Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) Symptoms, Causes, Tampons and Prevention

Toxic Shock Syndrome was first discovered in 1978, when a group of young people fell ill. There were few clinical studies of toxic shock syndrome in women in the early 1980s. These women used superabsorbent tampons during menstruation.
Toxic shock syndrome is an uncommon condition but it is a potentially very serious infection. Toxic shock syndrome is known to be an emergency caused by certain strains of bacteria that release toxins into our blood circulation.

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) Symptoms, Causes, Tampons and Prevention

This can result in serious injury and can make you sick. These poisons can potentially spread to other parts of the body. Due to this poison, the essential organs of the body like liver, lungs, heart can fail. That’s why it is very important to know how to avoid it and recognize its early signs. If it is treated on time, it can be avoided and cured.

Understanding Toxic Shock Syndrome

Sign of TSS : Its symptoms start appearing suddenly. Toxic shock syndrome depends on the type of bacteria producing the toxins. Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include:

1- Vomiting and Restlessness

2- Fever 102 degrees and sudden onset of chills

3- Watery diarrhea

4- Severe sunburn and red rashes on the skin

5- Fatigue, heavy head or fainting

6- Low blood pressure

7- Red eyes

8- Yellowing of the soles and palms

9- Kidney disease

10- Fall Down

11- Joint Pain

12- Confusion, Sore throat, Sensitivity to light and Muscle pain

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Causes of Toxic Shock Syndrome?, Recognizing Symptoms, Preventive Tips

The most common bacteria that cause toxic shock syndrome are Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium Sordelli and Streptococcus pyogenes. In many cases, these bacteria survive on our skin and mucus production areas without causing any harm. However, if they enter too deep into the body, they start producing toxins, which damage tissues and impair body function.

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Image : weldricks pharmacy

When too many tampons are used, Staphylococcus aureus gets stuck in the vagina and enters the uterus through the cervix. Bacteria settle on tampons if they are not changed at frequent intervals. If the flow is getting lighter during menstruation and during that time super absorption tampons are used, then the number of bacteria starts increasing.

Risk Factors for Toxic Shock Syndrome

1. Toxic shock syndrome and use of tampons

2. Toxic shock syndrome is very rare because very few women in the world use tampons regularly.

3- So far there is no such research, which supports that these cups reduce the chances of toxic shock syndrome.

4- Toxic shock syndrome is caused by the toxin produced by the bacteria and not by the presence of pre-existing bacteria in the body. Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria that is commonly found on our skin and inside our nose. In most of the cases they remain inside the nose but if they reach our blood stream then they can cause many diseases.

5- Tampons increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome in two ways:

a) If the tampon is kept in the vagina for a long time, it helps in increasing the growth of germs.

b) Tampons tend to stick to the walls of the vagina, especially when the flow of the menstrual cycle is low, which can cause minor scratches when they are removed.

The diaphragm and the contraceptive sponge are two birth control techniques that have been linked to toxic shock syndrome. Toxic shock syndrome can affect a person with any form of staphylococcus infection, including:

1- Pneumonia

2- Boils

3- Skin infection

4- Infected wounds

5- Blood infection septicemia

6- Bone infection osteomyelitis

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Prevention of Toxic Shock Syndrome

1). Washing hands thoroughly and frequently can help prevent the spread of the bacteria that cause toxic shock syndrome.

2). During the menstrual cycle, girls can limit the risk of toxic shock syndrome in these ways:

2.1- Women should wash their hands thoroughly before and after inserting tampons.

2.2- Avoid using tampons or alternating with sanitary napkins on low flow days and use pads instead of tampons.

2.3- During your menstrual cycle, consider using sanitary pads instead of tampons or use pads at night.

2.4- Replacing tampons every other day and using pads or using tampons on days when the flow is heavy can also help reduce the risk.

2.5- Women should change tampons frequently during the menstrual cycle.

2.6- Tampons should be changed at least every four to eight hours and may need to be changed more frequently if the flow is heavy.

2.7- If you are using tampons, choose the least absorbent tampon that can handle menstrual flow, even if they have to be changed frequently.

2.8- If a woman is not having menstruation then she should not use tampons.

2.9- Women who have recovered from toxic shock syndrome should avoid using tampons during their menstrual cycle. Women who have had it before may have to go through it again.

2.10- Keep surgical wounds clean to avoid infection. Call your doctor if you notice unusual swelling, redness, or warmth around the incision site.

2.11- Always follow the directions when using a sponge or diaphragm.

2.12- All wounds of the skin should be kept clean and should be bandaged. If the wound becomes red, swollen, or painful, which also causes a fever, contact your doctor.

2.13- Tampons should not be used by any woman who has had toxic shock syndrome.

2.14- Tampons should always be kept away from heat and moisture, due to which germs can grow in the body between menstrual cycles.

Diagnosis of Toxic Shock Syndrome

Blood tests help rule out any bacterial and viral diseases that may be causing or causing symptoms similar to those of toxic shock syndrome. Women are given a vaginal exam, in which tissue is removed from the vagina and cervix and examined for the presence of Staphylococcus aureus.

Apart from this, tissue is also removed from the wound area. If the doctors suspect that the patient is suffering from toxic shock syndrome, they may prescribe antibiotics and start the treatment process as soon as possible, also they can diagnose these :

  1. Checking how your kidneys are working.
  2. Look for any other disorder that could be causing the symptoms.

Treatment of Toxic Shock Syndrome

If you are suffering from toxic shock syndrome, stop using tampons immediately. Since toxic shock syndrome can be fatal, patients must be admitted to the hospital. Tampons and contraceptive devices should be removed. A person suffering from this disease will be admitted to the hospital and may need to be kept in the ICU.

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Complications of Toxic Shock Syndrome

If left untreated, toxic shock syndrome can lead to a variety of complications, including:

  1. Stop working of organs like kidney and liver.
  2. Problems like bleeding, stroke and heart failure can also happen.

(Disclaimer :  The purpose of this health-related article is to wake you up and aware of your health and to provide health-related information. Your doctor has a better understanding of your health and there is no substitute for their advice.)

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