Rheumatism is a systemic disease of the connective tissue, which is characterized by the presence of an inflammatory process, mainly in the joints and membranes of the heart.
Its development is preceded by a streptococcal infection, which activates the body’s immune antibodies to attack molecules of streptococcus. The ingress of bacteria into the body provokes the appearance of tonsillitis or purulent tonsillitis, the complications of which are fraught with the development of rheumatism. So that the disease is detected on time and does not progress, it is recommended to take tests for rheumatism.
Infectious abnormalities, in the first place, signal changes in the chemical composition of the blood. The greatest risk of rheumatism lies in pathological disorders of the heart, in which injuries occur in the valves, contributing to the development of heart disease of the acquired form.
Indications for analysis
The disease can occur in various variations. With an inactive phase of the course of rheumatism, the results of the analysis do not critically differ from the permissible norms. A blood test for rheumatic tests is prescribed in the presence of obvious symptoms, as well as for monitoring treatment and for preventive purposes.
The following symptoms are characteristic of the initial stage of the disease:
- Pain in the joints;
- Weather dependence;
- Body asymmetry;
- Low-grade fever;
- Crunch in the joints and swelling caused by inflammation.
To confirm and refute the diagnosis, it is necessary to conduct a laboratory analysis. Comprehensive diagnosis of rheumatism involves the detection of immunoglobulins in the blood, the detection of migratory immune complexes, as well as antibodies to the external structures of streptococci.
To ensure that the test results are reliable, doctors recommend adhering to certain recommendations before the study:
- Analysis should be taken only on an empty stomach;
- There is nothing to eat for 8-12 hours before blood sampling;
- Try to avo />
For the diagnosis of rheumatism information are five main studies:
- Complete blood count to detect ESR and white blood cell count;
- Biochemical analysis examines the level of normal and non-glycosylated protein, as well as the degree of rheumato />
Rheumatological screening is a fairly informative study. In addition to the mandatory tests for rheumatism, he diagnoses the collected material for the leukocyte formula and the degree of antinuclear antibodies.
The procedure is prescribed for the early diagnosis of streptococcal infection, cardiac pathologies, as well as diseases of muscle tissue and joints. The analysis is carried out by venous blood sampling.
General blood analysis
Damage to the joints often takes place accompanied by leukocytosis (a shift of the leukocyte formula to the left), which occurs due to an active attack by stabs, less often myelocytes or metamyelocytes. Similar indicators in the analyzes are present with an intensively developing infectious process.
In the forms of subacute polyarthritis, the number of leukocytes is within the permissible limits or slightly increased. As a rule, their decrease occurs in parallel with a decrease in body temperature. Articular rheumatoid attack is not characterized by the presence of anemia. This trend does not indicate the completion of the rheumatic process, but is only a decline in the acute inflammatory element.
For a prolonged course of recurrent forms of rheumatism, changes in the blood are not characteristic, as with articular rheumatism. However, there is a slight increase in white blood cells and a decrease in neutrophils.
For prolonged rheumatic endocarditis, with repeated exacerbation, the presence of normochromic or hypochromic anemia is characteristic, which is not critical. With endocarditis of an infectious type, the values of the Bittorf-Tushinsky test, as well as the formol test, are important.
The results of tests for rheumatism are greatly influenced by drug therapy, including butadione and amidopyrine. The use of these substances contributes to the development of leukopenia (a decrease in white blood cells), and the use of steroid drugs contributes to a longer preservation of leukocytosis, as well as neutrophilia.
A more thorough analysis can be obtained with a biochemical study. For acute rheumatism, the presence of hyperinosis is characteristic when an increase in fibrinogen is observed in the blood.
An equally important indicator is also an increase in blood levels of alpha globulins, indicating the development of the initial phase of rheumatoid polyarthritis or exacerbation of rheumatic heart disease. Later degrees of rheumatoid polyarthritis signal a huge amount of gamma globulins, with a fairly low level of serumalbumin. Therefore, when analyzing rheumatism, much attention is paid to specific tests:
- An increase in gamma globulins is recognized by Takata-Ara;
- The popular Velman test reveals the level of alpha-globulins;
- The concentration of albumin helps determine the cadmium sample.
An important role in the study is played by the presence in the blood serum of a non-glycosylated protein that is not detected in the serum of healthy people. Its presence in the blood is not critical, but thanks to this fact, rheumatism and rheumatoid polyarthritis can be diagnosed earlier than the reaction of ESR parameters.
Based on the studied data, it is worth arguing that rheumatism has a different nature of occurrence. The infectious nature of the pathology can provoke not only streptococcal infection, but also other types of pathogens.
Often the cause of its appearance is hyperergy – a condition in which the body is rearranged due to the penetration of a certain type of allergen. Sensitization of the body occurs when protein breakdown products enter it. This is most often noted in the incubation period, when the absolute picture of rheumatism is revealed, against the background of pronounced streptococcal sensitivity.
A reactive and chronic form of the disease, the main factor of which is streptococcus, often provokes the development of heart disease. However, timely treatment of the infectious nature of rheumatism, guarantees the patient a complete recovery, completely relieving him of the disturbing symptoms.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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