An infection is a state in which the entire body, a generalized area of the body, or a body part is invaded by a disease-producing microorganism.
Under favorable conditions, the microorganism multiplies and produces effects which may cause injury and/or discomfort.
Localized infections may also be accompanied by inflammation. In order to diagnose an infectious disease, a direct or indirect demonstration of a pathogenic microbe on or within the tissues of the infected host must be made. This may involve microscopic examination, tests for detection of microbial antigens and their by-products, skin tests, immunologic tests, and virological specimens.
Antibiotics are only effective against microorganisms which synthesize their own proteins. Since viruses use the host cell's machinery to synthesize proteins, antibiotics are ineffective in fighting viral infections.
Invasion of body tissue by:
Viruses Bacteria Rickettsiae Fungi Animal parasites
Weakened immune system
Use of certain medications
Breathing in airborne microbes
Direct or indirect contact with animal carriers or their intermediaries
Direct or indirect contact with human carriers
Eating foods which harbor infectious microbes
Congenital transfer from mother to child
Contact with soil-borne infectious organisms
Drinking or coming in contact with water-borne infectants
Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary with the particular type of infection. Common symptoms are those of inflammation:
Red, purple, blue, or white discoloration
Impaired function of affected body parts
Structure & Function:
Immune System Support &
Adult Child/Adolescent Bee propolis* Beta carotene* Bioflavonoids 200 - 500 mg 100 - 200 mg DHEA* EPO* Fish oils* Garlic* Iron 10 - 20 mg 5 - 10 mg Selenium 100 - 300 mcg 50 - 100 mcg Vitamin A* Vitamin C 2,000 - 6,000 mg 1,000 - 3,000 mg Vitamin E 400 - 600 IU 200 - 400 IU
* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
GLA can be derived from Evening Primrose Oil. Fish oils (like EPA) may also be useful.
Other nutrients also combat infections, some performing this role in the bee hive: bee pollen and bee propolis.
The list of antioxidants also keeps on growing, so that joining those already mentioned on the list (bioflavonoids, vitamins C and E and selenium) are: vitamin A, usually as its precursor, Beta carotene.
There are always bacteria in the mucosal membranes of the digestive tract but their levels are usually kept in check by beneficial microflora. Hence, a supplement of L-acidophilus can help to maintain this status quo. Garlic will assist in this. Another food source which has its supporters is kelp. This has been a staple in Japan.
Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
Host defense mechanisms are mobilized during an infection. There is an increased expenditure of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and lipids to form new white blood cells, antibodies, and other immune factors.
The body is in a negative nitrogen balance while fighting infection.
Individuals with severe infections often lose weight, body tone and tissue due to catabolism of protein and fat. Nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and sulfur are lost during the febrile period.
An Immune Strengthening Diet may bolster the immune response during the time of infection.
In the case of a prolonged illness due to infection, the nutritional imbalance may be too severe to overcome with a balanced diet. A Protein Enriched Diet should be followed to aid in tissue repair and growth. If the deficit is not corrected by diet, it may predispose the individual to a secondary infection.
1. Hepar sulphuris calcareum - 30C especially staph/strep of skin
2. Bacillinum - 30C
3.* Echinacea angustifolia - 30C
4.* Hydrastis canadensis - 30C
Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.
X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency
Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.
Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.
Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.
Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.
Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Hoffmann, D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element, 1983. Third edition 1990.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Garlic Essence Thyme Essence
Related Health Conditions
Infections are related to innumerous health conditions, some of which are:
Alpers, D.H., R.E. Clouse & W.F. Stenson. 1983. Manual of Nutritional Therapeutics. Little, Brown, & Company, Boston. 457 pp.
Anderson, R. The Effects of Increasing Weekly Doses of Ascorbate on Cellular and Immune Function in Normal Volunteers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 33. 1980.
Beisel, W.R. 1983. Infectious dieases - Nutritional Support of Medical Pratice. 2nd ed. H.A. Schneider. Harper & Row, Phila.
Beisel WR: Herman Award Lecture, 1995: infection-induced malnutrition--from cholera to cytokines. Am J Clin Nutr, 1995 Oct, 62:4, 813-9.
Canete A & Duggan C Nutritional support of the pediatric intensive care unit patient. Curr Opin Pediatr, 1996 Jun, 8:3, 248-55.
Chandra, R.K.: Effect of Vitamin and Trace Element Supplementation on Immune Responses and Infection in Elderly Subjects. The Lancet, November 7, 1992;340:1124-1127.
Chasroff, I.J. & J.W. Ellis. 1983. Family Medical Guide. William Morrow and Company Inc., Pub. 594 pp.
Elbein RC: Nutrition and HIV infection. A continuum of care. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc, 1995 Aug, 85:8, 434-8.
Frost P & Bihari D: The route of nutritional support in the critically ill: physiological and economical considerations. Nutrition, 1997 Sep, 13:9 Suppl, 58S-63S.
Harbige LS: Nutrition and immunity with emphasis on infection and autoimmune disease. Nutr Health, 1996, 10:4, 285-312.
Kinney, J M. 1983. Metabolic response to injury. Nutritional Support of the Seriously Ill Patient. R Winters & H Greene, eds. Acad Press, NY.
Klein JD & Garfin SR Nutritional status in the patient with spinal infection. Orthop Clin North Am, 1996 Jan, 27:1, 33-6.
Koch J et al., Zinc levels and infections in hospitalized patients with AIDS. Nutrition, 1996 Jul-Aug, 12:7-8, 515-8.
Landers DV: Nutrition in pediatric HIV infection: setting the research agenda. Nutrition and immune function II: maternal factors influencing transmission. J Nutr, 1996 Oct, 126:10 Suppl, 2637S-2640S.
Lesourd BM: Nutrition and immunity in the elderly: modification of immune responses with nutritional treatments. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997 Aug, 66:2, 478S-484S.
Levander OA: Nutrition and newly emerging viral diseases: an overview. J Nutr, 1997 May, 127:5 Suppl, 948S-950S.
Mainous-MR & Deitch-EA. Nutrition and infection. Surg-Clin-North-Am. 1994 Jun; 74(3): 659-76.
Nockels, C.F. Protective Effectives of Supplemental Vitamin E Against Infection. Federation Proceedings, 38. 1979.
Petersdorf, R.G. & R.D. Adams. 1983. Harrison's Principles Of Internal Medicine. 10th ed. McGraw Hill Pub Co, N Y. 2212 pp.
Reddy, C.C. & E.J. Massaro. Biochemistry of Selenium: A Brief Overview. Fundamental Applied Toxicology, 3. 1983.
Scrimshaw, N.S. 1964. Protein deficiency and infectious diseases. Mammalian Protein Metabolism. Vol. II. H.N. Munro and J.B. Allison, eds. Academic Press, New York.
Scrimshaw NS & SanGiovanni JP Synergism of nutrition, infection, and immunity: an overview. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997 Aug, 66:2, 464S-477S.
Singh-Naz N et al., Risk factors for nosocomial infection in critically ill children: a prospective cohort study. Crit Care Med, 1996 May, 24:5, 875-8.
Subak-Sharpe, G.J. 1984. The Physician's Manual For Patients. Times Books Pub, New York. 607 pp.
Thomas, C.L. 1985. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Co. Pub., Philadelphia. 2170 pp.
Ulijaszek S: Transdisciplinarity in the study of undernutrition-infection interactions. Coll Antropol, 1997 Jun, 21:1, 3-15.
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