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Overview

Meningitis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is a condition which is characterized by the inflammation of meninges (membranes) surrounding your spinal cord and brain. This can trigger signs like a stiff neck, fever and headache. Usually meningitis improves without any treatment after a few weeks but in some rare cases it can be life threatening and requires antibiotic treatment.

When should you see a doctor?

It is not necessary to visit a doctor if you have meningitis. It is recommended to visit a healthcare specialist only if some severe signs are associated with meningitis such as:

  • Fever
  • Unrelenting and severe headache.
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck

Types of Meningitis :

Bacterial meningitis:

Meningitis which is caused by bacteria which travels to the brain and spinal cord by entering into the bloodstream causes acute bacterial meningitis. It can even occur when bacteria invades the meninges directly. This can be caused due to certain surgeries, skull fractures, sinus infection or ear infection. Pneumococcus, meningococcus, haemophilus and listeria are the most common bacteria which cause meningitis.

Viral meningitis:

This form of meningitis clears up on its own and is very mild. Viral meningitis is caused by a group of viruses known as enteroviruses. This is more common in the early fall and the late summer. Some viruses like West Nile virus, mumps, HIV and herpes simplex virus can also cause viral meningitis.

Chronic meningitis:

Organisms such as mycobacterium tuberculosis and fungi which invade the fluid surrounding our brain and the membranes cause chronic meningitis. Some symptoms of chronic meningitis include mental cloudiness, vomiting, fever and headaches.

Fungal meningitis:

This is very uncommon and mimics acute bacterial meningitis. It isn’t that contagious. It affects people with immune deficiencies like AIDS. If it is not treated with antifungal medication, it can be life threatening.

Risk factors for meningitis:

  • Skipping vaccinations- You are more prone in developing meningitis if you haven’t taken your meningitis vaccination in childhood.
  • Age- Bacterial meningitis is very common for those below the age of 20, whereas viral meningitis occurs in children below the age of 5.
  • Staying at a community setting- Students who live in boarding schools, military base and dormitories are more susceptible in developing meningitis. Children living in child care facilities are also prone in developing meningitis. This is because the bacterium spreads quicker through large groups.
  • Pregnancy- During pregnancy, the risk of listeriosis increases which makes you more prone to meningitis. The risk of premature delivery, stillbirth and miscarriage also increases the risk of meningitis.
Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Symptoms
Sudden high fever Stiff neck Severe headache Nausea Vomiting Seizures Loss of apetite

Popular Health Tips

Migraine - Identifying the Early Signs!

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Fellow In Pain Management, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Delhi
Migraine - Identifying the Early Signs!

Headaches and migraines can vary drastically depending on their duration, specific symptoms and the person they are affecting. The more you know about your specific type of headache or migraine, the better prepared you will be to treat them—and possibly even prevent them. The two types of migraine are- 

  1. Migraine without aura: The majority of migraine sufferers have Migraine without Aura. 
  2. Migraine with aura: Migraine with Aura refers to a range of neurological disturbances that occur before the headache begins, usually lasting about 20-60 minutes.

Symptoms of migraine vary and also depend on the type of migraine. A migraine has four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome. But it is not necessary that all the migraine sufferers experience all the four stages.

Prodrome: The signs of this begin to appear a day or two days before the headache starts. The signs include depression, constipation, food cravings, irritability, uncontrollable yawning, neck stiffness and hyperactivity.
Migraine Aura: Auras are a range of symptoms of the central nervous system. These might occur much before or during the migraine, but most people get a migraine without an aura. Auras usually begin gradually and increase in intensity. They last for an hour or even longer and are 

  • Visual: Seeing bright spots, various shapes, experiencing vision loss, and flashes of light
  • Sensory: Present in the form of touch sensations like feeling of pins and needles in the arms and legs
  • Motor: Usually related with the movement problems like the limb weakness
  • Verbal: It is related with the speech problems

Headache: In case of a migraine attack one might experience:

  • Pain on both sides or one side of the head
  • Pain is throbbing in nature
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Sensitivity to smells, sound and light
  • Vision is blurred
  • Fainting and lightheadedness

Postdrome: This is the final phase of the migraine. During this phase one might feel fatigued, though some people feel euphoric.

Red flags that the patient may be having underlying serious disorder not migraine

  1. Onset of headaches >50 years 
  2. Thunderclap headache - subarachnoid haemorrhage 
  3. Neurological symptoms or signs 
  4. Meningism 
  5. Immunosuppression or malignancy 
  6. Red eye and haloes around lights - acute angle closure glaucoma 
  7. Worsening symptoms 
  8. Symptoms of temporal arteritis

These patients require CT scan / MRI or CSF examination. Most Migraine patients do not need these tests. 

