Are Antibiotics Necessary for Strep Throat?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 2, 2011

Can You Safely Fight Strep With No Meds?

More parents seem to be making an effort in recent years to limit antibiotic exposure for their children due to concerns about how this may impact long term health or contribute to increased susceptibility to deadly superbugs such as C-Diff.

Strep throat remains a glaring exception to this trend.

In most cases, it seems that whenever a child or even an adult is diagnosed with strep throat, there is absolutely no question that an immediate trip to the doctor for an antibiotic prescription is required even by those who typically eschew meds and follow a more holistic approach to illness.

There is no doubt that strep throat is a serious infection.   It is bacterial in nature and involves severe inflammation of the throat and tonsils.  Typical signs of strep throat include:

  • Sudden, severe sore throat
  • Fever higher than 101F
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Pale colored spots on the back of a bright red throat

Some folks with strep will also get swollen lymph glands in their neck or suffer from vomiting or a red skin rash.

Despite the seriousness of strep throat, are antibiotics really necessary in the majority of cases?

In light of the fact that every round of antibiotics potentially damages the gut in a manner than can never be 100% repaired, I think this question is worth consideration even if it may seem ludicrous at first.

The complications of strep throat are, after all, extremely serious albeit rather rare.   Scarlett fever, inflammation of the kidney, or rheumatic fever which could permanently damage the heart are all possibilities.

I dated a guy in high school who was deaf in one ear from Scarlett fever (who is ironically now a MD).  I am in no way kidding myself about how serious complications from strep throat can be by questioning whether antibiotics are truly needed for this type of infection.

Does Riding Out Strep Throat With No Meds Confer Immunity?

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 I’ve 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 wasn’t into herbs or anything so I didn’t 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 shoppe 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 that I’ve never had strep throat ever again.   This is despite repeated exposures to strep, even during college when I was living in an overcrowded dormitory and eating pretty rotten cafeteria food which no doubt suppressed my immune function considerably.

What’s more, my children have never gotten strep throat either even when in contact with other children who were infected.

Is it possible that allowing the body to fight off strep throat on its own confers a degree of lifelong immunity to this infection?

Even more intriguing, is it possible I could have passed this immunity on to my children?

I’ve often considered both of these suppositions over the years and my personal belief is that yes, they are both indeed possible – even highly probable.   Certainly, though, my anecdotal story does not in any way provide sufficient evidence.

I can say with certainty that if and when any of my children (or myself) ever came down with strep throat, hands down I would without question skip the antibiotics.

Why?

The reason is that folks who take antibiotics for strep throat seem to get it over and over and over again. Have you noticed this vicious cycle too?

Wouldn’t it be a far better and healthier approach to fight it off one time and be done with it possibly for the rest of your life?

My Dad is of the philosophy that if you give the body a crutch every time it gets ill, it will always expect and demand that crutch and get weaker over time.  I have witnessed the truth of this philosophy through observation of those who have the tendency to overmedicate their illnesses whether it be with antibiotics or (gasp) even natural remedies.

Attempting to squelch illness by taking echinacea at the first sign of a sniffle, for example, is not a wise approach in my opinion even if nontoxic.

The immune system stays strong when it is allowed to fight and defeat an illness with no interference – ideally rest and nourishment only.

Now, I do think that much consideration needs to be given to the health of the individual before forgoing the meds where strep is involved.   A child with autoimmune illness who is not eating well in the first place probably should get the meds.

On the other hand, a robust healthy child with no autoimmune illness dragging down his/her ability to fight off infection has an excellent chance of handling the infection well with no intervention.

Even WebMD states that antibiotics aren’t really needed for strep after all.

“Strep throat will go away in 3 to 7 days with or without treatment. Doctors usually treat strep throat with antibiotics even though they may not make you well faster.” 

Mmmm.

Sounds like the idea of not administering antibiotics for strep throat may not be as ludicrous as it first sounds.   Are doctors overmedicating strep just like they overmedicate ear infections and sinus/respiratory infections?

Given the fact that a round of antibiotics has the potential to cause some permanent damage to the gut flora which has lifelong impact on overall immunity to both chronic and acute illness, skipping those pills altogether may prove in the long run to be the smartest approach of all.

UPDATE: Since this post was written, I’ve received numerous testimonials from people who have kicked strep throat with no antibiotics based on inspiration from this article. Click here for a particularly compelling testimonial from a professional singer who kept a daily log of his strep throat adventure using only herbs to facilitate recovery. His conclusions from the experience may surprise you!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Sources:

WebMD, Strep Throat (internet archived copy to show WebMD’s original language on the subject as the site’s wording was changed to stump only for antibiotics after this post went viral).

How to Repair Your Gut After Antibiotics

Why Antibiotics Today Could Threaten Your Life Tomorrow

How to Kick Strep Throat Faster and Better Without Antibiotics

 

Comments (351)

  1. Pingback: How to Repair Your Gut After Antibiotics - Best Preparedness

  2. I tried “riding it out” once… I went literally 3 weeks not being able to swallow and losing my voice on a daily basis because I did not have insurance and I could not afford to go to the doctor. I “rode it out” until I couldn’t walk and ended up in the hospital with a severe case of strep and a kidney infection from where it had started traveling to other parts of my body. That’s how people get sepsis. You might want to do a little research on bacterial infections and how they can spread to other body systems before you suggest that people stop taking antibiotics. However, these antibiotics should be taken correctly so as not to cause a resistant strain of strep. To protect yourself from these “superbugs”, wash your hands! And take your medicine correctly.

    Reply
    • I believe she did state that there are people who should go to the Dr and take meds for this as people can be more susceptible to infection than others. Sepsis is always started from some other bug I had sepsis from a cat bite on the nose. It was immediate sepsis from feline saliva. It can happen with no underlying cause beforehand. I have also seen it with e-coli illnesses.
      As for some people being able to get past it without complication it has some merit. I haven’t had strep since I was 12. They attempted to check for lesions and my throat had swelled shut almost. I could barely breath. It lasted 2 weeks straight. Possible a few days longer as our city trip from rural Alaska was longer than 2 weeks for my brothers surgery. He wanted to run a camera through my nose to look at things because it was the worst case he had ever seen in his entire career. The camera couldn’t fit it was soo bad. He wanted to give me a shot and I refused and told my mother I would have a fit and run. It was the same shot I had 2x prior for a brain infection. I could walk for 7 days after it had hurt soo bad. She said ok and declined. My fever was high and he gave me oral antibiotics to take in high doses. The pills were too big and I couldn’t swallow them. I could hardly swallow liquid Tylenol or water. Everything hurt soo bad. Even breathing. Worst feeling ever. He also prescribed a dose of lidocaine to gargle so I could attempt My meds. It only worked so I could manage drinks.
      By the time I could eat food and drink again without crying it had been over a week. By then my brother was in surgery for something else so my mother didn’t pay attention to whether or Not I took my meds. Since I was eating again I chose not to take them and lied about it. By the time we got home I was fine. I had been getting strep about 4x a year for 7 years before that and was sick of it. I haven’t ever had strep again after that awful experience. It has been over 20 years since then. I have had flu, head colds sore throats and chronic bronchitis after but not once was there strep after that horrible episode. Granted I have had several strange infections after that my doctors have no idea what are as well. Ironically my sore throats after the incident were always a bronchial infection after strep. My first bout with bronchitis started in the next interval my strep cycle would have been. Lasted just as long and Dr’s sent me home with antibiotics as well. For the next 10 years it arose every year during December. My last episode with bronchitis also was during a time I stopped antibiotic therapy for it. The last one was viral so antibiotics were pointless to my Dr. So I rode it out missed an entire week of work and afterwards never got it again.
      There are many things your body can overcome if you take the efforts to fight it properly. If antibiotics just quell symptoms and the same illness returns regularly I’m a fan of riding it out. Another one of those I rode out was the flu. Verified influenza that was highly contagious. I also was incidently pregnant during onset of illness. Kept nothing down for weeks and developed severe hyperemesis during pregnancy. Meds in pill form didn’t stay down and swallowing was instant puking. My daughter and I both have not experienced the flu since.
      Can “superbugs” kill of course. So can basic bugs. We over medicate the world and more often than not create super bugs. Illnesses we can’t combat are our own fault. We can’t be afraid of being sick. We also need to recognize when We aren’t able to combat illness and take proper precautions to get better. If your ill. Then make sure you are 100% healthy at o set of infection PRIOR to deciding to fight it on your own. Any scratch, pimple, or accidental ingestion of undercooked food can cause immunosuppressive responses to illnesses. Lack of insurance is not an excuse for lack of treatment or a reason to decide to forgo any treatment. They have plenty of ways to pay Dr bills with grants and special programs when your ill.
      I am far from healthy and still need to be treated for many problems. As for contracting specific diseases I don’t get many of the common ones anymore. Allowing an illness to run it’s course can be phenomenal for our health. All of these problems occurred prior to my pregnancies. As a result my children have NEVER contracted any of these. No influenza, bronchitis, strep throat, staph, mrsa, pink eye, pnemounia, chicken pox, measles, whooping cough. Plus several others. They have several allergies and have experienced several strange fevers that spiked incredibly high but none of the things you expect a child to get over the years of child hood. My son has had one series of shots at the age of 5 that made him violently ill as has my daughter at 2. I declined the next ones and they haven’t had flu or pnemounia ones. A total of 6 total opposed to the several they “need”. Many of which were dtap and mmr and whooping cough I declined. All children have been exposed several times a year to these diseases and illnesses and have never caught them. They were all exposed by the age of 1 years old about 4x a year with the sitter. My son is now 10 and was born prematur, next is my 6 yo, now my 9 month old. All incredibly healthy other than several allergies that also mimic illness. Any illness is minor sniffles from sinusitis, asthma, or food allergies. Only once did my daughter get sick enough to make Dr’s believe she had pink eye. Instead it’s a rare form of conjunctivitis that is genetic and mimics pink eye.
      My children are lucky yes. I’m not overly a germaphobe and try to maintain a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Less sugars as babies and toddlers and more treats with healthy foods. We are what we eat and I believe everyone can lead a healthier life with better care of ourselves and limiting antibiotics that can harm our bodies fight off common things.
      I also work with healthcare and know when to recognize an emergency as well as when illness has lasted too long needing medical treatment. Especially children. Dr’s are a blessing and I for sure need them to fight through my illnesses. I have battled death several times through childhood from the strange diseases. I’m immuno compromised. As well and know not to take for granted healthcare. There is most definitely merit to “riding out” many infections.

      Reply
  3. It is important to realize that strep can travel to other parts of the body. My mother-in-law recently almost lost her leg when strep throat traveled to a wound on her leg. She spent months living in a rehabilitation clinic to save the leg.

    Reply
    • I would never recommend people not go to the dr of they think it’s strep either. I’ve had it once when I was 14ish, got treated with antibiotics, got better and ever since I can nurse anyone with it and not catch it. Children you def need to take to the dr. My child, 4, started puking one night and in less than 24 hours couldn’t even stand up and developed a sunburn. Not suspecting strep I took her to an immediate clinic thinking she was just dehydrated from puking, they sent us immediately to the ER. Come to find out she had scarlet fever. She never had a sore throat or a high fever of over 101. The dr told me had I waited much longer it would have been critical. All in less than 24hrs.

      Reply
  4. This was certainly an interesting read. From the ending of 2013 to the beginning of 2014 I’ve had Strep about 3-4 times. The last time I had strep throat was about 5 years ago when I was 16. So when I began feeling the piercing feeling in my throat I wasn’t immediately aware that I had strep. Until I had trouble swallowing and feeling feverish and looked up my symptoms I realized it was back. I took a trip to the doctors and got the shot and I was surprised it was to my arse because it was given to me on my arm the last time. My god was it painful. So within a few days I was back to normal. A month later the symptoms return, but I didn’t want to go all the way to the doctor when I knew I had strep again so I found some amoxicillin pills in my cousins house and I was better in no time. Then last week I was feeling fatigued with a sore throat. On Friday I realized it was strep and my mother warned me not to take anti biotics until I was diagnosed. But I hadn’t had time all weekend to go. But suddenly on Saturday I was feeling much better to my surprise. I just hope the strep isn’t lingering in my system. And after reading your story I just couldn’t imagine fighting out strep on my own. But id never do it again willingly due to all the complications that come from strep.

    Reply
  5. While I do not like administering antibiotics, the ”rare” complications are life changing or even deadly ( when the heart is infected) and are not all that rare ( when you make a statement it would be nice to have some scientific statistics to back your claim of rarity). There are also age groups at higher risk of complications and some age groups that doctors don’t treat unless they feel it necessary. Your quote isn’t exactly inclusive as Webmd does go on to explain that antibiotics serve to protect other household members ( in some cases weaker members should be considered)from contagion as well as the spread to vital organs. Doctors do not make any money when prescribing antibiotics in Canada and in most countries including the US. They do in most cases have more than an anecdotal story ending well to support their decisions , like scientific studies and countless prior cases. Are they wrong sometimes? sure. Are they corrupt sometimes?quite likely. Do most doctors care for the well being of their patients?absolutely. As in every profession, some are better at what they do then others, and some care more than others. But there is no general conspiracy , nor do the doctors go out late at night to hold secret meetings to find ways of getting people more sick. They are , for the most , quite intelligent people that have a background pertaining to medical issues. Geesh, folks need to travel more, to get a glimpse of what life is like when folks don’t have access to medical care. With that note, I am off to give my daughter some fire cider for her strep before going to make sure with her doctor that she is strong enough to wait out the antibiotics.

    Reply
    • Brigitte, I respect your opinion. I’m not sure which post your post was replying to, and I haven’t read the article in a while, but I don’t remember the author suggesting that doctors are prescribing antibiotics to make money or as part of some conspiracy. And, while some of them may be intelligent, others may not. Spending 8 or 10 years in school does not make an intelligent person. It makes a person informed in what the university teaches. People make the mistake of assuming that universities are unbiased and pass on the cutting edge information available in the objective field of science. Science is not as objective as you may think. What is researched and studied, how those studies are conducted, how that research is interpreted, which interpretations are published in studies, and what is taught at universities are all determined by men and women who work in the field of “science.” But, they are human beings with preconceived notions and it is human nature for them to make the above decisions in a way that supports what they already believe. There is constantly new information coming in and new opinions being formed, and a lot of the people, even scientists, are vested in looking at info. that supports their current belief system. It’s why there is so much controversy when new scientists question the current scientific paradigm. Unless you have a very open mind, you want to keep believing what you already believe. Scientists are people too, and they also want to believe what they already believe. Maybe even more, because their egos maybe more wrapped up in NOT admitting they were wrong. And, as far as doctors go, just like most people, I believe most of them want to do what’s right. However, if the information they learned in med school, after years of hard work and money spent, is just plain incorrect, they may not be very anxious to see that. Also, as fairly busy people, they may not have the time to do the research to keep up with the most recent data and may just read someone else’s interpretation of the studies going on. Often they DO get info about drugs from the very drug reps that are selling those drugs. It’s foolish to not question your doctor’s opinion because he/she is a doctor.

      Reply
    • And, a quick search of drugs that have been withdrawn or medical treatments that we no longer use over the last even 25 years, will show that the scientists who have our ear and the ear of the doctors get it wrong quite regularly. I’m sure they mean well at the time, but sometimes they’re just wrong. If you don’t question things and remain open to new info. and trust your intuition, you could be one of the many people who are killed or injured by well-meaning doctors offering drugs or treatments they truly believe in. Each person has to decide what is the right path for them and their families. Personally, I support the author’s belief that a strong immune system is the best defense you have. My 7-year-old son has never been on an antibiotic and I haven’t been on one in probably 20 years. We seldom get sick and if we do, it lasts a day or two. I’ve never had a flu shot and haven’t had the flu in 30 years. You might read “How to Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor” by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn. He was in practice for over 30 years at the time he wrote his book and for most diseases, including strep, he did not use antibiotics or drugs of any kind. (Of course, this was before the drug companies took over, spending a fortune to push their drugs and influence doctors) In his 30 years, he stated that he never once saw a case of Rheumatic Fever due to Strep in his own or his colleagues patients. It’s not that it doesn’t happen, but I believe it’s rare and choose to take my chances with our immune system. I keep an eye on my son, and if it ever got really bad, I might consider an antibiotic, but it’s never been necessary. Everyone should make their own decisions, but look at all sides of the issue first. Don’t ever just trust someone else’s opinion because they have an MD after their name.

      Reply
  6. I rode it out once and got a sever case of psoriasis that took 8 months to get over. It was about 100.00 a month for pills for that. Dumb move for not taking all the antibiotics given me. I just took them till I felt better.

    Reply
  7. When I was little, I had strep ALL the time. I hated that giant q-tip down the throat! I think the last time I got it was around age…22? So over 27 years ago. Always had antibiotics.
    And then I just never got it ever again. Not once.
    And my son has NEVER had it. He just turned 18.

    So by your logic, antibiotics made me resistant to strep. Which is nonsense. Which is what anecdotal stories are worth. Sorry.

    Reply
  8. I don’t normally leave comments about things- I felt I needed to in this case. Take your child into the doctor- don’t listen to a post on a blog. Doctor’s are professionals. Yes it costs money and yes it takes time but it beat the alternative.

    I tried to ride out strep throat inadvertently when I was younger (less than 12). I don’t remember a lot about the strep throat, I just remember having it and that it hurt a lot. At the time my family didn’t know I had strep throat because I didn’t speak up. Without having my strep throat treated it did turn into RHEUMATIC FEVER. Rheumatic fever is serious because it causes your heart to swell. When your heart swells, the muscle loses elasticity and your valves become damaged.

    My family found out I had strep throat when I came down with a condition known as SYDENHAM’S CHOREA. A condition caused by having not treated strep throat. At that point the doctor’s could treat the cause of my problems but it was too late and the damage had already been done to my body.

    When I was 19 I had my first heart surgery to replace my mitral valve. I’m on blood thinners now for life. Just last year I suffered a severe case of Atrial Fib (I’m only 33). At that point the doctor’s have said that if it happens again I may need another surgery. The treatment for A-Fib is getting shocked. Granted they put you to sleep when they do it- but at this point I’m asking myself how much of a toll is this taking on me physically?

    Now ask yourself- is it worth it to let your child “ride it out”? I know my answer already. If you doubt any of what I’ve just typed, google it. There’s a reason why Rheumatic Fever and Sydenham’s Chorea nearly don’t exist anymore- it’s because doctor’s can treat Strep Throat before anything bad happens. Just PLEASE do more research. I can’t beg enough.

    Reply
    • thank you for this post, and I am sorry for what you went and what you are going through, thank you for your plee to all parents. You’ve blessed us with your trials, and I pray that I will bless other’s in my trials, and teach my children the same. God bless you.

      Reply
  9. Before penicillin became widely available after World War 2, rheumatic fever was the leading cause of valvular heart disease. The prevalence of both rheumatic fever – which requires a decade or more of daily penicillin and high-dose aspirin to treat – and valvular heart disease both plummeted after penicillin was used for strep throat. The reason it is used for these Group A Strep infections is NOT to shorten the course of the illness, but to prevent the potentially life altering complications of untreated infections.

    The narrowest spectrum antibiotic available should always be used.

    Do not use antibiotics for those cases of pharyngitis that are not strep positive. Do not use antibiotics for viral infections as they can provide NO benefit and always incur some risk.

    Please do not value temporary changes in gut flora, which are FAR more dependent on diet than rational antibiotic use, over risk of debilitating and painful disease.

    When you provide study data for eliminating risk of rheumatic fever in non antibiotic treatment of GAS infection I will be pleased to read them.

    Reply
  10. My daughter (11) was just diagnosed with strep Monday and received a penicilin shot. I had had a headache the past few nights and after she went to the dr i looked at my throat, low and behold I had the white throat spots. While debating Urgent Care vs. CVS Minute Clinic I decided to look at options other than antibiotics… I read this article and several others and decided to ride it out,

    My only medicines were ibuprophin when my temp got over 100, tumeric twice a day with milk and pepper. Salt water gargle. 2 cocnut oil pills a day.

    Day 1: headache at night and morning
    Day 2: headache at night and morning
    Day 3: white spots on throat
    Day 4: temp up to 102, achy
    Day 5: temp held to 100 with ibuprophin, white spots on throat gone
    Day 6: All good

    Now we’ll see in the future if it comes back. Good luck. I feel like I saved $150 on dr and z-pak and and happy to know my body beat it on it’s own.

    Reply
  11. This is what I did.
    1) buy 1 new toothbrush for everyone in your house to include those without symptoms-it is contagious.
    2) Begin Taking Neem capsules (I took 2, 3 times that day)
    3) get a bottle of Theraneem organix mouthwash. Yes-this one because it has Neem.
    4) Get a cup you consider “non-valuable” and pour some of mouthwash into it.
    5) dip toothbrush several times in the mouthwash-filled cup and scrub the you know what out of the throat area. Gargle with it too.
    6)Repeat several times throughout that day. It should start to feel better after the initial sting.

