Billions of people are living in this world. We get to see them every day, work with them, travel with time, eat with them. But did you know that aside from these people, there are also other agents that go along with them? Virus, bacterial, pollution.
People often get sick because of viruses and bacteria that infect our bodies. These bacteria roam around like a wind. Some of them are impacted by the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink. One of which is a streptococcus bacterium.
What are Streptococci?
Streptococci (Streptococcus in singular form) or "strep" are types of bacteria often come from dental decay or souring of milk that cause infection such as fever, strep throat, and more. There are two types of streptococci namely Group A Streptococci and Group B Streptococci.
Two Types of Streptococci and their Effects
Group A streptococci bacteria, commonly called Group A Strep are bacteria which are contagious and can be easily passed on when an infected person sneezes, coughs or touches your mouth or nose. These bacteria can be also being contained when sharing utensils, plate, or glass. Other effects of this type are skin infection (impetigo), scarlet fever which causes the body to have red rashes, and flesh-eating disease (necrotizing fasciitis and cellulitis).
One common effect of Group A bacteria is a strep throat.
Group B streptococci cause pneumonia, blood infections, and meningitis, especially on newborn babies. However, there are screening tests during pregnancy that can tell if you have it. Group B can also cause skins infections and urinary tract infection in adults and the elderly.
Sore Throat versus Step throat
Some people are misled by the difference between these two terms. Others may interchangeably use it for a different context. A sore throat is a basically caused by viruses. It may be because of allergies, bacteria, or pollution. A sore throat is just one of the symptoms of a strep throat. Both can be contagious can and be passed on from one person to another when they come in contact. A sore throat is not always considered as s strep throat.
A Strep throat, on the other hand, is a swollen and red throat. Strep throat is a painful respiratory condition. It makes eating, swallowing, and sleeping hard when you have one. It is a bacterial infection in the tonsils and throat. Tonsils are inflamed and have white spots on them. According to Duane Reade, 15% of patients with sore throats are diagnosed with strep. Coughing, runny nose or sneezing are not always associated with strep throats.
Causes of Strep Throat
Strep Throat is caused by the Type A Strep bacteria. This streptococcal infection enters the pharyngeal tissue and results in an inflammation of the throat and tonsils. These bacteria are often found in the throat or skin and cause illness such as skin infections. Strep Throats are common in children and teens.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Most common symptoms of a strep throat are a pain in swallowing, severe throat pain, swelling of tonsils and lymph nose, fever above 38.3 degrees Celsius, or a red throat with yellow or white spots at the back. Some people who experience strep throat can feel a headache or pain in the stomach. Occasionally, you can observe red rashes on the skin, lack of appetite, vomiting, and body aches. These symptoms generally appear within 2 to five days in contact with the bacteria.
Is Step Throat Contagious?
Since strep throats are caused by a certain type of bacteria, it is then contagious. When someone who has strep throats sneezes, breathes or coughs, tiny bacteria can go into the air and can be inhaled by other people.
How to diagnose Strep Throat?
When you go for a check-up, doctors will perform a physical exam and look for symptoms such as a red throat or swollen lymph nodes. Some doctors may do a throat culture test to identify any presence of bacteria.
How do you treat strep throat?
When you have a strep throat, you can feel tiny needles in your esophagus when swallowing. It is an awful feeling and who have to get rid of it fast as it may affect your health and appetite. A strep throat which is caused by Group A Strep bacteria can be easily cured. When you are diagnosed with strep throat, doctors prescribe antibiotics such as amoxicillin or penicillin. These antibiotics help reduce that chance of infection spreading into your body. If not prescribed with antibiotics, you will remain contagious for a couple of weeks.
Are there any natural remedies for strep throat?
The answer is definitely yes. Aside from the antibiotics prescribed by doctors, strep throat can be cured at home with natural remedies.
Here are some home remedies for treating strep throat:
Many researchers suggest that Echinacea have many powerful benefits. It works as in immune-boosting herb that stops the spread of bacterial illness such as strep throat. Echinacea can be used to dismiss pain when having strep throat, sore throat, body aches and headache. It has pain-relieving effects that reduce swelling in the tonsils and throat. The Echinacea can be taken in capsule form or as a tea.
Elderberry works an antiviral and anti-bacterial. A study shows that elderberry protects the body from respiratory symptoms especially during long flight. Elderberry can be taken as a drink (elderberry tea), power, or in capsule form.
One of the causes of respiratory infection is the lack of vitamin D. Study shows that vitamin D acts as an antimicrobial defense in the immune system. Vitamin D can get rid of group A strep bacteria and avoid respiratory conditions.
