Not all forms of bacteria are harmful; less than 1% are the source of disease or infection. Unfortunately, that tiny percentage frequently causes some nasty and sometimes deadly ailments. Bacterial infection treatments almost always involve oral ingestion or topical application of antibiotics. The only danger with this course of treatment is that both people and bacteria can develop an immunity to antibiotics.
A doctor must identify the specific bacteria before prescribing a bacterial infection treatment. This is usually accomplished via blood tests, urine tests, or a culture of an obviously infected area. Staphylococci — more commonly known as a staph infection — usually enters the body through a cut. Staph infections that enter the bloodstream can cause respiratory failure and death.
Streptococci bacteria are the source behind some types of pneumonia, sinusitis, scarlet fever, and strep throat. Other types of dangerous bacteria include e-coli and salmonella. The good news is that almost all of these bacteria-borne diseases are treatable if discovered early.
Bacterial infection treatments depend upon the severity of a disease and how far the bacteria have spread. Broad-spectrum antibiotics such as tetracycline are capable of attacking and killing many different types of bacteria. Bacterial infection treatments for more specific diseases might require a medium-spectrum antibiotic like penicillin. Narrow-spectrum antibiotics are designed to attack a single form of bacteria.
Doctors are careful to not overprescribe antibiotics due to problems with acquired immunity. Bacteria are quick to adapt, and the drug that worked during one bout of illness might be far less effective the next time it is needed. Minor bacterial infection treatments might sometimes be treated with herbs or supplements.
Garlic is probably the best-known herb used in bacterial infection treatment; it might be eaten raw or taken in supplement form. Hot peppers, such as cayenne, jalapeno, and habanero, are also thought to be helpful in fighting off the effects of injurious bacteria. Oil of oregano has been used in eastern countries for centuries, usually to treat bacterial infections of the respiratory system or urinary tract.
Bacterial infections might also be mitigated via a healthy diet and an intake of certain vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, E, and C are often recommended, in large part to help boost a person’s immune system. Yogurt and cheese contain probiotics that help fight infection. The best way to treat bacterial infections is to avoid them. Proper hygiene, especially frequent hand washing under hot, soapy water, is one of the most effective preventative measures available.