Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Pneumococcal infections are spread by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) and infections can vary from mild to severe. At least 90 different strains of S. pneumoniae exist.
There are two types of pneumococcal infections:
- Non-invasive pneumococcal infections – These infections happen outside the major organs or the blood. They tend to be less severe. Non-invasive pneumococcal infections may include bronchitis, otitis media/ear infection, and sinusitis.
- Invasive pneumococcal infections – These infections happen inside a major organ or the blood. They tend to be more severe. Invasive pneumococcal infections may include bacteremia (mild blood infection), meningitis (infection of the meninges/the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord), osteomyelitis (bone infection), pneumonia (lung infection), septic arthritis (joint infection), and septicemia (severe blood poisoning).
Known side effects of a pneumococcal infection
The side effects of a pneumococcal infection may vary based on the type of infection that a patient has. Common symptoms may include:
- Aches and pains
- A high temperature or a fever of 38 degrees C/100.4 degrees F
Anyone can get a pneumococcal infection, but risk factors for an infection may include:
- Being younger than two years old or being older than 65.
- Having certain health conditions (e.g., HIV infection, immune compromising conditions, nephrotic syndrome, or sickle cell disease).
- Having chronic illnesses (e.g., diabetes or chronic heart, liver, kidney, or lung disease).
- Having cochlear implants or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks.
- Leaving children in daycare or in group childcare.
Body systems harmed by a pneumococcal infection
Even though the majority of pneumococcal infections are mild, some patients may suffer from deadly or long-term problems because of an infection.
Pneumococcal infections may cause the following complications:
- Brain damage
- Hearing loss
Food items or nutrients that may prevent a
The following foods or nutrients can help prevent a pneumococcal infection or address its side effects:
- Aloe vera – Drinking a glass of warm water with a tablespoon of aloe vera gel can protect you from various infections. A potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, aloe vera is also rich in vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and folic acid. Additionally, aloe vera contains minerals like calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. These nutrients can help protect you from illnesses.
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) – ACV can improve digestion and balance the pH level of the body so it can fight off bacterial infections more effectively. Drink a cup of water with a tablespoon of ACV after the heaviest meal of the day to enjoy these benefits.
- Cranberry juice – Cranberries can help fight infections. The acidity of cranberries is the result of high proanthocyanidin content.
- Lemons – Lemons can help treat respiratory tract infections. The fruit contains vitamin C that can help heal infections more quickly and prevent antibiotic overuse, which can gradually weaken the immune system.
- Probiotics – Probiotics can help protect you from infection and boost the immune system. Sources include dark chocolate, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut.
- Turmeric – A famous spice, turmeric is a potent antibacterial. Turmeric, consumed with some honey, can boost the immune system.
Treatments, management plans for pneumococcal infection
Since non-invasive pneumococcal infections are often mild, they can resolve on their own without requiring any treatment. Rest and hydration are usually recommended for patients with non-invasive pneumococcal infections.
However, individuals with more invasive types of pneumococcal infections may require medical treatment at home or in the hospital.
Where to learn more
Pneumococcal infections are spread by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. Infections can vary from mild to severe.
The side effects of a pneumococcal infection may vary based on the type of infection a patient has. Common symptoms may include aches and pains, a high temperature or a fever of 38 degrees C/100.4 degrees F, and headaches.
Pneumococcal infections may cause complications like brain damage, hearing loss, and death.