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  • Rheumatism Symptoms

    Rheumatism is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints, heart and other organs of the body, which sometimes appears as a complication of streptococcal upper respiratory tract infection( usually strep throat).

    The disease is characterized by inflammation in one or more areas throughout the body, including the joints, heart, skin and central nervous system. Symptoms usually appear one to five weeks after infection with group A streptococcal bacteria and include fever, painful and swollen joints and skin rash. In the absence of treatment, symptoms usually subside after about three months. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the disease usually lasts for a short while, although the symptoms can last for six months if the heart is affected. How to use folk remedies for this disease look here.

    The most serious manifestations of rheumatism are observed when the heart muscle and valves are affected. Fatal congestive heart failure may develop and become fatal. The only long-term complication of rheumatism is heart disease - thickening or curving of the heart valves, which prevents them from closing properly or opening completely. Such damage can remain undetected for many years. Approximately 15 percent of patients with rheumatism have chorea( also known as St. Witt's dance), which is characterized by emotional instability and unintentional twitching movements of the limbs or facial muscles.

    Rheumatism can occur in some cases in the form of an epidemic outbreak. Like all streptococcal infections, rheumatism is most common in children aged 5 to 15 years.

    This disease occurs due to the accumulation of uric acid in the blood. There are two ways of occurrence and development of the disease:

    1. Cold from frequent weather changes, drafts of raw walls in the apartment, etc.

    2. Presence of an abscess somewhere in the body, for example, rotting tooth, sore throats, etc. Finding andeliminating the cause, it is possible to get rid of the disease more easily and quickly.

    The susceptibility to the disease is often hereditary. Doctors believe that this is the reaction of some part of the body( joint or heart, for example) to a strep infection in the throat. If you do not treat timely and correctly, seizures can last for weeks and months. Moreover, this disease tends to come back again and again throughout childhood, when the child has a streptococcal infection in his throat again.

    Sometimes the disease takes a very acute form with a high temperature. In other cases, it fades for weeks, accompanied by a low temperature. If severe arthritis occurs, it is transmitted from the joint to the joint, they swell, blush, and all this is accompanied by pain. In other cases, arthritis is weak - only mild pain in one or more joints. If the heart is seriously affected, the child looks exhausted, pale, and has shortness of breath. Sometimes later it is found that the heart is hurt by a fit of rheumatism, which in its time no one.noticed.

    In other words, rheumatism occurs in a variety of forms. Naturally, if your child has severe symptoms, you should consult a doctor. But it is equally important to consult a doctor and with mild symptoms, such as some pallor, fatigue, a slight fever, mild joint pain.

    Today, there are very effective tools that can suppress streptococcal infection in the throat - the main cause of the disease - and accelerate the cessation of rheumatic inflammation of the joints or heart. Therefore, the heart valves are now not so affected at the first attack. More importantly, a child who has experienced an attack of rheumatism can be saved from new attacks - and from further damage to the heart. He must unlimited time under the supervision of a doctor to take medication - in the form of tablets or injections( to prevent strep infection) and do it strictly on a regular basis.

    Aching in joints. In the old days it was considered natural that children complain of "pain of growth" in their legs in their hands, and they did not disturb anyone. Since then, it has been found that rheumatic pains can be very weak, and doctors consider their possibility with every complaint of pain in the joints. But parents sometimes consider rheumatic fever the only cause of joint pain, and are worried unreasonably.

    Legs can hurt, for example, with flat feet and weak legs, which happens most often by the end of the day, when the child is tired. Sometimes a child between two and five years old wakes up crying, complaining of pain in the knees and calves. It happens in the evenings, but it can happen every day for a week. Usually examination shows that the cause is not in rheumatism. The most common cause is muscle cramps in the legs.

    There are many other reasons for the pain in the hands and feet, and in each case the doctor must examine the child and make a diagnosis.

    Manifestations of rheumatism consist of articular syndrome and heart failure syndrome.

