Toxic Shock Syndrome

May 15 2018

Jacqueline Rosenhek


The name alone sounds harrowing to say the least. For those of you who menstruate, you have probably heard vague descriptions of TSS (toxic shock syndrome) such as if you leave the same tampon in for too long it can be potentially deadly. To be more descriptive, toxic shock syndrome is a severe complication most often resulting from staph infections. In some of those who have this infection, the bacteria makes a toxin and their body doesn’t fight it off successfully, thus resulting in low blood pressure- the shock- and can expand into a number of really intense complications which can range in organ failure, loss of limbs and can even kill you. The earliest cases of TSS are said to date back to the late 1970s. They were related to super-absorbent tampons.  Over 30 percent of TSS cases are women under the age of 19. Thankfully, some tampon makers have stopped making certain varieties of extra absorbent tampons. This has helped to reduce the occurrence of TSS in menstruating women. But tampon usage is not the only thing linked to toxic shock syndrome. Other people at risk of TSS include men, women and children who have been exposed to staph bacteria from things like physical recovery from childbirth, an open wound of any kind, a serious burn or surgery.

When it comes to natural remedies in the case of TSS, you will want to focus on preventing infection by keeping yourself healthy, particularly where TSS would affect you. When menstruating, it is recommended that you opt for chlorine free sanitary pads or a menstrual cup as opposed to tampons. However, if you insist on tampons, it is best to go for unbleached ones made of more natural material. You should also be on the more conservative side when it comes to how long you use a tampon.  Manufacturers typically say that tampons can be worn up to eight hours. It’s also important to wash your hands before and after inserting a tampon to reduce bacteria. Mix tea tree oil with your hand soap to make sure to kill any lingering bacteria. It is also recommended to prevent any uterine or urinary infections that could potentially spread, for this it is recommended to take cranberry supplements along with a source of vitamin C. Consider taking herbs and supplements to boost your immune system such as chrome and zinc; antioxidants like echinacea and vitamin D and antiviral herbs  like calendula, elderberry and astragalus. In addition, fill up on healing foods like fresh fruits and veggies, probiotic foods, homemade bone broth, and healthy fats like coconut. Infections can kill and when they spread, they can be potentially lethal. Prevent them from happening in the first place.

11 months ago

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