Toxic Shock Syndrome – Are You Aware of It?

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome is a life threatening disorder which is considered to be a complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Most often, it is caused by the toxins released by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Normally, this bacteria is found in human bodies, particularly on moist areas such as nose and vagina.

Anyone can suffer from toxic shock syndrome, but most often women who are menstruating and using a tampon, especially when they are left for too long and other intravaginal devices are at high risk of suffering from this life threatening disorder.

What Are the Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome is associated with the occurrence of a wide range of symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can range from mild to life threatening. Some of the symptoms that are common in people having toxic shock syndrome are as follows:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Headache

How is Toxic Shock Syndrome Caused?

Toxic shock syndrome is not an inherited disease, it can’t be inherited from an infected person to an uninfected person. But the bacteria causing toxic shock syndrome can be transmitted from one person to another. Actually, toxic shock syndrome is not caused due to the bacteria, but it is caused due to the toxins released by the bacteria. At the initial stage, toxic shock syndrome might be mild but as this disease progresses, it becomes life threatening and ultimately leads to organ failure.

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Some of the possible risk factors for toxic shock syndrome are as follows:

  • Gynaecological infection
  • Puerperal sepsis
  • Influenza A virus
  • Allergic contact dermatitis

After diagnosis, toxic shock syndrome needs immediate treatment, if left untreated, it could be life threatening. Toxic shock syndrome is a rare but chronic disorder. When this disease is left untreated, it causes the poison to spread to other parts of the body and making the condition severe and complicated. It could also lead to organ failure.

The toxins from the bacteria affect the immune system in the body, causing the inflammatory response. The immune system is the defense system in the body that protects the body against bacteria, virus, and other foreign invaders. When the immune system becomes weak it fails to protect the body against the invaders and leads to the development of diseases. Sometimes, the immune system becomes too weak that it fails to recognize the healthy cells in the body and mistakenly attacks them.

How Can Toxic Shock Syndrome Be Prevented?

Sometimes, toxic shock syndrome can result from unhygienic habits. One of the ways through which toxic shock syndrome be prevented is avoiding using tampons for so long as when they are left in a vaginal cavity for too long, it could cause microscopic rips when pulled out. Some other ways through which toxic shock syndrome be prevented include:

  • Keep your hands clean.
  • Keep your wounds clean and cover with a bandage.
  • Wear sanitary napkins in the night instead of tampons.
  • Contact the doctor immediately if the wound becomes swollen or red.

Tags: Disorder Can Cause Menstrual IrregularityDeadly VirusesMenstrual Problems

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.