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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
Ohm Society
Rheumatic Fever Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Rheumatic fever is an autoimmune disease in which there is a hypersensitive reaction of the immune system to group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Rheumatic fever is not a contagious disease but, rather, a complication of a strep throat infection. Most cases of rheumatic fever occur in children, adolescents, and young adults.

Heart-reactive antibodies (HRA's) which attack one's own heart tissue have long been known to play a role in rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever and resulting heart disease are initiated by a throat infection with a group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. As a consequence of this infection, some patients produce HRA's without developing the disease and some develop rheumatic heart disease. Most people with group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infections do not get rheumatic fever.

The symptoms of rheumatic fever are fever and sore throat. If rheumatic heart disease follows, the symptoms vary according the exact nature and extent of the damage. They can include: heart overactive during vigorous work or play or during emotional excitement, shortness of breath, fatigue, fluid retention (pulmonary edema), angina pectoris, dizziness or fainting during exertion, palpitations. The most extreme result is congestive heart failure.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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