What is Chlamydia?
If you are sexually active and are worried about picking up an infection like Chlamydia, your fears arent exactly irrational. While you dont need to be paranoid about picking up sexually transmitted diseases, it does not hurt to be cautious. If you were to examine any of the figures or facts about chlamydia you would find that the condition is one of the most widespread of all Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) in the United States and is caused by the presence of the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. Chlamydia can be described as a bacterial infection that affects the genital tract from where it can easily be spread to others through sexual contact. Although chlamydia transmission is more common amongst teenagers, men and women of all age groups are vulnerable to infection.
The severity of the condition can range from mild to severe. The symptoms can in fact often go unnoticed, and you could suffer from the condition without even realizing it. If you have reason to suspect possible exposure to infection it would be wise to get yourself tested, no matter how insignificant the risk may seem. Moreover, it is not difficult to treat a case of Chlamydia if the infection is detected and treated promptly. However, this does not mean that chlamydia is a minor problem. If left unchecked, the infection can trigger some serious health issues in both men and women. A chlamydia infection does not resolve naturally if left untreated and the symptoms could persist, causing you discomfort for months. Moreover, neglecting the infection also puts others at risk.
Although you may squirm at the prospect of having to approach your doctor with the problem, chlamydia is not some obscure or rare condition that your doctor has not dealt with before. If treatment is administered diligently, and without any delays, the infection should resolve in a week or two. It would also be best to refrain from any sexual activity for at least ten to twelve days following treatment. Chlamydia like many other STDs does raise some rather awkward questions that could produce even more disturbing answers. Like many other STDs, the psychological implications of chlamydia can be a lot more problematic than the actual physical effects of the disease.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
In the early stages of infection, chlamydia is very likely to go undetected. Chlamydia signs and symptoms are virtually non-existent in the first one or two weeks. No matter how well informed and watchful you may be, it is therefore possible that you may simply miss the symptoms because they are not present or are very mild.
Chlamydia symptoms in women and men may share some similarities, but there are also many differences. Symptoms like painful urination or discomfort in the lower abdominal area are common to both sexes. Chlamydia symptoms in men include pain in the testicles. At times, penile chlamydia discharge may also be evident. Pain during intercourse is probably one of the most common of all chalmydia symptoms in women. Vaginal discharge is also not uncommon as a symptom of chalmydia, but this symptom could easily be confused as it may also be indicative of various diseases or conditions that affect the reproductive organs.
Make sure you consult your doctor immediately if you notice any symptoms associated with STDs like chlamydia or gonorrhea, whether or not you believe you have exposed yourself to infection. In many cases, a person may not experience any of the chlamydia trachomatis symptoms and may only realize that he or she suffers from the condition, during a routine checkup.
Causes of Chlamydia
It is only natural for you to be anxious, angry, and confused if you do find that your chlamydia bacteria diagnosis test results are positive. Try not to jump to any wild conclusions. As you calm down youre likely to be plagued with a lot of worry and questions about what causes chlamydia and how you could have gotten infected. There are only two methods of transmission of the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. Like any sexually transmitted disease the condition is spread through sexual contact, whether anal, vaginal or oral. In some cases, pregnant women may also spread the bacteria to their inborn babies during delivery. In such cases the newborn baby is likely to be afflicted with pneumonia or severe eye infections.
It isnt uncommon to regard the immediate symptoms of a disease as being problematic, while neglecting them once they recede. Unfortunately, the effects of chlamydia go far beyond the initial symptoms, and the long term effects of chlamydia are just as worrying if not more. This is why its important that you not only seek immediate treatment, but also follow the treatment diligently and make it a point to go for any follow-up treatment and checkups if advised. It is important for women to realize that chlamydia causes infertility, as the fallopian tubes get scarred. Health experts also claim that chlamydia infections increase the risk of developing UTIs, pelvic inflammatory diseases, rectal inflammation, epididymitis, chronic pain in the pelvis, prostatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Timely treatment is the most important safeguard you can take to minimize the risk of any long term ill effects as it can make a huge difference to the outcome of treatment. The most effective strategy to follow would quite naturally be to take preventive measures. The saying prevention is better than cure may be a cliche, but it couldnt be more true. In the event that you have been exposed to any risk, make sure to get yourself tested, and in case of infection it would also be best for your partner to get tested.
Remedies for Chlamydia
Conventional medical treatment is absolutely essential and can be extremely effective. If the condition is diagnosed early and treatment is administered promptly there should be little to worry about. As a part of oral chlamydia treatment, health care providers prescribe antibiotics like doxycycline, erythromycin or azithromycin, in the form of pills. The dosage of the medication could vary on the patients age, physical condition and the severity of the condition. The unrestricted use of antibiotics or frequent reliance on antibiotics can however prove counterproductive because of the health risks posed, and also because of the risk of bacterial resistance. For this reason many individuals and naturalists in particular advocate the use of natural remedies for chlamydia. While home remedies for chlamydia may be of some assistance in treatment, it would not be advisable to rely solely on natural methods of treatment to get rid of chlamydia, because of the serious long term implications. The effectiveness of most natural remedies remains unverified because of a lack of clinical studies, and in some cases the findings have been questionable.
So although curing chlamydia naturally may not be the best option, natural remedies can be used to enhance the effect of pharmaceutical treatment or to provide relief from the symptoms at the very least.
Herbs for Chlamydia
The use of herbs in the treatment of various conditions has become quite popular, with the rising interest in natural medicine. According to most herbalists there are various herbs for chlamydia treatment, some of which are quite effective. Do keep in mind however, that most herbs contain toxins and chemicals that give them their potency. If administered inappropriately they could cause severe adverse effects, and if combined with other medications the risk of drug interactions is quite high. Before you do decide to try out any herbal remedies for chlamydia, do make it a point to consult with your doctor.
- Popular herbs for chlamydia treatment include the following:Goldenseal, which is available in the capsule form, can be consumed once or up to twice a day. It stimulates the immune system and gives a boost to the defenses of the body.
- Echinacea contains antimicrobial properties and strengthens the immune system. You can consume this herb in the form of a capsule, or in the form of a tincture
- The efficacy of garlic has been widely established in the treatment of various conditions and herbalists also recommend using garlic in the treatment of chlamydia because of what is believed to be a natural antibiotic effect. You could simply consume raw garlic, or add it to your food as just another ingredient, or you could try having garlic capsules. The validity of these claims is not verifiable however, as studies so far have been inconclusive, although medicinal value of garlic is recognized. Wild oregano is is another herb that is believed to possess antibacterial properties, which is why it is also touted as a cure for chlamydia.
Diet for Chlamydia
Although your diet may have no direct connection with chlamydia it doesnt hurt to follow a healthy diet. Following a healthy and balanced diet will help to ensure that your immunity is strengthened, enabling your body to overcome the infection a lot more effectively. There is no specific requirement in terms of nutrition for chlamydia treatment, but some modifications to improve the quality of your diet can help hasten the process of recovery.
Try and include foods like:
- Alkaline forming as well as fiber-rich foods, like beans, whole grains, seeds and nuts
- Fresh fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.
- Leafy greens or any other greens too, like alfalfa, chlorella, wheat grass and barley grass
- Probiotics foods such as yogurt
- Certain varieties of fish
It may also be advisable to reduce your intake of certain foods like:
- Red meat
- Whole fat dairy products
- Canned, processed or refined food
Before you make any drastic changes to your diet, make sure that you consult your doctor or a nutritionist.
Suggestion for Chlamydia
Chlamydia prevention and control should not be much of a challenge, but you need to be well informed and aware of the risks. Other than abstinence, which is not very realistic or practical, there are no preventive measures that are guaranteed to work. Other methods of prevention and control can however be extremely effective and include:
- Using condoms while engaging in sexual activities
- Limiting the number of sexual partners because of the increased risk posed from having multiple sex partners
- Going in for regular screenings and check ups
- Avoiding the practice of douching, as it may decrease the presence of healthy bacteria, increasing the risks of infections.
Chlamydia - Frequently asked questions