Toxic Shock Syndrome
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare, but life threatening illness that is caused by toxins (poisons) that circulate in the bloodstream.
Although most TSS cases are associated with tampon use, men, children and non-menstruating woman can develop it as well.
It was surprising to find out that there are actually two types of Toxic Shock Syndrome:
- Staphylococcus aureus: This is most commonly related to menstruating woman using tampons.
- Streptococcal: This carries the same bacteria that is found in strep throat and often comes from a skin infection and is noted to be the more serious form TSS.
Possible areas of infection can include:
- Nose (nasal packing)
- Vagina (super absorbent tampon use)
- Surgical wound
- Any skin wound i.e chickenpox
The onset of Toxic Shock Syndrome can bring on mild symptoms such as a low-grade fever, muscle aches, chills and just a feeling of general discomfort, uneasiness, or ill health. You can experience these 2-3 days before the disease develops.
After onset, the TSS symptoms will change and may include the following:
- Fever greater than 102°F
- Rash (The rash of toxic shock syndrome is a red sunburn like rash that covers most of the body. It is flat, not raised, and turns white if pressed)
- Headache (very common)
- Muscle Aches
- Sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Lightheadedness or fainting (especially upon standing)
- Confusion or disorientation
- Low blood pressure
In an effort to try and prevent menstrual-related toxic shock syndrome, emedicinehealth.com suggests woman should start by not using tampons, especially the super-absorbent variety.