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Effective Tips for Strep Throat Prevention

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proper hand washing

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  • If you’ve been diagnosed with strep throat, don’t push yourself. Stay at home and don’t go to work or school unless your symptoms have immensely improved or you have fully recovered from the disease
  • Wash your hands properly to help stop the spread of strep throat-causing bacteria
  • Paying more attention to what you eat and opting for healthier options can play a role in lowering your strep throat risk

You can implement simple techniques if you want to reduce your risk for strep throat. For instance, if you have been diagnosed with the illness or are showing signs of the condition, rest and refrain from going to work or school until the symptoms greatly improve or you are fully healed.1 Avoid sharing personal items with an infected person too.2

If you have a schoolmate or coworker who already has the disease, avoid or lessen contact with them.3 You can also ask the person to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing.4

Proper Handwashing — A Valuable Tool That’ll Help Decrease Disease Risk

Washing your hands thoroughly could make a huge difference in reducing your strep throat risk. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The spread of all types of GAS [Group A streptococcus] infection can be reduced by good hand washing, especially after coughing and sneezing, and before preparing foods or eating.”5

Because strep throat is a disease that comes from a bacterial infection, you’d think an antibacterial soap would solve this problem, but this actually isn’t the case. Triclosan, a substance which was a prominent additive in most antibacterial soaps,6 was linked to changes in hormone regulation,7,8 endocrine9 and mitochondrial function disruption,10 increased liver tumor risk11 and weakened muscle movement.12,13

In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of 19 active ingredients, triclosan included, in items like antibacterial soap, stating that such products cannot be marketed. The rationale behind the ruling came from a lack of sufficient evidence that triclosan-containing soaps are more effective than plain soap and water when combating diseases. However, the ban isn’t applicable to hand sanitizers or wipes or other antibacterial products needed in medical settings.14

When washing your hands to help reduce your risk for strep throat or any other communicable illness, the FDA simply recommends using plain soap and water.15 Make sure that you follow these guidelines when washing your hands:

  1. Wash your hands with warm, running water and a mild soap.
  2. Wet your hands and scrub them for at least 15 to 20 seconds — time it by singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Work up a good lather that reaches your wrists.
  3. Ensure that you cover all the surfaces, such as the backs of your hands, wrists, in between your fingers, and around and below your fingernails.
  4. Rinse your hands thoroughly under running water. Thoroughly dry them using a paper towel.
  5. In public places, use a paper towel to open the door to protect yourself from germs residing on the handle.

Although you can benefit from washing your hands properly, don’t overdo it, especially in dry environments. Doing so strips off your skin’s protective oils, increases skin dryness, causes development of cracks and breaks, and raises the possibility of bacteria entering your body.

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The Right Foods May Help Reduce Your Strep Throat Risk

Switching from processed foods to organic and “real” foods is a crucial step in preventing strep throat and other diseases. Processed food is low in nutrients, high in refined carbohydrates and abundant in artificial ingredients. Furthermore, it can lead to addictions such as salt and sugar cravings, and is associated with an increased risk of obesity16 and cancer.17,18

Compare this to real and organic foods like fruits, vegetables, grass fed meats and dairy products. All of them have essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other compounds that can greatly improve your body, and happen to be some of the best immune system boosters. Good examples include:

This Vitamin Is Crucial for Decreasing Your Strep Throat Risk

Exposure to sunlight helps increase your body’s vitamin D levels and ultimately plays a role in developing a strong immune system. Maintaining vitamin D levels between 60 and 80 ng/ml allows your body to build its defenses against various infections.

If you don’t have access to sunlight, you may take a vitamin D3 supplement, and at the same time try to raise intake of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K2. To know more about the additional benefits of vitamin D and how you can determine your body’s vitamin D stores, read my article “Top 5 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency.”

MORE ABOUT STREP THROAT

Strep Throat: Introduction

What Is Strep Throat?

Is Strep Throat Contagious?

Strep Throat Symptoms

Strep Throat Causes

How Do You Get Strep Throat

Strep Throat Without Tonsils

Strep Throat Duration

Strep Throat vs Sore Throat

Strep Throat Treatment

Strep Throat Prevention

Strep Throat Diet

Strep Throat FAQ

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