Thursday, August 26, 2010


What is Syphilis? Syphilis is a complex sexually transmitted, infectious disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema Pallidum. Syphilis is usually transmitted by sexual contact or kissing. Infection from contaminated objects rarely occurs because drying quickly kills the bacterium. A fetus carried by a woman with syphilis may contact the disease. When a fetus has syphilis, the condition is called congenital syphilis. Syphilis has often been called the great imitator because so many of the signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases. How is Syphilis spread? The syphilis bacterium is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores mainly occur on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Syphilis sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with syphilis can pass it to the babies they are carrying. Syphilis cannot be spread by toilet seats, door knobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bath tubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils. What are the symptoms of Syphilis? * The time between picking up the bacterium and the start of the first symptom can range from 10-90 days. The average is 21 days. The primary stage of syphilis is characterized by the appearance of a single sore (called a chancre). The chancre is usually firm, round, small, and painless. It appears at the spot where the bacterium entered the body. The chancre lasts 1-5 weeks and will heal on its own. If treatment is not administered, the infection progresses to the secondary stage. * The second stage starts when one or more areas of the skin break into a rash that usually does not itch. Rashes can appear as the chancre is fading or can be delayed for weeks. The rash often appears as rough, "copper penny" spots on both the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet. The rash also may appear as a prickly heat rash, as small blotches or scales all over the body, as a bad case of old acne, as moist warts in the groin area, as slimy white patches in the mouth, as sunken dark circles the size of a nickel or dime, or as pus-filled bumps like chicken pox. Some of these signs on the skin look like symptoms of other diseases. Sometimes the rashes are so faint they are not noticed. Rashes typically last 2-6 weeks and clear up on their own. In addition to rashes, second stage symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and tiredness. A person infected with syphilis can easily pass the disease to sex partners when first or second stage signs or symptoms are present. * The latent (hidden) stage of syphilis begins when the secondary symptoms disappear. If the infected person has not received treatment, he/she still has syphilis even though there are no signs or symptoms. The bacterium remains in the body and begins to damage the internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. In about one-third of untreated persons, this internal damage shows up many years later in the late or tertiary stage of syphilis. Late stage signs and symptoms include not being able to coordinate muscle movements, paralysis, no longer feeling pain, gradual blindness, dementia (madness) or other personality changes, impotency, shooting pains, blockage or ballooning of the heart vessels, tumors or "gummas" on the skin, bones, liver, or other organs, severe pain in the belly, repeated vomiting, damage to knee joints, and deep sores on the soles of the feet or toes. This damage may be serious enough to cause death. Can a newborn get Syphilis? Yes. An infected pregnant woman has about a 40% chance of having a stillbirth (syphilitic stillbirth) or giving birth to a baby who dies shortly after birth. A baby born to a mother with either untreated syphilis or syphilis treated after the 34th week of pregnancy has a 40% - 70% chance of being infected with syphilis (congenital syphilis). An infected baby may be born without symptoms but may develop them within a few weeks, if not treated immediately. These signs and symptoms can be very serious and include skin sores, a very runny nose, which is sometimes bloody (and infectious), slimy patches in the mouth, inflamed arm and leg bones, a swollen liver, anemia, jaundice, or a small head. Untreated babies may become retarded or may have seizures. About 12% of newborns wit syphilis will die from it. How is Syphilis diagnosed? The syphilis bacterium can be detected by a doctor who examines material from infectious sores under a microscope. Shortly after infection occurs, the body produces syphilis antibodies that are detected with a blood test. A syphilis blood test is accurate, safe, and inexpensive. A low level of antibodies will stay in the blood for months or years after the disease has been successfully treated, and antibodies can be found by subsequent blood tests. Because untreated syphilis in a pregnant woman can infect and possibly kill her developing baby, every pregnant woman should have a blood test for syphilis. Is there a cure for Syphilis? Yes. One dose of the antibiotic penicillin will cure a person who has had syphilis for less than a year. However, penicillin will not cure damage that has occurred before treatment. More doses are needed to cure someone who has had it for longer than a year. A baby born with syphilis needs daily penicillin