What an incredibly broad topic “getting rid of infections” is; seeing as how we must cover not only bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, but also infection caused protozoa (single-celled “parasites”), like Malaria, and even multicellular parasites like worms. It’s important to understand that this article is by no means a comprehensive guide to the topic of infections. What we are seeking to do here is to provide you with a basic understanding of the primary causes of infections, and to direct you toward more comprehensive articles published on this site about getting rid of certain types of infection–our article on how to get rid of worms for example, which will lead you to getting rid of particular kinds of worms, like hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and pinworms.
What is an infection?
In understanding what an infection is, it’s important to note here that an infection is different from a disease in that a disease is often the result of a colonization of an invasive microbial pathogen. An infection is often the cause of disease and once a disease has taken hold, it is then considered an infectious disease (ie. a disease caused by infection), as opposed to a hereditary disease like some types of Diabetes.
For now, let’s concentrate on the five major types of infections outlined in medical manuals today. In each following section I will describe the kind of infection, the most common types of pathogens (microbial invaders, ie. germs), and the most common treatments prescribed by physicians to combat those invasive pathogens.
Many infectious diseases lead to a weakening of the immune system, allowing an otherwise unrelated pathogen to grow, causing what’s called a secondary infection. Secondary infections are quite common when it comes to sinus infections.
Chronic sinusitis is one of those diseases that may be caused by multiple pathogens. A sinus infection may be caused by three different types of pathogens: viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
The Five Major Types of Infection
Getting rid of bacterial infections: There are 10 times as many bacteria cells in your body than there are human cells; this should help you understand why bacterial infections are one of the most common types of infections people may contract. Of these infections, the most common are respiratory infections, staph infections, sinus infections, strep throat, ear infections, diarrhea, bladder infections, urinary tract infections, and a large number of skin disorders. More often than not, a physician will either ask you to change your behavior, allowing your immune system to deal with the bacteria, or they will prescribe an antibiotic to assist your immune system with the healing process.
Getting rid of viral infections: Viral infections may be the next most common infections next to bacterial and fungal infections. Viruses are an interesting pathogen, because they aren’t technically considered “alive” because they have no cellular structure, but they do indeed reproduce and evolve, causing some of the most common infectious disease we know today. The common cold, the flu (influenza), shingles, herpes, mono, chicken pox, bronchiolitis, croup, and laryngitis are all very common infections caused by various strains of viruses. Usually, a virus (like those that cause the common cold) are allowed to run their course with little medical intervention. However, antiviral drugs and immunizations have been developed to help fight some of the more dangerous diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, polio, smallpox, and even genital warts (HPV).
Getting rid of fungal infections: Fungal infections are far more common than the average person might realize, one of the most common being a Yeast Infection (yeast being a type of fungus). Most fungal infections are found in the respiratory system and on the skin. It’s quite difficult for a fungus to survive in your blood stream, like a virus or a bacterium might. Common respiratory and oral fungal infections include histoplasmosis, fungal sinusitis, thrush (oral Candida) and fungal pneumonia. Common fungal infections of the skin (referred to as Tinea) include Tinea Capitis, Athlete’s Foot, Jock Itch, Candida, Ringworm, and Toe/Finger Nail infections. Antibiotics can be used to help fight fungal infections in nose and lungs, but antiseptics and antifungal creams (fungicides) are probably most effective when treating fungal infections of the skin and nails.
Getting rid of protozoan infections: Protozoa are unicellular organisms (also considered a parasite) that often lead to more serious diseases. Malaria is a very good example of an infectious disease caused by a protozoa. There are so many types of protozoa and so many diseases caused by protozoan infections that it would be impossible to list all of them here, however some of the most common infections/infectious diseases are intestinal infections caused by organisms similar to Giardia. Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common protozoan infections caused by ingesting cat feces. Most infectious diseases caused by protozoa are treated with a very specific (and sometimes expensive) medication that attacks either the reproductive or metabolic systems of the protozoa in question.
Getting rid of parasitic infections: Technically, there are two types of parasites, differentiated from each other by having either a multicellular composition (worms) or unicellular composition (protozoa: as mentioned above). Of the most common multicellular parasites in the world, worms are at the top of the list. Common parasite worms include roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, pinworm, and whipworm. It has been argued that a true parasite must live on its host, however there is such a thing as an ectoparasite and these types of parasites might include lice, mites, bed bugs, and ticks. Parasitic infections like worms are presently resolved by consistently ingesting what is known as a dewormer, while ectoparasites are usually treated with an insecticidal agent like permethrin, lindane, or malathion.
Any Infection is a Reason to See a Doctor
While I hope you’ve found the content above informative, you shouldn’t consider this or the articles I’ve linked to the final word when it comes to detecting and treating an infection of any sort. I’m not a doctor; I’m just the son of a doctor. And as the son of a doctor, I know one thing is for sure: an infection (or even a potential infection) should be looked at and treated by a physician. Even a Staph infection can lead to death if it’s simply ignored or treated improperly. Please keep that in mind while you browse the articles we’ve written regarding physical health. None of the advice on this site is meant to be used in any way other than as an educational resource.
Get your children immunized.
Oh, and one more thing. Get your children immunized. I’ve heard a lot of silly things over the years, but nothing so dumb as to suggest that you shouldn’t immunize your children. Almost every treatment, be it natural or medical, has the potential to cause harm to your child. The benefits of immunizing your child/children far outweigh the risks they face if they’re not immunized. Why? Because the diseases we immunize for aren’t gone. They’ve simply gone into remission. If the percentage of immunized individuals in a population decreases, the chances of an epidemic will increase.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to immunize your child, ask yourself this: how much does a wheelchair cost compared to a polio shot?
Natural Immune Boosters
Garlic is one of those foods that simply cannot be ignored if you’re trying to build your immune system naturally. The uncooked bulb (consisting of individual cloves) of the garlic plant contains a number of compounds, not the least of which is allicin. Crushed and taken orally (or as a suppository), garlic acts as a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic treatment.
Zinc is seeing a lot attention in the mainstream media as of late, and if you find yourself in the medicine aisle of your local grocery store you’re bound to find a number of products that claim to contain therapeutic levels of zinc. The assertion here is that zinc acts as an antiviral agent, and if it’s taken in the right form and dosage at the onset of a cold or flu, it can help reduce the seriousness and duration of your symptoms. It may also be taken as a daily supplement to help prevent viral infections.
Tea Tree Oil is considered one of nature’s most powerful antiseptic compounds. It may be added to any number of creams in almost any concentration to act as an antifungal and antibacterial agent. It’s been used to treat acne, foot fungus, dandruff, candida, ringworm, insect bites, stings, boils, scabies, and halitosis (bad breath). You can use Tea Tree Oil based products on a daily basis to help reduce the chance of contracting fungal, bacterial, and parasitic infections, but care should be taken when using Tea Tree Oil because it can irritate the skin.
Daily vitamins might seem like an obvious suggestion, but many people don’t take their vitamins either because they forget or they don’t believe the science behind these once-a-day immune boosters. Keeping your vitamin C, A, E, and B6 levels up to par will help you fight infections because these vitamins are all compounds that your immune system uses to build antibodies, white blood cells, lipids, and the rest of those things you might consider part of your immune system’s army.