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Rheumatic Fever And Heart Problems

Author : Ronaldo Santagize

Before antibiotic medicines became widely used, rheumatic fever was the largest trigger of valve disease. Rheumatic fever is often a condition which is a complication of untreated strep throat. Strep throat is caused by a group A streptococcal infection found inside the throat.

Rheumatic fever can damage body tissues by causing them to swell, but its greatest danger lies inside the damage it can do to your heart. Far more than half of the time, rheumatic fever leads to scarring of the heart's valves. This scarring can narrow the valve and make it harder for the valve to open properly or to close completely. In turn, your heart has to work harder to pump blood to the rest of your body. This valve damage can lead to a condition referred to as rheumatic heart disease, which, in time, can result in congestive heart failure.
Rheumatic fever just isn't an infection itself, rather the result of an untreated strep infection. When the body senses the strep infection, it sends antibodies to fight it. From time to time, these antibodies attack the tissues of joints or the heart instead. If the antibodies attack the heart they can cause the heart valves to swell, which can lead to scarring of the valve "doors." (The doors are referred to as leaflets.) The scarred leaflets make it harder for the valve to either open or close effectively, or both.

The symptoms of rheumatic fever often begin 1 to 6 weeks after a strep infection. The symptoms are fever, joint discomfort or swelling within your wrists, elbows, knees, or ankles. Little bumps under the skin over elbows or knees (referred to as nodules). Maybe a smaller raised red rash on the chest, back, or stomach, encounter stomach pain or feeling much less hungry. Weakness, shortness of breath, or feeling quite tired

Please remember that Rheumatic Fever requirements immediate medical attention!

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Ronaldo Santagize is an enthusiastic fan of the automotive industry. He prefers to be outdoors any chance he gets. Check out his site 4wd Lift Kits to see all of his 1991 Toyota 4x4 Lift Kits

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Tags:   health and fitness, heart disease, health care, diseases, medicine, heart, depression

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Submitted : 2011-05-08    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 742