treatment for 10 days. There are no home remedies or over-the-counter drugs that cure syphilis. Can Syphilis be treated? Syphilis usually is treated with penicillin, administered by injection. Will Syphilis recur? Maybe. Having had syphilis does not protect a person from getting it again. Complications of Syphilis? If left untreated, syphilis can cause tabes dorsalis. ANOTHER CONTRIBUTION Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), once responsible for devastating epidemics. It is caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. The syphilis bacterium is very fragile, and the infection is almost always transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person. The bacterium spreads from the initial ulcer (sore) of an infected person to the skin or mucous membranes (linings) of the genital area, mouth, or anus of an uninfected sexual partner. It also can pass through broken skin on other parts of the body. In addition, a pregnant woman with syphilis can pass T. pallidum to her unborn child, who may be born with serious mental and physical problems as a result of this infection. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), once responsible for devastating epidemics. It is caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. The syphilis bacterium is very fragile, and the infection is almost always transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person. The bacterium spreads from the initial ulcer (sore) of an infected person to the skin or mucous membranes (linings) of the genital area, mouth, or anus of an uninfected sexual partner. It also can pass through broken skin on other parts of the body. In addition, a pregnant woman with syphilis can pass T. pallidum to her unborn child, who may be born with serious mental and physical problems as a result of this infection. SYMPTOMS OF SYPHILIS The initial infection causes an ulcer at the site of infection. The bacteria, however, move throughout the body, damaging many organs over time. Medical experts describe the course of the disease by dividing it into four stages-primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary (late). An infected person who has not been treated may infect others during the first two stages, which usually last 1 to 2 years. In its late stages, untreated syphilis, although not contagious, can cause serious heart abnormalities, mental disorders, blindness, other neurologic problems, and death. Primary Syphilis The first symptom of primary syphilis is an ulcer called a chancre ("shan-ker"). The chancre can appear within 10 days to 3 months after exposure, but it generally appears within 2 to 6 weeks. Because the chancre may be painless and may occur inside the body, the infected person might not notice it. It usually is found on the part of the body exposed to the infected partner's ulcer, such as the penis, vulva, or vagina. A chancre also can develop on the cervix, tongue, lips, or other parts of the body. The chancre disappears within a few weeks whether or not a person is treated. If not treated during the primary stage, about one-third of people will go on to the chronic stages. Secondary syphilis A skin rash, with brown sores about the size of a penny, often marks this chronic stage of syphilis. The rash appears anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks after the chancre appears. While the rash may cover the whole body or appear only in a few areas, it is almost always on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Because active bacteria are present in the sores, any physical contact-sexual or nonsexual-with the broken skin of an infected person may spread the infection at this stage. The rash usually heals within several weeks or months. Other symptoms also may occur, such as mild fever, fatigue, headache, sore throat, patchy hair loss, and swollen lymph glands throughout the body. These symptoms may be very mild and, like the chancre of primary syphilis, will disappear without treatment. The signs of secondary syphilis may come and go over the next 1 to 2 years of the disease. Latent syphilis If untreated, syphilis may lapse into a latent stage during which the disease is no longer contagious and no symptoms are present. Many people who are not treated will suffer from no further signs and symptoms of the disease. Tertiary syphilis Approximately one-third of people who have had secondary syphilis go on to develop the complications of late, or tertiary, syphilis, in which the bacteria damage the heart, eyes, brain, nervous system, bones, joints, or almost any other part of the body. This stage can last for years, or even for decades. Late syphilis can result in mental illness, blindness, other neurologic problems, heart disease, and death. Homeopathic Treatment & Medicines for Syphilis #Mercurius. [Merc] The mercurial preparations are the first to be employed in treating syphilis, and no homoeopathic grounds, for the pathogenesis of these preparations corresponds to the syphilitic infection in the majority of cases. Mercurius corresponds to the majority of symptoms of secondary syphilis, to the syphilitic fever, to soft chancres and to buboes. The sore throat and the nocturnal syphilitic pains which banish sleep as soon as the patient goes to bed are well met by the remedy. The chancres and ulceration have