Friday, November 4, 2011

Strep Throat Season

Rumor on the streets is that strep throat is making its way through our schools and inevitably coming home to spread throughout the family. Strep throat is caused by a highly contagious bacteria called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus bacteria. Its symptoms include swollen and tender lymph nodes, fever, sore throat, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea. In the event that you think you or any of your family has strep, I do feel it important to go into your medical doctor to get a culture and potential antibiotics.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent getting strep throat and speed recovery if you've been diagnosed with it. First thing that's important to remember is that allowing your body to be sick and heal as naturally as possible is better in the long term. Your immune system is like a muscle in the sense that you've got to use it and work it to get stronger. In fact, symptoms like coughing, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, excess mucus, etc are actually signs that our body is kicking some metaphorical butt in the disease department. Think about symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and coughing. They are our body's way of getting things out of our system quickly however possible. It is our body's natural rejection system for infectious invaders. Same goes for a fever. When our internal temperature rises, it is our body's way of turning up the heat to a level that infectious invaders cannot survive at. By suppressing a fever or cough, you are only getting in the way of your body actively fighting for your health.

Now that you understand that your body is intensely fighting for your health while you're expressing symptoms of illness, you know why you need to rest, hydrate, and decrease stimulation while sick. Your body is already focused on something important, so adding more stimulation and stress will only pull attention away from fighting the illness. In addition to getting lots of sleep and drinking plenty of water and warm fluids, make sure to keep foods simple. You don't want to burden your digestive track with complex foods to digest, as it only draws attention away from fighting infection. This is why the old wives tale of soup while sick actually has some merit. Warm, easily digestible foods like brothy soup are very helpful to the immune system.

Also be sure to give your immune system proper support it needs by getting echinacea, vitamin C, zinc, licorice root, or ginger root.

 Brew your own tea:  Add 1/4 tsp of each item below to boiled water, let steep, and strain:
  • sage
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • rosemary
  • lemon
  • honey.
Essential oils of tea tree, lemon, or ravensara are very helpful to rub on the neck. And a salt water gargle a few times a day may also help to speed recovery and fight bacteria in the oral cavity.

Lastly, be sure to get you or your child adjusted while sick. I can't tell you how many people feel they need to cancel their appointments when they're sick, but it's actually the opposite! Your body needs to be adjusted more when its sick than ever. Adjustments to the neck and mid back actually strengthen your immune system and allow your body's natural healing ability to fight harder.

While letting your body naturally heal, be on the lookout for symptoms of lethargy, dehydration, acting out of character, or unresponsiveness. These are serious symptoms that may indicate a visit to your medical doctor. Many of these suggestions are applicable to other infections, but be sure to discuss with your medical doctor or chiropractor first. Have a safe and healthy winter season!

4 comments:

  1. Nice.I've been using medications before but it only worsen the condition so now I would want to try something that's natural and herbal. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  2. The reason strep throat is contagious is because GAS bacteria live in your throat and nose making it easily for them to spread to other uninfected people around you. The bacteria travel through small droplets of water, which are released out when you sneeze or cough. As the droplets are sneezed out, they carry the infectious bacteria and land on any surface they find. If you touch any surface which has the bacterial droplets on them and then touch your nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, the infection then starts spreading in you. Similarly, if you share a glass or plate with the infected person or shake their hands, there is a high chance that you may become infected as well. It is best to wash your hands after such occasionsfollowing casual contacts. As mentioned earlier, the bacteria GAS is responsible for causing strep throat, but the Streptococcus class of bacteria also causes impetigo, an infection which causes red sores all over the body, rheumatic fever in addition to some more. The bacteria start growing in the throat or skin which leads to pus formation and non-inflammatory continuation of previous infection. Impetigo is contagious while rheumatic fever is not contagious however, strep throat can come before it, which certainly is contagious. At some times, if you touch skin sores caused by GAS, like impetigo, you can become infected easily. It is again recommended that you wash your hands. Sometimes you can become infected from food that contains the GAS bacteria. Although it does not happen often, strep throat is foodborne as well. That is why before pasteurization, preservation and refrigeration of food was not common, strep throat spread quite commonly. In the past, outbreaks of strep throat used to happen quite commonly due to contamination and consumption of raw milk. But now foodborne strep throat is rare so if many people complain of strep throat after eating food together in a venue, it can indicate contaminated food. When it comes to strep throat, the bacteria starts infecting by colonizing in the throat. The bacteria adheres to the dermal epithelial cells which is due to a specific bacterial surface ligand binding with receptors in the throat. The strong adherence is one of the reasons strep throat cannot be simply washed away so easily. In fact, salivary fluid and mucous passing down the throat cannot scrape the bacteria strongly adhered to the skin of the throat so they continue damaging the tissues in the throat. Previous infections are also crucial as any exposure before leads to weakening of the dermal barriers so when strep throat happens again, the bacteria are able to adhere to the host cells quite easily. Studies have also shown that at certain sites, the other bacteria are in competition with the infectious cells for adherence to the host cells.
    Reference: Is Strep Throat Contagious?

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  3. I thought this article was very helpful in explaining how is strep throat spread. Most don't go as in depth. Thank you !

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  4. You may want to invest in clothing designed specifically for outdoor activity, or layer garments made of natural fibers (such as cotton, wool and silk). chiropractor in keller texas

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