How to Tell If You Have Toxic Shock Syndrome ?

What Is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare but fatal condition which is caused by the release of poisonous toxins that are produced by staph bacteria and sometimes produced by strep bacteria.

This condition is found in many women’s bodies, including menstruating women who use super-absorbent tampons. As a result, there is a huge drop in blood pressure which depletes organs of oxygen that eventually leads to death.

toxic shock

TSS started receiving mass attention in the late 70s and early 80s when several young women were reported dead, which was after using a brand super-absorbent tampon that was eventually taken off the shelves.

Even though it is rare, it is still a dangerous illness that needs to be taken care of before it’s too late. Since, it presents a greater risk for menstruating women, it is pivotal that they take this more seriously.

Here are some of the most common ways to tell if you indeed have contracted TSS:

  1. Watch Out for Rashes on Places like Hands and Feet

The most definitive sign that indicates you have TSS is when you see sunburn-like redness on your palms and soles. However, the rash can also appear on any part of the body, including around the eyes, throat, mouth and vagina. In case of an open wound, be on the lookout for any sign of infection such as swelling, redness, discharge or tenderness.

  1. Take Heed of Flu-like Symptoms

Toxic shock syndrome can be difficult to identify because in most cases, patients exhibit symptoms that closely resemble those of the flu or other similar kind of illness.

TSS can cause fever of around 39 degrees Celsius, headaches, vomiting, severe muscle aches and pain, diarrhea or anything else that easily be mistaken for the flu.

It is especially crucial to check up with your doctor if you have a surgical wound or are a young menstruating women who uses tampons.

  1. Look Out for Other Symptoms

There are several other signs of TSS that you must be aware of. It is worth noting that TSS symptoms usually start showing up two or three days after getting infected. These symptoms are mild in the beginning and aggravate later on.

The other symptoms you should be wary of are:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Seizures
  • Indications of kidney or organ failure

Now that you know how you can determine the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, here is what you must do in order to treat or prevent it:

  1. Go to Your Doctor

This is an obvious no-brainer! As soon as you witness any of the above signs that look like TSS, seek professional medical help at once.


If you act fast, you can catch this ailment in its early stage and get treated successfully. But any delays could accelerate its progress and can even elongate your stay at the hospital, sometimes even result in rare cases of organ failure, amputations or worst of all; death.

Even if there’s a likely chance of you getting infected with TSS, just call your doctor right away for more information about Toxic Shock Syndrome. And unless you’re instructed to do so from medical assistance, remove the tampon that you’re using if necessary.

  1. Prepare for Treatment

While TSS can be treated successfully if caught in its early stages, you can expect long hospital stays more often than not. Most of the time, there is one or more antibiotics involved in frontline treatments.

You may also be subjected to symptom-based treatments depending on how severe your symptoms are. Some of them include IV fluids, provision of oxygen, pain or other types of medication and at times, even kidney dialysis.

  1. Be Prepare for a Recurrence

Even if you have been treated from your first TSS contraction, there is a 30 percent chance that you might get it again sometime in the future. Therefore, it is imperative you make certain lifestyle changes and watch out for symptoms in order to stay clear of a severe recurrence.

If you have previously contracted TSS, then avoid using tampons. Instead, you should rely on pads more. Also look for different methods for female contraception than sponges and diaphragms.

  1. Look for Other Causes That Can Affect Others

While women, especially young menstruating women yield a greater percentage of TSS infections, it can also affect men, both young and old.

Upon entering the body, staph or strep bacteria release poisonous toxins, which set the body into “overdrive,” allowing the person to then develop a serious case of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

You should also be aware of other possible causes of TSS before it infects those around you.

TSS can develop after a woman gives birth, when bacteria enters open wounds, during chickenpox or when a nosebleed has been packed for a long time.

Therefore, you must clean and bandage open wounds on a regular basis. You must also do the same for nosebleed packing or use other methods to stop your nosebleeds.

Author Bio: Laraib Shahzad is a content marketer who specializes in ghost blogging, email marketing campaigns.She worked with iconic brands like AT&T and other top advertising agencies.She helped hundreds of business owners to define their ideal clients and create a marketing message that speaks directly to those clients.


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