Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Mycetoma is a disease that spreads via a bacterial or fungal infection.
The disease is caused by specific types of bacteria (actinomycetoma) and fungi (eumycetoma) in soil and water. These bacteria and fungi can enter the body through a break in the skin, usually located on an individual’s foot. A patient with mycetoma will develop firm and painless but debilitating masses under their skin. These masses can also affect the underlying bone.
Known risk factors and symptoms of mycetoma
The signs of both bacterial and fungal mycetoma usually include:
- Deep itching sensation – Pain may also occur because of secondary bacterial infection/bone infection.
- Destruction of the underlying muscle and bone – Underlying bone and muscle may get damaged when a patient has long-term mycetoma.
- Firm and painless masses under the skin – These masses usually form on a patient’s foot but they can also spread and form anywhere on the body. The mycetoma masses often start small, but they can grow larger and develop oozing sores that may render the affected limb unusable. Limbs with mycetoma masses may also become deformed.
Risk factors for mycetoma may include:
- Being involved in agricultural work – Mycetoma often occurs among agricultural workers. Masses often form on their hands, shoulders, and back since workers carry contaminated vegetation and other items.
- Walking barefoot in dry and dusty conditions – Minor trauma may allow pathogens from the soil to enter the skin.
Body systems harmed by mycetoma
Mycetoma may cause the following complications:
- Ankylosis/deformities – May occur in advanced cases.
- Chronic neglected infection – May require amputation.
- Disfigurement – This is rarely fatal.
- Invasive infection – May occur among patients with weak immune systems.
- Lymphoedema – May be caused by lymphatic obstruction and fibrosis.
- Toxicity – May occur due to prolonged antimicrobial or antifungal therapy.
Food items or nutrients that may prevent mycetoma
The following foods or nutrients can help prevent mycetoma:
- Coconut – Coconut is an antimicrobial food that is rich in caprylic acid and lauric acid that can fight candida yeast in the body. The lauric acid in coconut can help strengthen immunity and its healthy fats can improve liver function.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves are full of vitamin B6 and potassium. Additionally, garlic can boost immunity, detoxify the body, improve cardiovascular health, and strengthen the liver. Garlic fights bacteria in the digestive tract and it’s also a natural prebiotic food.
- Onions – Onions are good for the heart and liver and they can help prevent bacterial growth. Additionally, onions can boost the immune system. They also contain antioxidants, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
- Oregano – Oregano can help fight bacteria and boost the immune system.
- Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds can help fight parasites. The seeds have properties that bind to parasites so the latter can be excreted via the digestive tract.
Treatments, management plans for mycetoma
Treatment for mycetoma usually depends on whether it is caused by actinomycetoma or eumycetoma.
- Actinomycetoma – This is often treated with antibiotics. In most cases, surgery isn’t required.
- Eumycetoma – This is usually treated with long-term antifungal medication. But treatment isn’t always effective. Surgery or amputation is sometimes required to remove the infected tissue.
Where to learn more
Mycetoma is a disease that spreads via a bacterial or fungal infection caused by specific types of bacteria (actinomycetoma) and fungi (eumycetoma) in soil and water.
The symptoms of both actinomycetoma and eumycetoma include firm and painless masses under the skin. These masses usually form on a patient’s foot but they can also spread and form anywhere on the body.
Mycetoma may cause complications like ankylosis/deformities, disfigurement, and lymphoedema.
Coconut, garlic, onions, oregano, and pumpkin seeds can help prevent mycetoma.
Treatment for mycetoma usually depends on whether it is caused by bacteria or fungi. Actinomycetoma is often treated with antibiotics. In most cases, surgery isn’t required. Eumycetoma is usually treated with long-term antifungal medication. But treatment isn’t always effective. Surgery or amputation is sometimes required to remove the infected tissue.