The human body is full of bacteria. Most bacteria inside and outside are beneficial and friendly to the human body and its various functions. For example, there are friendly and necessary bacteria that live in the digestive system and help to break down food and aid in digestive process. Some bacteria though are not beneficial and an occurrence may lead to a bacterial infection.

Understanding Bacteria

Bacteria are living organisms. They are one-celled organizations that are so small that hundreds if not thousands fit onto a fingernail. Depending on the bacteria, it may be in a shape of a rod, ball, or spiral. As mentioned above, most bacteria are friendly to the human body and its functions. Bacteria aid in digestion, help to kill disease, and even assist in vitamin absorption.

Nearly 99% of bacteria are good or friendly bacteria. The one percent that can cause infection however, can truly wreak havoc on the unlucky person. Common ailments caused by bacteria are the common cold, strep throat, and urinary tract infections.

Types Of Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections can be found to affect almost any part of the human body and its functions. There are bacterial infections of the eye, stomach, respiratory system, even skin and blood. Sometimes the infection is spread through social contact, poorly prepared food, or through an open or untreated wound. Some infections may only last a short duration; the body's immune system is able to effectively fight off the non friendly bacteria. In other instances, the infection may linger and continue to worsen until a doctor is able to diagnose and treat the infection. This may be through home treatment or antibiotics.

Risks Of Bacterial Infections

Unlike a virus, which needs a host in order to survive, a bacterium is an independent organism that can thrive in near environment. Because of this, when an illness producing bacteria enters the human body, there is a strong chance that it will thrive and reproduce. What create the infection are the toxins that are given off by the bacteria. These toxins damage tissue and extremely lead to the symptoms of the possible infection.

Antibiotics Are not Always The Answer

When it comes to treating a bacterial infection, antibiotics are often the course of treatment. There are different classes of antibiotics to treat the varying scope of bacterial infection, from pervasive to localized. However, there are some conditions such as meningitis or pneumonia that can be viral or bacterial. Tests for the cause are necessary, as for viral conditions; antibiotics are not always the answer. When an infection of any sort is suspected, it is recommended to visit the doctor's office for appropriate tests, diagnosis, next steps and treatments, whether antibiotics are prescribed or not.

Trusted Medical Professional

Having a trusted doctor or nurse to turn to when signs of a possible bacterial infection are at hand is a good thing. Not only is it beneficial for obtaining the necessary tests, treatments, and education on preventing or stopping the spread of the infection, but also provides someone who has a detailed medical file. This knowledge helps to effectively diagnose and treat illness.