Rheumatism: Symptoms and Treatment
Rheumatism refers to systemic inflammatory diseases, it is localized, most often in the envelope of the heart, and in the risk group for this pathology are people under the age of 15 years.The disease in question is known to mankind for a long time, therefore in that it has long been investigated / studied nothing is surprising.Serological and bacteriological studies in recent years have shown that rheumatism can be considered a kind of allergic reaction to infection with streptococcal infection.According to statistics, acute rheumatism is diagnosed in more than 2% of patients within a month after suffering angina, maternity fever, inflammatory ear diseases, scarlet fever and other pathologies of streptococcal etiology.
In order to timely diagnose the disease, doctors were able to quickly decide on the choice of therapeutic direction, each person should know the primary and secondary symptoms, specific signs of rheumatism.Table of Contents:
Symptoms of rheumatism
Rheumatism can not be considered a single disease - harmful substances that from streptococcus enter the body, affect almost all systems and organs.Therefore, the first signs of rheumatism do not allow us to correctly diagnose rheumatism - if it developed after a cold / infectious disease, the symptoms will be similar to those that already existed, many patients take them for a "recurrent" illness.
- increased heart rate;
- increase in body temperature to 40 degrees;
- swelling and tenderness of the joints;
- general weakness and persistent drowsiness.
Only after some time( from 5 to 14 days) begins to appear more specific symptoms of the disease: swelling and pain spreads to smaller joints, patients complain of recurrent pain in the chest, and when examining the patient, the doctor can hear the pericardial friction noise- this will indicate the defeat of the pathological process of the heart.
With the progression of rheumatism, there may appear other specific symptoms - not always, on average, they are fixed in 10% of cases. To such signs of rheumatism include:
- increases the fragility of the vessels - manifests itself in regular nasal bleeding that occurs suddenly;
- appear annular eruptions - look like a rounded, with uneven edges, a small pink rash;
- rheumatic nodes are formed - localized in places of anatomical location of affected joints, have the appearance of subcutaneous dense formations and are absolutely painless;
- affects the abdominal organs - characterized by pain in the right hypochondrium, indicate the need for immediate hospitalization of the patient.
Note: rheumatism in childhood is milder, so its symptoms are blurred - for example, the swelling of the joints is not accompanied by pain, the child may complain of increased fatigue, but there will be no drowsiness.
How is rheumatism diagnosed
Even if the patient undergoes any diagnostic procedure, no specialist can diagnose rheumatism - the doctor will necessarily send the patient for a comprehensive examination, and already for all the results will draw conclusions. In general, as part of identifying rheumatism, patients undergo the following diagnostic procedures:
- cardiographic examination( ECG);
- study of analyzes in the laboratory.
The experts study the work of the heart - the procedure helps physicians to assess the condition of the valves of this organ and the ability to reduce.Ultrasound is a very important point in diagnosis, because it allows to identify the disease at an early stage of development - even the initial stage of rheumatism will immediately "be displayed" on the condition of the heart, the work of its valves.
Allows detection of even minor cardiac arrhythmias, doctors can find out at what level the cardiac muscle nutrition is provided.
Note: is recommended to perform cardiac ultrasound and cardiography not only once, but several days in a row.The fact is that rheumatism daily makes some changes in the work / condition of the heart - the clinical picture and the level of pathological damage to the heart will be better seen in the dynamics.
When performing the diagnosis of rheumatism, venous blood is collected, specialists will pay attention to the following factors:
- increase in the number of leukocytes;
- presence of antibodies to streptococci;
- the presence of a specific C-reactive protein;
- increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate( ESR);
- decrease in hemoglobin.
A doctor may examine the patient's swelling of the joints, redness of the skin above them and an increase in the temperature of the skin.It is the combination of all the examinations and visible changes in the joints that can be the reason for diagnosing rheumatism. As a rule, the presence of at least one of the following symptom complexes is important for the doctor:
- Carditis development( cardiac dysfunction) and presence of antibodies to streptococci in the blood;
- problems in the work of the heart and visible joint changes( swelling, tenderness);
- cardiac dysfunction and any of the blood changes;
- is one specific feature of rheumatism and three non-specific;
- two specific signs of rheumatism and two nonspecific.
Treatment of rheumatism
Treatment of the disease in question is necessarily under the supervision of a specialist and most often the patient is placed in a medical institution.There are a number of medications that are necessarily prescribed to patients as part of the therapy in relation to rheumatism. These include:
- Bicillin.It is an antibiotic of the penicillin series, which is capable of damagingly affecting streptococci.It is advisable to prescribe it in a course of 10-14 days - a shorter period will not give the expected results( although signs of rheumatism may disappear), and in the case of a longer use of bicillin, streptococcal production of substances that destroy the antibiotic is harmful to the body.
To prevent recurrence of the disease under consideration, bicillin can be given to patients even for 5-6 years, but in minimal dosages - one injection in 3 weeks.
- Aspirin.With rheumatism this medication helps to quickly relieve the patient of pain syndromes in the joints, to relieve swelling of the joints.It is recommended in the first two weeks of therapy to prescribe the preparation of acetylsalicylic acid at the maximum allowable dosage, and then aspirin should be consumed for another month at a dosage of 2 g per day.
Note: aspirin is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation, with high vessel fragility, stomach and intestinal diseases.Uncontrolled use of aspirin even in the treatment of rheumatism can lead to the development of gastritis and peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum.
- Hormonal preparations.We are talking about the appointment of prednisolone - this is done extremely rarely, only in the case of a very serious course of the disease.If the doctor has chosen this medication to treat rheumatism, then he is prescribed at the maximum allowable dosage.
General information for the treatment of rheumatism
The patient must comply with bed rest for the first 10 days of the disease, but if rheumatism occurs in very severe form, the motor activity is excluded for a longer period, up to 30 days - even a small load can worsen the patient.
It is necessary to adhere to a certain diet during the treatment of the disease in question. In particular, the menu should exclude:
- spicy / spicy spices;
It is necessary to make a diet under the guidance of a nutritionist - it should include fish, vegetables and fruits, meat, sour-milk products, offal and cereals.In a day you need to eat at least 7 times in small portions.It is highly desirable to limit the consumption of sugar - a day allowed no more than 30 grams of this product. In general, you need to know:
- in the normal mode of the day the patient should receive 2500 kcal per day;
- for bed rest - no more than 1800 Kcal.
Doctors can recommend and balneotherapy - it will suit those patients who have already coped with the acute phase of the disease in question. Sanatoria and resorts offer treatment with the following mineral waters:
- carbon dioxide;
- is chloride-sodium.
Balneotherapy has a complex effect on the body - it improves digestion and increases appetite, strengthens the immune system, relieves insomnia and general weakness, improves the functioning of endocrine glands.In sanatoriums, not only the use of mineral waters inside and procedures in healing baths is recommended - patients are recommended long walks in the fresh air, they are assigned vitamin complexes.
Traditional medicine for rheumatism
Traditional medicine is full of recipes that "help cope with rheumatism."Do not deceive yourself and rely only on the recommendations of healers / healers - all folk remedies are good as additional activities.They do not eliminate the cause of the development of the disease in question, but they can reduce the pain syndrome, remove the swelling of the skin in the area of the affected joint.
Remember! Only properly formulated treatment with the appointment of antibacterial drugs and other medicines will be a guarantee of effective therapy.
Prevention of rheumatism
There is a clear list of activities that are the prevention of the development of the disease in question. These include:
- strengthening the body's immune system;
- prevention of streptococcal infection is primarily personal hygiene and limiting contact with sick people;
- timely treatment of even a common cold;
- , when in contact with an infected streptococcus a patient, it is absolutely necessary to carry out preventive measures under the supervision of a doctor.
Rheumatism is quite a dangerous disease, which in 87% of cases leads to disability of the patient.To avoid such a sad development of events, you must carefully "listen" to your own body, quickly respond to the slightest changes in health and undergo a full-fledged treatment of any diseases.
Tsygankova Yana Aleksandrovna, medical reviewer, therapeutist of the highest qualification category