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Toxic Shock Syndrome Symptoms & 5 Natural Steps To Prevent It

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare but life-threatening condition that stems from certain kinds of bacterial infections. Quite often, TSS develops from Staphylococcus aureus, or staph bacteria, but could also be caused by group A streptococcus, or strep bacteria. Toxic shock syndrome symptoms vary and may include a sudden high fever, vomiting, or confusion, to list a few. And while the condition is usually associated with the use of super-absorbent tampons, since companies have pulled certain types from the market, incidents of TSS in menstruating women has declined. However, it’s still a danger, and furthermore, TSS can affect anyone, including men, children, and women who are postmenopausal. (1)

Toxic Shock Syndrome Symptoms

Toxic shock syndrome causes a variety of symptoms. If you have any reason to suspect you have TSS, seek medical help immediately. Toxic shock syndrome may cause symptoms such as: (2)
  • A sudden high fever
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • A rash resembling a sunburn, particularly on your palms and soles
  • Confusion
  • Muscle aches
  • Redness of your eyes, mouth and throat
  • Seizures
  • Headaches

Toxic Shock Syndrome Prevention

Again, it should be noted that toxic shock syndrome is a medical emergency. You should not try to treat symptoms toxic shock syndrome causes with home remedies; if you suspect you have TSS you should seek medical attention immediately. However, as it is with any condition, prevention is the best treatment. Below are several toxic shock syndrome prevention methods you can try to help protect your body from this dangerous condition.

1. Menstruation Maintenance

toxic shock syndrome wash hands During your period, opt for chlorine-free pads rather than tampons. However, if you prefer tampons, then always be extremely dutiful when it comes to how long you use it before changing it. Typically, manufacturers state you can wear a tampon up to eight hours. (3) Furthermore, be sure to wash your hands before and after inserting a tampon to reduce bacteria. While tampon companies state you can sleep with a tampon in, it’s generally not a good idea to do so. This is because it’s easy to leave it in for over the 8-hour mark, which is already high enough of a limit as it is. Never use more than one tampon at one time and choose the lowest absorbency possible for your particular flow. (4)

2. Avoid Tampons (Especially If You've Had TSS Before)

toxic shock syndrome tampons While tampons have been improved to avoid occurrences of TSS, you should still avoid using them if you’ve had TSS in the past. It can easily reoccur, so it’s best to play it safe. (5)

3. Care For Your Wounds Properly

When you procure a burn, cut, scrape, incision or any other kind of skin wound, it’s crucial that you take care of it to prevent bacteria from entering. Be sure you keep the area clean and change the bandage frequently. Take extra care if you are in a hospital or nursing home. Furthermore, alert your doctor or nurse immediately if your wound shows any sign of infection, such as redness, swelling or oozing.

4. Get Enough Vitamin D

toxic shock syndrome mushrooms Research has indicated how vitamin D promotes immunity. In fact, several studies have shown a link between low levels of vitamin D and an increase of infection frequency. (6, 7) Be sure to take in plenty of vitamin D to help keep your immune system running well. This will help ward off bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome. Get outside more, take a supplement, or eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as mushrooms, to help keep your immune system running optimally. (8)

5. Adopt a Probiotic-rich Diet

Ingestion of probiotics is another good way to boost your immune system. They support the body’s ability to fight off infections as well as absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. (9) You can take a probiotic supplement, or get it from foods such as kefir, miso, natto, kimchi, or sauerkraut. These powerful probiotic foods are great against toxic shock syndrome symptoms.