Rheumatism or rheumatic fever is a complication of streptococcal infection of the tonsils. It is the result of an inadequate immune response to the bacterial inflammation. Immune complexes attack not only streptococci, but also normal tissues, heart, joints, skin, and structures of the central nervous system.
Rheumatic fever most often develops in adolescence. After the sore throat, average risk of rheumatism is 2.5%. Often, the disease results in the formation of heart defects with the subsequent progression of chronic heart failure. In children, the risk is 25%, in adolescents – 33%, in adult patients – over 40%. Most often it occurs during the first 3 years after the beginning of the disease.
The initial cause of the rheumatism is bacteria. These are streptococci which cause sore throat. The etiotropic treatment is a type of therapy which is aimed at eliminating the underlying cause of the disease.
In German hospitals, streptococcal infection is treated with antibiotics. Doctors give preference to penicillin group. Streptococci are sensitive to these antibiotics in most cases. Protected amoxicillin orally, or injections of benzylpenicillin are administered.
In order to make treatment more convenient and comfortable for the patient, prolonged types of antibiotics are often prescribed in Germany. They can be applied once a week or even once in a few weeks. These drugs are more often used in chronic rheumatic fever, if a long course of therapy is required.
The pathogenetic treatment
The pathogenetic treatment of rheumatism in Germany is aimed at eliminating inflammatory processes caused by patient’s own immunity. Two groups of drugs are mainly used in order to suppress the autoimmune reactions:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
These drugs are administered orally; a course lasts for at least one and a half months. Glucocorticoids are usually prescribed for up to 2 months. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are taken up to 5 months.
Drugs help in the following aspects:
- Reduce connective tissue lesions
- Reduce severity of the inflammatory processes
- Reduce risk of complications
- Eliminate major symptoms (including joint pain)
The symptomatic therapy does not affect the cause of rheumatism. It only improves patient’s quality of life. This type of treatment is prescribed in the development of heart failure. Drugs of the following groups are applied:
- Antiplatelet drugs
- Antihypertensive drugs
- Calcium channel blockers
- Beta-adrenergic blocking agents
- Cardiac glycosides
The treatment regimen is selected individually for each patient based on his symptoms, ECG results, laboratory tests, blood pressure, pulse rate, exercise tolerance, etc.
Treatment of the rheumatism complications
Heart failure is a frequent undesirable outcome of rheumatic fever. As a result of inflammatory reactions, the endocardium is damaged. This is the inner lining of the heart, consisting of connective tissue. It forms valves – anatomical structures, due to which the blood moves only in one direction.
As a result of damage, heart valves are no longer able to fully close vessels and atrioventricular openings through which blood flows. During contractions of the heart, blood returns back. This phenomenon is called regurgitation. More intense the reverse blood flow is, more a certain part of the heart is overloaded.
The only way of the valvular heart disease elimination includes surgical intervention. Plastic surgery or implantation of artificial valve is carried out. In Germany, such operations are performed by experienced cardiac surgeons. Therefore, almost always such interventions are successful and don’t have any complications.
Treatment of rheumatism in Germany
Today, a poor level of medicine in your country is no longer a problem. You can receive treatment in hospitals of more developed countries. Trip for treatment abroad is not a problem, if you use services of the company Booking Health. We will select a hospital for you and arrange treatment as soon as possible.
German hospitals attract patients from all over the world, because of the following aspects:
- The best rheumatologists of the world are working here
- The accurate diagnostics using modern equipment is carried out
- The most modern drugs are used
- Various procedures and techniques which are not available in most countries of the world are applied here
In rheumatism, the conservative treatment is carried out. Nevertheless, in some patients there is a need for surgical intervention. It happens due to the valvular heart diseases.
In Germany, departments of rheumatology work in close cooperation with departments of pediatric and adult heart surgery. High-quality operations at any age are carried out here. Some of them are performed in a minimally invasive manner, without thoracotomy (opening of the thorax).
In order to receive treatment in Germany, you should use services of the company Booking Health. We have been involved in medical tourism for over 15 years and we are the leaders of this industry. Working with us you will receive the following benefits:
- Choosing the right medical facility which shows the best results in the treatment of rheumatism
- Complete organization of treatment, communication with doctors and administration of a hospital
- Preparation and translation of documents, while contacting German hospitals; avoiding repetition of already performed diagnostic examinations
- Monitoring medical program at all stages
- Costs of therapy will be lower by up to 50% for you, since we guarantee absence of overpricing and additional coefficients for foreign patients
- Full transparency in financial matters, return of unspent funds after the program completion
Any German hospital is ready to admit you, if you book treatment with the help of the company Booking Health. You will receive treatment from the best specialists of the country. We will help to arrange urgent treatment and make it as comfortable as possible.
Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova