical trauma while performing certain cardiac procedures. The most common symptoms of endocarditis are fever, shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss, swelling of the abdomen, feet and hand and pain in the joints.
Pericarditis is the name for the inflamed outer lining of the heart. In this condition, the pericardial sac is swollen and irritated, which results in the pain in the chest. The pericardial fluid is increased, which makes the pressure on the heart, thus causing restricted heart pumping. The potential causes for this condition are viral or bacterial infections, tuberculosis and renal failure. The most common warning signs of the inflammation of the outer lining of the heart are pain in the chest on the left side, which tends to expand to the lefts side of the body, dry cough and chronic fatigue syndrome.