Bacterial infections
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Bacterial infections can range anywhere from a mild illness which is barely discernable to a very serious illness which has the potential to cause death. Serious bacterial infections are the leading cause of death in the elderly and in infants in the United States. Some of the most common bacterial infections include ear infections, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and certain types of skin disorders.


Often the symptoms related to bacteria infections include fevers, stomach nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling, fatigue, and excessive thirst. Symptoms vary by bacterial infections, such as an ear infection may present with pain in the, a feeling of stuffiness in the head, pressure behind the eye, and a fever while lung infections will present with coughing, difficulty breathing, fevers, chills, sweats, and airway constriction.


Causes of bacteria infections are simply the attraction of bacteria to the body. Bacteria, which are single celled micro-organisms, can be found in the water, air, on surfaces, passed through human touch, and even in food. When bacteria find a place to colonize and fester, it causes a bacterium infection. A bacterium is most easily identified under a microscope and can be most readily identified through the various shapes which bacteria are known to exist.
Bacterial infections
Image: Bacterial infections


There are numerous risk factors that can make on person more susceptible to bacteria infections. The elderly and infants are typically more susceptible due to a lack of immunity, especially when they are hospitalized for any reason. Nutrition or a lack thereof, plays an important part in determining whether a person is more or less susceptible to a bacterium infection.

People with low body weight have a harder time fighting off an infection than those of normal body weight. Cleanliness plays a factor as well, as bacteria is often picked up by touching objects and surfaces. Those who wash their hands regularly are less prone to bacteria infections. There are genetic links to those who are susceptible to bacteria infections. Genes often play a larger role in our overall health than we realize.


Often doctors can diagnose bacteria infections by listening to the patient’s symptoms, running tests which include looking at bodily fluids under a microscope to identify the bacterium, and if the infection is visible, they can simply recognize the infection. Bacterial infections such as Tuberculosis can be tested with a special instrument which pricks the skin and a chest x-ray.
Image: Bacteria


Untreated bacterial infections tend to get worse. Some bacterial infections that are left untreated can cause serious illness and even death, even those that are not usually considered serious. It is important for patients who may have a bacterial infection to see a physician right away.

Antibiotics are the most common form of treating bacterial infections, although there has been an over use of antibiotics and some bacterium no longer respond to antibiotics. Antibiotic resistant bacteria infections often lead to hospitalization for intravenous antibiotic administration. Death can occur with antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.

Nutritional therapies have shown progress in treating bacterial infections. There are a multitude of nutritional factors that are being proven to help ward off and fight bacterial infections. Some of these include honey, cranberry juice, oil of oregano, thyme, ginger, vitamins A and E, zinc, garlic, goldenseal, licorice, black, green, or oolong teas, and probiotics which are found in yogurts, cheeses, kefir, and sauerkraut.

Good self care is vital when undergoing treatment for a bacterial infection, even when the patient isn’t feeling ill. Allowing for extra rest, extra low sugar and un-carbonated fluids, and taking a full round of antibiotics helps to promote good health. Taking antibiotics only until symptoms subside usually will entice the infection to return even more difficult to treat and with greater vigor. Speaking directly with the physician about nutritional enhancements that can help the body resist the bacterium infection can give the patient dietary guidelines which can help alleviate the illness and resist further illnesses.

Coping with bacterial infections require a higher state of vigilance, such as hand washing, resisting human touch, and refraining from being around infants, the elderly, or those with severe health issues. Most bacterial infections clear up within ten days, with symptoms subsiding around day 4 or 5. Listening to the body’s need for sleep, fluid, or food is one of the best ways to cope with a bacterial infection.
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