July 24, 2011

Let's get Serious, lets talk about TSS.

A lot of my posts are about my TV obsessions, my crazy family, or my battle with Endometriosis but today I want to talk about another serious condition that many women over look. TSS= Toxic Shock Syndrome. 
I know a lot of us have heard of TSS, but do you really know what it is? 

Wikipedia defines Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) as a potentially fatal illness caused by a bacterial toxin. Different bacterial toxins may cause toxic shock syndrome, depending on the situation. The causative bacteria include Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Streptococcal TSS is sometimes referred to as toxic shock-like syndrome (TSLS) or streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS).

Yeah, that's a mouthful. So let me give you some facts about TSS:

*1 in 700 women will get tampon related TSS in their lifetime
*Half of all known cases of Toxic Shock are women using TAMPONS.
*There is risk of TSS to all women using tampons during their menstrual period. TSS is a rare but serious disease that may cause death.
*The reported risks are higher to women under 30 years of age and teenage girls. 
*The incidence of TSS is estimated to be between 1 and 17 cases of TSS per 100,000 menstruating women and girls per year.
*It's estimated that nationwide 5,000 to 10,000 cases of Tampon related TSS  now occur each year, making it as common as Lyme disease.

Symptoms of TSS:

*Sudden fever over 102°F (38.9°C).
*A rash that looks like a sunburn.
*Signs of shock, including low blood pressure and rapid heartbeat, often with lightheadedness, faintingnausea, vomiting, or restlessness and confusion.
*Severe pain in an infected wound or injury.
*Muscle aches and pains, stomach cramps,headache, or sore throat.
*Skin tissue death (necrosis), which occurs early in the syndrome.
*Skin tissue shedding, which occurs during recovery.
*Pinkeye (conjunctivitis).

How to help reduce your risk of TSS:

*Only use tampons made of organic cotton.
 *Use the lowest absorbency needed at each stage of your period.
*Avoid using tampons continuously during a period. Alternate with sanitary pads at night so the toxins have had time to dissipate. 
*Use a pad at the end of your period. 
* Change tampons every 4 to 6 hours. 
*Don't use tampons if you've had any unusual discharge. 
*Wash your hands before and after use and handle the tampon as little as possible. 
 *Alert your family and friends to the symptoms and emergency action required. 

Survivors of Toxic Shock Syndrome may have been hospitalized for weeks and there is usually a long recovery period. 

They may have suffered:
Loss of fingers and toes due to gangrene.  Permanent kidney and liver damage.  Deafness and blindness.  Peeling skin, and loss of nails and hair.  Continual infections  Short term memory loss.  No energy for months or even years. Psychological and emotional distress

Toxic Shock Syndrome is serious. Do your part to keep yourself safe. For more great info visit You-are-loved.org or talk to your doctor.

Until next time,

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