    Joint arthritis is characterized by polyarthritis, that is inflammation of several joints. And a very important diagnostic sign is the volatility of pain, that is, it hurts, for example, the knee joint, and tomorrow the pain disappears and appears in the elbow or hip. The joint is swollen, the skin over it is hot, any movements in it are very painful. Also characteristic is an increase in body temperature, the appearance of pouring sweat, chills, as a rule, are not fixed. When the heart is affected, eruptions on the skin are noted - ring-shaped erythema, as well as the formation of subcutaneous nodules. Characterized by pain in the heart, interruptions in his work, palpitations. With exercise, there is shortness of breath, that is, a feeling of lack of air. With lesion of the endometrium and valves, the formation of heart defects is possible.

    And also multiple joint damage with volatility of pain, annular erythema and the formation of subcutaneous nodules. Small - this is transferred before the onset of the disease, angina, increased body temperature, inflammatory changes in the analysis of blood.

    Prognosis for inadequate or late-onset treatment is unfavorable - heart defects are formed.

    If rheumatism is manifested only by joint damage, then full recovery is possible.

    Rheumatism begins with a sharp rise in temperature and inflammation of many joints at the same time. Knee, ankle, elbow, wrist and shoulder joints turn red and swell, become hot to the touch, and the slightest movement causes severe pain. Pain and inflammation are accompanied by increased sweating.

    The clinical picture of rheumatism depends on the severity of the process, the number of affected organs and systems, previous treatment and concomitant diseases. In typical cases, the disease( especially the primary one) develops 1-2 weeks after the transferred angina or other infection. In case of repeated attacks, this period may be shorter. In some cases, rheumatism occurs 1-2 days after cooling without any connection with the infection. Relapses of rheumatism often develop also after any diseases, surgical interventions, physical overload.

    In the first period of the disease, an elevated temperature is often observed( usually up to 37.1-37.9 ° C);the general condition is satisfactory. The most frequent in most patients, the only manifestation of rheumatism, exciting internal organs, is currently the inflammatory defeat of the heart.

    In rheumatic myocarditis complaints are very modest: weak pains or vague unpleasant sensations in the region of the heart, light shortness of breath during exercise, much less often - palpitations or irregularities.

    The blood pressure is normal or somewhat reduced. Sometimes expressed a moderate tachycardia, slightly higher than the level corresponding to the temperature of the patient. Persistent bradycardia( slowing of cardiac activity) is rare. In childhood, the so-called diffuse rheumatic myocarditis can occur, which manifests itself in a violation of the function of the heart.

    From the very beginning of the disease, patients complain of pronounced dyspnea, forcing to take a forced position, constant pain in the heart, palpitations. Characteristic "pallid cyanosis" and swelling of the cervical veins. Blood pressure is lowered. Diffuse myocarditis is characterized by the development of heart failure.

    Rheumatic endocarditis, as an independent disease, is rare. As a rule, the diagnosis "rheumatic carditis" is exposed, although this term means a combination of myocarditis and endocarditis. However, since it is endocarditis that is the cause of all rheumatic heart defects, it is necessary to carefully search for its symptoms in a diverse clinic of rheumatism. These symptoms, especially the degree of their severity and reversibility, are very important for judging the long-term prognosis of the disease as a whole. Patients for a long time retain a good overall health and ability to work. Only hemodynamic disorders due to the imperceptibly formed heart disease cause such patients to first consult a doctor. The main manifestations of endocarditis are revealed on the electrocardiogram, phonocardiogram.

    When involved in the process of joints, they speak of rheumatoid arthritis. It is characterized by a rapid beginning. A distinctive feature of it is the defeat of large or medium joints( more often knee, ankle, elbow) on both extremities, as well as rapid reverse development of the process. Patients at the same time note pain in the joints, a change in their configuration.

    • hypothermia, especially if it is combined with the soaking of the feet;

    • infectious diseases, especially sore throats;

    • excessively warm clothes;

    • eating ice cream and cold drinks;

    • work and( or) living in damp premises;

    • Insomnia, mental and physical fatigue. The inflammatory process with rheumatism passes from one joint to another, and sometimes it returns to the previously affected joints. In the treatment of pain pass in mild cases in a week, and in particularly severe can last months.

    Treatment is carried out in a hospital.

