Rheumatic Fever is an inflammatory illness that can manifest when strep or scarlet fever aren’t treated properly. Scarlet fever and strep throat result from an infection caused by streptococcus bacteria.
Rheumatic disease is typically a problem for children between five and fifteen years old, but it can also affect younger children as well as adults. Although strep-thyme is quite common, however, rheumatic illness is uncommon within the United States and other developed nations. But, the rheumatic disease is prevalent in many countries that are developing.
Rheumatic fever may create permanent harm to your heart such as damaged heart valves and failure. Treatments can lessen the damage caused by inflammation, reduce discomfort and other signs and help prevent the recurrence of rheumatic disease.
The symptoms of rheumatic fever can be varied. It is possible to experience only a few symptoms or many symptoms, and the signs can change over your course through the illness. The first signs of rheumatic disease generally occur between two and four weeks following infection with strep throat.
Signs and symptoms of Rheumatic Fibromyalgia that result from inflammation of joints, the heart skin, central nervous system could include:
- Joints that are tender and painful typically in ankles, knees as well as wrists, wrists, and elbows
- A joint pain that spreads to a different joint
- Red, hot or swollen joints
- A few bumps, which are painless and harmless, appear under the skin
- Chest pain
- Heart murmur
- A flat or slightly raised painful rash that has a ragged edge
- Jerky, uncontrollable body movement (Sydenham chorea) Most often in the feet, hands, and on the face.
- Unusual behavior that is out of the ordinary like crying or laughing inappropriately which are accompanied by Sydenham chorea
When should you seek medical help?
Make sure your child visits an ophthalmologist for any signs or symptoms of strep and includes:
- Sore throat that appears sudden
- The pain after swallowing
- Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
The proper treatment of strep thyroid can help prevent rheumatic fever. Additionally, you should have your child visit a physician in the event that he or she exhibits other signs of rheumatic disease.
Rheumatic illness can be triggered by an infection in the throat that is caused by the bacteria streptococcus group A. The streptococcal infections of Group A in the throat trigger the condition strep throat, or more frequently scarlet fever.
Group A streptococcus infections on the skin or other areas of the body are not often a cause for Rheumatic fever.
The link between strep-related infections and rheumatic disease isn’t completely clear however it is believed that the bacteria can trick our immune system.
The strep bacteria are an identical protein to that found in specific tissues in the body. Our immune system, which is normally focused on bacteria that cause infections and attack the body’s own tissues especially those of the joints, heart the skin, and the central nervous system. The immune system’s response results in the swelling of tissue (inflammation).
If your child is given promptly treatment using an antibiotic to get rid of the strep bacterium and receives every medication prescribed There’s a low chance of getting the rheumatic fever.
If your child is suffering from one or more instances of scarlet fever or strep-thorough which aren’t properly treated or properly treated, he/ could develop rheumatic fever.
Factors that make it more likely to develop rheumatic fever are:
- Family background. Some people carry an inherited gene or genes that could make them more likely be afflicted with rheumatic fever.
- The type of bacteria known as strep. Certain strains of Strep bacteria tend to cause the rheumatic virus than other strains.
- Environmental influences. A greater risk of developing rheumatic fever is connected with excessive crowding, inadequate sanitation, and other issues that could quickly lead to rapid transmission of the disease or multiple exposures to the strep bacteria.
Rheumatic fever-related inflammation can last for a few weeks to a couple of months. In certain cases the inflammation can lead to chronic complications.
Rheumatic fever may permanently damage the heart (rheumatic heart disease). It typically occurs between 10 and 20 years later than the initial disease, however severe cases of the rheumatic disease can result in damage to valves of the heart even if your child is still suffering from symptoms. Most problems occur in the valve that connects the left and right chambers of the heart (mitral valve) However, the other valves may also be affected.
The result can be:
- Heart valve problems. This can result in mitral stenosis, mitral regurgitation, and aortic valve problems
- Skin lesions. erythema margin in time, Osler’s nodes, Janeway lesion.
- Leakage within the valve. A leaky valve results in blood flowing in the opposite direction.
- Damage to the heart muscle. The inflammation associated with rheumatic illness may weaken the muscle of the heart which affects its ability to pump.
A damaged mitral valve and other heart valves, as well as other heart tissues, may cause issues with the heart later on in the course of. These conditions could result in:
- A chaotic and irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
- Heart failure
There is only one way to stop rheumatic illness is to take care of strep throat infections or scarlet fever as soon as possible by taking a complete course of appropriate antibiotics.
While there is no one test for rheumatic disease the diagnosis is determined by the medical history, a physical exam, and test results. Tests could include:
- The available blood tests. Your doctor is likely to look for signs of inflammation by testing for inflammation-related markers in the blood of your child including C-reactive proteins and the rate of erythrocyte sludge formation.Sometimes it is necessary to perform a blood test that will identify antibodies to Strep bacteria is performed. The actual bacteria may not be detected in the tissues of your child’s throat or blood.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). This test captures electrical signals as they move through the heart of your child. The results will reveal whether the electrical activity in the heart is irregular and may help your doctor determine if any parts of the heart might be or have become larger.
- Echocardiogram. Sound waves are used to produce images of the heart moving that can assist your doctor to identify heart issues.
The objectives in treating rheumatic disease is to eliminate remaining streptococcal groups A, and relieve symptoms, manage inflammation, and keep the condition from recurring.
Treatments can include:
- The antibiotics. Your child’s doctor prescribes penicillin or another antibiotic to get rid of any of the remaining Strep bacteria.Once your child has completed the entire treatment with antibiotics the doctor will start another course of antibiotics in order to keep rheumatic fever from recurring. Treatment for preventive purposes will likely last until age 20 or when your child has completed the minimum 5-year course of treatment, or until the latter is completed.Patients who have experienced heart inflammation as a result of rheumatic fever could be advised to maintain anti-inflammatory treatment for at least 10 years or more.
- Treatment for inflammation. Your doctor will prescribe a painkiller like naproxen or aspirin (Naprosyn, Naprelan, Anaprox DS) to help reduce swelling, fever, and pain. If symptoms are extreme or your child’s body isn’t responding to the anti-inflammatory medication and medications, the doctor could prescribe corticosteroid.
- Anticonvulsant drugs. For severe involuntary movements that are caused by Sydenham choreas, your physician might prescribe antiseizure drugs like carbamazepine or valproic acid (Carbatrol, Tegretol, others).
Discuss with your physician what kind of follow-up medical attention your child might require.
The damage to the heart from the rheumatic disease may not be apparent for a long time. When you reach the age of adulthood your child should ensure that doctors are aware of the rheumatic illness and have regular heart checks.
Lifestyle and remedies for home use
The doctor may suggest the bed rest of your child. They may also request that you limit the activities of your child until pain, inflammation and other signs have diminished. If there is inflammation in the heart tissue the child may require an extended period of bed rest, ranging from several weeks or several months, based on the severity of inflammation.