Typhoid fever is caused by the ingestion of food and water contaminated by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. This condition is very rare in industrialized countries of today. In developing areas, however, it is still very common most especially among children. Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics, and there are also some home remedies effective for the symptoms.
Speaking of which, the various signs and symptoms of typhoid fever include:
- Muscle aches
- Weakness and fatigue
- Dry cough
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal swelling
- Fever that increases daily
It’s not unlikely for these signs and symptoms to appear gradually. Often, they surface anywhere 1 to 3 weeks after the ingestion of contaminated food and water. If immediate treatment is not given, the person with the infection may become delirious and lie motionless, something known in the medical world as typhoid state.
The diagnosis is commonly based by a doctor on the symptoms as well as the individual’s medical and travel history. Confirmation of the diagnosis can be made by identifying the presence of Salmonella typhi in the blood, stool or urine.
Antibiotic therapy is the single most effective treatment for typhoid fever. Most doctors recommend orally taken antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, except for women who are pregnant. Injectable antibiotics such as ceftriaxone are the best choice for children suffering from typhoid fever.
There are times when the intestines may become perforated due to the bacterial infection. During such instance, a doctor may recommend surgery to have the hole repaired. The good news is perforation of the intestines is very rare among those undergoing antibiotic therapy.
It is possible for some people to experience a relapse after the treatment. A relapse is simply the return of the signs and symptoms, usually after about a week. However, the signs and symptoms tend to be weaker this time around, and usually last for a shorter amount of time. Antibiotic therapy, nonetheless, is recommended during a relapse.
Being diagnosed and treated by a doctor is very important for someone with typhoid fever. Together with the antibiotics prescribed, there are a handful of home remedies known to help keep the signs and symptoms to a minimum. Some of the best ones are as follows:
- Drink plenty of water – Doing this is especially beneficial if you have fever and diarrhea. Guzzling down 8 to 12 glasses of water daily helps regulate your body temperature, flush out toxins and keep you hydrated. It’s also a great idea to regularly drink coconut water, fruit juices and herbal teas.
- Take homemade ORS – ORS stands for oral rehydration solution, something that can help ward off dehydration and help you recover from typhoid fever much faster. If you cannot get your hands on an ORS available at the pharmacy, simply combine 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 6 teaspoons of sugar and 4 cups of distilled or boiled water.
- Consume apple cider vinegar – Drinking a glass of water with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar helps in lowering body temperature and replacing minerals lost through diarrhea. The best time to take this mixture is before every meal.
- Swallow raw garlic – Many swear by the efficacy of swallowing a couple of raw garlic cloves per day in putting a stop to typhoid fever due to the herb’s amazing antimicrobial properties. Do this homemade remedy in between meals when your stomach is empty. You may also consume soups with lots of garlic in them.
- Bananas – Eating 2 to 3 ripe bananas daily can help in managing diarrhea as well as replacing lost electrolytes. It’s also a wonderful idea to use bananas as toppings for your yogurt. Yogurt can be very beneficial for someone with typhoid fever as it contains billions of good bacteria that helps fight off bad ones in the gut.