Diagnosis of Migraine: Usually migraines go undiagnosed and thus are untreated. In case you experience the symptoms regularly then talk to the doctor, who evaluates the symptoms and can start a treatment. You can also be referred to a neurologist who is trained to treat the migraines and other conditions. During the appointment the neurologist usually asks about the family history of headaches and migraines along with your symptoms and medical history.

The doctor might advise for some tests like:

  1. Blood Tests: These reveal problems with the blood vessel like an infection in the spinal cord and brain.
  2. CT scan: Used to diagnose the infections, tumors, brain damage, and bleeding that cause the migraines.
  3. MRI: This helps to diagnose the tumors bleeding infections, neurological conditions, and strokes.
  4. Lumbar Puncture: For analyzing infections and neurological damages. In lumbar puncture a thin needle is inserted between the two vertebrae to remove a sample of the cerebrospinal fluid for analysis.

Treatments

Migraine treatments can help stop symptoms and prevent future attacks.

Many medications have been designed to treat migraines. Some drugs often used to treat other conditions also may help relieve or prevent migraines. Medications used to combat migraines fall into two broad categories:

  • Pain-relieving medications. Also known as acute or abortive treatment, these types of drugs are taken during migraine attacks and are designed to stop symptoms.
  • Preventive medications. These types of drugs are taken regularly, often on a daily basis, to reduce the severity or frequency of migraines.

Your treatment strategy depends on the frequency and severity of your headaches, the degree of disability your headaches cause, and your other medical conditions.

Some medications aren't recommended if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. Some medications aren't given to children. Consult a doctor find the right medication for you.

1962 people found this helpful

All About Meningitis

MBBS, Diploma In Child Health
Pediatrician, Hyderabad
All About Meningitis

Arguably one of the most fatal diseases that threaten human life, Meningitis has been the cause of a lot of recent deaths. Essentially Meningitis is triggered off by the anomalous inflammation of the protective membranes called meninges in the brain and spinal cord. Spurred by some sort of a bacterial or viral attack, this condition emanates from an infection of the fluids in the cranial chamber. Often such conditions are also stimulated by some external injury, cancerous development or even certain kinds of reaction from a given drug or the other. 

Depending on the precise cause of the disease, Meningitis may be categorized as Bacterial Meningitis, Viral Meningitis or Fungal Meningitis. Other forms of Meningitis include parasitic Meningitis, Amebic Meningitis and Non-Infectious Meningitis. Meningitis could potentially be contagious. Through lengthy and proximal contact like coughing or kissing, if saliva or spit gets exchanged, Meningitis causing germs may spread from one person to the other.

Bacterial Meningitis
Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria Meningitidis are the two of the most rampant Meningitis causing bacteria. They have the potential of causing irreversible damage to several vital organs. However, with substantive progress in medical science, effective and suitable medication has been made available to the larger populace. But, immediate attention is imperative in this case.

Viral Meningitis
Viral Meningitis is relatively milder than the other forms of meningitis. Enteroviruses, arboviruses and herpes virus are some of the most common sources of this kind of Meningitis. People with strong immunity are usually able to overcome this without much ado. Vaccines are available widely in the markets to cure viral meningitis.

Fungal Meningitis
Fungal Meningitis are caused primarily from external influences. Inhaling fungal spores from the environment is one of the most prominent factors that lead to Meningitis. People suffering from fatal diseases like cancer, diabetes or HIV are more susceptible to fungal Meningitis. While these are a few of the primary forms of meningitis, other triggers to this disease occur due to various environmental interventions. These are consequent upon interactions with various disease causing allergens. Cure to meningitis is available in the form of surgery or sustained medication.

4446 people found this helpful

Effective Ways To Treat Meningitis With Homeopathy!

BHMS, PG Hom London
Homeopath, Mumbai
Effective Ways To Treat Meningitis With Homeopathy!

Meningitis is a serious disease, and shouldn’t be left untreated. It has every possibility of getting fatal if left unattended. It can cause severe damage to the neurological system. The disease is caused due to the inflammation of the meninges or the membrane of the brain or spinal cord. It can also lead to stiffness of the cervical area. If a patient often complains of painfulness, when moving towards the chest from the chin, a medical intervention is needed. Muscle spasms make the neck so stiff that head and trunk cannot be lifted up at the time of passive flexion of the neck.

