Common Infections That Can Get Inside The Body

All bodies are susceptible to infections. Infections are when foreign organisms- such as bacteria, viruses or fungi- enter a person’s body and uses the body to live, reproduce and colonize. While some infections are mild, others are life-threatening. Some infections are resistant to treatment and others can be chronic. Infections can be transmitted in a variety of ways including; bodily fluids, airborne particles, skin-to-skin contact and contact with feces, among others. According to an article published by Medical News Today, many fungal infections usually appear in the upper layers of the skin. Some common fungal infections include; athlete’s foot, valley fever, some eye infections and ringworm. The article goes on to report that much of the Earth’s biomass contains bacteria and while there are trillions of strains of bacteria, only a few of these cause diseases in our bodies.

For example, some of the “good” bacteria live inside our body such as in our intestines and airways and attack the “bad” bacteria to prevent us from getting sick. Some common bacterial infections include; upper respiratory tract infection, tuberculosis, bacterial meningitis, gastritis and pneumonia, among others. Furthermore, millions of types of viruses are believed to exist, but only about 5,000 different types have been identified, according to the report. The common cold is one example of a viral infection. Other common viruses include meningitis, the Zika virus, hepatitis C, H1N1 swine flu, Ebola, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), polio and influenza, among others. In some cases, antiviral medications may help to either prevent a virus from reproducing or to boost your body’s immune system. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses and should not be taken to stop a virus because it could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance build up in your body. When you have a viral infection, most treatments are designed to relieve symptoms while your immune system fights the virus on its own. Our body’s immune system is an effective blockade against infections. Regular sauna sits may help you’re your body deal with chronic infections and aid in providing relieve to symptoms you experience while fighting off an infection.

Sauna Sits to Help Prevent Bacterial Infections

Although saunas have gained quickly in popularity in recent years, the use of saunas dates back thousands of years in cultures around the world, most recently the discovery of a bath house in Scotland dating back to the Bronze Age, around 2000 B.C., as reported in an article by the Observer. According to Harvard Health Publications, the Mayans used sweat houses approximately 3,000 years ago. Today there are several different types of saunas, but regardless the type the health benefit’s your body receives from them are all the same. In Infrared saunas, special lamps use light waves to heat a person’s body instead of the entire room. Infrared saunas are one of the few mediums that provide infrared heat in a controlled environment. Infrared heat is an invisible electromagnetic wave with a wavelength longer than that of visible light that helps improve blood flow. When a person is sick, their body has a lower temperature and therefore can not fight off a chronic infection. According to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, raising the body temperature can help your body to fight off fungi, viruses and bacteria. According to an article published by the Telegraphic, researchers found that men who took sauna sits at least two times per week were 30 percent less likely to develop the bacterial infection of pneumonia. The study, which was published by the European Journal of Epidemiology, went on to report that men who sat in a sauna four times or more cut their risk even further, by nearly 40 percent. Another study found that men with pneumonia caused by chest infections and complications caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) were 27 percent less like to become sick if they took sauna sits two to three times a week, compared to men who rarely or did not use them. The study, from Bristol University and the University of Eastern Finland, tracked the health of nearly 2,000 men ages 42 to 61 for more than a quarter of a century. Researches documented how often each man used a sauna and then how often the men went to the hospital over the next 25 years for pneumonia and other chest infections. Results of the study showed that 379 of the men needed hospital treatment for respiratory illness while sauna users that took four or more sits each week were 41 percent less likely to contract pneumonia. Although researches are not entirely sure why saunas have such a positive impact on respiratory illnesses, the theory is that airway obstructions are eased by the heat generated by saunas. Doctors who conducted the report said, “These findings add to the accumulating knowledge on the beneficial effects of sauna baths on both acute and chronic health conditions…..”Sauna bathing is an enjoyable and relaxing activity… It has a good safety profile and is well-tolerated by most people.”

How to Start Using Saunas

When you start with sauna sits, it is recommended that you only spend between five and 10 minutes for your first session. Once you get more acclimated to the heat, you can slowly increase your sauna sits to up to about 20 minutes. In addition to limiting the time spent in a sauna, experts also advise to avoid combining alcohol consumption with sauna use. According to a year-long study of people in Finland who experienced sudden death showed that the person had a sauna within the last three hours in 1.8 percent of cases and in the last 24 hours in 1.7 percent of cases. Many of these people had also consumed alcohol. Instead, no matter the type of sauna you use, it is recommended that you drink about two to four glasses of water after a sauna sit in order to replace the fluids lost from sweating.

Resources: Christian Nordqvist, Michael Charles, MD., “Everything You Need To Know About Infections,” Medical News Today, August 22, 2017; Dr. Tania Dempsey  “WSJ says Infrared Suanas Don’ts Help You Detox- Studies Disagree”, The Observer, November, 2017; Sharon S. Evans, Elizabeth A. Repasky, Daniel T. Fisher, “Fever and The Thermal Regulation of Immunity: The Immune System Feels The Heat,” U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, May 15, 2015; Jenry Bodkin, “Going to A Suana Twice A Week Cuts Pneumonia Risk, Study Finds,” The Telegraphic, October 9, 2017;