What Is Rheumatic Fever?
Rheumatic fever develops as an inflammatory reaction to illnesses like strep throat and scarlet fever. The reaction comes from failing to treat these infections adequately. You might not even notice the signs of rheumatic fever until you have had it for weeks.
Do you think you might have rheumatic fever? This guide will help you learn more about the condition as well as what you should do about it.
What Are the Symptoms of Rheumatic Fever?
Rheumatic fever symptoms typically emerge within four weeks of experiencing the symptoms of strep throat. The symptoms of strep throat include sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and nausea.
After you experience the symptoms of strep throat, you may begin to experience the symptoms of rheumatic fever. These include increased heart rate, swelling, fever, twitching, and fatigue.
Typically, joint pain and swelling are the most prominent symptoms. Even touching a joint can cause discomfort. Look for redness and swelling that do not go away even after treatment and medication for a sore throat.
Sydenham chorea is also a common symptom. This neurological disorder results in irregular, rapid movements. Sydenham chorea may also cause facial twitches.
Keep in mind that rheumatic fever is most common in children and adolescents. Parents must be vigilant about their children’s symptoms to prevent them from worsening or going untreated.
How Do Doctors Treat Rheumatic Fever?
One of the most common treatments of rheumatic fever begins with antibiotics. Penicillin commonly eliminates bacteria that causes strep throat. You may need to take antibiotics on a long-term basis to completely fight off the infection and prevent recurrence of strep throat.
Once you experience the signs of rheumatic fever, you may need to take steroids. Steroids can treat heart inflammation. Doctors can treat involuntary movements with antipsychotic medications. These medications allow many patients to continue living their lives regularly.
Rheumatic fever is a leading cause of death for cardiovascular-linked illness for individuals. Treat this condition as quickly as possible.
How Can You Prevent Rheumatic Fever?
You can prevent rheumatic fever by seeking treatment right away for health conditions like strep throat and scarlet fever. Antibiotic therapy prevents these conditions from worsening. Additionally, make sure you complete a full course of antibiotic treatment before ending treatment.
Sanitation and hygiene also link to rheumatic fever. If you have strep throat or scarlet fever, maintain clean, sanitary conditions.
You can also pay close attention to your family history. Individuals with a family history of rheumatic fever may be at higher risk.
What Should You Do If You Have Rheumatic Fever?
You should seek medical treatment if you believe you have rheumatic fever. If left untreated, rheumatic fever can lead to heart disease, which may be fatal.
Doctors diagnose rheumatic fever by asking about your symptoms, including rashes and fatigue. The doctor may wish to run an electrocardiogram to detect any heart rate abnormalities. An echocardiography will also allow the doctor to view damage and swelling of the heart.
Since no specific tests address a rheumatic fever diagnosis, doctors use many different tests to look for the condition. They may look for signs of arthritis or any potential oddities on the skin.
Doctors also look for signs of previous strep throat or scarlet fever. Throat swabs and cultures can provide helpful insight into these conditions.
Are you experiencing an intense fever and believe you need medical care? Call Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc. to learn more about our doctors and services. Set up an appointment with our medical professionals today. Whether you have rheumatic fever, strep throat, or other medical condition, we are here to help you feel better.