Rheumatic Fever

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disorder which may occur as a complication of poorly treated scarlet fever or strep throat. Scarlet fever or strep throat is caused by streptococcus bacteria.

Rheumatic fever is mostly seen in 5 to 15 year old children. However it can occur in younger children and adults. It is rare in the US and other developed countries but it is common in most developing countries.

Rheumatic fever can develop after an infection with a bacterium called as Group A Streptococcus which affects the throat. Group A Streptococcus causes throat infections as strep throat or rarely the scarlet fever. Usually the Group A Streptococcus infections occurring on skin or other parts of the body do not stimulate the rheumatic fever. In case your child receives timely treatment with an antibiotic against the strep bacteria then there are less chances of developing rheumatic fever. But if your child has one or more episodes of strep throat or scarlet fever which are not treated then he or she may suffer from rheumatic fever.

Following are the risk factors of rheumatic fever:

  • Family history: Inheritance of a gene or genes that may make them more prone to develop rheumatic fever.
  • Type of strep bacteria: Some strains of strep bacteria contribute more to rheumatic fever than other strains.
  • Environmental factors: Other major risks of rheumatic fever are overcrowding, poor sanitation or other conditions which can easily lead to the rapid transmission or exposures to strep bacteria.

The onset of rheumatic fever generally develops about two to four weeks following a strep throat infection. Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid fever include:

  • Fever
  • Pain and tenderness of joints generally in the knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists
  • Pain migrates from one joint to another joint
  • Red, or swollen joints
  • Small, painless nodules beneath the skin
  • Chest pain
  • Heart murmur
  • Fatigue
  • Painless rash with a worn out edge
  • Jerky, unmanageable body movements
  • Outbursts of abnormal behavior

Diagnosis of rheumatic fever is done on the basis of physical exam, medical history, and certain test results as follows:

  • Blood tests: A blood test will be advised by the doctor to detect antibodies to the strep bacterium. To determine the inflammation in your child′s blood your doctor may suggest you C-reactive protein test and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate test.
  • Electrocardiogram: In this test electrical signals are recorded when they travel through your child′s heart. This can help to observe the patterns of these signals that will reveal the inflammation of the heart or weak heart function.
  • Echocardiogram: In this diagnose procedure heart abnormalities can be detected by using sound waves that produce live-action images of the heart.

Following are the treatments of rheumatoid fever:

Medicines for Rheumatic Fever

  • Antibiotics: Doctor may prescribe your child penicillin or another antibiotic to remove the remaining strep bacteria. After the full antibiotic treatment, doctor will begin another antibiotics course to prevent reappearance of rheumatic fever. People with heart inflammation in rheumatic fever may be suggested to take the preventive antibiotic treatment for at least 10 years.
  • Anti-inflammatory treatment: Pain relievers, as aspirin or naproxen may be prescribed by the doctor to reduce fever, inflammation, and pain. In case anti-inflammatory drugs are not able to produce relief then a corticosteroid may be prescribed by the doctor.
  • Anticonvulsant medications: For severe reflex movements doctor may prescribe you an anticonvulsant, as Valproic acid or Carbamazepine.

Alternative Treatments for Rheumatic Fever

  • Ayurvedic medicines for rheumatic fever: The administration of Saubhagya Vati, Aamavatari Rasa and Hinguleshwar are known to relief the condition of rheumatic fever.
  • Homoepathic medicines for rheumatic fever: Aconite, Belladonna, Annacardium, Arsenicum, Arnica, and Kalmia are the famous herbs used in the homeopathic treatment of rheumatic fever.
  • Acupuncture for rheumatic fever: acupuncture is sometimes recommended to relief the pain and relaxes the muscles.

Dietary Supplement for Rheumatic Fever

Dietary supplements mean the herbs, vitamins, minerals, and many other products that have a vital role in the maintenance of health. They are accessible as drinks, pills, capsules, powders and energy bars. The most recommended dietary supplement for the treatment of rheumatic fever is GLME.

  • GLME (Green Lipped Mussel Extract): GLME (Green lipped mussel extract) is the best dietary supplement for rheumatic fever. It is extracted from the green lipped mussel which is a shell fish grown in the farms of New Zealand. It is the best treatment for the patients of rheumatic fever it has great nutritional value.

Following are the unique benefits of GLME (Green lipped mussel extract) in the treatment and management of rheumatic fever:

  • It improves the joint lubrication and enhances the joint mobility.
  • It guards the stomach lining from the severe reactions of medicines used in the treatment of rheumatic fever by serving as Gastro-protective.
  • It assists other medicines to show their maximum efficacy.
  • It reduces the inflammation and hence swelling and pain by controlling the inflammation process through several mechanisms.

Seatone is the best brand of GLME (green lipped mussel extract) which is available as capsules. It has following merits:

  • It is extracted only from the premium, fresh mussels at their peak condition. Full control is kept to ensure that the harvesting is done at the best times of year.
  • Several tests are conducted to check the toxicity of Seatone. Toxicity is not detected even at higher doses.

Seatone is better from all the other treatments of rheumatic fever because:

  • Seatone is a product of natural origin therefore it does not show any side effects. Whereas the other medicines used for the treatment of rheumatic fever show a number of side effects.
  • Medicines used in the treatment of rheumatic fever damage the delicate lining of stomach while Seatone protects the stomach lining from the reactions of these medicines.
  • Medicines for rheumatic fever may provide you fast relief but it is generally temporary. However Seatone provides slow but progressive relief.
  • Seatone is safe at higher doses also but the medicines as antibiotics are never safe at higher doses.

Following activities can help your child to manage with rheumatic fever:

  • Until the improvement of pain and other symptoms your doctor may recommend your child to restrict his or her activities.
  • Your child may need strict bed rest of few weeks few months if inflammation is in his/her heart tissues based on the degree of inflammation.

Prompt treatment of strep throat infection or scarlet fever with complete course of appropriate antibiotics is the only way to prevent rheumatic fever.

If rheumatic fever left untreated, it generally resolves within 12 weeks. With treatment, its symptoms resolve within 2 weeks. However the cardiac inflammation takes weeks to months. Patients of rheumatic fever should be warned that, they are at risk of chronic rheumatic heart diseases in the long term, and they are also at risk of recurring episodes of acute rheumatic fever.

Disclaimer : All information on this website is only for general educational purpose and it cannot substitute the consultation with a doctor. It is highly suggested that you seek advice from doctor to determine your requirements. Women who are in their gestation or lactation period and children should not take any supplement without the consultation of their doctor.