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Tips For Tackling Bacteremia Or Bacteria In Your Blood

Tips To Tackle Bacteria In Your Blood

The presence of bacteria in your bloodstream is called bacteremia. And this condition has to be treated with antibiotics. As a supplemental measure, you can have garlic, honey, turmeric or mung beans to bolster your defenses. Getting enough rest and fluids and sponging down with tepid water can help with the fever.

There is a possibility that your immune system will have a strong reaction to bacterial infection that seeps into your blood, causing sepsis. Which is why it is extremely important that you take and complete the course of antibiotics prescribed. This is non-negotiable. Any natural remedy can only be a supplemental measure.

Harmful bacteria present all around us can cause a range of infections across the body. Even your bloodstream is not exempt from an attack by these microscopic creatures. So what causes bacteremia or bacteria in your bloodstream? Bacterial infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract infection, or a skin abscess may act as a trigger. Medical or dental procedures may also cause bacteremia. Even everyday activities such as brushing your teeth forcefully can cause bacteria living in your mouth to enter the bloodstream. Typically, your immune system is able to handle bacteremia caused by ordinary activities and can remove them from the bloodstream. But, sometimes, the condition can get out of hand, with the bacteria growing rapidly and causing other infections. The really dangerous thing about bacteremia, however, is that it may lead to sepsis.

If your immune system is weak or large numbers of bacteria are present in the blood for longer periods, it can trigger a particularly strong and overwhelming response by your immune system. This will release chemicals that result in inflammation and cause leaky blood vessels and blood clots. This is known as sepsis. This condition can impair blood flow and deprive your organs of oxygen and nutrients resulting in organ damage. As the condition worsens, the affected person may go into septic shock. 1 2 Sepsis is a dangerous condition that can be fatal in up to 40% of cases. Septic shock is even worse – it can cause death in 6 out of 10 cases.3

Bacteremia is usually treated with antibiotics and because of the dangerous complications, it is important to take medicines as prescribed if you have this condition. However, as a supplemental measure, some home remedies should help bolster your body’s fight against bacteria in the blood.

1. Have Plenty Of Fluids And Rest

Give your body time to rest and recover if you have a fever. Also make sure that you get in plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. But steer clear of drinks such as coffee, tea, and alcohol which can leave you slightly dehydrated.4

2. Sponge Down With Tepid Water

Sponging down with tepid water can have a cooling effect when you have a fever. Avoid cold showers or baths, though. The cold may cause you to shiver and this may generate heat. Your skin also constricts blood vessels when it gets cold and this too can trap body heat.5

3. Have Honey

Honey has traditionally been used to treat wounds and infections as it shows antibacterial activity against a range of dangerous bacteria.6 Animal studies have also found that it can modulate the immune system and may, therefore, help deal with sepsis.7 So take some honey to help your body fight off bacteria.

4. Eat Mung Beans

Mung beans have been attracting a lot of attention for their nutritional qualities. Research also shows that mung bean extracts have a protective effect against lethal sepsis, with one study finding that it improved the survival rates of mice from 29.4–70%. It is thought to do this by inhibiting a protein known as HMGB1, which plays a role in systemic inflammation.8 Studies have also found the mung bean sprouts show antibacterial activity and may be useful as a natural agent that complements antimicrobial therapy.9

5. Chomp Down Some Garlic

Garlic, a kitchen staple, is also known for its incredible antibacterial properties. It contains a compound called alliin and when you crush garlic, this compound is converted into an antimicrobial compound known as allicin which works against a wide range of bacteria.10 Moreover, it contains another compound known as sucrose methyl 3-formyl-4-methylpentanoate (SMFM) which has been shown to improve sepsis survival rates in animal studies by inhibiting the production of proinflammatory cytokines.11 So chop up some raw garlic and add to your food for an antibacterial boost.

6. Take Turmeric

Like garlic, turmeric also has wide-ranging antibacterial properties. These beneficial effects are attributed to an antioxidant compound known as curcumin present in turmeric. One animal study also found that administration of curcumin had a protective effect against sepsis. It reduced tissue injury and mortality and also the expression of a signalling protein known as TNF-alpha which plays a role in systemic inflammation.12 13 So spice up your dinner with this golden spice or brew yourself a cup of turmeric tea to bolster your body’s defenses against bacterial infections.

Severe Sepsis Requires Emergency Treatment

Although, the term “sepsis” is often used interchangeably with “bacteremia” and “blood poisoning,” they are not quite the same. Sepsis can occur even without bacteremia. And though bacteria are the most common cause of sepsis by far, fungal or viral infections can also cause this condition.14

Severe sepsis is a medical emergency which requires immediate attention. Symptoms like fever, chills, palpitations, breathing difficulties, or disorientation are all red flags. Treatment aims to tackle the infection, stop blood pressure from going dangerously low, and protect vital organs. Patients are typically treated with antibiotics and fluids. Serious cases may need kidney dialysis, a breathing tube, or surgery.15

References   [ + ]

1, 15. Sepsis. National Institutes of Health.
2. Bacteremia. Merck Manual.
3. Treatment. National Health Service.
4, 5. Fever. Department of Health & Human Services.
6. Mandal, Manisha Deb, and Shyamapada Mandal. “Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 1, no. 2 (2011): 154-160.
7. Kassim, M., M. Mansor, M. Achoui, O. S. Yan, S. Devi, and K. M. Yusoff. “Honey as an immunomodulator during sepsis in animal model.” Critical Care 13, no. 4 (2009): P40.
8. Zhu, Shu, Wei Li, Jianhua Li, Arvin Jundoria, Andrew E. Sama, and Haichao Wang. “It is not just folklore: the aqueous extract of mung bean coat is protective against sepsis.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 (2012).
9. Camalxaman, Siti Nazrina, Zuhaida Md Zain, Zulkhairi Amom, Maimunah Mustakim, Emida Mohamed, and Azlin Sham Rambely. “In vitro antimicrobial activity of Vigna radiata (L) Wilzeck extracts against gram-negative enteric bacteria.” World Applied Sciences Journal 21, no. 10 (2013): 1490-1494.
10. Ankri, Serge, and David Mirelman. “Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic.” Microbes and infection 1, no. 2 (1999): 125-129.
11. Lee, Sung Kyun, Yoo Jung Park, Min Jung Ko, Ziyu Wang, Ha Young Lee, Young Whan Choi, and Yoe-Sik Bae. “A novel natural compound from garlic (Allium sativum L.) with therapeutic effects against experimental polymicrobial sepsis.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 464, no. 3 (2015): 774-779.
12. Siddiqui, Aqeel M., Xiaoxuan Cui, Rongqian Wu, Weifeng Dong, Mian Zhou, Maowen Hu, H. Hank Simms, and Ping Wang. “The anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin in an experimental model of sepsis is mediated by up-regulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ.” Critical care medicine 34, no. 7 (2006): 1874-1882.
13. Tyagi, Poonam, Madhuri Singh, Himani Kumari, Anita Kumari, and Kasturi Mukhopadhyay. “Bactericidal activity of curcumin I is associated with damaging of bacterial membrane.” PloS one 10, no. 3 (2015): e0121313.
14. Sepsis. National Health Service.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.