Alternative Treatments for Cholera
Cholera is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases around the world, occurring mostly in Africa and other areas with a similar climate. The infection is mostly found in areas with extraordinarily high populations and poor sanitation services.
Cholera is caused by Vibrio cholerae bacteria. This is a type of bacteria that is known to exist in different environments. The high survival capabilities of the bacteria have made treatment and control of the infection a problem over a long time.
How Does Someone Get Cholera?
It is an infection that can be acquired from different areas. Many people have contracted the infection and been left wondering how it happened. The first step towards contracting cholera is exposure to the bacteria.
Once you are exposed to the bacteria, it invades the body, causing multiple different effects. The first part of the body to be affected is the intestines. Cholera bacteria get into the intestines causing adverse effects that lead to severe watery diarrhea and vomiting. As this period continues, the effects become more intense. If not treated early enough, it may result in death.
Symptoms of Cholera
There are numerous symptoms of cholera. Some of these symptoms are mild while others can be severe. It is clear that the severity of the symptoms vary from one person to another. This depends on the following factors:
- The immune system of the affected person: The immune system of the body is responsible for fighting any infections affecting the body. However, this system can be strong or weak in some people. In all cases, the strength is determined by the type of infections the body is exposed to.
- Pre-existing conditions: People suffering from infections such as HIV/AIDS have a weak immune system and hence suffer from severe effects.
- Environmental exposure after the infection: Patients suffering from cholera should be put in clean and safe environment. This helps to reduce further multiplication and breeding the Vibrio cholerae bacteria. Living in a clean area will help keep the symptoms mild as one undergoes treatment.
- Nutrition: Depending on the type of treatment one is undergoing during the period, the level of the symptoms can vary. Generally, good nutrition is known to strengthen the body’s immune system to fight infections.
Management practices taking to control the symptoms. Once a person is found to have the infection, necessary measures should be taken to control and relieve the symptoms. These symptoms include the following:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased rate of heart beat. This is a condition brought about by high demand for water and other factors in the body.
- Watery diarrhea. It is a symptom that is exhibited shortly after one is infected with the cholera.
- Watery vomiting. It is also a symptom that is mostly experienced shortly after one has contracted the infection. Vomiting and diarrhea causes lack of sufficient water in the body within a short time.
- Decrease in skin elasticity. Once a person undergoes dehydration as a result of diarrhea, there is minimal water within the skin. As a result of this effect, the skin's elasticity is decreased. A visual example of this is the skin not returning to normal after being pinched.
- Stomach ache
- Muscle cramps
- Continuous thirst. Feeling thirsty is a common effect of cholera. As a result of severe watery diarrhea and vomiting, a patient will lack water in the body which leads to thirst.
Common Treatment Measures for Cholera
It is important to know the common treatment measures used for treating the infection before you look at the alternative ones. In most cases, people treat cholera like any other infection and use antibiotics for treatment. Antibiotics have been the most commonly used medical option in treating cholera.
Nevertheless, some people often use antibiotics to treat cholera without finding out the right way to do so. As a result, someone ends up dying of cholera. Here are some reasons why some antibiotics do not work.
- Use of the wrong dose and type of antibiotics. In most cases, people use the wrong type of antibiotic to treat cholera. At the same time, a large number of people tend to use the wrong doses of antibiotics because of the severe effects of cholera.
- Late treatment. cholera is an infection that is known to develop very fast within the human body. As a result of this, failure to undertake early treatment can easily lead to severe symptoms. As time goes, the Vibrio cholerae bacteria multiply in the body making it difficult for antibiotics to treat.
This refers to the process of regaining water lost from the body as a result of dehydration. The main case of dehydration for cholera victims is diarrhea. However, the method is most efficient especially when the infection is in its early stages.
By replacing the fluids lost due to dehydration, the effects of infection are reduced. At the same time, the body is able to regain energy necessary for fighting the infection. Here is how you can re-hydrate.
- Use of ORS-oral re-hydration salts. Most of these ORS are mostly available in powder form and can be mixed with water. Either bottled or boiled water to ensure that it is safe.
In some cases, apart from re-hydration, a patient may require other measures to keep the body functioning. To accomplish this, Zinc supplements are used.
- Zinc supplements. It is an effective method especially for children. Zinc supplements are known to reduce diarrhea among children. Apart from decrease diarrhea, it also shortens it.
It is a treatment option that is mostly carried out in hospitals. Irrespective that it is not common, it is effective and has high ability of correcting dehydration.
- Intravenous fluids. In cases where there is very high outbreak of cholera, oral re-hydration can be difficult. This is contributed by the fact that there are inadequate facilities in such areas. Providing intravenous fluids can be used to treat the problem. It also helps people who have undergone excess dehydration.
Use of Pain Relievers
It is not a common method. However it is an effective method of dealing with symptoms of cholera. They help to relieve stomach ache and muscle cramps.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Alternative treatments are effective especially when applied on time. However, in some cases the symptoms may become severe. You should know when you are supposed to seek doctor’s attention. In cases where you start experiencing severe diarrhea, it is important to seek medical attention.
The Bottom Line
Alternative treatments for cholera are the best in cases where a person requires improving treatment for cholera. Use alternative treatment carefully. You can consult a doctor for advice on the right ways to use these methods.
Since cholera is a contagious and highly dangerous infection, one should start treatment for the infection as soon as possible. In case you detect any symptoms related to cholera such as diarrhea or sever vomiting, look for a doctor and start treatment as soon as possible.
Cholera is also a dangerous infection that has led to the deaths of many people around the world. Any reported case should be taken seriously to prevent spreading and infecting others around you.