Spinal Meningitis is the condition where the layers that cover the spinal cord and brain (meninges) begin to swell. This condition is very serious because, without proper treatment, it can cause death. Although this condition can occur in people of all ages, it is normally associated more so with children, (where symptoms are more difficult to identify) or those who live in very close quarters (because the disease can, in some cases, be very easily spread). Here, we will talk about symptoms, causes, and proper treatment of spin meningitis.
Do I Have Spinal Meningitis?
Symptoms differ based upon what the cause of the meningitis may have been, general health, and age of the patient. These symptoms are normally observed immediately after or a few days after infection. Be on the lookout for:
- Skin rash
- Stiffness of neck
- High to medium fever
- Severe headache
- Reduced consciousness
- Increased sensitivity to light (in some cases)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
If you notice all of these symptoms, or even a few of them in combination, seek medical attention, immediately. Early treatment is the best way to prevent spread of this disease, or worsening of condition.
Causes of Spinal Meningitis
There are two main causes of spinal meningitis. These are viral and bacterial. Viral meningitis is less severe, more common, and normally appears as only flu-like symptoms. Usually it goes undiagnosed.
Bacterial infections are less common, but more severe, and can be life threatening. Bacteria known as Streptococci, Pneumococci, or Meningococci enter the meninges through the skin or blood stream. Although they do not cause spinal meningitis, head trauma, or a local bacterial infection like a sinus or ear infection can somewhat increase the risk for getting spinal meningitis.
Home Treatments and Remedies
Viral meningitis will heal itself within 7 to 10 days. In that time period, just be sure to drink plenty of fluids, get rest, and you may take pain relievers to reliever fever and pain. In the case of viral infections, you can also take Vitamin C and biotin, take the homeopathic drug Gelsimium to relieve neck symptoms, or consume a paste made of equal parts garlic, ginger, and turmeric three times daily. Normally, more severe bacterial infections require hospitalization. During hospitalization, a patient will most likely be given antibiotics. A lumbar puncture may also be performed to determine what bacteria caused the infection.