Rheumatism is an infectious-allergic disease that affects the cardiovascular system, joints and some other organs. It is usually caused by a streptococcal infection in a child (often "angina" - inflammation of the tonsils). Colds and weakened immune systems also contribute to the development of the disease.
The disease can begin acutely 2-3 weeks after the onset of "angina". The first symptoms of the disease are fatigue, fever, pain and swelling of the joints (mostly the knees, ankles and wrists). These symptoms disappear soon after taking anti-rheumatic drugs.
The danger of acute rheumatism is that it develops inflammation of the heart muscle - myocarditis. Children complain of palpitations, shortness of breath, pain. If the disease continues with complications, endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart) can develop, which can eventually lead to acquired heart defects in children.
Rheumatism is a chronic disease consisting of an alternation of exacerbations (seizures) and periods of dormancy. With each new attack, the heart is damaged more deeply, and eventually an acquired heart defect can form.
Thus, rheumatism is a dangerous disease and is considered very frightening with its complications. Children with frequent angina should be monitored regularly by a cardiologist-rheumatologist (to avoid complications in the form of heart defects).
The main goal of treatment of rheumatism is the absence of fresh rheumatic attacks.
Prevention of rheumatism (especially in families with rheumatism) is very important. To do this, it is necessary to increase the immunity of children (immunomodulators, vitamin complexes, therapeutic physical training, body strengthening, etc.).
It is necessary to protect such children from colds, severe physical exertion, to treat permanent sources of infection in the body - carious teeth, chronic tonsillitis ("angina"). Frequent angina (more than once a year) is a direct route to rheumatism.