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

Monday, May 07, 2018 by

Meningitis refers to the inflammation or swelling of protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The swelling is often caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord.

But the inflammation can also be caused by cancer, certain medications, injuries, and other types of infections.

There are several forms of meningitis, and bacterial and viral infections are two of the most common causes. Other forms of the disease include carcinomatous (or cancer-related) and cryptococcal (caused by a fungal infection). These types are rare forms of the disease.

Known side effects of meningitis

The side effects of meningitis usually include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Photophobia (the eyes become painfully sensitive to light)
  • Stiff neck — Occurs in both adults and older children

Some side effects of meningitis that may suddenly manifest can include:

  • Changes in behavior (e.g. confusion, difficulty waking up, and sleepiness)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Infants with meningitis experience side effects that are usually less specific such as:

  • Fever
  • Irritability/tiredness
  • Poor feeding

In the early stages of the disease, patients with meningitis may have flu-like side effects. When not treated immediately, some types of meningitis can be fatal.

Risk factors for meningitis include having a suppressed immune system, either because of medications (e.g. organ transplant recipients, etc.) or due to a disease that suppresses the immune system (e.g. HIV).

Body systems harmed by meningitis

Meningitis may cause the following complications:

  • Brain damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Seizures
  • A subdural effusion/a buildup of fluid between the brain and the skull

Food items or nutrients that may prevent meningitis

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent meningitis and hasten recovery:

  • Astragalus — Full of saponins and flavonoids, astragalus can help the immune system return to normal. Additionally, it can ease several of the most uncomfortable side effects of meningitis.
  • Chlorella — One of the best home remedies for meningitis, chlorella is a small plant full of a chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has a similar structure to hemoglobin and it can boost red blood cell production that “increases oxygenation, purifies the blood, and helps speed up recovery.”
  • Garlic — Contains allicin and other organic compounds that can act as powerful antioxidants with potent antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Ginseng — Ginseng has active ingredients called ginsenosides that can help the affected membranes eliminate infection and speed the recovery process of patients with meningitis.
  • Olive leaf extract — Olive leaf extract has antiviral and antioxidant properties. It also possesses anti-inflammatory abilities.
  • Reishi mushrooms — Reishi mushrooms contain triterpenes and polysaccharides that can strengthen the immune system. Reishi mushrooms can also help to reduce the dangerous inflammation caused by meningitis.

Treatments, management plans for meningitis

A patient with bacterial meningitis requires immediate hospitalization, and only early diagnosis and treatment can prevent brain damage and death. Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat bacterial meningitis, but there is no specific antibiotic for this form of the disease since it depends on the bacteria that caused it in the first place.

Fungal meningitis is treated with antifungal agents.

Viral meningitis doesn’t require treatment since it often resolves on its own. The side effects of this form of the disease often go away after two weeks. No severe long-term problems are linked to viral meningitis.

Where to learn more

Summary

Meningitis refers to the inflammation or swelling of protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The swelling is often caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord.

But the inflammation can also be caused by cancer, certain medications, injuries, and other types of infections.

There are several forms of meningitis, and bacterial and viral infections are two of the most common causes. Other forms of the disease include carcinomatous (or cancer-related) and cryptococcal (caused by a fungal infection). These types are rare forms of the disease.

The side effects of meningitis usually include fever, headache, and photophobia.

Meningitis may cause complications like brain damage, hearing loss, hydrocephalus, and seizures.

Astragalus, chlorella, garlic, ginseng, olive leaf extract, and reishi mushrooms can help prevent meningitis and hasten recovery.

A patient with bacterial meningitis requires immediate hospitalization, and only early diagnosis and treatment can prevent brain damage and death. Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat bacterial meningitis, but there is no specific antibiotic for this form of the disease since it depends on the bacteria that caused it in the first place.

Fungal meningitis is treated with antifungal agents.

Viral meningitis doesn’t require treatment since it often resolves on its own. The side effects of this form of the disease often go away after two weeks. No severe long-term problems are linked to viral meningitis.

Sources include:

MedlinePlus.gov

MedicineNet.com

Healthline.com

OrganicFacts.net



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