    This may not work for you as fast, but I felt better the day following the throat sting.

    Don’t use Neem ALL the time though. The point is to suck it up sometimes and only use it for big ordeals like this where you might otherwise need an antibiotic.

    Reply
  12. Okay well I’m 13 and I just can’t stand strep tests or antibiotics. I really want to know more about if leaving strep untreated will make it go away anyway? My grandma had a saying, it was like, “It will go away 2 weeks with medicine and 14 days without”. Knowing that strep will go away by itself will make me feel more comfortable about not having to worry about the doctors and what they say. thanks

    Reply
    • Don’t be such a wimp. There are things in life which incur great pain and things which are merely irritating. Having your tonsils swabbed and getting a shot of penicillin are annoyances that you needn’t allow your mind to turn into problems. Read more. Read up on the history of rheumatic fever. Learn the difference between wishful ignorance and clinical success.

      Good health to you.

      Reply
      • It’s not “being a wimp”
        The strep test gives me horrible, endless panic attacks. It’s not always just “mildly irritating” you have no idea why this kid hates strep tests. I actually cannot endure them without being sedated. It’s not irritating, it’s a nightmare.

        Reply
  13. Pingback: Can Strep be Cured Without Use of Antibiotics? - Maximized Mama | Maximized Mama

  14. Although I respect your opinion and your experience, and am somewhat impressed at your fathers confidence in leaving your strep untreated, I think it only fair to point out that we all have different experiences that are guiding the decisions of others. I also had strep throat 3-5 ties as a minor. Back them my mother would wait 3 days to take me in, then it would take another day to get the results, then time to get the antibiotics and start administering. By then I was very sick, like you mentioned you were. After 2 days and the course was complete I was always better, with no complications. It was the same with my 3 siblings and my mother. My last case was when I was 19 and I am now 42. I have never gotten strep again. It is my opinion that it is not super common for adults to get strep anyway, although I know some do. My 18 year old son had strep once when he was 6, and has never had it again. My 11 year old has never had it. My 6 year old has it for the first time right now. I agree that abuse of antibiotics is very bad, but I think it is risky to advise people to let an illness as serious as strep throat go untreated. Again, I respect your opinion. I just wanted to post this so some mothers/fathers can see the other side and not feel guilty about giving antibiotics to cure strep throat. We all make choices, as with vaccines. I think people should weight the costs vs benefits. Thank you.

    Reply
  15. The reason garlic seems to work for many people is that Garlic contains a compound called Allicin. It is a form of an antibiotic and possibly have some antiviral activity. Garlic MUST be crushed for the Allin to convert to Allicin and be effective.

    Almost all honey has antibiotic activity to some degree. Raw honey that has not been pasteurized has the most antibiotic activity.

    Homeopathic remedies usually rely on the same modes of action as commercial drugs. The difference is that they may be natural in origin and that they may be a unique or complex compound that the infective strain has not been able to overcome. I can guarantee you that if they found out exactly how these compounds worked, synthetically duplicated them and used them like they do current antibiotics, these infective strains would mutate to become resistant. Remember it only takes a single copy of an infective organism that is resistant to reproduce and you have a drug resistant problem on your hands.

    Antibiotics for Strep are more about protecting everyone else from getting it with the benefit that it usually stops complications in the person already infected. Before the age of antibiotics entire towns were quarantined when a few people has strep throat or rheumatic fever. These are highly contagious infections and preventing their spread is just as important today as it was in the past.

    If you take a commercial antibiotic you should also be consuming large amounts of yogurt along with a good probiotic like Floragen-3. This will help to keep the good bacteria in your gut in place to prevent other bugs, like C-Diff., from being able to cause secondary infections. This also usually controls loose stool problems associated with antibiotic therapy.

    Step is nothing to fool around with. If you have it, I would use both the garlic and honey along with antibiotics if the infection is not cleared within a day or two.

    Reply
  16. My middle child just got strep yesterday out of nowhere. I knew something was wrong when she said her throat hurts when she cough and had a real bad fever. For some reason, I believe my youngest daughter has it now. I’m not sure though because even though she has a fever, she is still eating and moving around. I guess I’ll see by tomorrow.

    I’m really into natural natural stuff, so I always do my research when complications pop up. Strep is different though, I think it works naturally for certain people, and others? Well, you know…

    Reply
  17. I appreciate your write up. And I was wondering the same myself. But it’s basically anecdotal evidence. I’m surprised I can’t find conclusive research on this subject.

    Reply
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  19. These are terrifying articles about conditioning our society about not doing anything for infection. this is a lead up to cost cutting measures for government run healthcare and this is absolutely horrible

    Reply
  20. Sigh…wish I wasn’t on ‘this side of the coin’.

    I prefer to go the natural route myself. But I had a high stress job and no one cared if you were sick, only if you were there to help shoulder the burden. I went to a dr 3 days after my strep that he said I didn’t have. He took a throat culture and never sent it in. I spent the next 11 days in agony and still had to work. I went back to the same dr office different doctor mad as all hell when I found out he never sent in the culture. I was put on antibiotics that day and by the next day I was feeling better.

    I agree that we shouldn’t run to meds every time something is wrong but when you have to support yourself and you’re forced to go to work and can’t lay in bed for 2 weeks that’s then the anti-biotics are “ok” to me.

    Reply
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    Reply
  22. Just for the record…I tried to let strep go untreated once because I was a poor college kid who was raised with an aversion for doctors. It slowly progressed for two months. My throat had almost closed shut before I finally went to the doctor, and she was pretty horrified to see the damage. They ended up giving me some sort of super dose trial antibiotics, and that got rid of it. I have throat issues to this day because of that one experience though. I still avoid doctors, but just know, natural remedies may not work, and I wouldn’t advise holding out as long as I did.

    Reply
    • I agree with you because I have gone the same route with other health issues and opted for the natural remedies. The sickness is prolonged or sometimes is never fixed with the natural route. That doesn’t make sense for those of us who have to work. So, sometimes we go with the meds.

      Reply
  23. My children get strep all the time, but the only symptom is a headache and some fatigue no fever or soar throat. Will the honey garlic and cayenne pepper still help? What would you do?

    Reply
  24. My grandfather had strep throat as a teenager. He did not get antibiotics and developed rheumatic fever. As a result, he has diseased and worsening heart valves. He died from this at 34 years-old. Rheumatic heart disease and post-strep kidney disease are deadly. Both are unlikely, but possible if you don’t treat a strep throat with antibiotics.

    Avoid antibiotics for strep infections at your own risk and stupidity.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear about your grandfather. I don’t appreciate the stupidity comment, but whatever. People die from chicken pox infections as well , yet they are still intentionally infected to this day. The odds are less of dying from complications of both these than winning the lotto 3 times and getting attacked by a shark in fresh water lakes.
      Look up the CDC website for statistics.

      Reply
  25. Hey,
    I had never had strep throat until university but the first time I was prescribed antibiotics right away and ever since then I have had it three times in two years. This time (currently have it) I decided not to get antibiotics but have taken a lot of oil of oreganol. It is pretty expensive but you don’t need a lot. Buy some gelatin capsules and put in one to three drops and take it three times a day. This is what I did right away once my throat started hurting and it helped a lot.

    Reply
  26. WOW! I really wish I had done my research. I had strep throat as a child and in my early 20′s landed in the hospital for 5 days because it turned into an abscess that had to be drained with a large needle. Then 10 years later same thing but with a 2 day stay in the hospital and allergic reactions to many of the antibiotics they gave me. They were running out of options. The final decision was to let my throat heal a few months and remove my tonsils. Which I did. I haven’t had strep since but I still get soar throats, get food stuck in my throat all the time and now have a metallic taste in my mouth since the surgery. It’s been 1 1/2 years now.

    Reply
  27. I’m sorry, Sarah. I assumed that the fact that sugar weaken your immune system was common knowledge. But, even if you disagree with that, you also recommended nutritious foods. I’m sure you don’t consider sugar to be a nutritious food. Either way, I was just trying to help this young girl.

    Reply
  28. I’m 17 and have had scarlet fever in seventh grade. This is the third time I’ve had strep (unrelated to scarlet fever) since. I currently have strep and tomorrow will make it one week with it and I honestly couldn’t be more miserable. We don’t have the money to take me to the docs for antibiotics since we’re paying off some allergy shots so I’m really hoping this suck it up and wait it out method really works and hopefully discontinues me getting strep. Thanks for giving me hope!

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t just wait it out, Jessica. Not considering you seem to not have the best immune system if you keep getting sick over and over again. You could search online for more natural remedies and also for things that will boost your immune system. And, number one, improve your nutrition. Stay away from junk food, and particularly sugar in any form, since that is known to weaken an immune system and offers no nutrition. But, in my opinion, antibiotics, except for in life and death situations, will just weaken your immune system even more. Good luck to you.

      Reply
      • The advice to avoid sugar is unfounded and base at best. Processed food will weaken your immune system. Sugar will not, its the main fuel for our cells avoiding it will have the effect you speak of.
        Rest, water, nutritious foods, sunlight and moderate exercise is all that is needed to heal and maintain a healthy body.

        Reply
  29. Pingback: The Tale of Two Strep Throats | Gianelloni Family

  30. I’m really struggling to know what to do w/ my oldest (age 8). For the last 2 years he’s had strep probably 15 times. Five months ago I started all 3 kids of supplements (plus their regular gummies) of Vit. C, Echinacea, and Vit. D3 and he’s been strep free for 5 months! This was a huge victory since my husband and doctors were advising a tonsillectomy. My husband had one as a child and never gets strep. I, however, believe that there is an underlying reason as to why he gets it so easily. We eat mostly whole foods w/ lots of veggies and VERY rarely anything processed. We recently cut out almost all gluten to see if that would bring down the normal inflammation in his tonsils (even when he isn’t sick, they are HUGE!)…it didn’t BUT it wasn’t a gluten-free diet. Next, I was going to cut out dairy…but I suspect he has strep as of this morning. My husband is fed up and wants them out. I do not as I know that they ARE NOT just “evolutionary leftovers” but a part of God’s plan for our immune system. We live in a small town without any holistic doctors and don’t know where to turn. I DO NOT want to take him to get an antibiotic when I’ve been working so hard to get his gut flora back up these last 5 months w/ probiotics but the poor guy’s tonsils are huge…but no spots. I would never forgive myself if it traveled to his brain or similar. I want to “ride it out” and am hoping that since he hasn’t had an antibiotic in over 5 months, his body is more able to do just that. There’s no way I can get him to take the cayenne pepper/honey mix and I’ve read that the raw ACV gargle will burn. I feel like no matter what I decide, there’s risk involved. It’s days like this that I don’t like being a mom…big decisions. I dream of a world where doctors actually want to HEAL and I don’t have to figure all of this out for myself!!

    Reply
    • Gina,
      If you choose not to treat strep with antibiotics, I certainly hope you keep your son quarantined from other people until you confirm, with a throat culture, that he has actually cleared the infection. My own dd racked up over 150k in medical bills and could have lost her life thanks to an undiagnosed, untreated strep infection. She now has a chronic medical condition which may be with her for the rest of her life. Please don’t endanger his friends and classmates by not treating a known strep infection.

      Reply
  31. Just take the antibiotics, if your worried about digestion eat a clean diet while taking them and afterwards. By clean I mean no processed anything, fruits , veggies, lean meats if you want. Avoid dairy and gluten. It will feed your healthy bacteria and repopulate your intestines. Just my 2 cents. Strep is NOTHING to play around with.

    Reply
  32. I agree that a healthy body should be allowed to fight off infections. However, you have to be really careful with persons who suffer from a weak immune system or have an autoimmune disorder, like you already said. My Mum is someone who hates antibiotics with a passion, let us play outside in the dirt all day and nourished us very well. Nevertheless, my sister has several allergies and I have an autoimmune disease. I tried fighting strep throat and other bacterial illnesses on my own, but each time it nearly killed me and I got yelled at by my family doctor (and two rather nasty cases, the staff in the ER).

    So although I hate antibiotics, because they ruin my digestion every single time and give me candida, I still take them, because in my case, they are the only thing that keep me from dying. And trust me, I have tried all kinds of natural remedies or simply not taking anything at all. So if you are considering skipping the antibiotics next time, talk to your doctor first. Not all of them are pro-antibiotics and will be able to tell you if you can risk it.

    Reply
  33. When she was nine years old, my daughter developed severe OCD and urinary incontinence overnight. The cause – PANDAS: Pediatric Autoimmune NeuroPsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep. It took us three months to get her diagnosed and treated. But she continues to have flares every time she gets ill, or is exposed to someone who is sick. Especially with Strep. http://www.strepmonster.com is a great website to learn more about this horrible disorder. My daughter who was happy and calm before this happened, turned overnight into a raving lunatic. If it were not for the antibiotics, she would be in a psych ward now. Please, always treat strep as the serious disease that it is – You are playing with fire. I am totally on board with everything else you have written. But on this subject, I fear you just don’t know what damage could come of it. Please, learn about PANDAS and reconsider your position on this matter.

    Reply
  34. As you said, a person with strep can have devastating side effects. You can lower your chance of that by taking an antibiotic and correctly spaced out probiotic. Once the damage of strep is done, it’s done. For some, it really can be life and death. People need to know that strep is a serious bacteria.

    Douglas County 1st grader dies from strep throat complications
    http://kdvr.com/2012/12/18/douglas-county-1st-grader-dies-from-strep-throat-complications/

    Local girl recovers from strep A infection, amputation
    http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=114931

    Girl’s Death Blamed On Strep
    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970718&slug=2550210

    Gilbert boy loses eye, foot after contracting strep throat
    http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/21750748/2013/03/20/gilbert-boy-loses-eye-foot-after-contracting-strep-throat

    Reply
  35. Strep can cause heart damage, kidney disease, and brain inflammation if left untreated or lingering. All three can cause long term disability and sometimes death. Also, you can have an active strep infection and not manifest the usual fever and throat symptoms if you have a deficient immune system. Be careful with strep.

    Reply
  36. Please don’t leave your child’s strep untreated. My son had Strep and we did not know it so it went untreated. He had an autoimmune reaction to the strep called PANDAS. He woke up one day a different child-multiple tics, OCD, chorea, horrible fears and separation anxiety. That was 18 months ago when he was 5. We are still fighting it. It’s not rare and it CAN happen to your child.

    Reply
  37. Cindy- mom of PANDAS son May 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Are you kidding me? May you never have a serious side effect of strep that threatens to destroy your child life. And really, antibiotics cause PANDAS? Of all the idiotic notions. What you are promoting has the potential to seriously harm children. I hope you are keeping your untreated children with strep at home so they are not a harm to other people with immune disorders and children with PANDAS. You are your ideas are a threat to the well being and indeed life, of my son. Get yourself educated.

    Reply
  38. I can tell you first hand what can happen to children who are not treated with antibiotics for Strep. My children did not have many bouts with it and were overall very healthy. When my son suddenly was rushed to an ER for severe convulsive like tics we learned he had Strep. He had asymptomatic strep and we think he had it for at least a week. The result is a syndrome called PANDAS. The last six months have been riddled with long term neurological damage as the step attacked the basal ganglion of the brain.We have no end in sight and pray daily for him to heal. I say respectfully…. you know not of what you speak. My sons condition is rare and perhaps many others will heal. However, this leads to many questions. Many SCIENTISTS are now asking if many childhood neurological issues can actually trace back to Strep. I don’t believe in scare tactics however I will tell you every member of my family would gladly trade our pain for your ignorance. I am actually someone who does believe in a holistic approach to many of lifes illnesses, but let us not throw out Science and the whole medical industry because you were able to “stick it out”.. Every time my child is in contact with someone with Strep his body builds antibodies and they attack his brain. Your child “sticking it out” not only puts them at risk it also hurts mine. You should research PANDAS and then write a new article on your findings. I dare you to follow up with the other side of the coin……the one that is based on research.

    Reply
  39. Leslie~~pandas mom May 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Not treating your kids with abx and leaving strep to be exposed to other kids with underlying conditions ie autoimmune is irresponsible and harmful .You have no proof just a thought??
    PANDAS,PANS, AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS…

    Reply
  40. Please don’t mess with strep. An untreated strep infection (she didn’t have classic sore throat, so we didn’t know it was strep) landed my 7-year-old in the hospital with PANDAS anorexia, severe OCD, and bipolar-like symptoms. Please don’t risk mental illness (or rheumatic fever for that matter) by leaving known strep infections untreated.

    For more information on PANDAS:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDuxlDWMgso
    http://www.ocfoundation.org/PANDAS/
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2012/10/27/the-pandas-puzzle-can-common-infection-cause-ocd-kids/z87df6Vympu7bvPtapETLJ/story.html

    Reply
  41. If you don’t take antibiotics, you may be contagious for 2 to 3 weeks, even if your symptoms go away. Thanks for making dozens of not hundreds sick.

    Reply
    • Interesting comment, Selfish. I could not find any studies showing that people who recover from strep without antibiotics are contagious for longer that those who do take antibiotics. Do you have a source for your 2-3 week statistic?

      Reply
      • “Selfish” is correct. It is well accepted in the medical community that antibiotic treatment limits the contagious period of strep. Normally a child is considered non-contagious 24-48 hours after beginning antibiotics. However, please note that 10 days of amoxicillin is not an absolute guarantee that a child will clear strep and become non-contagious: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=981

        According the the Univ. of Nebraska:
        “When left untreated, strep throat can be contagious for up to 3 weeks, even though the symptoms are gone.” http://healthservices.unomaha.edu/selfcare.php?item=26

        So, I certainly would hope that anybody that chooses to NOT treat a known strep infection, would make an effort to not endanger others. This would mean, keeping the child (or adult) compltely quarantined at home (no school, no work, no playdates) and repeating a throat culture once they are apparently well to make sure the strep infection has truly cleared.

        My own child had an untreated/undiagnosed strep infection at the age of 7 (3 day fever, brief period of sore throat, weeks later I found out other children had strep in her class at that time). She continued to be contagious to others at least 6 weeks after the onset of infection as one of her young friends was diagnosed with strep throat 3 days after sleeping over at our house. She very well could have infected others that we didn’t know about. Two weeks the sleepover that we demanded a throat culture on our daughter (she had developed neuropscyh. changes since the fever and we had just learned of PANDAS). She was culture positive for strep and her symptoms improved with antibiotic treatment. Unfortunately, at that point the wheels of autoimmunity were already firmly set in motion and her treatment also required hospitalization, long term antibiotics, and IVIG. While mostly in remission now, she has the potential for a costly and irreversible relapse and possible lifelong mental illness if she ever contracts strep again.

        Reply
  42. It is not true that strep will leave in 3-7 days on its own. Where did you get that information? I had strep throat for a month several years ago. I self treated and self treated – finally just bit the bullet and got the antibiotics which knocked it out. Haven’t had it since.,

    Also, strep is a bacterial infection -you don’t develop immunity to it in the way that you do viruses and some other bacterial pathogens. It can also go “stealth” (intercellular) if it lingers for too long, where it hides in the body, which may count for recurring infections.
    I am NOT opposed to treating it naturally if you’re an adult and this is the route you choose -right now I am using natural remedies to prevent it as two in my family now have it – Oil of Oregano, Nano Silver and green juicing. However, I think it’s foolish to mess around with this if you have a child with it.

    Reply
  43. I have an almost identical experience to yours with strep throat when I was 15, except… I was treated with antibiotics, the infection only lasted about 3-5 days and the horrific sore throat only about two of those days. I’ve never had it again, despite being exposed countless times. My children rarely had it either, but I suspect it’s my super awesome immune system I passed onto them rather than a resistance to strep throat.

    That said, I googled on “treating strep without antibiotics” because our 3rd child (adopted) has had strep half a dozen times in his 7 years. Most of the time it only makes him mildly ill and he’s NEVER had the horrible sore throat I remember – usually just fever and a tummy ache or nausea, sometimes a rash. Still, we’re afraid not to treat it, and there’s nothing here that changes my mind.

    Reply
  44. My 3-year-old daughter has had several strep infections over the last several months. She’s sick right now (symptoms emerged last night) and I’m really wanting to avoid more antibiotics; she’s been on quite a few over the last several months. Please share with me some treatments options that are age appropriate. So many that I’ve read today (my first attempt to research alternative treatments) are geared towards adults and seem difficult to administer to a child. Thank you.

    Reply
  45. HOW is it ironic that a guy you dated had Scarlet Fever and is now an MD? It’s not. If you don’t know how to use simple words, why should anyone trust you with anything medical?

