Our body's quick (immune) response usually stops all infections. However, sometimes this does not occur as the body's immune system is weak and not functioning as it should.

What is it?

An infection occurs when the body is unable to protect itself from micro-organisms (such as bacteria, viruses and fungi).

What causes it?

Infections are caused by very small microorganisms that gain entrance to the body. When the immune system is compromised, a person can fall victim to an infection. Stress, exposure to someone who is ill, and poor lifestyle choices can cause infection.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of infection depend on its location and the type of organism which has created it. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Sweating.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle ache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Redness, swelling, heat or streaks around a wound.

The signs of an infection on the skin are:

Colour: White skin will usually be bright pink or red;
brown or black skin may become darker.
Pain: The infected area may throb and be very painful (though this may not be the case if you have neuropathy).
Swelling: The infected area may be puffy and appear swollen
Movement: The pain and swelling may mean that it becomes difficult to move the infected area (though this may not be the case if you have neuropathy).
Temperature: The infected area may feel hot to touch.
Pus: The area may be weeping a yellow/green matter called pus; this consists of dead cells and micro-organisms.

Are there any natural therapies?Echinacea strengthens the immune system.

  • Vitamin E enhances immunity.
  • Vitamin C creates an environment that reduces bacteria growth and supports the immune system.
  • Multivitamin and Mineral supplement enhances overall health.
  • Acidophilus is beneficial for restoring friendly bacteria to your system.
  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic that enhances the immune system.

What else can I do?

Rest is an important part of curing an infection. Listen to your body and don't try to do more than you are capable of. Try to relax and rest as much as possible.

Did you know?

Smoking whilst you have an infection will make it harder for your body to heal itself. If you must smoke, remember to take extra vitamin C.