When you have a strep throat, use vitamin C to repair tissue damages and boost your immune system. Vitamin C decreases the risk of several illnesses from getting into your system. You can take 1000mg of vitamin C to prevent incoming infection or symptoms and take 4000mg if infections are already in your body. Eating vitamin c foods such as strawberries, kale, oranges, kiwi, and grapefruit are also good choices when diagnosed with strep throat. You can also make a smoothie out of these fruits when swallowing is painful.
Eat and Drink
Bone broth is taken to keep you hydrated. Bone broth helps provide minerals that are needed to boost the immune system and fight infections. When you experience painful swallowing, bone broth is a helpful remedy to eat as it contains glucosamine and chondroitin to lessen swelling and pain.
Taking raw honey is considered as one the most effective way of treating strep throat. It helps boost the immune system and raises the number of antioxidants in your body. The thick consistency of the heady and moist condition help creates a barrier to prevent any infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is a powerful way of healing strep throat naturally. It has acetic acid that kills bacteria and prevents bacteria from growing. A diluted solution of apple cider vinegar when gargled can effectively cure strep throat because of its antibacterial properties.
When symptoms arise, drink herbal to ease the pain in the throat and cure inflammation. One good choice is chamomile tea. It has a lot of antioxidants that reduce pain, redness, and swelling. Dandelion tea is also a good choice for treating strep throat. It eases stomach pain and boosts immune system.
What can you do?
Oil pulling is believed to reduce the existence of strep bacteria inside the mouth according to study. You can use this to maintain good oral health.
Coconut oil pulling can be considered as one of the best ways to get rid of bacteria from the mouth. It sucks up toxins and creates a clean environment. Take one to two tablespoons of coconut oil and leave it in your mouth for ten minutes at least before spitting it out. Rinse and brush your teeth after doing so.
Gargle Himalayan Salt
Using Himalayan Salt to gargle can help lessen the swelling of your throat and tonsils. It creates unpleasant room for bacteria within your mouth. The salt component increases the pH balance making it hard for the bacteria to survive inside the mouth. Himalayan salt is popularly known as an anti-bacterial agent. It reduces inflammation when swallowed or gargled.
Lemon oil contains antibacterial extracts that help remove toxins from the body. It limits the growth of bacteria in the body. To use this, add one to two drops of lemon oil in a glass of water or you can add it to your herbal tea to enhance flavor.
Peppermint oil is an effective oil for a cure sore throat. It lessens the swelling and often used to treat respiratory conditions. Peppermint oil has menthol component. When used, it gives cooling sensation and calming effect. Use one to two drops of peppermint oil and mix it with your water. You can also use this as a toothpaste.
Thyme oil is also one of the best home remedies for strep throat. Research proved that thyme oil can effectively resist antibiotic strains. Thyme oil can be used as a mouthwash by adding two drops to your water and gargle it. You can also take a bath with two drops of it to ease body aches.
Other home remedies
Plenty of Water
To avoid dehydration, drink lots of fluids or water. Avoid caffeine as it causes loss of water. You may also take cold beverages and ice cream to soothe your throat.
Throat lozenges can be taken to provide temporary relief from pain.
Ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin can be availed over the counter and does not need doctor's prescriptions. These medications can also provide instant pain relief.
Get Enough Sleep
Having enough rest can help make you feel better and recover more quickly.
How to prevent it?
Avoiding people who have been diagnosed with strep throat is the best way to prevent getting infected with. In addition, personal hygiene may lessen the chance of getting strep bacteria such as washing hands regularly, change toothbrush often, and avoid sharing utensils with others.
Wash Your Hands More Often
Wash your hands regularly with anti-bacterial soap to kill any trace of the bacteria. Homemade anti-bacterial soap is also recommended such as castile soap with peppermint oil.
Avoid Contact with Infected Persons
Once you are diagnosed with strep throat, do not cough or sneeze on others in order to prevent bacteria from spreading. Do not share food, plates, utensils or glasses with anyone for the next two weeks. Use natural soap to wash your dishes and kitchen counter to avoid spreading strep bacteria.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
The moment you feel symptoms of strep throat, replace your toothbrush as on as possible and replace them again after you are cured. This is to prevent getting strep throat again with Group A bacteria.
What happens to untreated strep throat?
Untreated strep throat Is dangerous. It can cause body complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney disorder. If strep throat is untreated, infections may go throughout the other parts of your body.
Once you start to experience symptoms of a strep throat, trouble with swallowing, swollen tonsils, or fever not going away, instantly see you, doctor. Antibiotics can be prescribed by doctors in order for you to contain the infection in a lesser amount of time. However, home and natural remedies are always available. Prevention is always better than cure. Preventing the spread of bacteria can help you in reducing chances to get more infection.