    Reply
  46. I agree with most of you, I am all for natural remedies and letting the body heal itself. However strep scares me. I had a friend lose her son to strep throat about 6 years ago. He was a strong healthy kid with no other health problems. He dies in his sleep and it was from untreated strep throat. Maybe rare but still I think of that every time one of my kids gets a sore throat and fever. I also knew of this happening to another child in my town a few years after that case. My sister also had strep as a child and it was not treated and she now has many heart problems as a result. Be careful of your advice on here, It may end up with someone making a tragic choice to not treat and God forbid something horrible happen.

    Reply
  47. healthybattlingnow March 30, 2013 at 2:38 am

    First of all I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, as well as a lot of the feedback. I’m not sure if people are still following the thread or not, but I wanted to add a thought that occurred to me.

    I currently am one of those people who keeps a healthy active lifestyle – I work out 2x a day 5x per week. (almost an addiction to crossfit – though I do know my limit and stop/rest with the slightest tweak in any muscle to avoid any injury. If I know I’m not getting enough rest or time to eat that week – I skip a few because I know it would most likely just hurt my immune system.) Because of my generally healthy being – I am sitting here with a 103.6 choosing to just battle it out, hoping for a speedy recovery based on my fit state to get back to what I love.. yet again taking proper precautions to avoid going back while still just coming back to health or contaminating others. I am just waiting for med insurance to be available after a recent promotion and got hit at the entirely wrong time.

    As I sit here battling it, my first instinct is where on earth did I contract it from. I pinpointed a night where I without thinking about it shared drinks with someone battling it at the time. Then started like, gosh that was a dumb decision – and now am leaving with the thought to fix the cause of my infection with the bacteria by being much more careful with keeping to my own germs.

    Then the thought occurs, perhaps the problem with the high rate of it re-occurring in children has to do with the root problem never being addressed – the habit that contracted it in the first place. Though some are saying no matter what it came back – I’m wondering if these are kids who have little habits of not washing their hands, making lots of hand to face contact. Perhaps one of the reasons it so often stays away when you go the natural route is because you completely examine the lifestyle starting with diet and and working past that. When you become aware of the habits causing contraction then you are more likely to pass those on to your kids – hence the supposed immunity.

    I’m not bashing the natural remedy by any means – after all I am trying it out for myself – and I’m not saying that the natural cure doesn’t help teach the body to fish for strength to battle rather than give it a crutch by providing meds… But perhaps in some way its the fully examined life that also assists in keeping the bacteria at bay so for those that do want to medicate for fear of future diseases by not treating – it might weigh more to use meds and then try to really address the problems immediately following first dose.

    Just food for thought – also I tended to get sick often as a kid but I know I didn’t have the best health habits and now early 20s am fixing my body up starting from the core and have noticed a significant drop in the amount I get sick. By sick often – I have battled pneumonia, swine flu, mono, chicken pox twice, and of course a few strep throat incidents.

    Reply
  48. Immunity can be genetic. In which case you are born with it. This is a result of genetics that your parents may have given you. This is inborn. An example is a very small portion of the population is immune to HIV. This is due to a mutation in their DNA that prevents the virus from destroying tgeir immune cells because of a protein .arker on the cell.

    It is possible to acquire immunity,but this due toexposure personally to a bacteria or virus. An example being immune to measles after having it.

    I cannot pass my measles immunity to you. It is acquired individually from exposure.

    Reply
    • Right, if you acquire an immunity (by having the measles, or strep, if that’s possible), it can’t be passed on to your kids.

      But her kids could randomly have a mutation that makes them immune. The chances of the same random mutation happening to all her kids is astronomically tiny.

      I would love it if we could do it though! No more vaccines, it would be great!

      Reply
  49. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it’s impossible to pass on immunity to something to your kids… by the natural laws of evolution. In the same way that giraffes didn’t and couldn’t have passed on longer and longer necks. And you can’t pass on developed muscles to your kids if you work out a lot. Right?

    Reply
  50. I’m 23 and my entire life, if i got seriously sick, I’d go see the doctor and take antibiotics. I’ve gotten strep throat several times in my life. Well I just got it 7 days ago again. I don’t have health insurance so didn’t want to pay to see a doctor and then buy the antibiotics.

    So I looked for a natural approach to curing it. I searched and found multiple remedies, but less than a handful seemed widely popular.

    What I used: oil of oregano, silvercillin, acv, cayenne pepper, garlic and some herbal teas.

    However, what I believed really did the trick and took the strep out was the oil of oregano with the silvercillin in 2nd place.

    Last Sunday morning I felt a sore throat coming on, but it was nothing big then. The next day I wokeup and had a nasty sore throat and felt like crap, very sluggish. So I drank hot herbal teas as well as crushed up garlic and acv. It helped, but not by much. The next day (tuesday) I wokeup with an even nastier sore throat. Now I had a fever and really felt like crap. I looked at the back of my throat and saw a couple white/ yellow spots in the back. I knew I had strep. I went out to a natural health store and was recommended to try Silvercillin. I bought it and sprayed in 6-8 times about 4-6 times/ day.

    I wakeup the next day (Wednesday) and my throat is terrible. The night before I could hardly sleep because the pain of swallowing. I was getting tempted to just say F it and see a doctor because of the pain. My tonsils were HUGE, had a fever and everything ached. I researched oil of oregano and bought some. I use 2 doses at 5 drops before going to sleep.

    Thursday, still the same pain, same terrible throat, huge tonsils, fever and felt like the walking dead. Half of me wants to go to the doctor really bad, the other half tells me to wait it out a day or 2 more. So I take about 4 does of oregano at 6 drops each time throughout the day. I use the silvercillin about 4-5 doses also. The oregano does help soothe your throat a bit instantly.

    Friday, feeling much better, but still minor sore throat, still huge tonsils…but no fever and less body aches. I continue thursdays regimen and keep drinking herbal teas.

    Saturday and I’m feeling pretty dang good. About 80% of my sore throat is gone, no more body aches and I’m feeling a bit more energized, a bit more like my normal self. I continue the same regimen of oregano/ silvercillin.

    Today, no sore throat at all, no body aches at all, and I’m feeling about 95% back to normal. My tonsils are at about 90% and almost back to normal. I only take 2 doses of oregano and 2 of silvercillin.

    So I can finally say… I beat strep throat naturally! All of the haters out there against natural remedies and have the “take the antibiotics or your dead” belief, you are wrong! Yes you will have to take some pain. I was in excruciating pain Monday night through Thursday..everytime I swallowed I would have to pinch myself or something to distract me from the pain. But just take the oil of oregano and silvercillin, drink your herbal teas and eat your chicken noodle soup. It works!

    Sorry for the longgggg post, but when i was in serious pain this is all i wanted to read. Exact remedies to take and to know exactly what to do and to see someone who had great results.

    Good luck to you!

    Reply
  51. Pingback: Candida Guilliermondii Identificacion

  52. How do you know its strep if you don’t get a culture. Everyone saying “I cure strep naturally” It could be viral tonsillitis. Just saying as I lie here with a throat on fire.

    Reply
  53. I am not a big fan of antibiotics for every illness, but they do have their place. Personally, I have had 2-3 episodes of Strep Throat a year since I was 14. I don’t use antibiotics. I ride it out like you describe above, but…after much testing, I have found out that by allowing Strep to run it’s course, over and over, that the Strep itself can cause kidney damage. And it has. I am definitely on the side of not taking antibiotics for every ill, and allowing your body to heal itself, if it can. But there are times that antibiotics are useful, exactly why I believed God allowed their discovery. I also read your post on Tetanus vaccinations. I do not routinely vaccinate, but living on a farm, we do give the Tetanus. Even keeping the wound clean, doesn’t prevent Tetanus. Unless you have seen someone suffer from Tetanus, it isn’t beneficial to demonize the vaccine. I believe that more common sense in developing and administering vaccines is needed. I do acknowledge that vaccines have been very useful in the past in dealing with outbreaks, but I will continue to make an educated decision on when, and what to vaccinate against. Thank you for the information you post, they provide good info.

    Reply
    • hi..amy i’d like to hear more about the kidney damage and your approximate age if possible…i am in my late 40′s and have taken antibiotics countless times since i was a child…now it seems my body has grown immune to them and they hardly work for me…case in point…i had strep about 3 years ago…took two different bouts of antibiotics and was still coming out with a positive throat swab and yes i am a carrier..whatever that means…I was not about to take a third bout of antibiotics..so i went to a naturopath that looked in my eyes and prescribed a regimen of carrot juice and supplements and a concoction of herbs (tincture)..i did get better naturally and that’s what i do now…i don’t take anti-biotics anymore…i have strep now and i do hope i am not damaging my body by not taking antibiotics…but i do feel better not taking them….

      i think there is a difference in children with strep and adults as far as the danger and perhaps family history.i think a person has to also know themselves…

      i have had several streps throughout my life and many sinusitis as well…too much antibiotics…up until lately i have found more natural ways to treat it all and really try and stay away from antibiotics..but i am an adult

      so i would be interested in hearing about your kidney problems.

      by the way…many natural treatments have been listed here and i think everyone has to find what works for them…for example when i was going through my 6 week strep a friend recommended oregano oil..it didn’t help at the time…but now i find it may help ward off a potential infection…so i wish good luck to all of us to find what works for them and to stay healthy!

      Reply
  54. Pingback: After Taking Antibiotics | Dr. Kilcup | Chiropractor Phoenix

  55. When my daughter was 4 she had strep throat and yeast infection at the same time. I think she got cold first. Doctor gave me two different drugs to take twice a day that’s 4tbs. I absolutely hated to do that my husband who has been getting strep pretty often insisted that i will give full doze to my daughter, i only did for 5 days and i think you need to take it for 10 and i just gave up. I could not even give a full doze of this stuff and i just went and did natural way. The strep and yeast infection was gone, if she will ever have strep again i will not try antibiotics!

    Reply
  56. The damage done by antibiotics is almost permanent and I have experienced that myself. With my youngest kid so far we have managed to go through the illnesses without ans she is 5 already.

    Reply
  57. Don’t risk you or your child’s health!!!

    I do essential oils, herbal teas, have been a healthy vegetarian for over 20 years. But I always got sick. Very sick…strep, sinus, etc. Finally, last year, an allergist ran a simple blood test on me and found that my body does not produce the antibodies to fight off specific diseases. I was born that way. It is an inherited immune disorder. I was adopted, and know nothing of my medical history. The only way to treat strep when I get it is with meds, and even still my body suffers severely from the illness. I have to either get immunizations or blood transfusions for the rest of my life (or live in a bubble) to avoid getting sick.

    Telling people that strep will go away or that everyone can build an immunity to it is dangerous!!!

    Reply
    • Yes, this is my problem too. Evidently, my body struggles to fight off Strep, though I do not get sick with anything else, normally, and if so, I get over it quickly.

      Reply
  58. Sarah, I apologize for being quite late to chime in on this post……however, I wanted to ask your advice. In August my son was hospitalized for strep throat. It was just the ordinary strain, but it went deep into his throat and closed off his breathing so he had to be intebated (sp?) and was given intravenous antibiotics. I am a proponent of the “do nothing” approach so everything about this was more than upsetting. I fear that he will now have problems due to the antibiotics and as you said may be a victim later in life to the strep bacteria. Can you recommend a protocol that will repopulate his system with healthy bacteria?

    Reply
    • They intubated your child because he couldn’t breathe because the throat has swelled to the point of closing.. To stop the swelling they had to give antibiotics. Not all strep resolves well or easily. Having had Rheumatic fever myself I can vouch for this firsthand.

      Only an MD should give advice on how to treat such a serious strep infection and its aftermath. If my parents had gone with a natural do nothing method and not penicillin I would have died at 11 from heart damage as my infection was not self limiting and Rheumatic Fever can kill you. I am example of penicillin saves life. I repeat I would have died at 11 if my strep had been left untreated. It scares me to read articles like this. I am now in my 40s with kids. You can believe strep is not something I ever take lightly or hope will self resolve. Not my kids they will not go through what I suffered if I can possibly prevent it. Nothing is full-proof, but I’ll try my best.

      I know the author is not trying to advocate medical device intentionally, but it is clear from many of the comments here that people are seeking it. She is not an MD or at least has not stated she is.

      Now in my forties I am a huge advocate that people not take strep lightly. Some things need to be handled by an MD for a reason.

      Reply
  59. A complication that was not mentioned is acute glomerularnephritis which is very serious and can lead to kidney failure and requires hospitalization. I would be curious to know if the people who took antibiotics finished the whole course of antibiotics as prescribed. Many people just take them until they feel better which leads to resistance. As a nurse I would not suggest not seeking medical attention for strep throat. However, it is good to know that so many people are concerned not only about the health and well being of themselves, but also that of their children. If only all parents were so vigilant and sought the knowledge to protect their children.

    Reply
  60. My daughter had a severe sore throat and was not tested for strep…Dr. felt the infection was “viral” and did not feel it necessary to run the test…sure the sore throat healed and she felt better…about three weeks later she started having involuntary arm and leg movements on her right side…this is called chorea…due to rheumatic fever because she had strep that wasn’t diagnosed thus not treated…cat scans…echocariograms…and low dose penicillin for the next ten years of her life….I’m thinking a week of antibiotics would have been soooo much better. Not really worth the risk if you ask me.

    Reply
  61. So I have strep throat now and the only thing I have taken is some nyquil to try and sleep, I am on day 4 now and I was just wondering if you could kind of tell when you would recover because I do not have too much pain when swallowing but my tonsils are still swollen and I have a very vusy next few days.that I really can’t afford to miss.

    Reply
  62. Thank you for this post and for your stand for natural healing. Thank God, through proper diet and rest our son was never really sick until after he started preschool at age 3. He’s pneumonia and his first ear infection. Both we treated conservatively and with some homeopathy to keep him comfortable. I was anxious about going against the flow when the Doc prescribed the antibiotics but SOOOOOO glad we never picked them up! He turned that ear infection around in no time and the mucus cleared in a couple of days. So much faster than any child I’ve seen who was on antibiotics. I know his immune system is strengthening and very glad to have you as a virtual “mom mentor.” :)

    Reply
  63. I understand the concern about antibiotics but please be conscientious about your decisions regarding your children. My 17 yr. old daughter was treated with antibiotics for strep but the strep was not completely killed. She was taken by ambulance to the ER with a temperature over 106 (I pulled it out and called 911 when it hit 106). She was given fluids and sent home. Several days later she begged me to take her to the hospital. Her oxygen was dramatically low and her kidneys had begun to shut down. Within 24 hours she was septic and on full life support. We watched our beautiful daughter losing her fight as they frantically tried to identify the illness. Without knowing the bacteria she was started on 3 antibiotics as a last ditch effort. One was penicillin which she had not been given because she had it earlier in the illness and they thought because it had not worked successfully it was not the medication needed. But it was. She had strep throat initially (tested positive) which caused a throat abscess allowing a normal mouth bacteria to get into her body and infect it throughout. Please look up Lemierre’s Syndrome, or Lemierre’s disease. It is very rare because of penicillin but has reemerged because people are not always treating strep. After 6 days on life support and a total of ten days in the hospital she was released and is now a relatively healthy 22 yr. old. She made it because she was a healthy teenager. Many are not so lucky. Interestingly, my Mom had surgery in 2003. She got C-diff and was gone within days. I have seen both sides of this issue. Please use common sense. Don’t hesitate if your child is not getting well. This is a good explanation:
    http://www.hcplive.com/publications/Resident-and-Staff/2005/2005-03/2005-03_02

    Reply
  64. I’m so glad I read this before trying to go to a minute clinic to spend money I dont have. When I was little my mom would rush us to the doctors office for the slightest sniffle. And we’d always wind up with some antibiotic. I’m slowly learning that’s not the way to do it. I hardly get sick anyway. But recently I’ve had an ear infection. And now step. I guess the waits not all too bad.

    Reply
  65. I am sorry but why would you want to withhold antibiotics if a child etc. has diagnosed strep throat? Having REAL and diagnosed strep throat, with fevers reaching past 101 F, white spots on the tonsils, inability to swallow, and general malaise throughout the body is AGONY in addition to being dangerous. If you have the means to acquire antibiotics for your children, why wouldn’t you attempt to end their suffering as soon as possible? I’m all for certain holistic methods, but when it comes to strep, rolling the dice and hoping for a home remedy to kick in and help may not be the best idea. I think it is fantastic that some of you have seemingly overcome strep with holistic means, but please do not encourage this notion that leaving strep untreated is ideal. Additionally, some of you seem to think that a fever is ALWAYS beneficial to the body, which is incorrect. A LOW-GRADE (99-100ish) monitored fever is the body’s natural defense to infection because bacteria etc. usually have a specific temperature range wherein they can live. However, usually fevers that accompany strep throat are beyond that and are induced suddenly within the 101.5-104 range, and in that case the body is experiencing HYPERTHERMIA which is dangerous on a number of different levels. Enzymes within the body denature and lose function past a certain point, and the hypothalamus in the brain no longer can control the body’s out of control temp set-point. I guess what I am trying to say is that holistic methods are all well and good, but make sure you are making an informed and researched decision before administering any type of care! (Nursing student over here)

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Because the effects of antibiotics damage gut health for at least 2 years and possibly longer. Taking antibiotics even a single round of them damages health for a long period of time and if the child will most likely get well without them anyway, why not go that route. If a child is immunocompromised already, then do the meds, but for a healthy child, i personally choose to skip them.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Video: How to Pickle Cucumbers

      Reply
  66. Sometimes you can get over strep without meds, sometimes not. It’s not something you want to gamble with. Once the damage is done, it’s done. My son has asymptomatic strep several times a year which results in pandas. It has to be treated. I had strep a lot til i was 13 then tonsils out.

    Every person and every strep infection is different. This is not a yes or no question.

    Reply
  67. This is all hilarious if you ask me. Its the time old question of should I take medicine. Some people are normally healthy but they get strep and their throat closes up causing a trip to the ER. I had strep and thought I was going to die from the fever and chills that went on for 3 days and the throat pain, I couldn’t eat or DRINK because of how severe it was. I couldn’t even swallow my own salvia. I’m not an unhealthy person, I’ve never smoked or drank, slightly overweight, but not obese, but sometimes it does require medicine. I didn’t get better until 48 hours of being on antibiotics. I’ve never had strep in my whole life until now and I am 29 years old. I think the idea that medicine is bad for us is a joke. And let’s try it out on our children who cares if they have to suffer, right? Let them suffer for no real reason and who knows maybe they’ll go deaf or blind or end up with seizures. My friends little boy at age 3 got strep which is super rare. And they didn’t medicate him at first because the test came back as false negative. He ended up with a fever that caused brain damage and now he has epilepsy. So, take your chances…good idea.

    Reply
  68. I have to say I think this is a pretty dumb idea. While, I am not completely into medications, I think going without every time you have it (or once in a life time), is a little risky. I almost went def when I was in the 5th grade because of this infection, to the point where steroids were necessary. I remember seeing the doctor once a day for 1 straight week. In no way does it offer immunity. Think about it, you went until age 15 without having strep once.. don’t you think that is coincidental? No, the fact is some people mistake a sore throat for strep, it’s just less severe than the one you had at 15.. I can say that since 5th grade I have never had step since, and I can promise you, it has NOTHING to do with immunity. It is not a disease that lingers in the body, once you have it that’s that.. It’s something you get from other people, and in most cases you will never realize that is the problem unless it is a severe issue. While, no, I don’t think antibiotics are necessary in every case, it’s a little bias to tell people not to go that route, they could end up worse than you..

    Reply
  69. Oh boy where to start. Well, Rheumatic fever at 11 because of undetected strep. If you detect please treat it. Not with garlic or honey but something that will stop it before it can damage heart valves. An additional note. Strep comes in many varieties strains. Not all strains are capable of causing Rheumatic, Scarlett fever or kidney damage.

