Aside from the negative effects of the disease on adult patients, the condition can also be detrimental to children. Rheumatic heart disease has devastating effects on both children and young adults. In addition to women, it is also one of the leading causes of maternal cardiac complications during pregnancy. A pregnant woman with rheumatic heart disease is at an increased risk of having a baby with poor heart valves. Unfortunately, many women do not even realize they have the disease until they become pregnant.
Tests and checkup
There are several tests to detect rheumatic heart disease. These tests will determine whether the patient has strep or other types of infection. Your doctor will also check the level of inflammation in your body. The condition will also lead to a heart murmur and an irregular heartbeat. Your doctor may prescribe anticoagulants and other medications to help reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may need to undergo surgery to correct the problem.
The first test to diagnose RHD is an electrocardiogram. This will record electrical activity in the heart. It will show if the heart is pumping blood at a regular rate. The doctor may order a blood test to see if you have a high level of strep. Your doctor will also order a chest X-ray to check the size of your heart and lungs. A cardiac MRI will show the heart muscle and valves. A heart scan can help diagnose the cause of the disease. If your symptoms are not life-threatening, you should take anticoagulants to reduce the risk of a stroke.