    1. The patient's mode depends on the presence of rheumatic heart disease and the degree of its activity. The patient should be kept bed rest, but when the process stops, the restrictions of the regime can be reduced. If the disease is mild, the first 7-10 days is the semi-post regimen. When the process is pronounced strict bed rest. The criteria for the expansion of the motor regime are the rates of onset of clinical improvement, normalization of ESR and other laboratory indicators. On the 40-50th day after the onset of the disease the patient should be transferred to a free regime.

    2. Diet therapy

    The patient's diet corresponds to the treatment table number 10 with a sufficient number of high-grade proteins and restriction of table salt. It is also necessary to include vegetables and fruits in the diet, to ensure a sufficient content of vitamin C and potassium, especially in case of circulatory failure.

    3. Drug treatment is prescribed by a doctor.

    Prevention of rheumatism is divided into primary and secondary. To primary( directed to ensure that the disease does not arise) refers to sanation, that is, elimination, foci of chronic infection in the body. Hardening and enhancing immunity.

    To secondary prevention, or prevention of exacerbations and repetitions, diseases in those who already had it, include:

    • Timely and effective treatment of colds, tonsillitis with the mandatory appointment of antibiotic therapy.

    • Antibacterial prophylaxis( bicillin prophylaxis) - the appointment of preventive courses of antibacterial drugs for several years to people who are registered with a rheumatologist.

    The best prevention of rheumatism is hardening of the body and avoidance of all factors that can cause the onset of this disease.

    All over the world in recent years, the interest of doctors in rheumatic diseases has increased. This is due to their significant spread among the population, high temporary and permanent incapacity for work of patients. But the knowledge of practical doctors still does not have one coherent theory. There is no consensus on the causes of such diseases. Unlike many other diseases, immunity to them is not produced. You can not get vaccinated and do not think about it anymore.

    Rheumatic diseases do not fit within any particular age group. Rheumatism, diffuse connective tissue diseases, systemic vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Bechterew's disease, various arthritis, etc. can appear in everyone. They occur in very young children and in the elderly. This should not be forgotten. Among children and adolescents, the disease affects girls more often, especially during the onset of menstruation, when the body is rebuilt and therefore particularly weakened.

    Unfortunately, if earlier both schools and other children's institutions paid attention to sports development, regular medical examinations were carried out, now the children are left to themselves. And it is very difficult to talk about prevention. While the child is not sick, no one pays any attention to him. And rheumatic diseases are difficult to recognize at the first stages, when a complete cure is still possible. And yet the knowledge of the causes of their occurrence will help you to protect yourself and your children.

    The first important risk factor is cold and infectious diseases. Angina, acute respiratory diseases, especially those that have been left on their feet or simply not treated, often lead to complications in the heart and rheumatic diseases. Therefore, when after the transferred infection the doctor gives a direction for a blood test, do not neglect it. When a disease angina doctor must do it. If directions are not given to you, you must demand it. It is better to immediately make sure that the inflammatory process in your body has stopped, than then treat various complications. Do not be afraid to donate blood, in all clinics for this purpose use disposable, safe for your health syringes. The second thing you should pay attention to is the cases of rheumatic diseases among your relatives. Scientists consider heredity one of the risk factors. In "rheumatic" families, repeated cases of the disease occur 3 times more often than in others, and rheumatic malformations - even 4-fold. The probability of the disease in monozygotic twins is about 37%.

    Take for the rule of the slightest signs of illness to see a doctor, without delaying this visit. Joint pain, swelling, redness, difficulty in movement, general weakness, fever is a reason for an immediate visit to a therapist or rheumatologist. Early diagnosis of rheumatic diseases contributes to a significant change in the prognosis for a number of severe, even fatal diseases, helping to restore patients to a full life. Next, pay attention to what you eat. In your diet should be more marine fish, vegetables, fruits, foods rich in vitamins A and C.

    If the family already has a patient suffering from, for example, gout, he needs a diet: meat or fish should be boiled first and then extinguishedor bake. Do not give a broth to a sick person, it is harmful for a gout. Thus, during the course of the disease, satisfactory results can be achieved.

    Morning gymnastics, walks in the fresh air, tireless sports will help to keep a good shape and strengthen the body's resistance not only to rheumatic diseases. But even if you are still sick, do not despair, isolate yourself. Depression - a bad assistant in the fight against the disease.