    Basically though many types may cause illness it may resolve fine. It may also not resolve fine. It is a low chance of getting the especially dangerous strains, but you will regret it if you don’t treat it and end up in the hospital . You are basically playing Russian roulette with your health. Having gotten the loaded chamber I’d opt for the penicillin any day

    Reply
  70. Im actually sitting in the hospital so i had time to read ALL the comments lol. Well, over the years i have become more inclined to homeopathic remedies but do alot of research first before following blindly. I haven’t gotten antibiotic for strep in several years tho i have gotten it mutliple times inthe last few years. Previously i had decided to” ride it out” but that was because i didn’t know any toher way of treating it. This weekend my 4 year old gets sick.. we don’t have insurance yet… in the process. I monitored her, took her temp, gave her tylenol. I kissed. Her on the lips. 2 days later i wake up with swollen tonsils and immediately knew what she had. However that day she said her throat stopped hurting, but she had a rash all over her body. I had scarlet fever at 3 that almost killed me. Took her to the dr and she tested negative for strep and that the rash was viral. So i thought. Well maybe i don’t have strep thenand its just something else. So for the next two went to work a hroat kept getting worse and worse. So go online to look for natural remedies for strep, becaui will take my baby to the dr if she needs it, but if i can manage i wont go with no insurance. I. Try the the garlic/honey/cayenne pepper that alot of people swoe by and aftre 3 or 4 times i couldn’t stand the taste so i gave up. Then i tried cayenne pepper mixed with chicken broth and drank it. The i tried tonsil baths with hydrogen peroxide. I can’t gargle because of exteme gag reflex. That seemed to help a bit. I also tried eating lemons. Stung my mouth a bit but felt like it was working. 2 days of this. I was took weak to go out and get the oils mentioned, though i will def get for future use. After the eating some lemon i took a nap. When i woke my right side was completely gone. No swelling or pain. But starngely my left side was huge as ever. So i kept eating a bit. Of lemon and doing hydrogen peroxide. Kept getting worse, till finally i just got some ibuprofen to help with pain. I was taling 800mg but that lasted less than two hours! Now i know the side effects of this and aslo know max dose in 24 hours is 3200mg. So but to me the pain was too much. Then the next day it got worse so i made a tea of echinacea and ginger root and honey. Too sips and i was in tears. The past 3 days before i could eat or drink or swallow my own spit. Carried a spit cup around with me. Couldn’t sleep either.or talk. Now some people say i am an idiot for not going to hospital say what you may. We r poor sorry and that’s unfortunately were we are at and yes i have applied for medicaide no luck yet. So after the tea incident i was in tears because at the point the pain was excruciating. So he’s had enough and takes me to ER. They said i did have strep but also an abscess in my throat that would not be treated by meds or antibiotics. Also. Doesn’t respond to ibuprofen that’s why mine didn’t help. Could only remove it surgically. That abscess is my top 3 worst pains ever. So my advice is yes the natural stuff does work as it knocked out one tonsil but because i waited so long an abscess had started to form and was too late for the other. So make your decisione either way as soon as you have symptoms and don’t wait like i did! Now im in hospital with bigger bill and still no insurance Jim.some people may need the antibiotics i howvwer will continue to opt out when i can, even for strep. I will just start asap when i feel it. And an abscess can still form with antibiotics, so my lack of abx was not necessarily the cause of it. I have really bad tonsils. And the inability to withould kisses from my sick little girl. Funny thing is husband didn’t even get sick.they had to cut through my tonsils to get to the abscess and drain. Yes it hurt but not as bad as the abscess itself

    Reply
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  73. I realize this is an old post but wanted to post in case people read all of the comments. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I feel compelled to respond to this one.

    I am a homeopath and understand completely not wanting to rob the body of its natural healing. However, I have experienced first hand what can happen with untreated strep and let me tell you it is freaking scary. For adults – do what you think is best for you. For parents, if you are not going to treat your child’s strep throat with antibiotics – be prepared for possibly serious consequences.

    My oldest had a strep-like illness (matched all the symptoms but was not confirmed via lab diagnosis because it was treated at home with homeopathy). Shortly thereafter, she developed something called HSP (Henoch Schonlein Purpura). Basically, it was an over immune response by her vascular system which also triggered nephritis. She was covered in bruises, paralyzed from the neck down, and bleeding internally. The doctors at All Childrens said there was nothing they could do for her so let me treat her homeopathically. I’m happy to say she is now healthy but it took a very long time to recover her. HSP can sometimes follow strep.

    Fast forward several years, my littlest, completely unvaxed, mostly healthy, but still some gut issues due to inherited candida, developed a strep like illness. She seemed mildly ill so I waited out treatment until she woke up after a few days with a rash that had manifested in a cut on her hand. Within hours, the scarlet fever rash developed and then a strawberry tongue. I did take her to the doctors for a diagnosis this time. However, decided against giving the antibiotics because she had only had one allopathic medication in her 6 years (for breathing difficulties from epiglottitis/croup) and she had an allergic reaction to it. We have a family history of antibiotic allergy. I felt she was better off going strictly homeopathic. The doctor agreed at this point that the antibiotics would not prevent rheumatic fever if it were to happen because the rash had already developed.

    She become dramatically ill that evening but the homeopathy helped and she was well within two days. Until 14 days later when she developed the classic symptoms of rheumatic fever. Thankfully, I treated her homeopathically and she recovered well. But I do not know what, if any, damage was done. She has developed strep two more times in the year and a half since. This tendency to chronic reocurrence was addressed with the homeopathic strep nosode.

    I had multiple episodes of strep throat as a child all treated with antibiotics. My health was a trainwreck before finding homeopathy. However, I did not develop strep when my children did. There is a big difference between children and adults.

    My point is this — not everyone can treat their child when these consequences develop. And very few children these days are truly healthy. A parent really has no way of knowing how their child’s immune system will respond. We have followed an extremely healthy diet/way of life since my son’s autism recovery but my children still get sick, sometimes dramatically so.

    Strep throat is nothing to ignore. Strep throat can and does kill children. And yes, antibiotic reactions do as well. But as a parent, how do you know what the right decision is. Please don’t make your decision based off what someone on the internet says happened to them (including me!).

    Untreated strep can result in rheumatic fever, PANDAS, and death. Homeopathy is powerful medicine, but even that can fail. Back when there were no antibiotics, people sometimes died of scarlet fever, even when treated homeopathically. It was called “scarlet fever of the malignant type.” It’s rare but it does happen. PANDAS however, is not so rare.

    Ideally, every person reading this blog will make a conscious, rational decision regarding treatment for strep and not just run for the antibiotics at every sore throat. But the original post as is, without further perspective, may be more harmful than helpful.

    For what it’s worth.

    Reply
  74. well seeing as i felt like dying for 3 days, I chose to take antibiotics. Why have all these doctors and extensive research put into meds to benefit human race and not take them? I understand the natural route but extreme fevers for more than 3 days because my “gut” might be damaged by antibiotics. who cares

    Reply
  75. i dont have the money this month to go get xhecked for strep.
    but i think i may have it i have not taking antibotics allong with any other kind of doctor persribed other than something for acid reflux if i dont have that med then i be come very sick. but anyway i have auto immune disorders to i still need to go to the doctor and posibly go on antibotics for it. my throat has been hurting longer than a week. but it just started to hurt real bad this morning. it hurts real bad swollwing or talking. nd feel like their is somthing stuck in my throat but their is not. what do you think i should do ?
    so far no fever or head ach just bad sore throat coughing and sinus seem to only have a problem when i lay down to sleep. someone help me plz ?

    Reply
  76. this article could be right for some but not for others like me when i waited it out i got a peritonsillar abscess when i was in middle school if anyone has any suggestion on any recipes i could try please email me i am looking for something that will work without my tonsils getting removed

    Reply
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  79. so then should not take meds and just ride out the strept throat and see what happens?
    i have it but im getting it on and off.. it doesnt hurt to swallow food or just saliva alone as much… what should i do? thanks

    Reply
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  81. This is another example of why Dr. Google can be misleading at best, and dangerous at worst.

    As a naturopathic physician, I agree with Adarsh – antibiotics are not given to get rid of the “sore throat,” but rather to prevent rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease (read: potential heart failure), and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (read: potential kidney failure). This is a serious issue.

    As a naturopathic physician, I am comfortable treating strep throat herbally, but only under the conditions that a patient is closely monitored and follows an herbal protocol precisely. My patients who choose this approach understand that there is NO guarantee that herbal methods have a 100% chance of preventing these negative sequelae.

    Once again, I wish your readers the best of health. I also implore your readers – please consult your physician before trying any of the medical advice listed here or on any other website. Remember that many bloggers are not physicians and do not have medical training. If you are looking for a natural approach to medicine, and want a naturally-minded physician who has 4 years of medical training, I advise finding a licensed naturopathic physician (ND) in your area.

    In Health,

    Erika Krumbeck, ND
    http://www.mtwholehealth.com

    Reply
  82. “You need antibiotics to get rid of the strep. The sore throat will go away without treatment. The rheumatic fever or post-streptococcal glomerluonephritis will not, and if you’re one of the unlucky ones to get that, could have a devastating impact on your life (lifelong heart problems or kidney failure).

    THAT’s why we treat strep – not because of the sore throat – because of the severe consequences that some people suffer. My grandfather had rheumatic heart disease, and from that had mitral valve problems, atrial fibrillation and strokes. It’s much rarer these days because we treat the strep when it’s in the sore throat stage.”

    From: Yahoo! Answers

    Reply
  83. Wow this makes perfect sense. I wish I had heard this information years ago before allowing my children to take antibiotics. Even though I go the natural route echinachea, colloidal silver etc I would def. have re-thought traditional treatments. I have gotten strep throat for years, sad more people don’t try this approach.

    Reply
  84. I do know that not everyone gets it that is exposed to it. We were out shopping for a new truck when my daughter started throwing up, that was her first symptom of strep throat. We had all shared a drink that day, including her twin brother. No one else got it that time. She got it later at least one more time.

    Reply
  85. I just got back from the er, the Dr gave my daughter antibiotics. She’s had one dose and is supposed to take it for ten days. Can I skip antibiotics even though she’s had one dose? Also what about for the fever and pain. I’ve been doing bone broth for three days and it just got really painful for her. I did give her tylenol when she got the fever. I guess I should have let the fever fight it, now she has strep. What is the best book to now all this home treatment. Thank you

    Reply
  86. I think my 5-year-old may have Strep right now. I just looked in my favorite book “How to Raise a Healthy Child: In Spite of Your Doctor,” by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn. He was a pediatrician for over 30 years I think, and though this book is older, he has a common sense approach to medicine that seems to be lost today. Anyway, he said most cases of Strep are actually viruses and there is no treatment for them. He said that a lot of doctors will give an antibiotic right away, just in case it’s bacterial and to prevent rhuematic fever. He said if the antibiotic isn’t started right away, it will do no good against rhuematic fever, and besides, in his 25 years of practice at the place he worked the longest, he and the other doctors saw 10,000 kids a year (for 25 years!) and they only saw one case of rheumatic fever. He said today, it rarely occurs and mostly in impoverished areas where the nutrition isn’t good. He also said that the antibiotic does more harm than good because it prevents your body from making antibodies against the Strep infection and you will sore throat after sore throat if you take them….

    Reply
  87. Not treating strep can backfire. My children had untreatedstrep that turned into Scarlitina. Rheumatic fever is not to be taken lightly. I had two very sick kids, I can tell you. Because of antibiotics, they suffered no lasting heart damage.Yes, antibiotics are over prescribed. But it is not to be taken lightly that on ocassion, they can lessen the severity of an illness, and aleviate to negative impact on the body. Holistic medicine is a wonderful thing, but lets get real people, sometimes modern medicine is a good thing too. I have treated cold, flu, etc with great suces using medicinal herbs, just as my mother and grandmother did. The best cough syrup for my family is a homemade concoction. Natural remedies for burns and stings are common in my pantry. My conclusion: using natural remedies, and allowing the body to heal itself is all fine and good. But to villify all modern antibiotics that are used judiciously, is sticking ones head in the proverbial sand.

    Reply
  88. Some serious errors in logic here..

    First, yes, letting your body fight something off itself will help build up a resistance to that something, but if you want to gamble on your body sorting out the problem prior to strep causing larger issues, that’s your choice.

    But, you have never caught it again means very little, I was 24 before I ever had step at all, and despite it being hyped as being highly contagious, it doesn’t always spread that easily. Short of having actually been making out with someone who had strep, it’s entirely possible you just lucked into avoiding. But whatever, let’s say it was your immune system, it’s possible.

    But, and this is the main point, your kids not having had strep has nothing to do with you. Your ‘immunity’ was developed through exposure, you weren’t born with it, it’s not part of your genetics and suggesting that it can be passed on has absolutely nothing to with how reproduction works.

    Reply
  89. Thanks for this article! You added some great insight. I really try to avoid antibiotics as I hate to create any imbalances in my digestive system, along with all the other risks you mentioned. It is interesting the idea of building an immunity. BUT I did want to mention that it is impossible that you passed this immunity on to your children. In the same way that if you dye your hair naturally brown hair red you won’t pass red hair to your children, a non-dna change can not be passed along. Just thought I’d add that long

    Reply
  90. Until I read this it hadn’t even occurred to me that since I quit running to the doctor for antibiotics when getting strep that I haven’t had it. I was extremely scared of getting it since my cousin, who was my same age, when we were in fifth grade, had it spread si that she started regressing–she couldn’t talk, write, read, and had to wear diapers. Her doctor then put her in penicillin until she turned twenty-one. Thankfully she fully recovered, but is now allergic to all antibiotics (if my memory serves me). In fact none of my kids ever got it again either. I gave them garlic and vitamin C and had them gargle with salt water at the first sign of any cold or scratchy throat. Strep is very distinctive and I had had a lot of experience with it, so I know we never got it again.

    Reply
  91. I have a question, are you a professional? You seem extremely comfortable giving advice about serious viruses. So, are you? Because that is a dangerous thing to do, when you don’t have the education nor experience to back up your claims.

    Reply
  92. I just want everyone who is reading this post/blog to be extremely careful. Based on the advice of blogs such as this one and including it I decided to fight strep on my own, because of that decision the infection spread and affected my ears as well as lungs. It can cause permanent hearing loss as well as many other serious problems including Scarlet fever, and rheumatic fever. If you are not a health care professional and you have a virus that is considered serious and antibiotics are recommended you should seek a physician as soon as possible so as to avoid more serious complications. People used to die from viruses such as influenza, and what not. We should be thankful for modern medicine and not take our own life into our hands. Please be careful and seek medical attention. The cost is a problem, but a more permanent condition would certainly be worse.

    Reply
  93. my 4 yr old is showing signs of strep throat, where do i start if i want to treat naturally? itd be really easy to run to the doc but have friends who got ‘stuck” in that cycle, i know God made our bodies with an amazing immune system to fight infections and create its own antibodies. i guess my other question would be if there is a time antibiotics in strep throat how do i know??

    Reply
  94. I came down with strep throat three days ago. I haven’t been sick for over 2 years. not even a cold. At first I knew something was wrong when my throat started to get very sore. I went to work anyway and that first night it got worst. At first I did not know what kind of cold or flu I was about to come down with so I did a sinus rinse and gargled apple cider vinegar just to be on the safe side hoping that this would do the job. It just got worst the following day and I came across this blog post. Although I am still sick with a very sore throat, I can confidentially say that I have been successful with preventing this strep throat from getting out of control and that’s without any synthetic meds or antibiotics. I had strep a handful of times as a kid so I know how severe it can get.
    Three to four times a day I am taking a heaping tablespoon mixture of freshly chopped garlic, a tiny bit of ground cayenne pepper, 4 drops of oregano oil and honey. My first time ever with the Oregano oil…this stuff is no joke. Fortunately This has been doing the trick!! I rub Peppermint oil externally on my throat which significantly helps to soothe the soreness. I am also continuing to gargle with apple cider vinegar.

    SO FAR SO GOOD!

    Reply
  95. According to our customer feedback many people have successfully treated strep throat with grapefruit seed extract! Grapefruit seed extract is a mild natural antibiotic that is easy on the intestinal bacteria but still seems to get the job done!

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  96. I had strep as a youngster which went untreated and resulted in rheumatic fever. I had another case of it a few years later which was treated with a penicillin shot, but instead I had an allergic reaction and sores all over in my mouth and down my throat. I have continued to get it over and over again. Sometimes the immune system doesn’t get it all, or, it overcompensates and the antibodies attack joints and heart valves (rf). Sometimes antibiotics have their place and we should be grateful our God has given them to us. However they are definitely over prescribed and will become obsolete sometime in the near future.

    Reply
  97. Wow! I’d love to read all the comments. Don’t have time. We haven’t had strep in a while. I would like to ride it out, but makes me a bit nervous. My mom had it when I was a kid, didn’t get antibiotics, and it turned into Rhuematic (sp) Fever. It attacked her eyes. They were able to get her through it. She’s never had strep again, but she’s had to have both corneas transplanted from all the scar tissue it left on her eyes. I will probably try some of the natural methods if we get it again, but not without a nagging sense of fear.

    Reply
  98. Hi, I find your article very interesting…and wondering for myself. I seem to be prone to it, always have been. I have huge infected tonsils which were never removed. But my question is this: I have no immune system. I’m sick all the time, I have no spleen. I’ve been told that as soon as I start, to get right in to the doctors. Would this philosophy apply to me as well? While I’m just learning and making many changes in my diet, supplements, and mind-set, my body is still in very bad condition health wise. Just wondering what you would suggest for someone like me in this situation. Thank you.

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  99. Susan Neel Wiederhold via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I’d love to know Stephanie’s methods also. Strep is one that I am on the fence with…my older sister has rheumatoid arthritis. No family history, etc so we figure it was an untreated strep infection i the early 90s.

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  100. I had it many times while I was a child. My mom would never give me antibiotics from that. I thought it was just common thing in children and never thought it was SO dangerous as some people say. It’s very interesting. Some say that chicken pox is very dangerous too. My friends and neighbors had it and I was around. I thought it was just some mild child disease until I moved to USA and found out that all of it is SO dangerous. I had natural treatments for step throat which actually helped me feel more comfortable and help my body to fight it. Warm chamomile tea, 1 tsp of baking soda in warm water to gargle, warm soups and broth, fabric with diluted alcohol wrapped around the neck high under the chin with plastic bag and towel around it to keep warmth and moister. One time my uncle came to see me when I was sick and he gave me warm milk with hipping table spoon of butter and honey melted in the milk. I wonder now, why it helped me as I heard that milk promotes mucus and doctors advised to stay away from dairy when you are sick.

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  101. My 4yr old niece had strep that turned into scarlet fever and horrible impetago all around her eyes and mouth. It was really scary! This was a time we were very grateful for antibiotics.

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  102. In the past, I used to get bronchitis on occasion (once every other year or so). When I got it, it would last for months, until I went to the doctor for antibiotics. The last time that I got it, I took garlic pills. It still lasted an additional week after I started taking garlic, but it didn’t last for months until I went to the doctor for some antibiotics.

    My daughter had scarlet fever; I’ll try garlic first though next time.

    Reply
    • What percentage of people actually get rheumatic fever from strep or is it a warning like telling someone if they drive a car they could die in a car wreck?

      Reply
  103. Just a week and a half ago I came down with strep for the first time and as I am breastfeeding my 11 week old 28 weeker I didn’t want to go on antibiotics and have the potential of them going through the breast milk and messing up his system and causing diarrhea. I started using apple cider vinegar several times a day both gargling it and sipping it (diluted with warm filtered water) and taking colloidal silver and a 200 billion probiotic supplement. My symptons were gone within three-four days (the day after I started my symptoms started to be only very mild sore throat)!

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  104. Joy Smith Bishton our old doctor explained that strep has a distinctive smell. Once you’ve smelled it youll never forget. Combined with other signs it’s likely the culprit. Even if it wasn’t strep natural methods are good for a variety of similar ailments.

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  105. Stephanie Renee Pena that’s why I don’t always tell the doc that I didn’t administer the prescribed meds. Since our pharmacy gives antibiotics for free i do occasionally fill it but rarely give it. Ours is somewhat supportive but prescribes it anyway. Several times we’ve cured eat infections and strep using natural methods and/or chiropractic care.

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  106. Diet is everything. I feed my children the best diet I can with low amounts of sugar and junk food and my children go years without getting ill. One daughter unknowingly played with children who had strep on six different occasions during one month and didn’t get the disease (confirmed by a test, to be sure).

    Some of my neighbors have used Dr. Christopher’s Super Immune Garlic Formula mixed with honey and cayenne pepper to combat strep successfully. Two people (in their thirties) in our neighborhood have heart valve problems from strep, so not treating the infection is an unpopular idea here.

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  107. Kimmie Gessler via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    My husband and I both had it this year, neither of us used antibiotics this time. We were better in about a week. No problems.

    Reply
  108. Joy Smith Bishton via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    We rarely go to the dr, and as consequence rarely take any abx.
    Can I ask (in absense of a throat culture) how you know you have been treating strep, as opposed to viral tonsillitis?

    Reply
  109. Eny Palosi via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Your website has a virus.don’t give it any antibiotics (or garlic or tea tree oil) but fix it please, so we can read it. Thanks :)

    Reply
  110. Stephanie Renee Peña via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I have cured strep so many times w/ no antibiotics! I even got a letter from my kids doctor that said I was no longer aloud to take my kids to her practice..She didn’t like that I refused antibiotics, and that the lab confirmed I cured it on my own 10 days later when we came back to check that it was gone.

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  111. Lunalee Inamac via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Mine was relieved with 6 drops of oregano and a teaspoon of manuka honey 4 x a day… And warm sea salt gargle..

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  112. Maria Armstrong-Doula via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

    We never have given abx except for whooping cough. I wish I hadn’t though but lack of information about how long they would be contagious without them made me give it to them. Of course it did nothing for the course of the illness. I think liposomal vit. C is your best friend!

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  113. Already started beefing up on my son’s Vitamin C, CLO and probiotics…Before making our transition to WAPF-friendly nutrition, he would have strep by the 2nd or 3rd week of school every year. The last two years, he’s avoided catching it while all his classmates and fellow bus riders came down with it right after the start of school. Good nutrition is KEY!

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  114. Cassandra Lawson via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Someone has hacked this link and a virus alert pops up. My husband does computer work, and said this is an outside hacker.

    Reply
  115. Thanks! That was encouraging. Both my sons have developed an allergy to penicillin because of over use by our doctor. After seeing the vicious cycle of strep recurrence in my daughter I started giving propolis instead with great results. I never let her ride it out though. Perhaps if I had she wouldn’t have developed chronic tonsillitis and under gone surgery.
    We now frequent the chiropractor at the first sign of illness and have only used minor treatments aside from that.

    Reply
  116. Anne Marchal via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

    We started using tea tree oil Melaleuca to be exact I am amazed by how diverse it is. I use it on both my children.

    Reply
  117. As a mother with 3 kids with PANDAS do not take strep lightly. This disease is a pain in the butt and yes we treat it naturally mostly but if we have an active strep infection in the house we do treat with antibiotics and yes I HATE them but I don’t take any chances. When you have a house full of OCD, Tics and weird fears you will do whatever is needed to kill this infection.

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  118. Gretchen Sailer Hulett via Facebook August 11, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Nope. Nasal rinse with 4oz water with 3 drops tea tree oil or for adults 8oz water and 6 drops tea tree oil.

    Reply
  119. I would never be willing to ‘ride out’ strep throat. It’s too dangerous. I’m not saying people don’t do it successfully.

    I also had a year in which I repeatedly had strep. As ALWAYS happens for me with antibiotics, they did not work. I finished 3 runs of them, only to have the strep get worse.

    As I was lying there in bed, feverish, immobilized, waiting for a call back from the clinic that they would give me another scrip*, a miracle happened and an herbalist phoned me. Apparently I had signed a clipboard once upon a time saying I’d be interested in classes. Needless to say, I quickly made an appointment with her. Five or so days later, the strep was gone, and never reappeared. (This was about 8 or 9 years ago.) (Of course, I kept taking the herbal concoction as directed, even though symptoms had disappeared. Always important.)

    The * is: the clinic secretary called soon after and told me, “I asked Dr. So-and-So about your case, and she said you don’t need anymore antibiotics.” Not that she had any other suggestions or advice; I guess I was just supposed to lie there unto death. But this is the typical nature of my interactions with mainstream medicine.

    And yes, I have gut problems and regret every course of antibiotics I’ve ever taken.

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  120. I realize the dangers of the overuse of antibiotics. However, to tell people try to ride out strep throat can be quite dangerous. I went to the emergency room with a very high fever and sore throat and I was feeling very sluggish. The doctor announced he wasn’t giving me antibiotics, if that was what I was looking for.He told me to go home. I was so sick and he’s the one with the medical degree, I didn’t say anything and went home. By the following morning, I was still feverish, but nowI could barely move, and my uvula was so swollen it almost completely blocked my airway and I could feel it when I swallowed. I had to be driven back to the emergency room where they put me on an IV and treated me right away. They said they’d never seen a case of strep advance so fast. And I have allergies &asthma, making it more dangerous. Each case is unique.

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  121. How interesting.

    I recently took my 7yo in with headache, fever, sore throat, and swollen tonsils. Rapid test came back negative. Next day her symptoms were gone but the culture came back positive. However, the doctor informed me that the strain of strep she had (has?) Does not require abx or treatment! I have never heard of this, since she has had strep often and abx have always been prescribed.

    I have a friend with a baby in ICU with MSRA. I have always avoided abx when possible but had always been told strep always needs abx. It seems more physicians are being conservative for certain strains now.

    Interestingly, cultures that eat a variety of fermented foods (like Korea) have very low incidence of strep infections.

    Reply
    • Rapid tests are only about 70% effective so I am not surprised by the false positive. The fact that your child got well so fast kind of confirms your doctor’s feeling that your child had a strain that didn’t need antibiotics.

      Reply
  122. Pingback: Why I Didn’t Take Antibiotics for Strep Throat | Living Holistically…with a sense of humor

  123. Hmmm…. Well, I had strep throat 2 years ago, a nasty version. By the time we officially and positively diagnosed it, I was so far into it that we opted to bypass the antibiotics altogether and heal naturally. I did get over it just fine, eventually, within the expected time frame. However, it did not give me a lifelong immunity. I got it just last month again, really terrible. Went straight for the antibiotics this time and felt better so much faster. I have a son who seems to have never had it, even though it’s creeped into our house a few times. I think some people have natural immunities, not sure why. But he never gets sick with anything at all, no matter what the rest of us are battling. We use herbal ear drops for ear infections and are averse to overuse of antibiotics. But we will always always take them for strep throat in the future. As a side note, I already have an immunity-compromised child in my home. If taking antibiotics makes me contagious for only another 24 hours instead of another 2-4 weeks, it’s worth it to me to protect my medically fragile son as well as any others that I may come into contact with in our community. While riding out strep throat may not harm you, just getting strep throat at all may harm others, depending on their medical situation.

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  124. I have strep for 4 days now. My symptoms were terrible sore throat, tonsils red and swollen, headaches, low fever, dizzy spells, fatigued! Stomach ache, really bad body aches and pains, and white patches on my tonsils. It started with a sore throat next day i saw white spots on my very swollen red tonsils. That day i mixed together tumeric powder and honey just toe a spoonful after i took it it was a slight relief. But amazingly my dizziness, fever headaches, and body aches were gone! But because of my throat, It was still hard for me to sleep that night. I woke up the next morning, still very much in pain i ate sherbet took some advil ate an icy, sprayed with antiseptic, gargled withsalt water, had some cinnamin in sherbet.at the end of UHF day i had bliss relief except for the little swelling that bothered when i swallowed i felt

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  125. Interesting reading, especially the comments…

    I’ve been getting sick a lot lately with something that feels strep-ish — a mild sore throat accompanied by fatigue (the part that really sucks). Whatever I have is curable with antibiotics — but when I stop using antibiotics it comes back, most recently in a couple of days. Now I’ve got a tough decision whether to try to stay the course or take antibiotics. Trouble is I also need to work, and can’t do that fatigued. Toward the end of my last course of antibiotics I’ve been loading up on probiotics (yogurt, miso soup with tofu, kefir, kimchi, and probiotic pills), and I’ve always eaten very healthy (mixed berry and banana smoothies with spinach, almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts). However, none of this stuff has worked for me. Over the past 6 months I’ve also tried being freakish about germs (carrying hand sanitizer with me wherever I go, and using it constantly), I go to bed early every night, and I eat loads of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Let me tell you that stuff, with the exception of sleep, does absolutely dick.

    I think there are serious issues with antibiotics usage, but colloidal silver is a total scam, and gargling whatever might make a sore throat feel better but will not heal anything. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables may make you feel like you’re eating healthy, but preventing illness is not that easy. At least, not for me.

    In any case, I do think I’ll take a middling rout. I’ll give my body a week to fight my current illness. If I’m not getting better in a week, I’ll cry uncle and consult with my doctor about what to do… dissertation is not going to write itself.

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  126. I got step throat when I was 26. I really try to avoid antibiotics so I decided not to take them and instead just rested and focused on increasing my consumption of vitamin c. The strep throat went away after about one week. About a month or so later I developed a rash on my chest which spread all over my torso. Every day it seemed to spread more and more until it started covering my arms and legs as well. I was refered to a dermatologist, and the first thing he asked me was, “Have you recently had strep throat?” I said that I had and he told me, “Well I am very sorry to tell you this but in people who have the gene that enables them to potentially develop psoriasis; strep throat, when it is not treated immediatly can trigger this immune-system disorder psoriasis.” He then went on to tell me that psoriasis is a chronic disease to which there are (toxic) prescription creams that can help but that there is no cure. It has been ten years since then and if I could go back in time I would do anything to have taken the antibiotics immediatly as soon as I came down with strep throat. Psoriasis is an itchy, scaley rash that has since covered 20% to 80% of my entire body. This disease is a nightmare and makes daily life very embarressing for me. I am currently pregnant and the psoriasis has disapeared (pregnancy suppresses the immune system so the body will not “attack” the baby and psoriasis is caused by an over-active immune system so this is why it goes away during gestation) I would do anything to get rid of the psoriasis permanently. PLEASE do not tell people to avoid antibiotics if they get strep throat…they could end up with life-long psoriasis. Believe me, this is not a risk anyone should take.

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  128. When I was a child (under 10) I had Strep and Tonsillitis at least twice a year. Treated with Antibiotics. Had strep twice as an adult and I’m 50. The realistic thing is and I don’t see it mentioned is if you have strep and don’t treat you are contagious to all around you for the entire time of your illness, also mentioned in the web MD article. I don’t know about you but I cannot be out of commission and not earning a paycheck for a week or more. with anitbiotics you feel better and can go back to work much quicker. If you are not sensitive , taking anitbiotics a couple of times throughout your adult life not the work of the devil. :)

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  129. I have to say that I don’t agree with your opinion on not taking the antibiotics for strep. There are cases when antibiotics are not needed, but not in my experience with this awful illness. When I was in college I went a week with strep and no antibiotic because my mother was driving me cross country to school and we wanted to hold out on a doctor until we got to our destination. By the time we arrived, I was do desperately I’ll, I couldn’t even get up from laying in the car let alone drink water. I went to the hospital and stayed there for almost a week because the infection was so bad. I swear my immune system is worse now from that single experience. My body and “crunch” time has never been the same. It may work for a rare few people but I wouldn’t go recommending not taking antibiotics for such a serious illness.

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  131. I do not agree with you on this at all for a few reasons. Strep throat infects children more often then adults due to increased number of specific target bind regions which decrease as you age and are only left on the tonsils in adulthood. It’s possible you and your children have either done a really good job in prevention when there were possible exposures or your immune system was quick to act on the bacteria, strep pyogenes, before it multiplied to the point of making you guys sick. There are about a hundred serotypes of strep pyogenes I believe and letting an infection go all the way through for one does NOT give immunity for all of them, just that one. Also each active infection increases your chances of possibly developing rheumatic fever. Once you have the reaction, you will have the reaction for each infection leading to more heart damage. Also once you have the reaction, you are put on a low dose penicillin for daily use indefinitely as to prevent rheumatic fever from reoccurring. Also you need to remember, even if you or your children don’t have a reaction, what about those who do who you guys may spread it to? That’s the big reason right there that it’s recommended that antibiotics are used. Don’t get me wrong, antibiotic uses it WAY overused but this bacterium needs to be treated. One more thing I should mention. The same bacterium that cause strep throat can also cause “flesh eating disease” and impetigo if it gets in the right places or cuts. I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about since being an infectious disease pharmacist.

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  132. I do agree that there can be complications if strep is left untreated. However, you can still heal strep WITHOUT antibiotics. Homeopathy is an EFFECTIVE treatment, not just a placebo and waiting it out until the strep is gone. It really does speed up the body’s ability to heal itself. Read about how we used homeopathy to heal our strep. http://www.livingcrunchy.com/2012/02/healing-strep-without-antibiotics/
    Katie\’s last post: Comment on Paleo Meal Monday: MUFFINS! by Katie

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    • Those who are using colloidal silver or oregano oil or the honey/cayenne/garlic mixtures are using pretty powerful antibacterials (“antibiotics”) just as surely as those who get pharma abx from the dr…only with fewer side effects (although I would make sure to load up on probiotics after colloidal silver treatment, too.

      Doctors do not corner the market on antibiotics or on antibiotics that work.

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  133. Interesting thought. Glad you pointed out some situations require consideration. I have a son with special needs with a heart condition who got the beginnings of scarlet fever with it. There really was no choice what we had to do. On the other hand I rarely get it.

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  134. I totally agree with you and your dad! I believe the body can heal itself on it’s own when given the chance. We do too much interfering as you said. My toddler recently had a fever… everyone told me to take him to the doctor… get antibiotics, etc… but I refused… kept him at home, did lots of cuddling, fluids, rest and the day after he was better and the fever gone. No tylenol, no advil, no anything, but natural stuff! Thank you for sharing this… I shared this article on facebook!

    Reply
  135. Very interesting but sadly not my experience. I’ve actually had strep a number of times and attempted to ride it out more than once hoping to become immune to it. The last time I got it, I was only sick for a couple days but I ended up getting guttate psoriasis because of it. Now 8 months later, I’m still covered in the rash (though it is finally clearing up). Another thing to be concerned about is PANDAS which looks like OCD set off by strep. Strep is one of the few things I don’t mess around with.

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  136. Thanks for reply I have no fever what so ever have no cold chills
    And don’t really feel that sick just tired a lot was out about yeaterday the white pus has kinda going already off tonsil bed gargled salt and water went to doctor and ahe said puss on tonsil bed they don’t do throat cultures here unless u ask for it I said to her is it infection ahe goes ya small bit of puss on tonsil bed but no fever or feeling sick or Anything like its strange like when I got then before I got cold chills in bed and felt awful like

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  137. Sometimes a viral infection can take on the same appearance as strep – white pus on the tonsils, high fever, sudden onset. That is why it is important to have a throat culture done at your doctor’s office for every case of suspected strep.

    If it is viral, it will go away in a few days without antibiotics.

    However, if it is positive for strep, then antibiotics should be administered.

    WebMD states: “Strep throat should not be taken lightly. Untreated, it can continue to spread to others. It’s also possible for strep throat bacteria to spread to other tissues, causing an abscess or more-serious infection. Rarely, untreated strep throat can lead to heart damage from rheumatic fever. Untreated, strep throat can quickly lead to a more severe illness such as rheumatic fever (a serious heart condition) or acute nephritis (which can damage your kidneys) — and both of these can be fatal.”
    http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/understanding-strep-throat-basics

    Your attitude toward strep throat is very, very dangerous.

    Reply
  138. hello sarah, i went true 2 tuff year about 4/5 years ago always had tonsilitus and strep i used alwasy smoke when i went out drinking and stuff so kinda figured it was smoking and drink and maybe late night air my doctor said i got my too tonsils out (in 2 diff operations) fir operation they had to stop the op cause my tonsil fell apart it was so rotten and infected (even do he tested me before op)he left a rooth of my tonsil there where they is like a spider web where bactaria can store like anyway i got a very good year of no infections and it was great but latelly i got my wisdom tooth out and right away i caught the flu and a week later my first tonsilitus in over a year i was in shock then i got antibiotic and it went but 3 weeks later i went out for a night and drank coors light with big glass with ice to water it down so wont be severe to my throat but yet again within 3 weeks my tonsilitus yet again i wanted to fight it myself but afraid to like its not as severe the last two times like its only one side that get the infection other side is always perfect i have post nasl drip as well like, Would the Drink Cause Infection that night out i went home had 2 glasses of water and gargled with salt and water and still got it seems every time i drink it sets off for some reason that recent night out i was sitting under air condittioning and found my throat itchy at the start of the night any idea any info is great thanks alot

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  139. As for me and my house, we will opt for antibiotics for strep throat. Not taking any chances on the germ turning into a serious bacterial infection that can land you in the hospital with a deadly staph infection. I would rather take my chances with a possible, long-term use side effect. My sister-in-law was on antibiotice for six months. She almost dies from an untreated sinus infections year ago. The medicine saved her life and she is not immune to antibiotics or suffers any ailment from their use. My grandaughter, at age 6yrs., was on antibiotics (not new ones) for almost six months also, for a persistant urinary tract bacterial infection. She too completely recovered and does not suffer resistance or side effects. When you need them, you need them.

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  140. I just want to say that I’m pretty sure I had strep throat in college and I didn’t take any medication for it. The only thing I took was chloroseptic and saltine crackers and a ton of water. I lived off of that for several days. Looking back now I can see that I shouldn’t have had the saltine crackers but I’d much rather have had that than the stupid antibiotics. I was not diagnosed with strep throat, but I gave my sickness to my roommate, who in turn DID go to the doctor and get diagnosed and get antibiotics. I guess I just grew up in a family where you let your body do its thing and unless your body was losing the battle, you just didn’t go to the doctor.

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  141. my story. i had antibiotics 3 times as a child for strep throat. i have never gotten it again, and i live in a big, international city and ride public transportation daily. my kids have gotten strep one time each while under the age of 10, and i gave them antibiotics. the remain quite healthy compared with most children. i do not consider this abuse of antibiotics, and i am happy with my choice. strep is a rather weak bacteria, but it can wreak havoc.

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  142. I can not believe the posts on this board. Anyone who has a child with strep and refuses to give them the antibiotics needed to treat it and to disinfect their entire house, should have the kid taken away. I’m all for natural medicine, but not when it comes to strep, staph, and other bacterial infections, they require antibiotics and do not go away by themselves. A virus is different. Most of you probably had a virus, not strep. For pete’s sake. Do some research!

    Reply
    • I agree…it beggars belief that the daughter of a medical doctor could think that letting one’s own body fight strep somehow confers a lasting “immunity.” We are talking about BACTERIA here, not a VIRUS. Good Lord, the scientific ignorance. Now, I *do* agree that antibiotics are overprescribed (as in, they should not be given for viruses such as colds), but that doesn’t mean that people should try to fight dangerous bacteria with tea. If you are infected with a serious bacteria that can cause lasting or permanent health problems (or even death), you should take an antibiotic. Gut bacteria should be replenished afterward with live fermented foods such as kimchi.

      Reply
  143. Strep is only diagnosed through a throat culture. It is a bacterial infection which does NOT go away without an antibiotic. I had Rheumatic fever as a child because my parents did not get the strep infection soon enough and now I have heart damage. Took antibiotics for 18 years so that I would never get it. If you are getting it over and over, your house, toothbrush or working environment has it or pets and need to be sanitized. pets are carriers and need to be treated. If you think you got over it without antibiotics, you either did not have it or you just have no symptoms, in which case you are a carrier and are dangerous to others. People who can’t seem to grasp the fact that bacterial infections don’t go away by themselves are the reason for stronger strains. Do everyone else a favor and get treated.

    Reply
    • I am glad you told your story. It confirms that ALWAYS refusing antibiotics can be worse than overtreating with antibiotics. However, your assertion that strep never resolves without an antibiotic is incorrect. Sometimes strep will resolve itself with rest and fluids, but one should never too long. (In fact some studies show that it is actually better not to start antibiotics during the first 2 to 3 days of the strep infection as it can make a recurrence more likely.) If you have a sore throat (especially with white spots or streaks) and fever for five days, it is time to get to a doctor. If you wait too long, you can permanently damage your heart, or even die.

      Reply
  144. If you’ve already got a vaccine-injured child, you’ll need to get the homeopathic remedy for strep and use alternative healing methods. Vaccine-injured children and some non-injured children are all at risk for PANDAS, which is difficult to cure. Doing nothing or using antibiotics generally leads to PANDAS, so the happy in-between would be naturopathic and homeopathic methods.

    Reply
    • I agree with Victoria and Yudufuss. We have a vaccine-injured child that developed PANDAS. We formerly went to a MD that practiced homeopathic medicine as well, and unfortunately for us she was slow to prescribe antibiotics to our child. Like many “informed parents” once we discovered that our child was vaccine injured we were VERY careful regarding his diet, and any prescription medicine he was given.

      Currently, our PANDAS expert believes that our 10 year old son has likely had PANDAS since around the age of two. Meanwhile, his symptoms wax and wane and we struggle with his recovery. And now- years later, he is on long-term antibiotics….our choice is a CRAZY out of control kid or putting him on antibiotics and attempting to control the symptoms. Tough choice for any parent to be in…especially since we spent years trying to get his gut under control only to cause more issues with the current antibiotics. And yes- to anyone that is thinking this- have we tried the homeopathic route- we have- our son’s strep is so difficult and resistant that the ONLY thing that appears to keep the horrific symptoms somewhat at bay is long-term use of antibiotics…..so our lesson is this:

      Had we pushed for antibiotics earlier we would not be in the mess we are currently in.

      Additionally, we have 3 strep carriers in our house- they are carriers of strep and are at times asymptomatic – again- can’t say this strongly enough- please be sure if you decide to self medicate that you are testing to ensure that the strep is actually gone! Strep is really scary- and believe me, if you end up with a child with PANDAS, you, like us will be KICKING YOURSELF for listening to this blog. Self medicating your child can cause irreparable damage. Please be very careful with this!

      Reply
  145. My son got strep throat at 10 months old. I absolutely did not want to administer antibiotics. But at only 10 months old, I was just as afraid not too. So, I did. (sad face). What would you have recommended for a baby that young with strep?

    Reply
  146. Glad I saw this. My two oldest kids have been passing strep back and forth for a couple of months now. They have been on antibiotics and it came back. And again. This last time, I refused to take my son to the doctor, instead making sure that he was eating well (plenty of immune boosters) and drinking plenty, and lo and behold, it went away on its own. I think we’ll just go that route next time….
    Roxy from Two Jugs of Milk\’s last post: Magic Vomit-Away Cleaners!

