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Conventional doctors today do a great job of scaring people out of their minds about the possibility of rheumatic fever/heart damage from allowing the body to deal with a strep throat infection unmedicated. However, the truth is, the risk of complications from strep throat is very small for healthy people who have no issues with their immune system. Even WebMD used to state that strep throat will go away on its own with or without treatment in 3-7 days.
Ive written before about the one and only case of strep throat I ever had. It occurred when I was 15 and I am ever so grateful my MD father loved me enough to let me fight through it and win without antibiotics. The result? Ive never ever gotten strep throat again despite repeated exposures. One exposure was in very close quarters a college roommate had strep throat and I still didnt contract it! Whats even more interesting is that none of my children have ever had strep either despite multiple exposures from friends and classmates.
I obviously built up a strong resistance to strep throat at a young age and have been blessed with never having to suffer with it again by allowing my body to fight through it naturally. Its also quite possible I passed on my immunity to my children via breastfeeding, although that is obviously just an educated guess on my part.
For others, the article triggered an aha moment with more than just a few deciding once and for all to stare down the strep throat demon and win!
What To Eat And Drink:
5. Raw Honey
A daily dose of raw honey raises levels of health-promoting antioxidants in the body. This helps to boost the immune system and is one of several soothing strep throat home remedies. According to research published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, honeys healing property is due to its antibacterial activity, ability to maintain a moist wound condition and its thick consistency that helps to create a protective barrier to prevent infection. Studies have found that medical grade honeys have strong bactericidal activity to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause several life-threatening infections in humans.
6. Bone Broth
Bone broth helps to keep you hydrated and it provides minerals that you need to boost your immune system. Its soothing and easy to eat when you are suffering from a sore throat or swollen tonsils due to strep throat. Bone broth contains minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulphur. It also contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce swelling and joint pain.
Instead of spending hours making bone broth from scratch, use protein powder made from bone broth to help you recover from strep throat quickly. Drink warm bone broth throughout the day.
7. Herbal Tea
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Natural Remedy For Strep Throat
- 3 Tablespoons of raw, organic honey
- 3 to 5 Slightly crushed cloves of organic garlic
- 1/8 Teaspoon of Cayenne powder
Mix these together and take one teaspoon of this mixture every hour. Simply swallow the garlic cloves whole, you dont need to chew them. Continue making this mixture and eating a teaspoon of it every hour until your sore throat is completely gone. Dont drink or eat anything for at least 20 minutes afterwards so these ingredients can do their work on your throat.
This mixture is very soothing and even those who dont care for garlic will find that, when mixed with honey, it tastes pretty good and works super-fast. Many people with strep throat lose their voices and this should restore your voice in a matter of hours! This mixture might seem too simple to fight something as strong as strep throat, but its absolutely 100 percent effective.
Be sure that the honey you are using is real honey, raw and organic, the way nature intended it. A great deal of the stuff you buy at the store isnt honey at all, but some type of corn syrup with a bit of coloring and perhaps a couple drops of pollen. Raw honey has about 5,000 enzymes, 27 minerals, 22 amino acids and lots of antibacterial properties that will help to kill that strep throat dead it its tracks. Find out more everything you wanted to know about raw honey.
Cayenne pepper will bring fresh blood to the area to promote healing. Its also high in vitamin C, which supports the immune system.
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To Prevent Spreading The Infection:
14. Avoid Contact
As long as you have strep throat symptoms, dont sneeze or cough on others in order to stop the bacteria from spreading. Do not share glasses, utensils, plates or food with anyone for two weeks. Use a powerful and natural soap, like castile soap, to wash your dishes and the surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen counter.
15. Wash Your Hands
Be sure to wash your hands throughout the day, especially if you are around other people. Use an antibacterial soap to get rid of any trace of group A strep. One example is this Homemade Hand Soapwith castile soap and peppermint oil.
16. Replace Your Toothbrush
Replace your toothbrush when you first show symptoms of strep throat and then again after you are well. This will help you to avoid reinfecting yourself with another group A strep infection.
When You Should Take Antibiotics
Antibiotic treatment is by far the most common and effective method of eliminating a bacterial infection, such as group A strep.
We definitely recommend antibiotic treatment if
- Your child has ever had PANDAS
- Your doctor is able to confirm your child has a bacterial strep infection
- Your child has an otherwise healthy immune system
In our practice, antibiotics arent always a go-to treatment. They do carry risks, including antibiotic resistance and minor side effects.
However, with our experience treating children facing PANDAS, we find that its better to cure strep quickly to reduce the risk of children developing a much more serious condition.
