Do you wonder how to get rid of strep throat fast? Strep throat is more common in kids 5-15 years old than adults. A strep bacteria is usually cured with antibiotics. However, there are many natural remedies that may lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the sickness. Although, always consult with your doctor before trying any of these remedies.
What does strep throat feel like?
The symptoms of strep throat are quite obvious. Your throat will suddenly start hurting very badly, accompanied by a high fever. Furthermore, you will feel all the energy drain away from the body leaving you feeling ill and exhausted.
What bacteria causes strep throat?
Streptococcus pyogenes is a strain of common bacteria which may live quietly in your nose and throat for several months. Commonly known as strep, this bacteria may not cause any harm to your body while it remains dormant. Research shows that approximately 20% of perfectly healthy people have the Streptococcus bacteria living quietly in their throat or mouth during the winters. There are no visible symptoms of its presence and they do not need any treatment. Additionally, they do not spread the illness either.
But if your immune system is over stressed due to another virus, such as flu, the common cold, stress, or contact with another infected person, the usually quiet bacteria may start producing inflammatory substances or toxins that may bring on a throat infection or strep throat.
Will strep throat go away on its own?
Strep throat does not usually go away on its own. It needs to be treated very seriously with appropriate medical treatments. Most people mistake strep throat for flu and cold. A cold and flu is often accompanied by a runny nose, cough and a headache and may take a few days to develop. It is caused by a virus and usually goes away in approximately a week on its own.
In contrast, strep throat often arrives suddenly without the symptoms associated with a flu or cold and should be treated appropriately to prevent its spread to other people. If the infection spreads to other tissues, there can be more serious infections. If you feel any of the possible symptoms of strep throat coming along, you must start using remedies for strep throat immediately because strep throat does not go away on its own!
How to know if you have strep throat?
The diagnosis for strep throat is quite simple due to the rapid strep test for which the specimen is acquired like a culture, by using a cotton swab to touch the back end of the throat to get a sample of the germs. The result can be obtained within five or ten minutes. The diagnosis can be confirmed immediately if the test result is positive. If the test result is negative, strep cannot be ruled out completely as the quick test may have missed some of the infection. A second, more sensitive test known as the back-up culture test can then be done for a confirmation. The results for this test can be obtained in 48 hours.
What are the remedies for strep throat?
The best treatment for strep throat are antibiotics as the bacteria can possibly cause severe implications if appropriate treatment is not carried out. Antibiotics provide effective and quick treatment of this illness.
Traditionally, strep throat has been treated with penicillin; however, doctors have reported that this treatment has frequently resulted in failures. Other antibiotics used for treating strep throat include medicines based on clindamycin or erythromycin, or cephalosporins such as cephalexin.
Using antibiotics for treatment of strep throat carries several benefits. Not only is the duration reduced, the severity of the symptoms is also lessened. Additionally, your risk of complications and the time period during which you may spread the illness to those around you are also reduced. After taking antibiotics for a day, your contagious period ends. You will start feeling relief in the pain and discomfort caused by strep throat after 24-36 hours of starting the medication.
In addition to the antibiotics, doctors suggest the use of ibuprofen or acetaminophen, warm water gargles and throat lozenges for relieving the pain and discomfort for the initial few hours.
You must be very careful to continue taking your antibiotics until the complete course of the prescribed treatment is done. People often stop their medication as soon as they feel an improvement and relief from the symptoms. If you do this, you may have to face severe consequences such as development of post infection heart issues or rheumatic fever. Make sure that you complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor even if you start feeling better sooner. This will also ensure that your infection does not come back.
How to soothe strep throat?
Home remedies may not be sufficient in themselves to cure strep throat completely; however, they can be extremely beneficial in making you feel better by providing temporary relief from the painful symptoms. Try some of the home remedies listed below as soon as you feel any of the symptoms of strep throat coming on:
Increase the humidity level in your home. Increased moisture in the air will help your throat to remain moist. You can use a humidifier or vaporizer in your home, particularly in your bedroom. You do have to be careful that your room does not become very damp or uncomfortably cold.
Increase your intake of fluids, including water and herbal teas. You can look for herbal teas especially formulated for flu or colds for quick relief from the painful symptoms that accompany a strep throat. Soup or broth will help to increase your fluid intake while also providing important nutrition that will speed up the recovery.
You must get a lot of rest, particularly at the start of the antibiotic treatment. Consider taking the first day of your antibiotics off from work or school and sleep it off.
