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Syphilis – causes, side effects and treatments at

Wednesday, July 04, 2018 by

The main pathogenic agent for syphilis is the Treponema pallidum bacteria, which can infect the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease, but a pregnant woman who is infected can pass it onto her baby during pregnancy.

There are multiple stages of syphilis – early stages will cause a single, small, painless sore. However, if this is not treated, this can result in recurring symptoms and complications, even death.

In particular, syphilis increases the chances of getting or giving HIV during sexual intercourse.

Known risk factors and symptoms of syphilis

The risk factors for syphilis include:

  • Engaging in unprotected sex
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Being a man who has sexual intercourse with other men
  • HIV infection

Clinical symptoms of syphilis vary by stage.

  • The main symptom for primary stage syphilis is the presence of a painless sore in the area where the bacteria entered your body. The sore can last three to six weeks, whether it was treated or not.
  • In its secondary stage, symptoms of syphilis include the formation or skin rashes and lesions. The rashes do not itch and can sometimes be faint, making it easy to miss. Other symptoms could include a fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue. This can develop to its latent stage, where there are no visible signs and symptoms of the bacteria.
  • In some cases, untreated cases of syphilis progress into tertiary stage syphilis, where it can result in multiple organ damage, and even lead to death. This can occur even 10 years after the initial infection.

Body systems affected by syphilis

The body systems affected by syphilis include the reproductive organs as well as the mouth and the anus. In severe cases, this can affect multiple organs of the body, including the brain.

Pregnant women can pass the infection to their unborn baby. When this happens, the risk of having a miscarriage greatly increases, as well as infantile mortality during or after birth.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent syphilis

An article in discussed the benefits of both herbal and non-herbal supplements in treating syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases. Examples of non-herbal supplements include:

  • Free-form amino acids
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids
  • Zinc – typically prescribed in syphilis treatment
  • Colloidal silver
  • Coenzyme Q10

On the other hand, some herbal options include garlic, kelp, hops, goldenseal and red clover.

Treatments, management options for syphilis

A person who is sexually active would benefit from practicing mutually monogamous sexual intercourse with an uninfected partner to reduce the likelihood of syphilis. However, the following should be observed as well.

  • People who engage in risky sexual behavior (i.e., vaginal, oral, or anal sex with multiple partners or having unprotected sex) should have themselves tested for syphilis and other forms of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • If you notice a suspicious bump or a sore in areas that are known to be affected by syphilis, seek medical treatment from a healthcare professional.
  • Maintain open and honest communication with your sexual partner about any history of sexually transmitted diseases, if possible
  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse. These may not completely reduce the risk of syphilis, but it helps a lot.
  • If you are pregnant, have yourself checked for syphilis to prevent the fetus from infection.

Where to learn more


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum.

Syphilis can affect the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women.

Syphilis can be passed onto babies during pregnancy.

Syphilis increases the chances of getting or giving HIV during sexual intercourse.

Sources include:


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