What cures strep throat fast? Antibiotics target and neutralize bacteria, usually getting rid of strep bacteria within two days. Penicillin is probably the most common antibiotic.
For those who are allergic to the cillins azithromycin is an alternative your doctor may prescribe.
Are there any side effects of taking antibiotics? The most common side effect that a normal regimen of antibiotics may cause is an imbalance in good bacteria that may lead to diarrhea. You can eat foods high in probiotics or take a probiotic supplement to restore your microbiome.¹
Avoid taking antibiotics longer than you need to, or before an actual strep throat diagnosis is reached.
But antibiotics are the best solution to diagnose strep throat. If left untreated, others may contract strep, and there are some serious complications that can arise.
How To Treat Strep Throat With Antibiotics And Home Remedies
- You can treat strep throat with antibiotics, which can relieve symptoms in as little as 24 hours.
- To treat strep throat effectively, you will likely need to take antibiotics for 10 days to fully resolve the bacterial infection.
- You may also want to use these home remedies to treat strep throat and relieve your symptoms.
- This article was medically reviewed by , MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
- Visit Insiders Health Reference library for more advice.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils that is highly contagious. Its commonly characterized by a sore and swollen throat, a fever, and pain when swallowing.
Antibiotics are the most effective form of treatment for strep throat, and they can help relieve symptoms in as little as 24 hours. Home remedies can also help soothe a sore throat, break a fever, and reduce other strep symptoms.
Heres what you need to know to treat strep throat and feel better as soon as possible.
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Is Strep Throat Overmedicated
Sounds like the idea of not administering antibiotics for strep throat may not be as crazy as it first sounds. Are doctors overmedicating strep throat just like they overmedicate ear infections, colds and sinus/respiratory infections?
A round of antibiotics has the potential to cause permanent damage to the gut flora. This, in turn, has a lifelong impact on overall immunity to both chronic and acute illness. Skipping those antibiotic pills altogether may prove in the long run to be the smartest approach of all.
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Strep Throat: All You Need To Know
Worried your sore throat may be strep throat? Strep throat is a common type of sore throat in children, but its not very common in adults. Doctors can do a quick test to see if a sore throat is strep throat. If so, antibiotics can help you feel better faster and prevent spreading it to others.
What Are The Risks Of Taking Antibiotics For Sore Throat
Antibiotics may cause side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and skin rashes.
Besides side effects, there are other good reasons not to use antibiotics unless you really need them.
- Antibiotics cost money.
- You will probably have to see the doctor to get a prescription. This costs you time.
- If you take antibiotics when you don’t need them, they may not work when you do need them. Each time you take antibiotics, you are more likely to carry some bacteria that were not killed by the medicine. Over time, these bacteria get tougher and can cause longer and more serious infections. To treat them, you may need different, stronger, and more costly antibiotics.
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How You Get Strep Throat
Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can easily spread to other people. It is important to know that some infected people do not have symptoms or seem sick. People who are infected spread the bacteria by coughing or sneezing, which creates small respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria.
People can get sick if they:
- Breathe in those droplets
- Touch something with droplets on it and then touch their mouth or nose
- Drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a sick person
- Touch sores on the skin caused by group A strep
Rarely, people can spread group A strep through food that is not handled properly . Experts do not believe pets or household items, like toys, spread these bacteria.
Those Who Dont Take Antibiotics But Use Natural Remedies
We have recorded a lot of cases with strep throat do not use antibiotics, but natural remedies for combating it. Thats why, if you ask how long does strep throat last without antibiotics?, we will mention the length of time it will take for strep throat to fade away when using natural remedies, not to use antibiotics.
Doctors also confirmed that antibiotics could be one of the best ways to enable the symptoms of strep throat to disappear quicker than others. Nevertheless, due to its particular downside or doubts about whether it has negative impacts on the long-term health or not, natural methods or thought of letting it go away on its own are more preferred .
Lets get back to the main point. You have to make sure that you are not in trouble with any health issues. In that situation, natural remedies could work best for your strep throat.
For those who prefer this treatment without antibiotics, the patients will completely recover within 48 hours. It is true when you get no other serious health problems like fever, to be more specific.
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Strep Throat Home Care
Until the antibiotics start to work, these home treatments can help you or your child feel better:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring down a fever and ease the sore throat. Dont give aspirin to children and teens. It can cause a rare but serious condition called Reyeâs syndrome.
- Rest: Stay home from school or work. You need extra rest to help your body fight off the infection.
- Gargling: Rinse with a mixture of a quarter-teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of warm water to relieve a scratchy throat.
