Septic arthritis occurs when bacteria invades the joints, causing them to become painful, swollen and sometimes leading to permanent damage. Bacteria usually co-exist inside our bodies without causing a problem. There are many bacteria that are actually good for us and eat up any bad bacteria that develop. In a person with a correctly functioning immune system, any bacteria present do not cause infection.
For instance, the bacterium Group B streptococcus is carried by many people but does not cause illness in them. Yet, if a pregnant woman carries it in her vagina, her baby can develop life threatening complications including meningitis after he is born. This is because his immune system is not yet developed enough to cope with it.
If the person’s immune system cannot work properly due to reasons such as illness, medications or an unhealthy lifestyle, the bad bacteria may exceed the good bacteria and that is when infection sets in. If bacteria always caused sickness, everyone would be sick all the time. The issue is susceptibility.
So the best way to prevent conditions like septic arthritis is to ensure your immune system is in tip top condition.
Eat healthy: Make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. If you eat meat, avoid red meats and buy only organic. Avoid processed foods which are high in saturated fats, salt and E numbers.
Drink plenty of water and reduce or stop your tea and coffee intake.
Don’t smoke! Opportunistic infections often occur in people who smoke.
Consider taking a supplement: A high quality multi-vitamin or vitamin C supplement, without aspartame, can help boost your immune system.
Take probiotics: A daily dose of probiotics has been proven to reduce the number of sick days away from school or work due to colds, flu, sickness bugs and other viruses.
Get plenty of fresh air: A daily walk outside can improve circula therefore, oxygen to your vital organs. Vitamin D from the sun can also prevent flu and other bacteria and viruses.
If you’re sexually active: Use a condom, as some cases of septic arthritis are caused by gonorrhoea.