Rheumatic Heart Disease
Rheumatic heart disease is one of the very common, serious health conditions that affect people in their early age. This is so common among children and adolescents and is said to have resulted from rheumatic fever which is capable of damaging the entire heart and its membranes when severe.
Pronounced as “roo-MAT-ik”, the rheumatic heart disease occurs after attacks of the rheumatic fever, which is an inflammatory disease that starts with a strep throat. It is so serious that it can affect the connective tissues throughout the body, especially the heart, brain, skin and joints. What’s more, it affects people of every age and gender, but usually it develops to children ages five to fifteen.
There are several symptoms associated with rheumatic heart disease. However, according to some studies, the symptoms of this condition vary greatly. They start to appear typically one to six weeks after complications on the strep throat. There are also some instances that the infection caused by the condition can be too mild to have been noticed. But typically, rheumatic heart disease may be signaled by:
* Swollen and red joints
* Nodules over the swollen joints
* Skin rashes
* Chest pain
* Fainting attacks
* Uncontrolled movements of facial muscles, legs and arms
All of the symptoms of rheumatic heart disease may appear depending on how serious or severe the condition is. The most severe one may even cause sudden death. With that fact, rheumatic heart disease is really a serious health problem that needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Speaking of treatment, the best way to treat rheumatic heart disease is to none other than to prevent the rheumatic fever from occurring. Experts often treat this condition with antibiotics. This treatment is said to be potent for stopping acute rheumatic fever from developing. This is the reason perhaps that most of those who typically develop further attacks are typically given a continuous daily or monthly antibiotic treatment. Some victims of this heart failure are even given with antibiotics for life.
The rheumatic heart disease can also be treated with certain surgical procedures. The surgery is considered when the rheumatic heart disease already involves treating the leaked heart valves, or when the condition has caused the heart valves to leak. When the leak is so serious enough to cause the enlargement of the heart, or if it already strains the organ, the surgery comes in to eliminate the leak. What is involved in the surgery is simply the repair of the damaged heart valve. But if it is found out that rheumatic heart disease has already caused a more serious problem to the valve in a way that it makes the valve too badly damaged to repair, the surgery may then involve the replacement of the heart valve by an artificial valve.
Rheumatic heart disease, being life-threatening, must seriously be taken into consideration. A proper check up and consultation must be kept in mind so to keep your heart free from that rheumatic disease.