dirty, lardaceous bases and foetid discharges. It suits especially the phagedenic sores, which bleed easily. Jahr recommended not lower than the second centesimal trituration in this affection. Mercurius proto-iodide corresponds to the Hunterian or hard chancre, which is painless, with no tendency to suppuration. It also suits well the secondary eruption. Helmuth prefers this preparation to any in the early stages. Mercurius bin-iodide is useful in chancre and bubo when they are particularly indolent. It also is useful in syphilides. #Mercurius corrosivus [Merc-c] Is the most active of the preparations of mercury, and corresponds to active and destructive cases, as in syphilitic ulcerations, which are very destructive, serpiginous ulcers with ragged edges, phagedenic ulceration and acute buboes. #Cinnabaris [Cinnb] Is one of the most useful forms of mercury in the secondary and tertiary stages, and it is especially suitable to syphilis in scrofulous subjects. #Mercurius dulcis. [Merc-d] A remedy often under-estimated. It corresponds to phagedenic ulcers in the mouth and throat. Infantile syphilis frequently calls for this remedy. The lower homoeopathic preparations are to be preferred. #Arsenicum. [Ars] This remedy has been used in syphilis from early homoeopathic times. Teste, in his Materia Medica, published in 1854, writes of an arsenical preparation then in vogue called Feltz's Anti-Syphilitic Decoction, which enjoyed a very extensive popularity, and was stated to cure the disease as by magic, where it had proved rebellious to mercury. This anti-syphilitic arsenical craze of sixty years ago is repeated in the Salvarsans of to-day, of which much has been hoped but which are now conceded to be practically useless in the disease unless mercury be given at the same time. Teste says Arsenicum is a very useful remedy in constitutional syphilis, and Berjeau gives precise indications therefor. It is indispensable in the phagedenic variety of ulcerations with the intense burning pains and in desperate cases of syphilitic infection with general constitutional symptoms of the drug which frequently correspond so closely to those of some cases of the disease. #Kali-iodatum. [Kali-i] This remedy is of no use in the primary or secondary stage of syphilis; all of its manifestations belong to the tertiary stage. It has gnawing bone pains, throbbing and burning in the nasal and frontal bones. Papules which ulcerate, leaving scars, rupia; the ulcers are deep eating. It also meets the nervous lesions of tertiary syphilis. It is a valuable remedy with which to antidote the abuse of mercury. Kali bichromicum has ulcerations, with tendency to perforate deep down into the tissues, and is useful in syphilitic affections of the mouth and fauces. Kali-iodatum suits the infantile coryza in syphilitic children and the scaly syphilides. Scrofulous subjects where the tendency to ulceration is marked require the remedy. #Hepar sulphur. [Hep] This remedy is indispensable when mercury has been abused; indeed, it more of an antidote to mercury than to syphilis itself. It may be indicated in this disease, as may any remedy, by special symptoms, and those of Hepar are chancres with diffuse borders and red base with sticking pains in them,secreting a watery pus, also in the swollen glands and their suppurative tendency. There are nightly pains, chilliness and the sores are sensitive. It has also falling of the hair. #Nitric acid. [Nit-ac] This suits especially mercurial-syphilitic cases and secondary syphilis, phagedenic chancres with exuberant granulations, bleeding easily; also ulceration and mucous patches. The ulcers have raised and ragged edges and splinter like pains in them; the buboes, threaten to suppurate. There is soreness of the skin and cranial bones,worse from damp weather. There are ulcers in the throat irregular in outline, with sticking pains in them and yellowish brown or copper colored spots over the body. Lycopodium has ulcers in the throat and a dark grayish coppery eruption on the forehead. It suits also indolent chancres. Jahr praises this remedy in these manifestations #Aurum. [Aur] Secondary syphilis with ulcerations in the mouth, especially in cases complicated with mercurial symptoms, calls for Aurum. More especially is it indicated when the nose is implicated and there is caries of bones, a stinking discharge and pieces of bone are discharged. There are also pains in the bones of the face. It has also a correspondence to many tertiary manifestation. Aurum muriaticum may in some cases prove more useful than Aurum metallicum. A melancholic, low spirited condition should be present with this remedy. #Mezereum. [Mez] This remedy is of great value in relieving the nightly bone pains of syphilis. There is pain and swelling in the shin bones; a syphilitic periostitis; the parts are sensitive to the slightest touch. It also is beneficial in syphilitic neuralgia and pustular eruptions. Asafoetida suits syphilis of the shin bones with nightly pains. The ulceration are most sensitive, discharging a thin offensive pus. Syphilitic caries and necrosis, with extreme nocturnal pain, call for Asafoetida. Stillingia suit severe bone pains,especially in the long bones, and nodes on the head and shin bones, where there is extreme torture therefrom.

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