There are a number of diseases grouped as medical emergency (acute or chronic), a few take days to cure while some others have no cure. Among these diseases is meningitis.
Meningitis is an acute inflammation (the response of the body to harmful stimuli) of the protective member covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges.
Causes Of Meningitis
The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria or other microorganisms and less commonly by certain drugs knows as NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs)
Meningitis can be life threatening because of the inflammation nearness to the brain and spinal cord.
Meningitis is not only life threatening but also a contagious disease . Prolonged close contact to an infected person can spread the bacteria that causes meningitis. The bacteria can be spread through kissing , coughs and sneezes, shared cutlery, or sharing items like toothbrushes or cigarettes .
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Signs And Symptoms
The most common symptoms of meningitis are headaches and neck stiffness associated with fever, confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting and an inability to tolerate light or loud noises .
In children, they often show symptoms such as irritability and drowsiness and sometime rashes.
In adults, the most common symptoms is a severe headache, followed by the inability to move the neck due to stiffness.
Medical Treatment Of Meningitis
Meningitis is potentially life threatening and has a high mortality rate if left untreated; thus treatment with antibiotics should not be delayed.
Intravenous (IV) fluids should be given if patient has low blood pressure or shock is present.
In children, routine IV fluid for two days may improve the outcome in those who arrive at the hospital after being sick for some time.
Early detection of the disease makes the treatment more effective and restores the meninges back to normal.
Dietary Treatment Of Meningitis
Although there is no specific diet for meningitis to be followed, it is advisable to eat a lot of nutritious foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables to boost the body’s immunity, so that the infection causing microorganisms can be fought.
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An adequate diet is always needed for the body to fight against diseases, this includes cereals and grains, nuts, legumes and pulses, fruits and vegetables in the right proportion. All fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants which help fight diseases by mopping off free radicals causing diseases, they also contain vitamins and minerals needed by the body for defense.
Cereals contain carbohydrate needed for energy and body functioning while legumes and pulses contain protein needed for development and growth .
However, meningitis can be prevented by getting immunised at infancy or childhood and always eating an adequate and balanced diet.
Also, cultivating a good habit of washing hands after using the toilet, clean utensils and clean environment can cut the risk of contacting the disease.
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Ebunoluwa Adeoye is a dietician by profession. She loves to counsel people on their health. Her passion is to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle. She also enjoys reading articles related to health, fitness and children. She can be reached on Facebook and instagram