This disease is highly contagious and can be spread by droplet infection or by sneezing. It is of two type: viral and bacterial. The bacteria’s responsible for meningitis are Haemophilus influenza Neisseria meningitides, and Streptococcus pneumonia. Meningitis develops if these microbes enter a patient’s bloodstream and thereafter reaches the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The CSF has no white blood cells and hence cannot fight the infection. So, the microorganisms multiply rapidly.

Symptoms: The most common symptoms of meningitis are as follows:

  1. Fever
  2. Nausea
  3. Pain in muscles, joints or limbs
  4. Severe headache
  5. Cold hands and feet
  6. Shivering
  7. Pale or blotchy skin
  8. Blue lips

Diagnosis of Meningitis: It is difficult to detect the disease in its initial stages. It can be confused with severe influenza. A lumbar puncture is done and a sample of CSF is collected for diagnosis.

Why seek homoeopathic help for treating meningitis?
Homeopathy has the most effective method of treating meningitis. It is good for prolonged treatment. It doesn’t have side-effects on other organs. The treatment is also cost-effective. The format of the medicine is safe. They are devoid of any toxic substance and are absolutely harmless.

Common Homeopathic remedies for treating meningitis

  1. Aconite: It is given to patients who develop meningitis due to long exposure to sunlight. It is also given to patients who suffer from cerebral congestions from anger and fear is a marked symptom in them.
  2. Apis mellifica: If a patient suffers from nervous agitation, shrill cries and complains of stabbing pains, he or she may be prescribed this remedy. It is best to treat children, who put their hands to their heads and scream. A practitioner also looks for other symptoms like swelling in the face, less urine, and thirstlessness.
  3. Baptisia tinctoria: When obvious mastoid is found to develop and there is tenderness in the area, this remedy can be used.
  4. Belladonna: This is best for treating initial stages. Cerebral irritation is a marked symptom in this case. The child is found crying out and grinding its teeth.
  5. Bryonia: It is best for treating meningitis when there is a chewing motion with the mouth. Other symptoms that have to be looked for are distended abdomen, white tongue, excessive thirst, flushed face, etc.

Things to note: These are only a few remedies. There are plenty of other options in homoeopathy.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3550 people found this helpful

Know More About Meningitis!

Fellowship In Neonatology, MRCPCH(UK), Diploma In Child Health (DCH), MBBS
Pediatrician, Delhi
Know More About Meningitis!

Arguably one of the most fatal diseases that threaten human life, Meningitis has been the cause of a lot of recent deaths. Essentially Meningitis is triggered off by the anomalous inflammation of the protective membranes called meninges in the brain and spinal cord. Spurred by some sort of a bacterial or viral attack, this condition emanates from an infection of the fluids in the cranial chamber. Often such conditions are also stimulated by some external injury, cancerous development or even certain kinds of reaction from a given drug or the other. 

Depending on the precise cause of the disease, Meningitis may be categorized as Bacterial Meningitis, Viral Meningitis or Fungal Meningitis. Other forms of Meningitis include parasitic Meningitis, Amebic Meningitis and Non-Infectious Meningitis. Meningitis could potentially be contagious. Through lengthy and proximal contact like coughing or kissing, if saliva or spit gets exchanged, Meningitis causing germs may spread from one person to the other.

Bacterial Meningitis
Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria Meningitidis are the two of the most rampant Meningitis causing bacteria. They have the potential of causing irreversible damage to several vital organs. However, with substantive progress in medical science, effective and suitable medication has been made available to the larger populace. But, immediate attention is imperative in this case.

Viral Meningitis
Viral Meningitis is relatively milder than the other forms of meningitis. Enteroviruses, arboviruses and herpes virus are some of the most common sources of this kind of Meningitis. People with strong immunity are usually able to overcome this without much ado. Vaccines are available widely in the markets to cure viral meningitis.

Fungal Meningitis
Fungal Meningitis are caused primarily from external influences. Inhaling fungal spores from the environment is one of the most prominent factors that lead to Meningitis. People suffering from fatal diseases like cancer, diabetes or HIV are more susceptible to fungal Meningitis. While these are a few of the primary forms of meningitis, other triggers to this disease occur due to various environmental interventions. These are consequent upon interactions with various disease causing allergens. Cure to meningitis is available in the form of intravenous injections. But timely diagnosis and treatment is essential for a good outcome. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.

4487 people found this helpful

Fever - What, When And Why?

DNB (General Medicine), MBBS
General Physician, Mohali
Fever - What, When And Why?

Fever is not a disease! It's a known fact that normal human body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C). If temperature goes beyond that, then it's called fever. But one must not worry every time if there is a rise in the temperature. 