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  147. Found this article and discussion right after reading the following article and discussion:

    http://www.epmonthly.com/columns/in-my-opinion/antibiotics-for-strep-do-more-harm-than-good/

    This article addresses the possible mis-information regarding Rheumatoid Fever and pretty much affirmed what my instincts are telling hme. My son had strep right before christmas and was put on 10 days of Amoxicillin. (I usually avoid all medications and treat with food/herbs etc.). He developed an allergic rash to the antibiotic but had to keep taking the full 10 days of it anyways. Now, a month and a half later, my daughter has developed a fever and sore throat (strep is running around their school again) and my son has a horrible rash around his anus that is probably perianal strep. I do not want to do another round of antibiotics and have been frantically scanning the web trying to find out what the risks are of not treating it. It is interesting to me that although I am very comfortable with the fact that my kids are unvaccinated (they both had Pertussis and it was no big deal) and I am not really afraid of any of the other diseases, for some reason I have still held onto the idea that strep is so dangerous that it cannot be left untreated. It is almost impossible to find any information about what actually happens if one chooses not to give antibiotics – other than this elusive threat about RF. The article I mention above makes a pretty interesting point that more people are harmed by negative reactions to antibiotics than untreated strep. They even question the link between RF and strep. Food for thought! I will be heading out for colloidal silver and oil of oregano tomorrow. Thanks for the fantastic conversations! It is nice to hear opinions that differ from what is easily found on the web.

    Reply
    • not just RF, but kidney damage or failure and it can get in your blood stream and cause other complications such as liver damage or failure.

      Reply
  148. I had several bouts of strep throat as a child and was treated with mostly Tetracylaline (sp), so I’m a repeat offender. Once I became an adult and my diet changed (eventhough it wasn’t WAP-like), strep throat was no longer an issue. I vote for no antibotic treatment and plenty of the things I know aobut now (cod liver oil, broths, lacto-fermented beverages, tea, etc.) If I had these kind of foods during my illness I would have been in heaven, but then again, I probably wouldn’t have gotten strep in the first place. Oh, well.

    Reply
  149. I was recently diagnosed with type A strep. I have a lot of allergies to medications so my doc put me on Clindamycin – a med I’ve taken before & have been known to tolerate. Well I wound up with an allergic reaction to that. Went to hospital and they said to stop the med – told me not to take anything. Aside from the few odd white spots (that have been there for 4 days) I don’t really have any strep symptoms.

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  150. I guess there has to be one in every crowd, however I find I must disagree on withholding antibiotics for strep throat. I contacted strep throat when I was 11 years old. I was a pretty typically healthy kid who didn’t like missing school and since It occurred over Easter vacation and I was “feeling better” by the following school week I avoided a doctor’s visit and the ensuing meds. I subsequently was hospitalized for 21 days with a severe bout of rheumatic fever which left me with heart damage (and a very altered lifestyle for a number of years)
    Note-my strep was not teated with antibiotics. None the less…..
    18 years later when I was expecting my first child strep throat was making the rounds at my workplace and I contracted it again. Determined not to medicate my unborn baby I suffered through horrible throat pain and fever (not realizing at the time that high fever can also be harmful to unborn babies), but eventually I got over my strep throat…or so I thought. By the time my baby was 7 months old I had lost a lot of weight, was quite fatigued all the time, and was having joint pain. The blood tests confirmed I had strep in my blood stream, which had the ability to damage the liver. Everyone must make their own medical decisions, but personally I would never withhold antibiotics from my children for strep—for other things yes–but i feel the possible complications from strep make the medications a must for me.
    Claudia

    Reply
    • agree! The complications aren’t as rare as the post suggests and when you yourself have suffered the complications or know someone who has, it’s life changing! I’m sorry, but this post is majorly flawed!

      Reply
  151. It’s so nice to read an article about something I, too, have experienced. So many people think I’m crazy! About six years ago I came down with strep throat — I knew what it was based on symptoms because I had it numerous times growing up and that was always the *one* illness for which my parents allowed antibiotics. Because of my job, I could not get in to see the doctor for five days. By the time I made it, I was told that they could not give me antibiotics! My body was already healing itself, and so even though I had all the symptoms and could be tested, I was no longer sick enough. I was told just go back home, drink fluids and use cough drops if my throat was really in pain (to which I responded “That’s what I’ve been doing all week!”). Three days later I was fine. On my own. No antibiotics needed. And it was yet another reason for me to stay clear of doctors’ offices!
    Marie\’s last post: Menu Monday #5

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  152. I totally agree with no antibiotics for strep throat. Although using my own remedy helped all my sons get over strep throat faster with no side affects. My remedy is a gargle made from 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper mixed with four to six ounces of warm water. Gargle three times a day. It tastes like hot apple cider. I used this the first time when my sons were in grade school and came home from school one by one with strep throat. I kept them all at home for three days; they gargled; rested ate normally but removed all the dairy. I could not believe the difference in their throats just after one day of the gargling. Since then (1990s), I was not one to get a antibiotic prescription filled. My sons are all grown now and still do not use antibiotics; plus they never had strep throat again after that first time.

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  153. My brother-in-law was diagnosed with nephritis (a kidney disorder) in his early teens. My in-laws believe it was caused by untreated strep throat. He controls it through diet and herbs, but it is never going to go away. His kidneys pretty much shut down for periods of time due to stress (physical or mental). I should also note my in-laws were not following a WAPF diet when he was diagnosed.

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  154. I got strep this spring along with all my kids after not having had it for about 15 yrs. I had it numerous times as a child. Usually once a year. Well this time i treated it with echinacea, garlic, colloidal silver, chicken broth etc. It passed. And then I got a UTI shortly after that and treated it at home again. Then only a couple of weeks later I got strep throat again. It was hideous. My throat was so swollen I woke up choking in the middle of the night on my uvula. So I gave up and went to the Dr and got abx. I felt incredible on the abx. Soo good. But two days after the abx ended my throat was swollen again. This time throat cultures were negative for strep. I was told I probably had mono. So here I am. It’s fall. I am still battling a swollen throat. I have to take at least 3-4 tblsp of coconut oil day to keep the swelling in check to some degree. I am so depressed over this. I don’t eat crap. I eat several cups of bone broth daily with garlic, coconut oil, kimchi and raw egg yolk in it. I’m hanging in there. But I don’t have my relatively good health back. I say relatively because I have experienced an over all decline in health to some degree since my daughters birth 15 mo ago.

    Reply
  155. I have never had strep. On Dec 29, 2010, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. On Dec 31st, I was in the ER with a sever kidney infection. I was unable to urinate and they had to put a cathter in. 800 cc of urine was collected. The OB on call fought for me to keep my baby with me. They said I needed to stay because my temp wasn’t staying down. It was 104.7 initially. They tried to say it was a uterine infection because I had a homebirth but that was ruled out. The next day at about 3pm my baby girl turned gray. She was rushed to the ER and they had her life flighted to the children’s hospital. At the hospital I was at, they had no clue what caused my infection. At children’s the infectious disease docs discovered it was Group A strep (same bacteria that causes strep throat). She had the scarlet fever rash all over her. I had it just on my belly but I thought it was heat rash. My daughter aspirated the bacteria at birth. She only had 25% function of her lungs, kidneys were failing and heart was becoming weaker. she had 2 surgeries, one to put a lung catheter in and the other for a central line. She turned septic and was in PICU for a week and a total of 13 days at the hospital. I was in the hospital for 5 days. Praise the Lord she lived and it’s like nothing ever happened. Shes now nursing like a champ. GAS is a nasty bug. Antibiotics saved our lives. There is a 3% survival rate once you turn septic, which she did. Overuse of antibiotics have made these bugs that could be easily treated into super bugs. Oh and my throat did start hurting in the hospital but they gave me antibiotics so fast, the tests they did came up negative.

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  158. I agree that this was a case of letting the body strengthen it self instead of giving it a crutch. I have taken antibiotics for strep and kept getting it and now I took Smart Silver for it once and never got it again. I wrote a few articles about Smart Silver and have a description of what it is. Here is a link to the description, PART 1, PART 2, and PART 3 of my Smart Silver series.
    Leon\’s last post: Genetically Engineered Foods, Cool or not Cool?

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  159. We deal with strep in our house primarily with echinasea throat spray. Not all of my family can have it (allergic reaction to echinasea) but those that can when they start having that awful painful sore throat we spray our throats down 4 or 5 times daily and usually between that and the chicken soup it is gone within a day. It tastes terrible but it works. In all three of my kids only one has ever had to have antibiotics for strep that was stubborn to clear up. Strep can be serious, and I would not just leave it alone. But I don’t think that antibiotics are the only answer or even the best answer most of the time. Natural medicine is always given the first chance in our house and only after it does not correct the situation do we go with more powerful drugs.

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  160. I had Strep Throat with a touch of mono when I was 13, and almost every year since I would battle either strep, or severe sore throat. I would end up at the doctor getting a shot. Until I started taking Saba, I am now taking Saba for 5 years, and haven’t had Strep Throat since…

    Reply
  161. Lorelei aka Hawaiigirl October 3, 2011 at 4:18 am

    I haven’t read thru all the comments, but a wonderful alternative treatment is to gargle with cayenne powder. My hubby was bringing it home every month, with the resultant antibiotics for all 5 of us! I got guttate psoriasis as a secondary problem every time I had strep, so I know when a treatment works. Since we started using cayenne 6 years ago, we haven’t had a problem with strep since. We gargle at the first sign of sore throat. In fact, that’s what got me started on alternative health!

    Reply
    • i have to chime in on a couple things. for one, the cayenne has worked for me too. that and some warmed raw acv and raw honey “tea.” i appreciate the attempt to not go to antibiotics for everything personally. i do think some of the commenters (not lorelei) seem misinformed. i did have strep b positive for 2 of my 5 pregnancies – all while eating completely whole foods and living a healthy lifestyle. also, i have had strep throat more than once even after fighting it off naturally with cayenne and riding it out with rest, so it definitely can come back (but doesn’t very often, last time was 5 years ago). i would highly recommend gargling cayenne as it is both high in vitamin c and a natural pain reliever (it numbs your throat so you can drink and even eat throughout).
      charis\’s last post: what i love about my daddy

      Reply
  162. Hi Sarah,
    This post hits close to home, as my husband just had two bouts of strep within the last month and used antibiotics both times. We don’t live in an area with I can get or make good fermented dairy, so I’ve just been giving him homemade fermented vegi’s. So you reccomend any probiotics? Also, I was wondering if you’ve seen anything linking antibiotics to infertility?
    Thank you for all you do!

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  163. Sarah, I have a question. The older I get, the more I stay away from medication of any kind and especially when I am sick, I let myself fight it off. But my son has gotten the same thing within 3 weeks. Not sure what’s causing it. One doc. said allergies, one said bronchitis… :S I really don’t want to give my child any meds but he was wheezing and breathing shallow the 1st time he got it and it freaked me out! My son also has eczema.. I am wondering if you would give your child antibiotics if they weren’t breathing well? Other times he’s been sick, I just let his body fight it and I’ve been able to handle it without being frightened..

    Reply
    • Try getting a breathing machine. You can make homemade saline solutions. It dramatically helps my daughter when she starts to wheez. It actually helps my son tremendously. He got croup when he was very young. On occasion, a cold will cause it to flare up. Both of my kids, I let their bodies fight it. If they are getting worse (the way they act) then I’ll take them to the doctor. But I am a firm believer to let the body have first crack at it. Follow the instinct you have.

      Reply
    • Remove wheat. Sounds like an autoimmune response, the lung restriction(bronchitis?) And exema. I know years too late but that’s what it seems like. Antibiotics will make the exema worse. As for what sounds like bronchitis, doctors can’t tell the different between viral and bacterial but prescribed antibiotics anyway >_>.

      Reply
  164. Having gotten Crohn’s taught me alot, namely trying to stay away from antibiotics and balancing my gut. Healthy guts and bodies don’t get streph or if you start to get it, zap it with oil of oregano and it’s gone. Repeated bouts of streph means your body immunity is low and you probably get colds and other illnesses too. I have been sick in 5 yrs. since I don’t eat carbs or sugar having been on the SCD diet for years by choice. Same for my 11 yr. old and my husband. Sugar is kill your immunity.

    Reply
    • My family and I eat gluten free, organic and no processed foods, and I’ve had strep 4 times this year with no antibiotics as I’m allergic to cephalosporins as well as penecillin. It keeps returning, so all arguments made on the side of “ride it out, or eat helthy” are completely flawed.

      Reply
      • I totally agree Lori, you can see my post way down at the bottom basically. Riding strep out once will NOT make you immune to it. There are over 100 subtypes of strep in the US so to actually become “immune” you would need to catch all of them, but you’d have to really be on a mission then ha.

        Reply
      • How is your stress level? I find that even when I try to do all the right things: diet, natural cures/supplements, if I have a high stress load for one reason or another, I get sick. When I feel the sickness coming on (that initial achy, run down feeling, I eat my raw garlic and increase my vit c intake and am usually fine w/in 12 hours)

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  165. Hi Sarah,
    Ive been following your post for many months, and have learned so much from your many videos on traditional food preparation. I do want to tell you of my experience with strep. At the age of 8, I went to the doctor after having strep symptoms. Prior to this, I had, had strep yearly for 3 years. Now this was 30 years ago, back in the day when they called if your strep test was positive, no call if negative. We recieved no call, my mother still called as I was still quite ill. They confirmed, no call, no strep. So life went on, that is, until I presented with large amounts of blood im my urine. The strep had settled in my kidneys. I was hospitalized for 9 days. Granted, I have never had strep again, but I was a very sick child. So many people, myself included respect and trust your take on things. This postion, I believe could be quite dangerous. I was hoping for a holistic alternative. That I would consider. Simply riding it out. Not my kids! That said, ironically none of my 3 biological children have ever had it so hopefully I there was passed immunity from my illness, Thanks for all you do, but please consider warning people that there are real dangers from strep, just as others and myself have posted.

    Reply
  166. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama October 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    This is good to know. I had strep as a kid a few times. I did have antibiotics because my parents are just “like that,” into mainstream medicine. I haven’t had it as an adult, nor have my children had it. But it’s good to read this, in case it were ever to happen.

    I think it’s also so important to look at what you said about “overusing remedies” — including natural ones! I can’t stand it when I hear so-called “natural” minded people touting the latest natural fever reducer or other suppressive remedy. Just because it is not a drug does not mean it is a good idea! I have NEVER suppressed a fever in my children and they’ve never had one lasting longer than 18 hours. The fevers have gotten pretty high — at least 104 — at times, but I still didn’t administer any remedies, and the children did fine and fever broke within the 18 hours, never to return (during that illness). If you are miserable, it’s okay to take a remedy so you can rest, but every remedy — in my opinion — should be aimed at supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms, NOT ever suppressing any symptoms. I am very, very wary of suppressive medicine. I don’t think enough concern and caution is afforded to this issue, even in the natural community.
    Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama\’s last post: Living Life in the Moment

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  167. I’m sorry, but this information is wrong and harmful, and I would ask you to please retract this article.
    WebMD is correct when it says that strep will go away on its own. The only reason physicians treat strep is to prevent rheumatic heart disease, which will cause heart failure later in life. So yes, strep goes away, but you can develop rheumatic heart disease. When you treat strep with antibiotics, however, it prevents rheumatic heart disease. If you don’t believe me, take a trip to South America. Rheumatic heart disease is nasty stuff, and it was the leading cause of death in people 5-20 years old 100 years ago. Antibiotics, used properly, are a wonderful thing (though I’ll be the first to admit that they are overused improperly here in the US).

    [http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/891897-overview]

    Reply
    • Hey MIchael, I disagree with your request for retraction.

      I’m not sure how many times you’ve ever had strep, but I’ve had it *lots*. I’d say no less than 20 times in my life. No matter how many times I took antibiotics, it never “treated” my strep, it only *postponed* it. Anecdotal as my evidence may be, only antibiotic *avoidance* got rid of my strep for good.

      I wouldn’t go around comparing badly nourished 3rd world strep sufferers and use them as a basis for untreated strep causing heart disease. Not only is my heart fine, I went on the have a baby with a fine heart, and did I NOT test positive for strep in pregnancy. Is that possibly because I let strep run it’s course and let my body build a resistance to it in my 20′s even though I was suffering from autoimmune disease at the time? Probably. There is a time and place for getting antibiotic assistance. I’d say if I were having heart failure from complications, of strep, of course I’d take antibiotics! That is what they are supposed to for- present life threatening emergencies, not hypothetical possibilities of what could go wrong if…. I’ll take the discomfort and a fever of 104, some home made soup and extra sleep, once to be over it instead of having it 4x per year forever. The author is simply stating that some people might be better off and get rid of it for real, if they work on building a healthy immune system and save the antibiotics for real emergencies. That is believable, and might help lots of people, who are currently suffering to end the nasty strep cycle once and for all.

      Reply
      • shaniqua, i’m sorry you have suffered from strep so many times. it is very painful! but you stand to be correct on a few errors. One, the term “strep” is a generic term that means a bacteria that grows in chains. there are several species of bacteria that commonly infection humans…group A strep is what causes strep throat. group B strep is what they test for in pregnancy, it is a common bug in many vaginas and can cause severe and fatal infections in newborns. but they are 2 different bacteria.

        secondly, like Michael said, and to elaborate, the heart damage is not caused directly by the bacteria…so taking antibiotics will not help those with the heart failure. only by treating initial strep throat infection can you prevent the heart disease. it is a VERY rare complication…and thankfully it dose not sound like you have had this complication. but for those who do, it is often fatal. it is very serious. it is not merely a “hpothetical possibility”…it is an actual disease that many people die from. those deaths could have been prevented by a very inexpensive course of penicillin.

        all that said…i am all for people making a truly informed decision before taking an antibiotic. you must weigh the risk of serious complications with the risk of the effects on your body of the antibiotics. i am willing to bet that Michael does not agree with the serious negative side effects of the antibiotics on the gut and brain that Sarah documents. So his decision is a risk – free antibiotic vs a unlikely but possible fatal heart disease. i’d take the abx.

        but what sarah repeatedly writes about are the actual harmful effects on the gut and brain, resulting from taking antibiotics. and THAT is what you must weight…risk of taking the abx to the risk of not taking them.

        Reply
        • Yeah. You are right that the streps have nothing to do with each other, but would it be such a leap that if your body can fight one pathogenic strain of strep, that it could do the same for a similar pathogenic strain? Antibiotics can’t do that for you and most people who rely on antibiotics never find that truth out.

          Antibiotics save lives. I have nothing against going all out when it is shown that my life, right now is on the line. I have done this before with other medical intervention in my lifetime. I would do it again.

          ALL drugs have unwanted side effects.
          Antibiotics, life savers that they are, are NOT Risk-Free.
          Not by a long shot.

          My MAIN problem with antibiotics is not with the antibiotics themselves, it’s that TOO MANY laypeople and medical personnel believe that they are risk free. If they acknowledge the risks and were equally prepared to help that sufferer deal with the consequences, I’d have no problem. Instead doctors talk as if they saved your life from strep, then turn their back and throw up their hands in denial when those side effects rear their ugly head. They do this with every drug on the market.

          When the fear of illness rears it’s ugly head, they go out with heavy ammo, like they are hunting a murderous psychopath, when all THIS person is dealing with is a schoolyard bully. They make no distinction because they believe antibiotics are RISK FREE.

          Dangerous mistake.

          While they are going after the bully, the real psycho blindsides you from the back, and you are left defenseless as in an antibiotic resistant something else that WILL kill you SLOWLY or diminish the quality of your life to the point that you often WISH the strep killed you quickly.

          Too many doctors (not all, but too many) lead with their ego, their medical school plaque and FEAR and NOT with their critically thinking brain. Their attitude is “I’ve been taught this in medical school and I have more than you memorized from my schoolbook than you.

          Then you have cutting edge brilliant Medical researchers making great advances and discoveries and by the time the tune changes in medical school text books, and then to the general public, too many people have since died or suffered. Some truths are so vilified and buried so deep, that people have been tricked into dis-believing the truth.

          Anyone out there who believes that antibiotics are risk free, I pray that they are on the prescribing end and not the receiving end if -God forbid- those side affects rear their ugly head with unexplained, life stealing illnesses that their medical doctor has no answers for. I keep them in the top of my prayers, because only a divine miracle or a GOOD naturopath (who I personally believe do God’s work), will be able to save them from suffering by encouraging/coaxing out/tapping into the healing ability of that persons body.

          Reply
          • Totally agree with your comment about strep bacteria- whether it’s in your throat or vagina- being related. All of the women that I know of that have tested positive for GBS in pregnancy have poor, misguided diets (mostly processed, high-carb food). I often tell women who test positive at 32 weeks or in a previous pregnancy that they should think about adjusting their diet- cutting out sugar and processed foods and adding a probiotic and other nutritious foods, and be tested again before birth to avoid the antibiotics that regularly follow a GBS + diagnosis.

