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Rheumatic fever – causes, side effects and treatments at

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 by

Rheumatic fever is a common illness among children and young adults. It is usually a complication after a patient is hit with a streptococcus infection, such as a strep throat. The bad germs inside the body trick the immune system to attack healthy tissues, causing them to become inflamed. Those suffering from this disease may experience high temperature, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

Long-lasting effects in the skin, joints, heart, and brain may occur in patients who were diagnosed with rheumatic fever.

Known risk factors and symptoms of rheumatic fever

Risk factors for rheumatic fever include:

  • History of the disease in the family – There are certain genes that are more likely to contract rheumatic fever than others.
  • Type of streptococcus bacteria in the body – Some strains have more chances of leading into the disease.
  • Environmental factors – This risk factor is more common in developing where there are overcrowded places in which bacteria and infection can easily spread.

Since rheumatic fever is often caused by strep throat, their symptoms are alike, such as:

  • Swollen lymph nodes and tonsils
  • A sore throat
  • A headache
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • High body temperature
  • Pain in the abdomen

In severe cases, some patients reportedly experienced some or all of these symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • A quick heart rate
  • Decreased ability to do physical activities
  • Pain and swelling of the joints
  • Fever
  • Red skin rash
  • Sudden twitching or uncontrollable movements

Body systems affected by rheumatic fever

Due to the presence of infection in the system, rheumatic fever can cause long-term complications. Anyone possibly suffering from it should immediately seek the help of a medical expert. In fact, it is so serious, one of the most common complications of this disease is heart disease. It can also cause:

  • Aortic valve stenosis – Narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart.
  • Aortic regurgitation – Blood flows in the wrong direction due to a leak in the aortic valve.
  • Heart muscle damage – The heart muscle is weakened due to inflammation.
  • Atrial fibrillation – An irregular heartbeat in the upper chambers of the heart.
  • Heart failure – This is the result once the heart can no longer pump blood.
  • Stroke
  • Permanent heart damage
  • Death

Food items or nutrients that may prevent rheumatic fever

A good diet can help prevent or relieve the symptoms of rheumatic fever. Here are some of the foods and nutrients beneficial to keep the body away from this illness.

  • Almonds – Helps strengthen the immune system.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Known as one of the best herbal remedies for rheumatic fever.
  • Bitter gourd – Has acrid components which can provide relief from the illness.
  • Garlic – Has antifungal properties and can help reduce fever.
  • Ginger – Has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. It can be sourced from fish oil and flaxseeds.
  • Potato juice – Helps ease discomfort and pain.
  • Vitamin C – Helps fight off bacteria. It can be sourced from papaya, orange, tomato, and broccoli.
  • Walnuts – Helps boost the immune system.
  • Water – Several diseases can be prevented or alleviated when properly hydrated.
  • Yogurt – Helps produce antibodies.

Treatment and management options for rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever is not to be taken lightly as it entails further complications if left untreated. The following are five natural home remedies patients can try to treat or manage the disease.

  1. Weeping fig leaves
  2. Horseradish
  3. Beehive produce
  4. Black Bryrony
  5. Burdock

Where to learn more


Rheumatic fever is an illness normally triggered by a streptococcus infection and is more common among children and young adult. The disease’s symptoms include fever, skin rash, nausea and vomiting, headache, and a sore throat. Rheumatic fever has three risk factors which are family history, type of strep bacteria, and environmental factors.

It is not advisable to leave this condition untreated as it can lead to more serious complications like heart disease, stroke, permanent heart damage, and death.

Keeping the body healthy through a balanced diet and right amount of nutrients can help prevent or relieve the symptoms of rheumatic fever. Foods rich in vitamin C and omega-3 are recommended as well as almonds, yogurt, water, potato juice, bitter gourd, walnuts, ACV, ginger, and garlic.

Natural remedies, such as weeping fig leaves, horseradish, beehive products, black bryony, and burdock are effective in treating the disease, particularly in alleviating pain caused by rheumatic fever.

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