Symptoms Of Toxic Shock Syndrome
The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome( TSS) usually develop
rapidly, often in a woman who is otherwise healthy.
TSS is a potentially deadly disease and time might mean
Therefore, if for any reason you suspect you might be developing TSS, please
see a doctor immediately.
This article discusses the typical TSS symptoms associated with the use of tampons.
TSS Due to Tampons
Today, the number of causes of TSS due to tampons has
dropped dramatically. In 1980,TSS occurred in 9 out of 100,000 women in 1980 but is now about 1 out of 100,000 women since 1986. This was due to withdrawal of highly adsorbent tampons.
It is often due to the bug called Staphylococcus that can grow
on the tampon and produces toxins that cause TSS.
TSS is not always due to tampons. It may also result from
surgical wound infection, abscess or
Symptoms of TSS
usually develop within the first five days after the onset of menstruation. They are similar to TSS not related to tampons as above.
The symptoms usually develop suddenly in a woman who was
apparently well a few hours earlier. TSS can progress very quickly and
therefore requires prompt diagnosis and treatment.
About 20% of women will have some early flu-like symptoms
These may include
Full-blown TSS symptoms
When tampon related TSS first appeared in the early 80’s, the
US Centers for Disease Prevention and
Treatment ( CDC) identified three main symptoms with involvement of at least
three other body systems
The three main symptoms are
- Hypotention: Low blood pressure. This is where the Shock in the
Toxic Shock comes from.
- Red Rash. This involves most of the body including the palms
and tongue. The rash is flat and will become white if rapidly pressed and
Additional signs and symptoms
As in any kind of shock, may organs might be affected
including the kidney, lungs, brain, heart or liver. The hallmark of shock is
widespread damage to the organs of the body, known medically as multiorgan failure.
That is why TSS patients will need to be treated in the intensive care unit of
Other symptoms may include
- Shortness of breath
- Confusion or
- Abdominal pain
When To Call Your Doctor
TSS is not a diagnosis “to mess around with” at home.
Time may mean life.
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