    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I understand where you’re coming from Michael, but I don’t think you understand where I’m coming from. I do not intent to retract anything. What is said is this article is long overdue and folks need to understand how overmedicated strep throat is and that there can be benefits to riding it out as in my situation.

      Remember, an MD declined to give me antibiotics for my strep. This was not a lay decision. This was an informed, medical choice by a qualified medical professional. I think he knew full well what he was doing and other folks need to know that there are other options than the antibiotic merry go round for strep.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Are Antibiotics Necessary for Strep Throat?

      Reply
      • I’ll respond to you both to save space:

        1) Once the damage is done from rheumatic fever, you can’t go back and take antibiotics, and rheumatic heart disease is a silent killer that is usually discovered only when it’s too late. Rheumatic fever has to be treated with antibiotics before it begins. If you read the article I posted, you’ll see that rheumatic heart disease was one of the most common diseases and biggest causes of mortality in kids 100 years ago. People still get strep today, so it’s not a matter of sanitation, like most diseases. The improvement has come from antibiotics.

        2) There is a big difference between what a single family physician (who has very broad training in many fields) says, and what the entire body of pediatricians (as well as the academy of family physicians!) say. I’m training to become a pediatrician, and I say kids with strep need to take antibiotics. Hear me on this: I’m a big advocate for not treating every sniffle a kid gets with antibiotics. They’re overused, we’re creating resistance through evolutionary pressures, and there are side effects that require carefully weighing costs and benefits. But strep needs to be treated.

        I’m not asking you to retract your entire body of work. I disagree with many things you write, but I’m willing to say there’s wiggle room on most things. After all, only parents can decide what we think is best for kids. However, when you write to such a broad audience about subjects that are this crucial, I think you do the many people who trust you and look to you for advice a grave disservice. Please reconsider, as 90,000 children die worldwide every year from the long-term complications of this disease.

        Reply
        • it is true that the post-infectious sequella (ie. complications) from strep throat can include post-strep GN – kidney diease (though its a benign, self-limiting form of kidney damage) and rheumatic fever. in order to make a decision on abx tx, you need to weigh risks vs. benefits. the risk of rheumatic fever is very very small. but it does happen. and treating the strep throat with abx will decrease the chances of rheumatic fever. antibiotic therapy does NOT prevent the kidney disease. the consequences of the abx are known (and documented many times on this blog and elsewhere). Of course it is ALWAYS the decision of the parent in how to treat their child and themselves. I think it is so important to have all the facts, so as parents and patients ourselves, we can make a truly informed decision.

          Reply
        • Hey Michael,
          Not to change the topic too much, but have you heard of fecal transplants?:
          http://classic.the-scientist.com/news/display/57795/

          Unless you are unconcerned with what happens to your patients when they are too old to be seen by a ped, you may want to ask yourself, how do I get my clients to be on the fecal donor list at age 18 rather than the transplantee list? The lives of those patients are completely dependent on the fecal material of a person who most likely did not depend on antibiotics. Real physical problem, not a hypothetical one.

          The answer is a healthy immune system, and that begins in the gut. I’m sure that you have read of the havoc that antibiotics wreck on the internal gut flora. You may have even read that correcting that imbalance has helped manage the symptoms of autism, asthma and autoimmune diseases, allergies etc. Not sure if you believe that, but some have found it helpful. You know, those illnesses that don’t kill you but basically make life for the sufferers and their family a living hell.

          Strep sufferers are at an extreme disadvantage because their internal flora will have been nearly obilterated by the time they are a young adult, with the many courses that are taken to keep this at bay.

          When it comes to internal biological diversity, I believe in keeping up with the joneses. Given the right tools the immune system of a well built healthy human specimen will run circles around the immune systems that depend on a factory produced pill any. Generally the one depending on the factory is at least 6-18 months behind. Our only hope as a society is to get all of our needlessly suffering fellow humans up to speed, intestinally speaking.

          As a future pediatrician, I see you as a helping arm of the parents protecting or creating whatever immunity that child is born with, acquires during breastfeeding and building on that, making that kid as strong as possible. C Difficile is antibiotic resistant, as well as many bacteria are now becoming. As a pediatrician, you may pat yourself on the back for giving 20 scrips of antibiotics to a child before they are 18, and yes that child did not develop the heart problem, that they had a possibility of developing have, but most likely they will keep getting strep long past when it is your job to prescribe to them. What happens when they ACTUALLY acquire something like C Difficile or an autoimmune diseases at age 25? You played the internists ace, on strep for the first years of their life, now they have nothing to fall back on in an ACTUAL emergency. In those cases you have done more damage treating a hypothetical and not even helpful treating the strep as they are still fighting off the same strep they got when you gave them their first scrip when they were 5.

          I disagree with the practice of treating possible complications that have not happened. Sure. The person could develop a complication. Treat the complication. I’m no doctor, and I don’t plan on being one, but I believe the fastest way to get over being sick is to not touch a fever, and I got this advice from many sources, but one that may jibe with you is the opinion of a well respected pediatrician http://www.amazon.com/Raise-Healthy-Child-Spite-Doctor/dp/0345342763/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1317616523&sr=1-1-catcorr

          I think this is an excellent read from a fiesty old school doctor who had nothing to loose but to say his piece after being a well respected ped for over 40 years, 20 years ago.

          Reply
          • WOW!! Really? I’d love to know where some of these people come from. I myself, have a 5 year old laying next to me with a 102.3 fever, from strep throat. Which she got from her brother, who just started antibiotics after testing positive for strep after having it for 1 month. We decided to try to ride it out. However, after 30 days, the risk of infection to my oldest (13 with MAJOR health issues-mostly respiratory) was just too high. I suffered from strep numerous times as a child, and even had scarlett fever. Have you ever been that sick?? To treat it before it gets that bad is what any sane parent would want to do to prevent not only pain and suffering but long term health problems!!

            What the author of this post, and many of the people commenting have failed to mention, is to have the person monitored by a physician! Moms and Dad’s are not doctors. We can not diagnose wether the strep is gone, or merely lying dormant (as it does often in my son).

            To address your info on fecal transplants….. have YOU ever had to go there??? Because I HAVE! It was our last option to cure my son from C. Diff, and luckily we didn’t have to take that last option. I won’t go into more details, but it purely seems you are looking for an arguement with very little knowledge of what you’re really talking about. Reading an article and actually being faced with a complication that serious are two very different things.

        • Well said. While I agree with this article that immunity can develop if illnesses are naturally overcome, it should not be advocated to a wide audience who may take that advice without a grain of salt. I had strep throat five years ago and I (stubbornly, and drunkenly) decided to ride it out with no medication.

          After eight days of running a high fever that got progressively worse by the day and barely being able to swallow down water or walk, I had no choice but to be dragged into the physician for the antibiotics. Sure, the antibiotics screwed up my immunity and digestion for years after that, up until recently, when I started seeing doctors of both western medicine and traditional chinese medicine to fix the long term repercussions of taking just three days worth of antibiotics.

          Had I tried to follow the advice of this article, or if my parents had followed this advice, I would have been near death or at the very least, suffered from irreparable consequences from practicing a strict no meds rule. Parents, children, readers, please gauge each illness by case, and not by examples of what worked for some, because it may not be what is best for others.

          Reply
        • Michael,
          Just like you said regarding rheumatic heart disease, same goes for the use of antibiotics. Although, you are bringing up a statistically irrelevant complication of the streptococcus infection compared to the side effects of antibiotics.
          I am a 20-year old nursing student, and I feel that antibiotics are over prescribed, and highly destructive for the human body. As Sarah said metaphorically, “antibiotics provide your body with a crutch.” This crutch can hinder a person way more than you would believe. I will use myself as an example. Many other people have experienced similar outcomes as I have.
          I, like many of the people on here, have had numerous strep infections, between 25 and 50 total, starting at about age 10. I’m only 20, so that is appalling. I would be prescribed amox. every time, only for the bacteria to recolonize and wreak havoc on my body further. I’ve even had the strep vaccine. Just after I got this vaccine, I contracted the worst case of strep I’ve had to date. This case became scarlet fever. Unless you’ve had it, you wouldn’t know the agony it ensues. Your skin burns. Literally burns, that how painful the rashes are. Not to mention that your tongue is swollen, and you still have the strep symptoms, along with nausea and vomiting. My doc prescribed yet another antibiotic. And my frequent use of antibiotics has caused many problems for me, that a young individual shouldn’t have to endure. Like Shaniqua, I have been plagued with UTIs, skin infections such as staphylococcus but also prolonged GI problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diverticulitis, and impaction. Antibiotics have also cause a lesion in my brain that was operated on this March. So I don’t think antibiotics are something that should be as quickly prescribed as they are, for EVERYTHING. Take it from me, I would rather deal with strep at its worst than all of the complications I’ve had from antibiotics. We have found that I am actually allergic to antibiotics, as someone earlier in this thread has mentioned. Many people, like me, are allergic to antibiotics, and that’s why they keep getting the infections that the antibiotics are supposed to be treating. I’ve had the same outcome with UTIs. I actually just had a nasty one not too long ago, and was yet again on antibx. Which caused another vicious cycle of recurring infection both there, candidiasis, my stomach, and intestines. So don’t preach so highly of antibiotics until you know the full extent of what they can do for, and to, the human body. Not only do antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the infection, they also wipe put your normal flora, causing your body’s immune system to be severely compromised to opportunistic pathogens, even nosocomial staphylococcus aureus, if your infections have gotten to the point where you need hospitalization. I’m sure you’ve heard of that. It’s on every medical professionals mind, the impact of MRSA. That being said, I do agree that antibiotics are necessary for immunosuppressed individuals, since they could die trying to fight an infection alone. But that’s a whole different animal.

          Reply
    • I agree Michael. Go to the doctor. More importantly, please take your children to a doctor. Antibiotics are wonderful as long as you don’t use them improperly or too frequently.

      Reply
    • How often does strep actually lead to rheumatic fever or is the warning similar to telling someone if they drive they can die in a car wreck?

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  168. Thanks! I’ve gained some new insights about all of this, and have much to think on. As always, I appreciate what you’re doing!

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  169. After we opted out of our health insurance and stopped going to the pediatrician, my daughter came down with strep throat. Ahhh, what was I to do with no doctor to write a prescription! When her fever shot up to 105 and she was laying around, I thought of the amazing manager of the health food store around the corner. I called and sure enough she had an alternative and said to try oil of oregano. She shared with me some research and within 3 doses by next evening the pus was gone and she was running around with her siblings. Not one of the 10 of us have had strep again even with exposure. I would love to know if anyone else has used this and have had the same success!

    Reply
    • Oil of Oregano worked well for my strep too. I haven’t had it in about 6 years. I used to get it all the time. I also took probiotics and improved my nutrition, but in an acute case of strep that stuff works, and does not break you down as much as a scrip antibiotic does.

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  170. I have successfully treated strep in my children using herbal teas, olive leaf extract, oil of oregano, bee propolis (all orally) and peppermint oil on the neck and chest (externally). I would not let it go without helping the body fight it. It is tempting to head to the doctor after day 4-5 when the throat is so incredibly sore and raw, but when you research it on the internet and find that the anti-biotics do NOT take away the symptoms (which is what the person would want relief from) and there is still a likelihood of it returning, I say it is sooo much better to help your body fight it naturally and let it runs it’s course. It does take a good week to get over it even with the help of these things, but there is always that turning point and I do not fear it spreading.
    I have also treated the swine flu that turned into secondary pneumonia naturally (this took a lot of diligence and consistency). It is up to us to learn and have the tools on hand before sickness strikes, then we can use them to fight whatever it is. With this sort of treatment we are also passing wisdom and self-sufficiency on to our children as well.

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  171. Vanilla milkshares? No wonder it lasted a couple weeks lol! When my daughter has signs of strep, she goes to bed and only drinks raw fruit smoothies if she’s hungry or fresh fruit. She’s always better the next day. Her fever is gone and she’s back to 100% within 2 days! Tonsillitis is nothing more than too many toxins in your body trying to get out. Fruit is what the body is designed to eat and is easiest on your body as far as digestion and elimination. Healthy bodies do not develop tonsillitis. Dairy is very mucus forming and eating it during illness will only prolong the body’s attempt to get rid of the toxins.

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Well, I never said the milkshakes were a great idea. I only told you what I ate during my illness which was over 30 years ago long before anything holistic had ever crossed my mind.

      The point of me telling that is to show that you can get over strep with no meds even when the nourishment during recovery leaves a lot to be desired.

      I have to say that raw fruit wouldn’t have been much better though. Way too much fructose and where is the fat to slow down the huge glycemic response to such a huge infusion of carbs? The best foods for recovery would be homemade soups, broths, and of course fermented cod liver oil and butter oil.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Are Antibiotics Necessary for Strep Throat?

      Reply
    • well, actually tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils. it can be caused by different things, but in the case of strep throat, the inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection (group A strep). it is true that the bacteria secrete toxins (found in their cell walls) that cause your immune system to react (like elevating your temp) as you fight off the bacteria.

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  172. I have never had strep in my life nor have my children. Knock on wood.

    However, when pregnant I tested positive for being a strep carrier. After reading your post it intrigues me to do some research regarding what that really means etc…

    My Mom was always of the belief to try and let your body fight an illness/infection. She rarely took us to the doctor and yes we usually got over it. There were of course a few exceptions but few. I find myself doing the same with my kids. My daughter had her 6 year old check up the other day and she hadn’t been in for an illness in over 2 years and the Doc. kept questioning whether that was accurate!

    Reply
    • its a different kind of strep SWEST…group A gives strep throat, group B is what they test for in pregnancy. :wink actually the term “strep” means the bacteria grown in chains, but there are many species that do this. A and B are the 2 most common that cause infection in humans.

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  173. My family never has been prone to strep throat, thank the lucky stars, but when my kids were growing up they had a number of friends who suffered through this annually, sometimes more often. I always suggested apple cider vinegar (mixed quite strong) to those families and it never failed to help without hours. 4 oz filtered water, warmed, add 2 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s or another organic brand) and use it like this: gargle the first mouthful, then take a very small sip and swallow it; repeat until the glass is gone. It’s gaggy, I’ll admit that, but it DOES work. I always recommended using this mixture every 3-4 hours. Usually by the third application it was so much better they didn’t want to continue, but it’s best to do this for at least two days and REALLY get it outta there. The second day could be every 4-6 hours, instead of 3-4 hours if you’d rather.

    Scientifically, I have no clue if it’s ever been proven or if it ever will be, because after all it can’t be patented for sale by the pharma doods. I highly doubt any doctor would recommend it but I surely do because I’ve seen it work hundreds of times.

    The sooner the gargles begin, the sooner it helps. It’s sometimes hard to get littler kids to do this, but even off a spoon (small amounts) helps immeasurably.

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  174. HI Sarah,
    As always, an interesting and thought provoking post. It brings to light the age old dilemma of the risk vs. benefit in treating a patient. What you are saying is that people and doctors need to really think long and hard about the consequences of either decision — not just to rely on the easy written prescription. There are potential consequences to both and patients and care givers need to take more responsibility to decision making. Thanks for this great post!
    jill\’s last post: Sunday Snippets: October 2, 2011

    Reply
    • I know this comment is 2 years old now but I couldn’t agree more. To bad it is almost impossible to find a doctor where I live who does anything other than push pills.
      The era of small town doctors is gone, at least in my area. With no health insurance seeing a doctor sets one back anywhere 100-300 dollars here per visit. To then only be told here take meds. I have spent thousands of dollars seeing doctors different ones as well. All and I do mean all only recommend medication, even when brought up concerns about medicating. So.. Until something drastically changes in how America’s health care system works I don’t see this going away. I was about to go yet again to get meds, but thanks to Sarah I think I will fight it out and never take a antibiotic again.. I do mean never. I am sick ever month from something or another. I wonder why I never made the mental connection of the meds over counter and prescription. The poor nutrition I am working on, I grew up on eating nothing but fast food and junk food.. .literally nothing else. Strange thing is my father who eats this way is healthy as a horse, I am sick and majorly obese. Then again he never goes to the doctor for medication other than b.p. meds as his work requires him to.

      Reply
      • John,
        It’s not too late to repair your health! What a great start to recognize your background of terrible eating (I have the same) and then to swear off antibiotics. We are doing the same and I have slowly come out of a very unhealthy state. When we get sick now, even if it’s a sinus infection which doctors ALWAYS told me that cannot be fought alone, you must have antibiotics, we just figure out a way to rest, eat well, and we also use some natural antibiotics like Grapefruit Seed Extract. You almost have to be your own Doctor if you can’t find a good one, which we cannot. Still looking though!

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  175. Wow, Sarah!!! I wish I had read this 25 years ago! I got strep from friends that had it. I took antibiotics and within 10 days of being off the full course of antibiotics, I got strep again. And the cycle continued for more than a year! It turned out their cat was a carrier with no symptoms! But from that cycle of continuous strep, I continued to get sicker and sicker. My immune system never completely recovered. I started getting sinus infections, which I never had. I started getting bronchitis and even walking pneumonia. And this cycle continued until 1998, when I decided that the ways of the doctors were NOT working! They were only treating my symptoms, not getting to the root of the problem. I have only gone to the doctor once since 1998 – and that was a waste of time and money. During those first few years, i got sick continually, but the duration of the sicknesses became shorter and less severe. Now, I go to a Nutritionist and I’m eating healthy (something the doctors never mentioned). I’m recovering from poisoning I got from my new house (long story). My Nutritionist has greatly helped me and now, I am around people who are sick and I don’t get sick! Incredible! So, all that to say, I agree with you!

    THANK YOU, Sarah, for all you do!!!

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  176. I just started reading your blog and I really enjoy it so far. I would just like to comment, though, that my grandmother had untreated strep when she was a little girl and it gave her severe kidney problems.

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      • Most likely other causes that attributed to the kidney problems, like too many toxins in the body. She probably had them before she acquired the strep, as strep is just your body’s way of getting rid of stored up toxins.

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      • I’ve been researching it all day since I have it and am in bed. Here is some valuable information about the historical nature of the illness. It’s been four days, but I’m much much better. :) This is from a homeopathic assocation. http://www.centerforhomeopathy.com/strep-throat/

        “The urgency is no doubt rooted in the historical fact that acute rheumatic fever, which would often result in damaged heart valves, was once a common complication of strep throat. But that has not been the case for going on a half-century. Cases of rheumatic fever started dropping before antibiotics were available, and by the 1970’s it was virtually eradicated. According to some medical researchers, those strains of bacteria are not occurring anymore and, interestingly, most of the few cases of rheumatic fever that do occur are not preceded by a sore throat.

        Nevertheless, there is this historical memory that compels most medical professions to treat strep aggressively. So, it is also not uncommon that a report about the ‘necessity’ for a course of antibiotics given a child otherwise under my care is presented to me, often after the fact. A suggestion that the next time perhaps it would be best to discuss treatment beforehand is often met with doubt, angst or, at best, a regretful “It didn’t even come to our minds to treat it homeopathically”.

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  177. Hi Sarah,

    I completely agree with you. However, one interesting thing to note… As a child I had repeated strep throat infections despite never being given anything for them. One winter, I think I had it four or five times! I have no doubts as to why this was so, my mother was the daughter of a pharmaceutical chemist and was not very well herself, thus I inherited little healthy bacteria due to her overexposure to antibiotics and then not having much healthy flora to pass on. Due to her own experiences, she had a strong desire to not medicate me at all. Without my mother’s insistance on not giving me any kind of medication I do not think my health would be as good as it is now (and I am still working on it).

    What a blessing to only have experienced strep throat once. I would not wish it upon anyone! Thanks for this. It is nice to hear of others who feel similarly concerning medication and illness.

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  178. My mom had untreated strep that moved to her whole body. It was bad. I think if you have never had strep and you are otherwise healthy and can rest and let your body work fully on healing it is possible to get better without antibiotics. I, however, think if you have been treated for it before with antibiotics you should probably not risk it as your body is probably waiting for more antibiotics to take care of it for you. There is no answer to this one that will fit everyone’s needs, as you said. If you have a healthy, robust child who comes down with strep throat, they probably can recover. If your child is always sick their immune system probably won’t be able to fight it off, so I wouldn’t risk it.

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    • Laura, the reason kids are sick all the time is because they’re over medicated. Too many parents treat for every cough and sniffle and sore throat. Too many don’t let a fever do it’s job and kill the infection that’s going on, they’re too worried about getting the white blood cells down vs letting them fight as they’re meant to. Our bodies were not created to just sit by and let antibiotics do the fighting, but was created to fight. Not sure how old your mom is, but ultimately those growing up from the 50′s on, have been over medicated and raised to believe that’s what’s best.

