Viral myocarditis research on NLM/PubMed
Ironically I'm not up to a lengthy post right now, but am writing to give good news. First the bad - that yes, the heart is abundantly documented to be involved in viral cardiomyopathy. Just do a pubmed search on virus and myocarditis: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/pubmed
The good news
- there are many treatments available, however the essential premise from the leaders in heart biopsy diagnostics/treatment of viral heart disease (German cardiologists) is that treatment needs to be virus-specific (each virus manifests differently in the heart); and that you need to eliminate the offending virus. An interesting twist of course is if XMRV underlies this finding of viral cardiomyopathy. Also, crucial to differenciate latent from active infection, and this requires not just PCR, but also immunohistochemical analysis. As for diagnosis, I went to Germany for heart biopsy diagnosis, on the recommendation of the leading endomyoardial biopsy expert @ the Mayo Clinic. As one poster rightly pointed out, you need to know which virus(es) might be causing your cardiac issues - or if this is an unrelated cardiac problem.
Try to get symptomatic relief
If you have neither a sympathetic nor informed cardiologist, at the very least you can try to get symptomatic relief of blood pressure issues (eg. I'm on beta blockers, but again you need to check with your physician if this is right for you). And at all costs, avoid stress on your heart. In my case, when my heart is bad, any "valsalva-type" manoeuver (holding breath, bearing down, tensing abdominal muscles - eg. simple things like vacuuming) causes angina. As does cold air, another sign of "atypical angina", or coronary artery vasospasm.
Statins and XMRV
There are also recent rumblings that statins (used to lower cholesterol) can in fact worsen an XMRV infection - something to consider.(See http://www.hhs.gov/advcomcfs/meetings/presentations/cfsac_testimony_5_10_2010_anonymous_1.pdf
More info on Iodine thread
Finally, I posted at more length on the Iodine thread on some other things you can do to reduce strain on your heart. See post #27 here: http://www.forums.aboutmecfs.org/sh...IODINE-Despair/page3&highlight=cardiomyopathy
and in fact the whole thread is informative.
LISTEN TO YOUR HEART!
Bottom line, LISTEN to your heart symptoms. They can be dire, and "pushing yourself" is the worst possible thing you could do, especially when we are so close to getting more comprehensive treatment.
North American cardiologists starting to recognize atypical angina
Also on the good side - North American cardiologists have typically dismissed "atypical angina" (chest pain, when your coronary arteries are not blocked), and are now recognizing that "atypical angina"; cardiac syndrome X etc - previously dismissed as psychosomatic - are now associated with serious and negative outcomes. Specifically, the blood vessels to the heart can be inflamed and/or go into spasm. Compromise to the microvasculature of the heart is less readily detected, but in its own will cause angina, and can be fatal. In other words, if you have angina, this is a signal that your heart isn't getting enough oxygen. Listen to it!