Rheumatic Fever in Adults Effects
Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory syndrome that is followed after streptococcal throat infection. The infection in the throat is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria.
Rheumatic fever is more common in children between 5 to 15 yrs. In adults it characteristically tends to recur. Adults between 25 to 35 yrs are more vulnerable.
In America and other developed western countries, rheumatic fever is very rare. It is more often present in developing countries.
Two thirds of adults and children, who develop rheumatic fever, have either been inadequately treated or not treated at all for their strep sore throat.
There is a risk of permanent damage to heart valves and heart after an episode of rheumatic fever. Therefore diagnosing and treating rheumatic fever without any delay is very important to reduce heart valve damage.
Following an episode of strep throat, there is a latent asymptomatic period of 10 to 35 days before developing symptoms of rheumatic fever.
Rheumatic Fever Symptoms, Diagnosis in Adults
- Swelling in joints
- Red and hot feeling of swollen joints.
- Pain in joints. Ankle, knee, wrist, hip joint.
- Nodes underneath the skin.
- Pain in the chest.
- Rapid heartbeats (palpitation).
- Fatigue and breathlessness.
- Jerks which are uncontrollable. It is also known as Sydenham chorea. It is a late manifestation of rheumatic fever.
- Heart murmurs on auscultation.
Laboratory diagnosis of rheumatic fever: blood test ESR, ASO titer, C reactive protein, chest radiography may show enlarged heart, ECG and Doppler study to ascertain cardiac involvement.
Rheumatic Fever Treatment
- Best way is to prevent rheumatic fever. You should pay immediate attention to sore throat, running nose, redness in throat.
- As the infection is contagious, you should not share dining articles with others. Use separate glasses and cups and plates.
- Warm salt water gargling and steam inhalation with few drops of eucalyptus oil are helpful in reducing congestion.
- Dandelion root is known to cleanse the kidney and liver with its diuretic property. This will help to relieve the symptoms of rheumatic fever.
- Eat food rich in vitamin C. It helps to enhance the immune system to fight the infection.
- Modern medicine practitioner may give you anti inflammatory and antibiotic medicine to treat symptoms of rheumatic fever.