Rheumatic fever can occur in any age group of 4 – 40, but the incidences are higher in the age group of 5 – 15. It is the commonest sequence of untreated or mal-treated throat pain (pharyngitis) caused by Streptococcus. Females are most commonly affected than males. Also, females suffer more commonly from heart complaints, whereas males suffer more from joint disorders. Likewise, children suffer more commonly from heart problem and adults more commonly from joint trouble. The reason behind all this is still obscure. The incidence of rheumatic fever is often triggered by the start of winter, where it is more contagious.
Rheumatic fever symptoms start with redness and pain in the throat. The Beta haemolytic streptococcus infection harbouring in the throat, in due course (3-4 weeks) starts its cyclone with joint pains and fever, ending in damaging the joints and heart valves. Rarely, it also attacks the brain and skin. Manifestation of the complaints varies from patient to patient. Usually, acute symptoms go off within 4-6 weeks. Regarding joint pain, mostly larger joints, especially the knee, is most commonly involved. Later, the pain flits from one joint to another (knee, elbow, shoulder and ankle) with redness, swelling, heat and occasional skin eruptions (erythema) over the joints.
ECG & Echo cardiogram – to rule out cardiac involvement later X-ray of chest and joints – to rule out development of complications With maltreated or uncontrolled cases, even with auscultation, rigid valve opening clicks followed by late systolic murmurs can be heard as additional sounds in heart sounds.
In case of rheumatic fever, complication often arises from two sources, i.e. one from the disease as such, and another from treatment. Complications of disease are mainly heart-related (Carditis) and joints-related (Poly arthritis). In the case of the heart, the thin delicate heart valves get infected and become thick and fibrosed. These processes cause stenosis and turbulence in the blood flow followed with prolapsed valve (leakage valve). Also rarely, neurological complications like involuntary movements, difficulty in writing and speaking can arise.
Prevention is better than cure. Usually, rheumatic fever gets activated or reactivated with streptococcal throat infection. So, taking prevention for throat infection/cold (with medicines and preventive measures) will be the most valuable measure. The other possible way to prevent it is by raising immunity level with nutritious diet, exercise, rest and Homeopathic medicines. Since exact pathogenesis is not clearly understood, we should take care in the initial days of the disease itself, or serious complications may follow. To say in a simple manner, take care while you have throat pain or fever or you may need extra care with heart and joints.
Taking penicillin therapy usually suppresses the trigger for the time being only. It never raises our resistance. So, it is advised for every 21 days in Allopathy. Homeopathy treats patients (symptoms of the patients) by raising immunity. In the light of concept “similars” Homeopathic remedies expel the disease force/bacteria and make the patient more comfortable with treatment by supporting the healing process with the stimulation of the immune mechanism.