Why?
The reason is that immune system is designed to raise temperature as a defence mechanism, if there is any attack by a foreign body (such as bacteria). So body temperature may fluctuate between 97 and 100.4. But there is no need to worry.

When to Consider Checking?
Routine check up is unnecessary. You may consider to check when:

  • You feel the warmth while you touch
  • You feel very tired, dizzy and lose appetite
  • You feel nauseated, see rashes on the body, experience loose motion, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, etc.

Is it Time to Worry? 
Normally, fever is not dangerous. However, if you see the following conditions, then it's time to worry and call a doctor. 

  • If the body temperature is more than 103 degree F 
  • If fever lasts for more than five days
  • If you feel difficulty in breathing
  • If there is severe vomiting or diarrhoea
  • If you feel stiffness in the neck and have headache
  • If you feel excessively sleepy and lethargic
  • If you see redness in skin, rashes or blood in stool.

If the condition worsens, it is time to rush to a hospital. There could be following:

  • Meningitis is life threatening and highly transmissible in case of bacterial infection. A combination of a fever, extreme headache and stiffness in the neck is an indication that you must rush to the emergency department of a hospital near you.
  • Difficulty in breathing or chest pain along with fever should prompt you to call for emergency medical assistance.
  • If someone has fever along with blood in stool, urine or mucus, it's one of the reasons to seek for emergency medical help.
  • If one has fever and is quite disturbed or puzzled unnecessarily, then the person should be taken to the emergency department.
  • A person with low immune responses (such as one who is suffering from cancer or AIDS) needs doctor's help in case of fever development.
  • Hyperthermia: it's a condition of very high fever, i.e., more than 104 degree F. The person seems to be confused and may not respond to verbal stimuli or commands. It's time for medical emergency.

What should You Do?
For mild fever, even home remedies can help. Aspirin shouldn't be the first choice and an absolute no for individuals less than 18 years. Other drugs that people usually tend to consume are ibuprofen or acetaminophen. One should also drink plenty of water. In case of a heat stroke, body needs to be cooled.
Other severe causes such as viral infection should lead you to a doctor. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

3310 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Table of Content

What is Meningitis?

When should you see a doctor?

Types of Meningitis :

Risk factors for meningitis:

Play video
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
Causes and Treatment for HIV

A very good evening to all of you. I am Dr Hardik Thakkar. I am a MD physician, and an infectious disease expert speaking from Mumbai. Today I would like to take this opportunity to speak to you on HIV.

It is one of the most dreaded diseases, which can infect a person. As you know about the mode of transmission,

the most common mode of transmission is through the sexual route, whether through the heterosexual route or through the homosexual route.
The second common mode of transmission is accidental injury or from needle stick injuries or accidental injury from blood contamination; that is, contamination of the body surfaces with the blood.
The third, uncommon cause though, is through blood transfusion.
The fourth cause, which is not very common these days, is through the pregnancy, and we are using medication so that this does not happen to the child.
Coming back to the disease, what happens is, with this disease, it affects the helper T cells of your immune system. So as a result of this the CD4 cells, they decrease in the number and the helper cells decrease in the body and they are not able to mount an immune attack on any infection and they can come and attack your body. As a result, the immunity of the person goes down, he gets more vulnerable to infections like tuberculosis, fungal infections, candida infections, respiratory infections, diarrhoea and meningitis. This is because, the immune system is hijacked by the virus. And that is the reason, this is a disease everybody is afraid of. At the moment we do not have any curative options available.

However, we do have medications that help you to suppress the viral load. As a result the CD4 counts increase, and your immunity increases, and the people live a longer life. At the moment I would like to talk about the newest launch of the ART medicine which is dorita.This is a game changing molecule because it is very effective. It does not have side effects. It is produced in India at a much affordable rates.

For more information on the disease and about the different treatment options available , you can get back to me through my website or through lybrate.com. Thank you very much.
Play video
HIV/AIDS: Facts You Need To Know!
Hi,

My name is Dr Ishwar gilada and I am one of the first positions in the field of HIV AIDS in India. I started my HIV career in 1985 and I started this private clinic called UNICEF Medical Research Centre in 1995 which is India's first private sector HIV clinic. This is fully comprehensive under all facilities are available here are like consultation, counselling, different type of testing PCR, x-ray, sonography everything is done here. I feel privileged to talk about HIV AIDS then section was started in 1981 in India.

The first cases were in 1985-86 and over the years it has become very much news worthy disease initially it was considered as deadly disease. Lot of people were dying because of HIV AIDS and people were thinking there is no treatment so why should we get the test done. In last 10-15 years it has become chronic manageable disorder and when we talk about Chronic manageable it just means hypertension or Diabetes where you don't have to be sick and you don't have to be dying of HIV AIDS moreover.

