Histoplasmosis – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by

Histoplasmosis is a type of lung infection that occurs when a patient inhales Histoplasma capsulatum (H. capsulatum) fungal spores.

H. capsulatum spores are found in soil and the droppings of bats and birds. These spores grow in the central, southeastern, and mid-Atlantic states. The fungal spores can be released into the air when contaminated soil or droppings are disturbed.

The spores that cause histoplasmosis are usually found in locations where birds and bats nest, like caves, chicken coops, older barns, and parks.

Patients can get histoplasmosis several times. However, the first infection is often the most severe. Histoplasmosis is not contagious as H. capsulatum spores can’t spread from one patient to another.

Histoplasmosis can progress and spread to other areas of the body. Individuals report skin lesions in at least 10 to 15 percent of cases of histoplasmosis. These skin lesions then spread throughout the body.

Known side effects of histoplasmosis

Most patients with histoplasmosis do not experience any side effects. But the risk of having symptoms increases when a person inhales more spores.

If patients experience side effects, these usually manifest about 10 days after exposure. The side effects of histoplasmosis may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dry cough
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Red bumps on the lower legs

Patients with severe cases of histoplasmosis may experience side effects like:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shortness of breath

Widespread histoplasmosis causes inflammation and irritation, and its side effects include:

  • Chest pain (due to swelling around the heart)
  • High fever
  • Stiff neck and headaches (due to swelling around the brain and spinal cord)

Risk factors for histoplasmosis may include:

  • Age – Histoplasmosis usually infects infants, young children, and the elderly.
  • Occupation – If the soil becomes contaminated with H. capsulatum, those who work with soil (e.g., farmers and landscapers) are at higher risk.
  • Weak immune systems – Individuals with suppressed immune function or chronic lung disease are at increased risk for severe (or disseminated) disease.

Body systems harmed by histoplasmosis

In rare cases, histoplasmosis can be fatal, which is why patients must receive the proper treatment immediately.

Histoplasmosis can cause complications such as:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) – A patient may develop ARDS if their lungs fill with fluid. The condition can cause dangerously low levels of oxygen in the blood.
  • Adrenal glands and hormone problems – Infection can damage a patient’s adrenal glands, which can cause problems with hormone production.
  • Heart function issues – A patient’s heart might have trouble functioning normally if the area around it is full of fluid and inflamed.
  • Meningitis – Histoplasmosis can cause a serious condition called meningitis. The disease occurs when the membranes around the brain and spinal cord become infected.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent histoplasmosis

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent histoplasmosis:

  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) – ACV has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It can also help treat histoplasmosis-causing fungi.
  • Cloves – Cloves have powerful natural anti-fungal compounds that can help eliminate infections from the lungs and respiratory tract. The spice can also make the immune system stronger.
  • Garlic 0il – Garlic and its concentrated oils can help fight infection. Garlic contains allicin, an active ingredient with antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
  • Turmeric – Turmeric contains antioxidants, and it has anti-fungal properties. Often used to help treat gastrointestinal distress, immune system issues, and respiratory inflammation, turmeric can protect against and treat histoplasmosis.
  • Water – Staying hydrated is important since it can help eliminate histoplasmosis. Water can flush out the system and encourage higher functioning of a patient’s metabolism and immune system. This can help naturally eliminate the histoplasmosis infection.

Treatments, management plans for histoplasmosis

Mild cases of histoplasmosis don’t require treatment and patients may simply be advised to get enough rest and take over-the-counter medication for symptoms.

However, if an individual has difficulty breathing or if they remain infected for longer than a month, treatment may be required. Patients may be prescribed an oral antifungal medication, but they may also require IV treatment. The most commonly used drugs are:

  • Amphotericin B
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole

Individuals with a severe infection will have to take their medication intravenously or via a vein, which is how the strongest medications are delivered. In some cases, patients may have to take antifungal medication for as long as two years.

Where to learn more

Summary

Histoplasmosis is a type of lung infection that occurs when a patient inhales Histoplasma capsulatum (H. capsulatum) fungal spores.

Most patients with histoplasmosis do not experience any side effects. But the risk of having symptoms increases when a person inhales more spores.

If patients experience side effects, they usually manifest about 10 days after exposure. The side effects of histoplasmosis may include chest pain, dry cough, fever, joint pain, and red bumps on the lower legs.

Histoplasmosis can cause complications like acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), adrenal glands and hormone problems, heart function issues, and meningitis.

Apple cider vinegar, cloves, garlic oil, turmeric, and water can help prevent histoplasmosis.

Mild cases of histoplasmosis don’t require treatment and patients may simply be advised to get enough rest and take over-the-counter medication for symptoms. However, if an individual has difficulty breathing or if they remain infected for longer than a month, treatment may be required. They could be prescribed an oral antifungal medication, but they may also require IV treatment. The most commonly used drugs are amphotericin B, itraconazole, and ketoconazole.

Sources include

Healthline.com

MedicineNet.com

OrganicFacts.net



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