Group B streptococcal infection – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by

Group B streptococcus, also called group B strep or GBS, are bacteria that are often carried in the intestines or the lower genital tract. In most cases, these do not pose any harm in adults; however, people with chronic medical conditions are at risk of contracting an infection caused by GBS.

In the U.S., women who are pregnant are advised to have themselves screened during their third trimester for the presence of the GBS. This is to prevent transmitting the bacteria to their newborns during childbirth, which can result in a condition called GBS disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least one in four pregnant women carry GBS bacteria in the rectum or vagina.

The likelihood of getting a GBS infection for non-pregnant adults increases with age, with the average age of infection at 60 years old.

Known risk factors and symptoms of group B streptococcal infection

Certain factors increase a person’s risk of being infected with GBS disease.

For infants, these include the following risk factors:

  • The mother is a carrier of GBS.
  • The baby is preterm, that is, born earlier than 37 weeks.
  • The mother’s water breaks at least 18 hours or more before delivery.
  • The mother has chorioamnionitis, an infection of the placental tissues and amniotic fluid.
  • GBS has been detected in the mother’s urine during her current or previous pregnancies.
  • The mother has a fever higher than 100.4 F during labor.
  • The mother had previously given birth to an infant with GBS disease.

Older adults, especially those over 65 years, are more likely to be infected with GBS disease. People with a compromised immune system, such as those who have cancer, diabetes, HIV and liver disease are also prone.

Signs and symptoms of GBS disease vary for both newborns and adults.

In newborns and babies, symptoms include:

  • Difficulty feeding
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Blue-ish color in the skin

There are two forms of GBS disease in newborns: Early-onset disease occurs on the day of birth, while late-onset disease happens during the first week of life.

In adults, symptoms of GBS disease are dependent on which part of the body is infected. Common symptoms include:

  • Bacteremia or infection of the bloodstream
  • Sepsis, where the body’s response to an infection also injures its own tissues and organs
  • Pneumonia or infection of the lungs
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Skin and soft tissue infections

Body systems affected by group B streptococcal infection

Severe GBS infections can lead to multi-organ failure, as well as other types of infection in older adults.

Newborns, on the other hand, are at risk of having developmental disabilities as a complication of GBS disease. In particular, babies who have been affected with meningitis face long-term problems.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve group B streptococcal infection

While GBS diseases commonly affect pregnant women, these can also be found in men and children as well. Here are some recommended food items to manage the condition.

probiotic diet helps to replace “friendly bacteria” that have may have been lost during pregnancy, causing an overgrowth of GBS. Some food items include yogurt, kefir, and cultured vegetables. In addition, supplementing it with fruits aids beneficial bacteria, as well as improves vitamin C levels in the body.

Echinacea is also known to clear up strep infections and keeps them at bay. Drink two cups of steeped echinacea tea a day for up to two weeks, then take a break. This allows the anti-infective action of the flower to be used without weakening.

Treatment and management options for group B streptococcal infection

Here are some natural treatment options for treating and managing GBS infections, especially during childbirth.

  • A yogurt douche, which involves putting a cup of yogurt into a douche bag and allowing it to wash the inner walls for several minutes
  • Using a large clove of raw garlic as a vaginal suppository unlocks its antibiotic and antibacterial properties
  • Herbal oil suppositories, which include oregano, tea tree, and rosemary, are known antibacterials which can create a hostile environment for the GBS strain
  • Opting for a warm water birth is reportedly the safest way to minimize transmission of GBS

Where to learn more

Summary

Group B streptococcus, also called group B strep or GBS, does not pose any harm in adults; however, people with chronic medical conditions are at risk of contracting an infection caused by GBS.

GBS can be transmitted to newborns during childbirth, which can result in a condition called GBS disease.

There are two forms of GBS disease in newborns: Early-onset disease occurs on the day of birth, while late-onset disease happens during the first week of life.

While GBS diseases commonly affect pregnant women, these can also be found in men and children.

Sources include:

CDC.gov 1

CDC.gov 2

CDC.gov 3

CDC.gov 4

Livestrong.com

MayoClinic.org

NourishingJoy.com



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