Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Rheumatic Fever Questions..

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 6 Replies
  • Posted By: aubx03
  • June 24, 2009
  • 04:11 AM

It's been a year and I have been searching for answers as to what was wrong with me, Doctors could give me no answers and I saw several.

A year ago I had been out mowing the lawn, It was a really hot day and I had been out there for a few hours. Later that night I started to feel sick I felt like I was starting to get a sore throat. The next day I felt even worse, I took my temp and it was 101 so I went to see my doctor.. He did a chest X-ray and said that there was a dark spot on my x-ray and he said I was starting to get pneumonia he gave me antibiotics and sent me on my way. About a week later I delevloped severe joint pain, I could hardly move all my joints hurt constantly. And if I walked to much I would get these lumps all over my legs. I went to the ER after waking up one night to go to the bathroom and I could not even pull the covers off of me because the pain was so bad. He did some blood work, and told me everything came back fine, He could only see that I had some inflamation from the tests he did. He told me to see my Doctor for further testing. So a few days later I saw my Doctor, He did some tests for rhumetoid arthritis, auto immune diseases, hepititis.. They all came back negative so he prescribed me prednisone and some antibiotics.. When I took the prednisone it took all my joint pain away temporarly, but it would come back hours later. So I would go back, this continued on for 3 months, until one day the pain was just gone.

Now everytime I start to get a little sick I get anxiety that this pain will come back and I start to research on the internet what it could be. The other day I came across rheumatic fever, I had a few of the symptoms and after reading about it, it has got me extremely worried because of the effects it has on the heart. I am 23, I was 22 when this all happend thats a little out of the age range but that doesn't mean this could not happen. I guess the answer i am looking for is, If I were to call and schedule an Echocardiogram would this tell if I infact had rheumatic fever? I had one done 5 months prior to my illness after giving birth they thought i had cardiomyopathy and everything was fine.

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6 Replies:

  • Can you describe your joint pain in more detail? Which joints were involved? How long? Was there swelling or effusion (fluid in the joint)? Also, can you describe the appearance and feel of the "lumps" in your leg? Did you have a positive strep test? Was the cause of your pneumonia ever identified?
    m3dh31p 69 Replies Flag this Response
  • The joint pain was in my fingers, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. It lasted about 4 months. I had no swelling other than in my ankles they would swell double their size. The pain was excruciating, like nothing I have felt before. I felt like an 80 year old woman who could not get around. If I was sitting it took everything I had to stand up and I was almost in tears by the time I did get up. It hurt to bend my knees, Bend my arms, I couldn't grasp things in my hand without pain. The lumps in my legs felt hard to the touch and they were painful. They were a light red color. I really noticed them if I walked alot. I was told they were erythema nodosum. The doctor never did a strep test none of the doctors did. And the cause of pneumonia was never identified. I took the antibiotics he gave me and within a week I felt better other than the joint pain that had come on.
    aubx03 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Your concern for rheumatic fever is understandable, but RF can look like various other illnesses and vice versa. For a diagnosis of RF, there must be evidence of preceding strep throat (or, in medicalese, group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis). So, if you wish to confirm whether you had rheumatic fever, you don't need an echocardiogram. If your strep test/ASO titer is positive, then you have to meet a set of symptom criteria called Jones criteria for rheumatic fever. Only then would tests such as blood test, ECG, and Echo be needed. If you did not have strep throat, you did not have rheumatic fever, and so you do not need concern yourself with the possibility of rheumatic heart disease (which is your current concern, as opposed to RF). If, on the other hand, there is a history of step throat and RF, then you might worry about RHD, and get evaluated. I hope this answers your question.
    m3dh31p 69 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've actually never had strep throat, Just bronchitis.. So that does put my mind at ease. Thanks alot. :)
    aubx03 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Bronchitis and pneumonia are not associated with RF. Although your polyarthritis and erythema nodosum would be concerning, in the absence of a history of strep throat they would not indicate RF. If you have any more questions, you may post them. Wish you all the best.
    m3dh31p 69 Replies Flag this Response
  • Your concern for rheumatic fever is understandable, but RF can look like various other illnesses and vice versa. For a diagnosis of RF, there must be evidence of preceding strep throat (or, in medicalese, group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis). So, if you wish to confirm whether you had rheumatic fever, you don't need an echocardiogram. If your strep test/ASO titer is positive, then you have to meet a set of symptom criteria called Jones criteria for rheumatic fever. Only then would tests such as blood test, ECG, and Echo be needed. If you did not have strep throat, you did not have rheumatic fever, and so you do not need concern yourself with the possibility of rheumatic heart disease (which is your current concern, as opposed to RF). If, on the other hand, there is a history of step throat and RF, then you might worry about RHD, and get evaluated. I hope this answers your question.I have to disagree with the whole "If you did not have strep throat, you did not have rheumatic fever," due to the fact im 17 and been living with RF for 10 years and i got it from absest tooth, however, it could of been the bacteria, my brother also has it and got it from strep throat, they say its not hereitary but how do you explain me and my biological brother have the same heart disease. Around the same age time, he was 8 i was 7???? doctors have never explained to me how i really got it.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 27, 2010
    • 06:06 PM
    • 0
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