Strep throat is one of the most common throat problems, and most people do not understand exactly what causes it or how dangerous it can be. Caused by the Group A Streptococcus bacteria, strep throat is often confused from a simple sore throat in the beginning. However, as time goes on, the symptoms become more severe and a prescription is needed to get rid of the bacteria. Unfortunately, many people often get a recurring strep throat which can cause many issues, including missed school or work and a general disruption of their life.

The following are 3 reasons for recurring strep throat and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Resistance to Antibiotics.

One of the main reasons that so many people are diagnosed with a recurring strep throat is that the form of strep throat contracted is one that is resistant to the antibiotic that has been prescribed or the antibiotic has actually failed itself due to an allergy or incorrect dosage. In this instance, you and your doctor may need to try a different antibiotic. While the most common antibiotics used for strep throat are penicillin and cephalexin, if you get a recurring strep throat, another may have to be taken.

2. Weakened Immune System.

A large majority of individuals also get recurring strep throat due to having a weakened immune system. People who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, or are currently undergoing chemotherapy, or are taking a corticosteroid medication are just a few examples of individuals who may have a weak immune system. The fact is that anyone who is in poor health may find their immune system is not strong enough to fight off the streptococcus bacteria.

To effectively fight off the bacteria and avoid a recurring strep throat, you will need to practice good hygiene. Washing your hand is very important and should be done frequently. Antibacterial hand sanitizer is another safety precaution that can be taken, as well making certain that you stay away from public areas as much as possible. Most important, you should talk to all of the people that you will see on a regular basis and let them know that your immune system is weak and, if they are ill, they should not come around you. This is a key part of staying healthy when your immune system is not strong enough to fight off the various germs you will come in contact with on a daily basis.

3. Carrier of the Strep Throat Bacteria.

The last reason that so many people are being subjected to a recurring strep throat is that someone they spend a lot of time with is an actual carrier of the strep throat bacteria. There are many people who actually have the bacteria in their throat, but exhibit no signs or symptoms of strep throat. These individuals are known as carriers. There are also individuals who are simply carriers of the bacteria and, when they come down with a common cold and think they might have strep, they test positive for it; not because they have strep throat itself, but because they are a carrier of the bacteria.

If you find that you are displaying symptoms of strep throat, you and your physician will need to determine the cause and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. The important thing to remember is that if you are taking medication for strep throat you should not stop taking it just because you are beginning to feel better. Always take your prescribed medication as directed by your doctor and finish the meds you are given. If not, you could just find that bacteria will sneak back up on you.

For more cold and flu information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Michelle Holincheck, FNP