The treatment of HIV AIDS has become very cheap. It is affordable so even if somebody cannot afford they can to government Centre where they can get ART or antiretroviral therapy free of charge but even in private setup the treatment which are costing close to 1 lakh to 1.5 Lakh in Abroad. It is costing 2000 to 3000 per month in India. HIV is mainly transmitted through sexual routes also it can be transmitted from mother to child and through blood transfusion however more than 95% of the transmission is from sexual transmission people think that they are not doing anything wrong they are better than others and usually they do not want to take up any test because they think like just I am holier than others and better than others.

However it is just like a ticketless traveller or like a pickpocket where every pickpocketing incident or every ticketless incident is risk by itself you can be caught anytime but every time you are doing that it is at risk. There are people who have done this hundreds of times but cannot get HIV AIDS but there are people who have done it once and they are HIV positive but if you get the test done and if you manage and proper guidance under proper expert then you don't have to die of HIV.

You don't have to be hospitalized for HIV and over the years we have seen you don't lose any years of your life if you are managed very well moreover if you are married and you are infected you can prevent your partner from getting infected if women is positive you can have HIV negative child. Many people do not know this in this clinic we have managed so many hundreds and thousands of patients and in last several years 160 childrens are born with HIV positive mothers and babies are not infected with HIV. So that much has happened now if you compare HIV AIDS with other diseases then there are people who are surviving with HIV AIDS leading full normal life and proper productive life and they are not even getting sick sometimes relative of the patient who are not HIV positive they are getting sick and their dying and they are not getting examine or getting any test done. so in simplistic Hindi I would like to tell, "ab nahi AIDS Ek Khatarnak Bimari par jaanch karne mein hai samajhdari."

India has played a great role in making all the molecules of HIV AIDS which are required for the treatment available and affordable for common people not only so almost 92% world's antiretroviral therapy are HIV treatment is supply from India and we take Pride that India is a different country by itself. What is required is you take precautions if you are HIV positive, if you forgot to take precautions are even after taking precautions you got HIV you get the examination done and if it is HIV positive you start the treatment currently the principal is test and treat you get the test done and if you are positive then start the treatment agreeing to that you are preventing yourself from becoming sick or becoming hospitalized or having any kind of problems where your life span can be shorter and by doing also that.

If you are under any proper care and taking proper medicine then you become undetectable the current principal is if you are undetectable to the virus you are untranslatable of the virus that means if you are undetectable and the virus is not seen in our system where we are doing viral. You can't transfer virus to your spouse or mother to child or to somebody else through your sexual activity so basically if that is done, you are living a perfect normal life so why being shy about it.

Nowadays stigma about HIV AIDS is also going down instead people are feeling to get test done. Lot of people come for pre manage test before both boy and girl want to find out whether they are HIV positive or not if there are any STD or Diabetes it is called pre marriage health check up similarly lot of people taking a major step in life. They want to be sure whether the life is secure if they are infected with anything and that's the way the life is going on the common symptoms majorly is are very much common and their also seen in the diseases like tuberculosis or other such disorders and most of them are like fever cough loose motion weight loss some time they get HIV specific symptoms some of them are like special meningitis.

They can have herpes zosters on a single which are called Dhani orcerin in Hindi and Gujarati so these are the some of the symptoms but however symptom to not come on its own there has to be some history associated with that somebody has taken a risk and then they have symptoms. They must get the examination done and must get the test done once the test is done they can decide the duration of the infection the person could have been infected for some years then we can decide what are the natural course of life? And how much life can be change by adding medicines to the patient? And once the test is done we start the treatment therefore they do not get sick because of the HIV or other related sickness sometimes the illness is cardiothoracic and neuromuscular diseases renal problems.

But diseases are not connected to HIV, because in HIV diseases. Those diseases possibilities manifestation are very less so people with HIV AIDS they need a very much perfect normal life once they are on treatment therefore we should not shy away from the treatment as I told the stigma and discretion of HIV AIDS is going down there has been an HIV AIDS Act 2017 by if someone is not provided with proper care if somebody is discriminated, somebody is stigmatize from HIV the other person can be penalised for even jail for those people who are troubling HIV positive people so my request to those people who are taking risk of sexual activity with partners or unprotected sex they must get their testing done for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and once if they are positive of HIV get treatment.

If you are negative and continue your life by taking precautions or preventive measures so that you can not get HIV are stds thank you those who feel that they at risk of HIV or STD or do you feel that there are some relatives are at risk of HIV they can go to the website lybrate.com
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice