Rheumatic Heart Disease: What you should know?

Rheumatic Heart Disease: What you should know?

Are you having breathing problems? Do you have swelling in ankles, wrists or stomach? If you are experiencing these symptoms, you might be having rheumatoid heart disease. Without further delay, get it treated, else it can lead to heart failure. Keep reading to know its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and precautions.

Rheumatic heart disease is a condition that generally occurs as a result of repeated episodes of acute rheumatic fever. Usually affecting the valves on the left side of the heart, it can also affect other valves and heart muscle.

What are its symptoms?

The symptoms are:

  • Chest pain
  • Excessive weakness
  • Stroke
  • Fainting
  • A need to sit or stand while sleeping to relieve pain

Who is at risk?

Poverty and reduced medical services in the region increase a person’s risk. If a person has had rheumatic fever, it should be seen to it that this fever doesn’t repeat again, doing this can put an end to the advancement of the disease.

How is it diagnosed?

Rheumatic heart disease is diagnosed in the following ways:

  • Physical check-up: The doctor can check the abnormal heart beats through a stethoscope during physical check-up
  • Medical history: The doctor can ask you whether you have had rheumatic fever and strep infection
  • Chest X-ray: This can be carried out to check if the heart has enlarged or fluids have entered the lungs
  • Electrocardiogram: This is performed to check the enlargement of the chambers of heart and abnormal heart beats
  • Echocardiogram: This is carried out to know if the heart valves have damaged and to know if there is heart failure

How is it treated?

Treatment includes the following steps:

  • Antibiotics to treat the infection in the heart valves
  • Blood-thinners to avoid stroke
  • Balloons are inserted to open up the valves
  • Heart valve surgery to treat the damaged valves

How to prevent rheumatic heart disease?

One should follow the below measures to prevent this disease:

  • Visit a doctor when you get a sore throat since this can help in preventing rheumatic fever
  • Wash hands when necessary
  • Avoid smoking
  • Maintain your weight
  • Eat a balanced diet

If you experience any of the above symptoms, consult a cardiologist online at eVaidya now!


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