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      • Christy, what about people like me, and 2 of my 3 children… You see, we have Osmodic Spherocytosis. Its a blood disorder that destroys your organs…mostly, your spleen. As most people with a chronic case of this disease, we’ve had our spleens removed. As soon as we start the slightest little sinus infection, or something, they need to get us on antibiotics fast, or it goes into something more serious. Just this past January, I went from a simple kidney stone to in a coma with a severe blood infection in just hours and found myself in ICU for 6 days, then still in the hospital another 4 before coming home. What do people like us do? I’m 49 years old, and have already gone through the gambit of antibiotics…not just ones I can’t use anymore, but ones I’m allergic to…lethally. I’ve changed our diet, our way of living…and even our way of thinking to more natural terms, however, I still can’t just “let it work its way out” as suggested. Any ideas? :) They would be most appreciated! :)

        Reply
        • organic garlic (chop it up and swallow it raw every 2 hours), tons of vitamin c (until you have diarrhea) and a consistently high level of daily vit D when unable to get 15 minutes of sunshine per day (depending upon where you live you may have to supplement Sept through May)

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          • Please avoid the excessive use of Vitamin C if you have other health issues. Vitamin C can be toxic in large doses, though people generally believe this to not be the case. You can injury your kidneys with the abuse of Vit C dosages. The OP should definitely not be overdosing on ANY vitamin or mineral.

          • In response to Jenn:

            Please try to be specific and refrain from giving misleading information. It is speculated – without positive experiments – that higher doses beyond recommendation can lead to the creation of kidney stones. In fact, no connection has ever been proven. Kidney stones are relatively easy to prevent as long as you don’t dehydrate yourself and drink water regularly.

            Also, increased Vitamin C was shown to help protect the kidneys in experiments dealing with rats and hypertension.

            It is ambiguous to say Vitamin C can be toxic in large doses, as that threshold has never been actually reached. A vitamin C overdose is estimated to be just under 12g/kg. This means 12,000mg per kilogram of weight. An 150 lb person would need to ingest 816,000mg of Vitamin C to reach that mark.

            For perspective, that is almost two pounds of Vitamin C (1.79lb). You’d be hard pressed to ingest that much vitamin C in a short period of time.

            Now, I can think of one way it can undoubtedly be toxic: Vitamin C increases blood absorption of iron. If someone has an iron overload disorder, high doses can trigger hemolytic anemia. In that case, yes, refrain from high doses, or consult a doctor.

        • Debbie, I feel for you that sounds terrible what you must go through. However I would like to share some tablets I use for my sons bouts of tonsillitis and strep throat. They are 100% natural homeopathic and work quicker and better than antibiotics (he has been on AB every month for 9 months out of 12). It is called Angin-Heel. The ‘Heel’ drugs also do loads of other remedies for other ailments. I swear by these they are amazing. Just google them to find your nearest supplier.

          Good luck.x

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      • Please have been dying from the complications of Strep Throat (Rheumatic Fever) for centuries, I don’t think here mom got ill because she was over medicated, she got ill because she didn’t get the antibiotics she needed it time.

        That is the reason antibiotics were invented, because large numbers of children died from bacterial diseases on a regular basis before 1945. So the idea that if you just don’t take antibiotics, you will get stronger and develop an immunity to strep throat is false. You may develop an immunity, or you may develop a serious complications, which are actually the result of your immune system trying to fight off the bacteria. The heart damage in Rheumatic fever isn’t caused so much by the bacteria, but by the immune system trying to kill of the bacteria.

        Penicillin and antibiotics were invented for a reason…being that people died and got seriously ill from common illness like Strep throat all the time back in the day. But all the health nuts can believe modern medicine is evil, not treat their kids or immunize them, and hope for the best. Hopefully, they don’t end up with heart damage or dead — but at least they won’t have Yeast over growth.

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        • What about those of us who can’t take antibiotics because of IBS and such things? What are we suppose to do? Why do people always write off people using natural approaches as “health nuts”? I have used herbs, vitamins and supplements such as green food, etc for many ailments and had great success. I don’t take drugs because all you hear on TV are all the ads with side effects that sound worse than the original illness and ads from attorneys to contact them if you have taken this bad drug. Cranberry juice WORKS for UTI that I use to get alot and after using cranberry juice I haven’t gotten any since. Also Tart Cherry Juice as well as several herbs have done wonders for my arthritis. Why would we use these things if they don’t work. They do. Drug companies just want to make a lot of money that is why people are pushing these drugs.

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          • I have strep throat right now and don’t intend to take antibiotics. I have gargled with salt water and eaten plain yogurt slowly to make it stay on my throat longer. Also have drank alot of herbal teas and honey. I love the suggestions about the garlic, honey and cayenne pepper as well as gargling with ACV. I am going to try that as well. Already my strep has improved since I started the natural approach. Thanks for your blog and great suggestions! Keep up the good work

  179. Newish reader who has never commented before. I would be fully inclined to agree with you on this except that I just recently found out about a coworker who was hospitalized and out for three months due to untreated strep that moved into her brain. That sounds extreme but is “apparently” true. Point is I would like to further investigate this from both ends before I make the leap of not medicating my 10 year old every time he gets strep. And yes, he gets it often even after having his tonsils removed.

    PS – Really find your blog interesting and informative.

    Reply
      • Interesting thoughts in the article and comments. I’ve often wondered at the general health of my children.

        As a young child, I would often fall prey to colds, bronchitis and even pneumonia. My mom was a real believer in modern medicine and was always ready to give me baby aspirin and run me to the doctor’s for antibiotics. In third grade, I have already suffered bronchitis and pneumonia by November and a throat specialist recommended removing my tonsils (my older siblings had already had theirs removed as a matter of course, which had gone out of vogue by the time I was born). After my tonsils were removed, I was never again diagnosed with pneumonia or bronchitis.

        In my teens I finally contracted Strep. I recall being very concerned because I remember my older (by 6 years) sister getting it years before and thinking how terrible it was. Many friends were getting it and I knew antibiotics were the usual treatment. I did not want antibiotics because they always made me feel bad and I hated the taste (they were mostly liquid back then). Given that was a good 30 years ago, I hesitate to be positive on the matter, but my recollection was that the doctor said my case was mild and maybe a wait and see approach was best. My memory tells me I received no antibiotics for it

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        • [I hit submit by mistake.]

          I think that was the case, because an impression was left because I did NOT receive antibiotics.

          The whole point of this is to add my own casual observation. Through the years my sister’s children have repeatedly contracted Strep and have always been put on antibiotics. On the other hand, my 8 children (from 25 to 2) have so far never to my knowledge had Strep. I always wondered why. Was it lifestyle (we both homeschool, but there was a period of years her children went to school)? Where we lived (she lives in MN while I live where we grew up)? General habits (she, like our mother, usually went to the doctor for any ailments while I discontinued that habit by the time my oldest was 5)? This last one was the one that bothered me the most. Did my children ever get strep but I didn’t know it because I never got them tested? Could I have been on the verge of risking their long term health because of that? I would think strep symptoms would in no way go unnoticed and I would have done what was necessary. I do not recall my children having such symptoms. Sore throats, yes, but not strep.

          This post encourages me that I have not somehow “missed” the signs, but that they have very well – as I suspected – never contracted the disease, with a possible reason I can look back to. Thanks. :)

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    • Hey Buggy V, I used to have strep 3-5 times per year for a spell when I was 12-15. ( I got too grown to stay home and eat my oatmeal and codliver oil for breakfast as was my mothers custom in the winter. I opted instead for a cream cheese and jelly bagel like my friends. Prior to this change in breakfast I was only out of school for the chicken pox in first grade.) My mom alway got penicillin for me when I had it… (even convinced some well meaning doctors to prescribe it before the throat cultures came back, since she couldn’t take another day off of work to come back for a scrip. Little did she know the home cooked food she made for me and rest probably helped me more than the antibiotics). I got strep (when I was stressed and run down) occasionally until I was 29. I was suffering from psoriasis, candida and frequent UTI’s. The best thing that could have happened to me was that I was a temp and had no insurance. I was tired of waiting all day to pay cash for them to prescribe me more pills, that I couldn’t afford, that never solved the problem and usually made something else worse. The antibiotics made my candida unbearable. After some research, I decided to stay home for a week and ride it out with some probiotics, oil of oregano drops and collodial silver for relief. It’s been over 6 years, and I never got it again. I rode out my next UTI with no antibiotics, or pain killers… only pro-biotics and cranberry, and never got that again either. Eventually got rid of candida too, but that’s another story.

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      • Correction. I got rid of candida and psoriasis (autoimmune), wheat and dairy allergies over the course of years. Nutrition, (WAPF, Cleanses etc ) and persistance under the guidance of a good Naturopath can get almost anyone to be robust and healthy. If it worked for me it can work for ANYONE.

        Reply
        • Shaniqua -
          I think it’s so wonderful of you that you responded when someone asked you to email them with more info on how you balanced your candida problem! What a blessing you gave! My story is similar to yours, and I’m 28 with candida that’s out of whack in my body. I would really like to hear how you were able to overcome candida and be more normal again. Your comments are from a while ago, are you still around??

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          • “Over the course of years. Nutrition, (WAPF, Cleanses etc ) and persistance under the guidance of a good Naturopath ” This is how she got rid of it.
            If your wanting free info, google WAPF, Cleanses. Just my suggestion.

            I got ride of candida myself by not eating any processed foods. So veggies, fruit, chicken, eggs, and rice. Took 3 months for mine to clear up. Good luck.

    • I’m sure we all remember that Muppet creator Jim Henson died from an untreated Strep infection. Strep can be a serious infection that can invade your heart, kidney or brain. It is fine to wait a few days, using home remedies and give your immune system time to work, but if you still have symptoms (especially fever) after five days, you should consider antibiotics.

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    • I went through a period in my early 40′s where I had strep throat repeatedly over a 6 month period of time. I was on several antibiotics and it kept coming back. Finally, in desperation, I searched the internet and was blessed to talk to an MD that told me if I had never had rheumatic fever or scarlett fever by the age of 40, then I would not get it. Basically, he told me, after age 40, you don’t need antibiotics. I believed him, threw away the antibiotics, and allowed my body to heal by itself. Looking back, I think I was actually allergic to the antibiotics and that is why my throat did not heal. I also learned that the strep bacteria out there now is not near as dangerous as it was 50 years ago. Not sure why.

      Both of my kids had strep throat when they were little and I didn’t know any better and they took the antibiotics. I am not sure if I would do things differently with them back then if I had known what I know now. But, I have learned that adults are better off without the antibiotics.

      This is also true about the tetanus shot. No way would I get one of those, and I have had puncture wounds in the recent years with gardening tools. I researched and learned that tetanus is so very extremely rare, even with those non vaccinated. The lesson in all of this is to research, research and research and then you can make an educated decision.

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      • I was 41 the first time I had Rheumatic Fever AND I got RF because I chose not to treat a known strep infection based on Googling posts like this!

        It was horrible.

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    • I’ve had the exact same experience, I had strep throat many times when I was young in my teens and early twenties. The last time I had it, maybe I was 24, I was between jobs, and didn’t have money for a doctor and decided I would power through it without the antibiotics. Since then , I am 40 now, I have never had strep throat even after being exposed.

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    • My wife had strep recently and was put on antibiotics, which made it go away, but then it came back with a vengeance three months later. Though the antibiotics had initially banished the strep, they caused her other health problems.

      When the strep came back, I researched natural cures online and found a recommendation from experienced naturopath family practitioners to take a mixture of garlic, raw honey, and cayenne pepper with a spoon. After swallowing wait a while before eating or drinking so that it can coat the back of the throat. The garlic and raw honey kill the bacteria and the spicy pepper draws the blood to prevent healing. Another recommendation was to gargle with raw apple cider vinegar.

      My wife did both and felt completely cured within 12 hours. It was almost miraculous how well it worked. I made about five ounces or so of the garlic/honey/pepper mixture and she didn’t even have to finish it to be better.

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      • I have strep right now… and I’m hoping I can overcome it without antibiotics. I’ve used them in the past for strep, and I kept getting it again and again. I will try using Apple Cider Vinegar… I have a good Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar in my fridge right now, thank God! Hopefully this is the last time I get this…

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          • Yes, did the vinegar work. I am going on day 3 of a sore throat and took a big swallow of the vinegar and it burned by throat horribly. Will the cayenne pepper mixture burn as well? Help, I’m a teacher with a great immune system and not used to being sick….and it’s spring break!

    • I am not for using antibiotics for everything, but when I was 4 or 5 I got strep throat and my parents didn’t realize it, then a few weeks later I came down with rheumatic fever which damaged my heart. I still caught strep throat all the time after that episode and had scarlet fever, so riding it out definitely didn’t work for me.

      Also, How do you know if was strep? I had strep many times and usually the sore throat is actual mild compared to when I had a sore throat from a cold, the headache is more pronounced, last time I had it, I thought I was sick to my stomach

      It sounds to more more like the author had Mono, because this causes a very severe sore throat for 2 weeks that makes it hard to swallow, while strep is usual mild and has a mild fever, its the complications that are severe. Regular viral tonsilitis also causes a worse sore throat then strep. Unless you get test, there is no way to differentiate strep from viral sore throat, by 90% of the time it just a virus and not strep and a lot of viruses cause a worse sore throat then strep throat.

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      • I disagree. I get strep ALL the time since I started working in daycare at the age of 19. I am 28 now, and have had it three times this year so far. It is the most horrible sore throat of any….even when I did have mono. That was a breeze compared to any experience with strep. The fevers I get too are just ridiculous, definitely not mild in any way. I’ll have the chills and shake until my whole body is tired. I have it again right now and it is horrible, but unfortunately I just started a new job, (this week!) don’t have insurance yet, and can’t afford a visit to the clinic so here I sit powering through it for the first time ever. I’ve always had to go right to the clinic so that I didn’t get any kids sick, but now with an office job its only myself I have to really worry about as long as contact with my co-workers is limited for the time being. Maybe this is what I need to start training my body to care for itself again, since as a child I was NEVER sick.

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        • I agree. The doctor thought my strep throat was a viral infection and was very surprised to find the tests showed I had strep. You need to be tested before you decide that what you’re curing is in fact strep. Antibiotics will not cure a viral infection. I also had strep continuously while working in daycare (between 18 and 21). I finally had my tonsils removed and did not have another strep infection until I was 39.

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      • I agree. The doctor thought my strep throat was a viral infection and was very surprised to find the tests showed I had strep. You need to be tested before you decide that what you’re curing is in fact strep. Antibiotics will not cure a viral infection.

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    • Ahhh, I assume you’ve done a lot of research on this issue and hopefully not based this on your Dad’s opinion, and your one and only experience, and your children’s experience with strep yourself. We all have streptococcal (strep) bacteria on our bodies pretty much all the time. I’ve had it twice, (ten years apart) both when working 50 – 55 hours a week, and in a grade school environment at a time when it was running rampid in the office. Strep IS contagious when air-born. I was given anti-biotics, and it hasn’t returned since.

      On the other hand, I was terrified the last time I got it because I passed it on to my 87 year old mother. Without antibiotics, she most likely would have died. I’ve seen enough strep to be able to recognize it in a friend. Iv’e had a friend who attempted to “ride-it-out” with out meds and ended up missing a whole week of her son’s “rite of passage” ceremony. She was a pretty healthy woman. Was in terrible shape until she let me take her into town to an MD…and get treatment.

      I share this to say that I think it’s dangerous to make an assumption about the treatment of strep infections. I agree that we need to limit our use of antibiotics, but not when it comes to this infection. Especially if you are around Elders or children, or anyone with a compromised immune system. It’s one thing if I live alone. But if not – sometimes it’s not all about me.

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      • Every situation is different, of course, but keep in mind that there are few things that will compromise an immune system more than an antibiotic. Antibiotics don’t just kill the “bad” bugs, but they kill everything in your gut, including the flora that are so important for a healthy immune system. Which is why you will often get sick again not long after taking them. You should read Dr. Robert Mendelsohn’s book “How To Raise A Healthy Child: In Spite Of Your Doctor.” It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Written before this country went drug crazy like it is today. He was a pediatrician for over 30 years and knows what he’s talking about.

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      • I completely agree. This article is totally anecdotal and the author’s experience could equally have been cause by simply being lucky.

        This is not how science is done.

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      • I question whether the people riding it out aren’t mistaking a viral infection for strep throat. I get what antibiotics can do to the intestinal flora, but strep can wreak its own havoc as well. As a parent I would never withhold medication for this infection without strong medical science to back the decision. I think that it’s abusive on many levels.

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    • From what I’m reading, the main reason for giving antibiotics is not to clear it up faster, but to lessen the length of time you’re contagious. 24-48 hours after taking an antibiotic you are no longer contagious, while without it you can be contagious for weeks even after all symptoms have disappeared.

      However, as my daughter was the one who gave it to me and I don’t have to worry about passing it on to her – who will in turn infect other children at school – and since I do not work outside of the home, I’ll be passing on the antibiotics.

      So just keep in mind when you’re “riding it out” that you’re also exposing everyone you come in contact with.

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    • As a child, my mother never took us kids to the doctor when we were sick. I recall one particular time when I was very young. I laid in bed for days with strep. I’ve never taken antibiotics for strep (and rarely for anything else) and I continue to get it every other year or so when my kids bring it home. Perhaps we’re all just different whether we take antibiotics or not.

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    • How do you know you have strep throat if you didn’t go to the doctors and get tested for it? There are other infections similar to strep. I think people are so hilarious when they self diagnosis and treat themselves.

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    • I just came down with strep two days ago and went to the doctor yesterday. I prefer not to take pharmaceuticals but thought that was the only way to get rid of it. I took the first round of antibiotics yesterday, but now after reading these testimonials i don’t want to finish the course. Can anyone offer guidance here? are there any potential complications with starting the antibiotics and then stopping?

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      • You should never stop taking antibiotics without your physician telling you to do so. This is why there is an antibiotics problem. People don’t take their full course, for varios reasons, many because they feel better before they are done taking them, thinking they no longer are infection, but this isn’t true. This is how the very bad, antibiotic resistant bacteria have formed over time, and can also cause bacteria in your body to become resistant, and could have worse implications for you later down the road.

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    • If you have scarlett fever one time. as I have, you will change your opinion above. I also have a dear friend who at 18yrs old had a heart attack outside her work from untreated strep. She now has a permanent heart condition.

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    • Do it naturally or with meds that is your question right? Awnser is simple weight the options. No meds means complications can occur. Serious ones at that. Life altering. Meds can damage your stomach ( very rare like one in billion ) my opinion to you dont listen to any crap off the internet. Go to the doctor and ask them what if I use meds what can be the risks? What if I dont what are the risks? I’ve had Streep twice in my life 18 – and now at 27 I used meds both times. Why because I can live with changing my diet if the unexpected happened. I dont want to change my lifestyle if I dont take meds and end up with more than my body can handle. Than your gonna be taking meds anyways unless your nuts enough to beilive in that self healing crap. Sorry to say to all the nature nuts and feel good hippies humans are not living longer because of letting our immune system fight off infection. Its because of medical advances thank you and good night

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      • People are not living longer – current generations have life expectancies shorter than those of their parents – and we are an over-medicated society.

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    • As an MD, I really like this article. It is one that is not actually written from bad misinformation from the media or hype that tends to go around about antibiotics or other medical practices. This is very well put. I just wanted to add that the younger a person is, the higher the chances are for complications to develop, or immune systems to not to recover, and to spread to other parts of the body. So when a younger person gets this infection, a general estimate of 12 or younger, most like to be safe and treat with antibiotics. However, this type of infection, if left untreated, is very contagious, even with the best precautions taken, and can be infections for quite a long time after symptoms disappear, up to weeks for some individuals. Most people cannot miss days to weeks of school or work because of something like this, and it is just completely irresponsible to go out in public if not being treated with antibiotics for at least 5 days after symptoms go away. The great benefit of antibiotics is that almost all people are no longer infections 24-48 hours after starting the regimen, which allows thm to return to their lives without the irresponsible risk of infecting others.

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    • My moms dad wouldn’t let her have antibiotics when she had strep throat when she was little. She ended up with rheumatic fever. She had heart complications all her life. She had a heart valve replaced when she was in her early thirties. She was always sick because her heart was always in atrial fribulation, the valve didn’t help with that. We lost her a little over a year ago at the ripe old age of 57, the other half if her heart went into fribulation. Her father was an herbalist and a naturalist. They never were unhealthy. I don’t think anyone should die that young.

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    • I appreciate this article. Thanks for the information. I wish that I had a doctor like your father when I was growing up…too many doctors are all too happy to give out drugs for instant relief…our medical system has become a convenience store where we seek to find quick answers, when in actuality our bodies are not meant to run on quick answers but a balanced healing process… thank you again. You have encouraged me to not forgo antibiotics with strep, in which my daughter has a mild case right now, but I decided to seek advice first because my gut was telling me not to jump over to the clinic.

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