Chlamydia diseases are a major threat to human health. Of the three main species of Chlamydia that cause disease in humans, Chlamydia pneumoniae is particularly common in children of school age. An estimated 10% of all cases of pneumonia each year are caused by this species of Chlamydia, and this is preliminary evidence that it may also be associated with cardiovascular disease. The species Chlamydia psittaci is carried by many birds, including parakeets and parrots. Humans can become infected by contact with bird features and droppings and also through being bitten by an infected bird.
In humans bacteria can cause psittacosis, a potentially serious disease that produces fever, cough, and a severe form of pneumonia. The species Chlamydia trachomatis can cause the eye disease trachoma, which may lead to blindness if it is not treated. However, more importantly, this species is the cause of the sexually transmitted disease (STD) generally known simply as Chlamydia, which is the most common STD in the world, affecting millions more people than HIV, genital herpes, and gonorrhea combined.
Cause and risk factors for Chlamydia infection
Chlamydia is unusual infectious agent. The bacteria behave more like viruses, invading targets cells and multiplying inside them. For Chlamydia trachomatis the target cells are often those of the mucous membranes lining the genital tract, the mouth, and the rectum, which become infected during sexual intercourse. Untreated the infection can spread to other structures, such as the fallopian tubes in women or the prostate gland in men.
Chlamydia (the STD) is spread between adults by intimate sexual contact, and those at highest risk are people with multiple sex partners, especially if they have unprotected sex, whether vaginal, oral, or anal. Also at high risk are people with order STDs, such as gonorrhea. Babies of infected mothers are at risk of being infected during vaginal births. Chlamydial infection is not spread by casual contact such as sitting on a toilet or using someone else’s towel.
Symptoms of Chlamydia infection
As many as 75% of women and 50% of men with Chlamydia have no symptoms or symptoms so mild that they don’t seek medical attention. Without treatment, up to 40% of cases of Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious infection of the woman’s fallopian tubes that also can damage the ovaries and uterus. Also, women infected with Chlamydia may have three to five times the risk of getting infected with HIV if exposed.
Babies exposed to Chlamydia in the birth canal during delivery can be born with pneumonia or with an eye infection called conjunctivitis, both of which can be dangerous unless treated early with antibiotics. Symptomless women who are screened at treated for Chlamydia infection are almost 60% less likely than unscreened women to develop pelvic inflammatory disease. Chlamydia may also be linked to cervical cancer.
When women have symptoms of Chlamydia they may experience
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal vaginal discharges
- Bleeding between menstrual periods
- Cervical or rectal inflammation
- Low-grade fever
- Yellowish discharge from the cervix that may have a foul odor
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- Painful intercourse
- Painful urination
- The urge to urinate more than usual
When men have symptoms of Chlamydia, they may experience
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Pus or watery or milky discharge from the penis
- Swollen or tender testicles
- Rectal inflammation
Men often don’t take these symptoms seriously because the symptoms may appear only early in the day and can be very mild.
Chlamydia, which can spread from a man’s urethra to his testicles, can also cause a condition called Epididymitis, which can cause sterility. Symptoms include fever, swelling and extreme pain in the scrotum. Six percent of men with Epididymitis develop reactive arthritis, which cause swelling and pain the joints and can progress and become disabling.
In women and men, Chlamydia may cause the rectum to itch and bleed. It can also result in a discharge and diarrhea. If it infects they eyes, it may cause redness, itching and discharge. If it infects the throat, it may cause soreness.
Diagnostic evaluation of chalmydia infection
¨ Clinical symptoms and signs. Chlamydia infection can be suspected but never diagnosed on the basis of symptoms alone. A burning sensation and mucous discharge from the urethra are common symptoms in men after unprotected sexual intercourse with a temporary partner. Although Gram or methlene blue stains of plain smear specimens are usually rich in white blood cells, Chlamydia is found to be the cause of the infection in only half the patients. A reliable diagnosis of Chlamydia infection in both men and women can therefore be reached only by appropriate microbiological sampling.
¨ Laboratory diagnostics has undergone a profound change in recent years. Conventional Chlamydia culture has been relegated to a minor role, and immunological staining methods of poor sensitivity have been abandoned. New gene amplification methods have replaced previous techniques, and first void urine samples have acquired an established position in Chlamydia diagnostics in both men and women.
¨ Gene amplification methods. Such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ligas chain reaction (LCR), are based on multiplication of Chlamydia nucleic acids with specific probes. The main assets of the methods are their high sensitivity and the fact that they, unlike culture methods, yield a positive result also when there is no living Chlamydia in the sample. Com pared with traditional culture methods, gene amplification methods reveal 5-7% more cases of Chlamydia infection, and false positives are practically nonexistent. The price of these tests has come down to an acceptable level. Today Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be analyzed on the same sample if required.
¨ First void urine samples are used for Chlamydia diagnostics in both men and women. Samples are taken when at least five to seven days have passed since the potential time of acquirement of infection. The patient has to refrain from voiding for 2 hours before urine sampling. The sample (10ml) is sent to a laboratory in the normal way. If needed, the sample may be kept refrigerated for one or two days.
Treatment of Chlamydia infection
Various antibiotics kill Chlamydia. Some are taken in a single dose; others over several days. Both partners must be treated to avoid re-infections…
The CDC, in its most recent guidelines, recommends that all women with Chlamydia be rescreened three to four months after treatment is completed. The reason is that re-infection, which often happens because a patient’s sex partners were not treated increases the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease and other complications. Immediately treating the partners of people infected with gonorrhea or Chlamydia can reduce rates of recurrence of these infections.
MANAGEMENT OF CHLAMYDIA INFECTION OF GENITAL TRACT IN WOMEN
- Reduces complications
- Prevents transmission to sex partners
- Sex partner treatment
- Prevent- re-infection index patient
- Prevent infection other partners
- Risk- reduction counseling
- Repeat Chlamydia testing 3 months after treatment
- Identify recurrent/ persistent infection
Homeopathic treatment of Chlamydia infection symptoms – Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat Chlamydia infection symptoms but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several medicines are available for Chlamydia infection symptoms treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation, modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are some specific homeopathic remedies which are quite helpful in the treatment of Chlamydia infection symptoms:
Belladonna, Hydrastis, Caladium, Cannabis Sativa, Cantharis, Helonias, Kreosote, Medorrhinum, Thuja, Staphisagria, Platina and many other medicines
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- 2. Richard L. Sweet, Ronald S. Gibbs- Infectious Diseased of the Female Genital Tract; 2009; 39
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- 4. Marshall Cavendish Corporation- Disease and Disorder, Volume 1; 2007; 196