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Typhoid fever – causes, side effects and treatments at

Thursday, July 12, 2018 by

Typhoid fever is a serious infectious disease that is spread by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi (S. typhi). The disease can also be spread by Salmonella paratyphi (S. paratyphi), a related bacterium that often causes less severe illness. The bacteria are deposited via fecal contamination in water or food by a human carrier, and it eventually spreads to other people in the area.

Patients with typhoid fever usually have a sustained high fever of up to 104 F and generalized fatigue. When left untreated, the symptoms of the infectious disease may persist for several months.

Known side effects of typhoid fever

The side effects of typhoid fever usually include:

  • Abdominal pain and peritonitis
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Generalized aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • A high fever, often up to 104 degrees F
  • Intestinal bleeding or perforation (after at least two to three weeks of the disease)
  • Lethargy (only if the disease is untreated)
  • Poor appetite

The condition of patients without complications often improves after about three to four weeks. However, at least 10 percent of patients have a relapse, or they experience recurrent symptoms after they feel better for one to two weeks. Relapses are more common among people who were treated with antibiotics.

Risk factors for typhoid fever may include traveling to areas with the highest rates of infection such as:

  • Africa
  • The Indian subcontinent
  • South America
  • South and Southeast Asia

Body systems harmed by typhoid fever

Typhoid fever may cause the following complications:

  • Intestinal hemorrhage/severe gastrointestinal tract (GI) bleeding
  • Intestinal perforation
  • Kidney failure
  • Peritonitis (the inflammation of the peritoneum, or the thin tissue along the inner wall of the abdomen that covers most of the abdominal organs)

Food items or nutrients that may prevent typhoid fever

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent typhoid fever or address its side effects:

  • Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates provide the body with energy, which is crucial for a patient recovering from typhoid fever. Consume well-cooked foods with easily digestible carbohydrates and are low in sugar.
  • Fluids – Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. It can also help encourage the elimination of waste material and toxins through the patient’s urine.
  • Minerals – Fever and sweating might decrease a patient’s electrolyte levels. To replenish potassium and sodium levels, consume fruit juices, broths, and soups. These can help make up for the mineral loss.
  • Protein – Patients need to eat protein-rich foods so they can recover faster. The average adult needs at least 100 grams (gm) of protein per day. Sources include eggs and milk.
  • Vitamins – Vitamins can help boost a patient’s overall health during the recovery period.

Treatments, management plans for typhoid fever

Treatment for typhoid fever usually involves antibiotics. The majority of cases can be treated at home, but a patient may require hospitalization if their condition is severe.

Home treatment for typhoid fever includes antibiotics if the disease is diagnosed in its early stages. In most cases, individuals need to take them for one to two weeks. However, some strains of S. typhi have already developed a resistance to one or more types of antibiotics.

A patient with typhoid fever must eat regular meals, rest, and stay hydrated. It’s also crucial to maintain good personal hygiene, such as regularly washing your hands to avoid spreading the infection. Consult a healthcare professional if your condition worsens while you’re being treated at home.

Hospital treatment is often recommended if a patient suffers from severe side effects like persistent vomiting or severe diarrhea. When a patient requires hospitalization, they may be given antibiotic injections. Other treatments include an intravenous drip (I.V. drip) that will be used to give them fluids and nutrients directly into a vein.

Surgery may be recommended if a patient develops life-threatening complications, like internal bleeding. It can take at least three to five days before a patient’s condition improves with hospital treatment but it can take a couple of weeks until they’re well enough to go home.

Where to learn more


Typhoid fever is a serious infectious disease that is spread by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi.

The side effects of typhoid fever usually include abdominal pain and peritonitis, diarrhea or constipation, and generalized aches and pains.

Typhoid fever may cause complications like intestinal hemorrhage/severe gastrointestinal tract (GI) bleeding, intestinal perforation, kidney failure, and peritonitis.

Carbohydrates, fluids, minerals, protein, and vitamins can help prevent typhoid fever or address its side effect.

Treatment for typhoid fever usually involves antibiotics. The majority of cases can be treated at home, but a patient may require hospitalization if their condition is severe.

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