Even if you do not feel sufficiently ill to rest in bed, try to stay at home as you will be contagious and pass on the infection to those around you. A restful day will do you a world of good and will also speed up the recovery process.
Throat lozenges are available over the counter and can be very helpful in providing relief from dryness of the throat, cough or irritation. Medicated throat lozenges contain local anesthetics which numb the throat and reduce the pain.
Throat infections are often accompanied by s stuffy nose or congestion. Using a steroid nasal spray or decongestant may be beneficial. Such sprays will ease your breathing as they shrink the swollen membranes in your nose, thus allowing air to flow through smoothly. Postnasal drip and runny nose issues will also get better.
Avoid smoking or the use of other tobacco-based products. You may also want to avoid second-hand smoke for which you can request your friends, colleagues or partner to avoid smoking near you.
There is a possibility that stomach acid may be the reason for your sore throat. If you suspect this to be the case, consult your physician for treatment of heartburn or other digestion-related problems.
To avid passing on the infection to others during the first 24 hours of your antibiotic course, you can take the following precautions:
- Be careful not to cough or sneeze on anyone else.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Bacteria tend to gather on your toothbrush’s bristles. Replace your toothbrush with a new one as soon as you start to feel ill. Once you recover, replace it again. Alternatively, you can clean it thoroughly before you use it.
How to get rid of strep throat fast and naturally at home
If your throat has started hurting very badly and you have or haven’t started taking your prescription medicines, it may be advisable to use some of these home remedies to ease the pain so that you can take a good night’s sleep or get through the day.
Licorice root has been used as a home remedy for treating sore throats for long. Research supports its effectiveness as a gargle solution that can be formed by mixing it with water. Not only will your throat feel soothed, the cough will be reduced visibly after using a licorice root gargle. It has been the traditional remedy used by Native Americans for soothing throat infections and cough.
The mucus like substance in slippery elm forms a thick gel when mixed with water. This gel covers the throat with coating that gives a soothing effect. If you wish to use slippery elm for relief from the pain caused by strep throat, pour boiling water on some powdered bark, then stir and drink it. You may also boil a piece of the bark in two cups of water for 10-15 minutes. Allow it to cool down until lukewarm and then gargle with it. If you need a cure on the go, look for slippery elm lozenges for quick relief.
Honey is a well-known home remedy for all ailments related to the throat. You can add it to your tea or simply take a spoonful, and it works! The effectiveness of honey has been proven through scientific research where it has been found to be more effective than common cough syrups, particularly among children. As honey also possesses healing qualities, it will quite possibly speed up the healing of your strep throat.
Marshmallow root contains a substance that covers the throat with a layer that can provide a soothing feeling. Boil a small quantity of the root in a cup of water to make marshmallow tea. Sip it three to four times a day. Your throat’s pain and irritation will be relieved because marshmallow soothes your irritated mucous membranes.
Echinacea and sage
Echinacea and sage can be used together for reducing the painful symptoms that accompany strep throat infections. You can use a throat spray made with these two herbs, using two puffs after two hours as many as ten times a day. It is as effective as a medicinal spray. The antiviral and antibacterial qualities of these herbs will boost the healing speed.
Although, peppermint is generally known for its effectiveness in providing fresh breath, it is also effective in relieving sore throats. Peppermint sprays that contain peppermint oil which acts as a healing agent. The menthol in peppermint helps to make the mucus thinner and calms cough and sore throat, both of which are two painful symptoms of strep throat. Peppermint has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral qualities that encourage and help healing.
This is another herb that is excellent for reducing the swelling of throat tissue due to inflammation, which is usually a component of strep throat infections. Using horehound makes the mucus thinner and thus it becomes easier to clear it out from the throat. For making horehound tea, place two teaspoons of the herb in one-two cups of water and boil it for a few minutes. Strain and drink while warm.
Warm water gargles may be the first thing your mom may have advised you when you were little and she was probably right. Scientific research has proven that warm salt water gargles help to break down secretions, soothe the sore throat and kill the bacteria that cause throat infections. Use half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Gargling three to four times a day will speed up your recovery quite significantly.
Boost the immune system
If you are prone to strep throat, cold and flu, or other similar illnesses, it may be advisable to boost your immune system by taking good nutrition, herbs and vitamin supplements prior to acquiring an infection. Vitamins E and C are excellent for boosting the immune system, in addition to the minerals magnesium and zinc. Herbs such as astragalus and goldenseal also help in boosting your body’s capability to fight infections. Try to incorporate ginger, garlic, reishi mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms in your meals as each one of these possess immune-boosting qualities.