- Lozenges and hard candy: Older kids can suck on these to feel better. Avoid giving small pieces of candy to children 4 and younger.
- Lots of fluids: Do this especially if you have a fever. Water and warm liquids such as soup or tea soothe the throat and keep you hydrated. If cold feels better on your throat, suck on a frozen pop or ice chips. Avoid orange juice, lemonade, and other drinks that are high in acid. These can burn your throat.
- Soft foods: Examples include yogurt, applesauce, or frozen yogurt. Theyre easier to swallow.
- Cool-mist humidifier or saline nasal spray: Moisture can help make your throat feel better.
Steer clear of anything that might bother your throat, like cigarette smoke, paint fumes, or cleaning products.
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The thought hits you, and you jump up. Did you take your next dose of antibiotics? Your mind begins racing. You recall making a reminder on your phone, but maybe you forget to set it. Perhaps you did hear and took it already. You are not sure. Maybe you didnt. Should you take one now? Perhaps it would be safer to skip it just in case, but you have been feeling lousy and unproductive all day.
You shake the bottle to try and count the capsules. No matter how many times youve been on these pills, no matter how diligently you administer them, it doesnt seem to work. Sometimes the side effects make your illness worse. Other times it doesnt work at all, and you have to buy another bottle of a different kind of antibiotics. Or it goes away for a bit and comes back at the worst possible time.
As you swallow another capsule, you wonder, What if the antibiotics are the problem?
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My Experience With Untreated Strep Throat
My serious doubts about the wisdom of using antibiotics for strep throat go back to my one and only experience with this infection the summer I turned 15. Strep was by far the worst sore throat Ive ever had and the pain when I swallowed was almost unbearable to endure.
My Father, a Family Physician, made the decision not to put me on any antibiotics and let me ride it out under my own power. My Dad wasnt into herbs or anything so I didnt have any alternative treatments administered either.
The infection lasted over a week my memory remembers a full two weeks but it might have been a few days shy of that.
I lost several pounds during that illness as I could only endure swallowing liquids the entire time. I pretty much subsisted on vanilla milkshakes from the ice cream shop down the road for the duration of that awful infection and I still got well under my own power with no complications.
The interesting thing is thatI seem to have developed an immunity to strep ever since. Ive never had strep throat ever again in 35+ years. This is despite repeated exposures at close range. During college, I even had a roommate with strep and didnt get sick. This despite eating pretty rotten cafeteria food and lots of sugary foods. This no doubt suppressed my immune function considerably.
Is it possible that allowing the body to fight off strep throat naturally on its own confers partial or total immunity?
How Long Does Strep Throat Last
Strep throat will only last 3 to 7 days with or without treatment. Doctors usually treat strep throat with antibiotics even though they will not make you well any faster. Strep throat contagiousness will continue for 24 hours once antibiotics are started. With no treatment, strep throat continues to be contagious until symptoms resolve.
In response to the persistent overuse of antibiotics for strep throat, the journalCanadian Family Physician states:
symptoms caused by a bacterial sore throat fail to clear much faster when treated with antibiotics than they would if left alone.
It is certainly easier and quicker to hand out prescriptions every time than to explain and reassure. Each time we do this, however, we reinforce patients fears.
Do family physicians have to declare a conflict of interest in answering these questions? If we were to lower ourselves to examining the vulgar subject of money, it is certainly in our financial interest to keep many patients scared enough to rush to our offices whenever they get sore throats.
In view of the large number of antibiotics prescribed for sore throats, perhaps it is time to review whether we should be using such treatment for strep throat infections at all.
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How Is Strep Throat Diagnosed
If you have a sore throat accompanied by fever for more than two days, you should visit a doctor. At your doctors visit, you may be asked questions such as:
- How long have you had your symptoms?
- Have you recently been exposed to strep throat?
- Does anything relieve your symptoms?
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
During the appointment, your doctor will likely examine you by taking your temperature, feeling your neck for swollen lymph nodes, and visually inspecting your throat. Based on this examination, your doctor may run one of two tests to check for sore throat:
- A rapid antigen test or rapid strep test may be administered if strep throat is suspected. During this test, your doctor will swab the back of your throat for a sample. The antigen test can detect strep bacteria within a few minutes, but it is an imperfect test. If the test comes back negative, but your doctor suspects strep, he or she may perform a throat culture.
- Throat cultures are done by taking a swab of the back of the throat and then sending it for culture in a laboratory. This test can take up to two days, whereas the rapid antigen test only takes minutes.
Based on the results of the strep test your doctor may write you a prescription for antibiotics. During this appointment, you should ask any questions you may have, including: