Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain. It’s unknown exactly how many people around the world suffer from meningitis every year, but according to a 2014 report in the medical journal The Lancet, 303,500 people died in 2013. Mostly, it’s because they didn’t treat the disease and ignore doctor’s advice.
The most common type of meningitis that people generally suffer from is viral meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is a lot severe, though. There are several causes of meningitis, including Influenza virus, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and Herpes viruses, but I think the main one is a very weak immune system.
People with weakened immune systems have higher risks of getting serious diseases, including meningitis, which is why I always tell everyone that your immune system is your little guardian that protects your body and mind. It’s crucial to get all the nutrients your body needs and include immune-boosting foods in your daily diet. It’s also critical to stay hydrated and get enough sleep each night.
Strong immune system is the key to a healthier life. But what to do if you suspect you have meningitis? Of course, you should see your doctor immediately. Instead of looking for treatment online and trusting what so-called medical websites will tell you, trust your doctor. Meningitis can ONLY be diagnosed by doing certain lab tests on specimens. Moreover, maybe you have another disease, not meningitis. You never know it until you do those tests.
Unfortunately, many of us skip regular doctor check-ups, even when we have some health issues. We think we can get better on our own and do Google research rather than go to the hospital. Meningitis requires immediate medical care. So if you experience these symptoms, you may be at increased risk for meningitis, which means you have no time to avoid seeing doctor.
Pregnant women, kids younger than 5 years old and people with very weak immune system are more likely to suffer from meningitis. Here are some of the most common meningitis symptoms to pay attention to:
- Stiff neck
- Lack of appetite
- Lack of energy
- Sleepiness and/or trouble waking up
- Sensitivity to bright light
Kids may have the same symptoms, plus irritability.
If you suspect you or your baby might have meningitis, your doctor will help you find out if you have meningitis and which type of it. If not treated right away, meningitis can cause a few serious complications, including hearing loss, brain damage, epilepsy, and learning disabilities. Even with a proper treatment, bacterial meningitis can be fatal at times.
In order to reduce your meningitis risk, consider following these simple rules:
- Wash your hands with soap 2-3 times per hour, or every time you use the toilet, cough, blow your nose, do shopping, use public transport etc.
- Avoid any close contact with sick people. No kisses. No hugs. No eating together. No sharing things.
- Clean and disinfect your workplace and home regularly, especially when you know that someone suffers from disease.
- Don’t touch your face, especially mouth, with unwashed hands.
- Don’t bite your nails. They are a source of bacteria that transfer into the mouth and the rest of the body, causing infections.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. You are more vulnerable to respiratory problems such as cold and flue as well as meningitis.
- Eat well. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your eating plan. Avoid unhealthy diets and starving yourself.
- Avoid mosquitoes and other insects. Their bites can be infectious.
- In short, personal hygiene is a must.
I’m not a doctor, but a friend of mine suffered from meningitis. It was a long treatment and now, unfortunately, he has serious consequences. It’s all because he ignored the symptoms and didn’t consult his doctor when he felt really bad. I want you to avoid committing his mistake. Never skip your regular doctor check-ups. Medicine isn’t cheap these days, but our health is more precious.
Womanitely does not provide any professional medical advice. The information mentioned above is provided for educational purpose only.