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What are the Different Types of Bacterial Infection Treatments?

By Ron Marr
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Not all forms of bacteria are harmful; less than 1% are the source of disease or infection. Unfortunately, that tiny percentage frequently causes some nasty and sometimes deadly ailments. Bacterial infection treatments almost always involve oral ingestion or topical application of antibiotics. The only danger with this course of treatment is that both people and bacteria can develop an immunity to antibiotics.

A doctor must identify the specific bacteria before prescribing a bacterial infection treatment. This is usually accomplished via blood tests, urine tests, or a culture of an obviously infected area. Staphylococci — more commonly known as a staph infection — usually enters the body through a cut. Staph infections that enter the bloodstream can cause respiratory failure and death.

Streptococci bacteria are the source behind some types of pneumonia, sinusitis, scarlet fever, and strep throat. Other types of dangerous bacteria include e-coli and salmonella. The good news is that almost all of these bacteria-borne diseases are treatable if discovered early.

Bacterial infection treatments depend upon the severity of a disease and how far the bacteria have spread. Broad-spectrum antibiotics such as tetracycline are capable of attacking and killing many different types of bacteria. Bacterial infection treatments for more specific diseases might require a medium-spectrum antibiotic like penicillin. Narrow-spectrum antibiotics are designed to attack a single form of bacteria.

Doctors are careful to not overprescribe antibiotics due to problems with acquired immunity. Bacteria are quick to adapt, and the drug that worked during one bout of illness might be far less effective the next time it is needed. Minor bacterial infection treatments might sometimes be treated with herbs or supplements.

Garlic is probably the best-known herb used in bacterial infection treatment; it might be eaten raw or taken in supplement form. Hot peppers, such as cayenne, jalapeno, and habanero, are also thought to be helpful in fighting off the effects of injurious bacteria. Oil of oregano has been used in eastern countries for centuries, usually to treat bacterial infections of the respiratory system or urinary tract.

Bacterial infections might also be mitigated via a healthy diet and an intake of certain vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, E, and C are often recommended, in large part to help boost a person’s immune system. Yogurt and cheese contain probiotics that help fight infection. The best way to treat bacterial infections is to avoid them. Proper hygiene, especially frequent hand washing under hot, soapy water, is one of the most effective preventative measures available.

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Discussion Comments

By ddljohn — On May 27, 2014

@donasmrs-- I personally don't think that infections should be treated at home without seeing a doctor first and getting an opinion. Some infections are very aggressive and can lead to serious complications. For example, meningitis is a bacterial infection that can be deadly if not treated quickly. So it's a good idea to always see a doctor first and keep him or her informed about the symptoms and how they're progressing. Unfortunately, natural treatments are not enough to treat serious infections.

If an infection is minor or already being treated with medications, the treatment can be supported with natural antibiotics like garlic, probiotic yogurt, cinnamon and fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C.

By donasmrs — On May 27, 2014

Can I really overcome a bacterial infection with yogurt, garlic and vitamins? Are there any other natural antibiotics I should use?

By fBoyle — On May 26, 2014

Some people complain that doctors in the US do not prescribe antibiotics until absolutely necessary. But this is really the right thing to do, for the well being of the patient and well being of the society. Using antibiotics unnecessarily or using the wrong antibiotics will cause the illness to continue and will lead to antibiotic resistance.

When I was in the Middle East, I got a cold and went to the doctor. The doctor did not do any tests and just prescribed me a broad spectrum antibiotic. That's not the right way to go about it at all. My illness could have been due to a virus or it could have been a bacteria that the antibiotic was ineffective against. A test should have been done first.

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