Rheumatic Heart Disease - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Rheumatic Heart Disease in Urdu

یہ اہیومیٹک فیور سے دل کے والوز کو پہنچنے والا نقصان ہے۔ اس کی علامات مختلف لوگوں میں الگ الگ ہو سکتی ہیں جو کہ ہونے والے نقصان کے مطابق ہوتی ہیں۔ اس کی سب سے عام علامت سانس کی تیزی ہے،

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Summary about Rheumatic Heart Disease in English

This is the serious condition of rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disorder starts with a simple strep throat but can affect connective tissue of the whole body, especially of the heart, joints, brain, and skin. The associated symptoms of rheumatic heart disease are greatly varied and not noticeable. These are chronic heart valve lesions that can develop years after the onset of rheumatic fever, often resulting in heart failure if left untreated. Rheumatic fever is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that can occur as a result of inadequate treatment for strep throat or scarlet fever.  In this case, the immune system is unusually sensitive to chronic inflammation and the progressive deposition of calcium crystals in and around the heart valves. In children and adults, this disease is more common. Although streptococcal pharyngitis is common in the United States, rheumatic fever is considered rare in more developed countries. Treatment of this silent killer includes antibiotics and some specific additional medications to ease the inflammation of the heart muscles. Usually, aspirin is given in large amounts, steroids may also recommend if needed.

Symptoms of Rheumatic Heart Disease

A recent history of strep infection or rheumatic fever is essential for the diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease. Symptoms of rheumatic fever vary and typically appear 1 to 6 weeks after a bout of strep throat. These are the most common symptoms of rheumatic fever:

  • Fever
  • Swollen and excruciating joints
  • lumps under the skin
  • lattice-like rash on the chest, abdomen, and the back
  • Shortness of breath and chest discomfort
  • Uncontrolled movements of facial muscles, arms, and legs

Causes of Rheumatic Heart Disease

Rheumatic heart disease is caused by

  • Rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease that affects many connective tissues, particularly the heart, joints, skin, and brain.
  • Rheumatic fever can strike at any age, but it is most common in children aged 5 to 15. It is uncommon in developed countries such as the United States.
  • Heart valves can become inflamed and scarred over time. This can cause the heart valve to narrow or leak, making it difficult for the heart to function normally. This can take years to manifest and can lead to heart failure.

Preventive Measures of Rheumatic Heart Disease

  • Preventing rheumatic fever is the best treatment. Antibiotics can usually treat strep infections and prevent the development of rheumatic fever.
  • Antibiotic therapy (such as penicillin) to treat Group A Streptococcus throat infection can significantly reduce the risk of RHDand its complication, rheumatic heart disease.
  • If RHD develops, long-term antibiotics can slow the progression to more severe diseases.

You may read more about heart health here.

Treatment

The severity of the damage to the heart valves determines the course of treatment.

  • Surgery to replace or repair a badly damaged valve may be necessary in severe cases.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications may be used to reduce inflammation and the risk of heart damage. Other medications may be required to treat heart failure.
  • Aspirin, steroids, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to reduce inflammation.

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