It’s that time of year again: everyone is sniffing, sneezing, and getting you sick. No matter how hard you try, how many times you wash your hands and your kids’ hands, you still manage to catch the cold. If you’re like some of us here at Real Mom Daily, you may even manage to get the flu…twice.
Yet, worse than the flu, is the dreaded strep throat. Regarded by doctors as Streptococcal pharyngitis (a bit of a mouthful if you ask us), this burdensome infection is caused by bacteria called group A streptococcus or GAS. It’s estimated that around 10,000 to 15,000 people get strep each year, with millions more showing mild symptoms.
Speaking of symptoms, let’s take a look at how to self-diagnose your strep throat. Keep reading to learn common signs, what you can do at home, and when it’s time to head over to the doctor!
Symptoms to Watch Out For
The most obvious symptom of strep throat is…drum roll please…a sore throat. How you tell if you’re dealing with actual strep and not just a run of the mill cold is if you start to exhibit the following symptoms all within three days:
- Small red spots towards the top and back of your mouth
- Inflamed tonsils with red or white spots
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash on your neck, arms, or thighs
- Fever of 101 degrees or higher
- Nausea, vomiting, or headaches
If you’re showing any of these symptoms, it’s a smart idea to hightail it over to your local doctor or emergency care clinic. While strep throat isn’t usually life-threatening, it’s a pain in the butt and better to take care of immediately.
Plus, GAS is highly contagious and you don’t want your kids catching it!
At Home Remedies
Okay, so you definitely want to go see a doctor if you think you’re showing symptoms of strep throat. There are a bunch of things you can do at home to start feeling better right away– and no we’re not just talking about having a bowl of chicken noodle soup! These include:
Drinking some tea! Tea is basically the cure for everything, and while it won’t get rid of your strep, it’s definitely going to soothe your throat. Our bodies are 60% water and drinking liquid helps flush all the bad stuff out.
Bonus points if you put some elderberry, vitamin C, vitamin D, or raw honey in your hot tea. These all help give your immune system a boost. Double bonus points, if you drink a herbal tea rich in antioxidants.
Take some echinacea. Our favorite cold symptom reducer also works wonders with strep throat. It’s packed with phytochemicals (aka seriously good stuff) that help stop the spread of bacteria through your body.
Try some essential oils. There is almost nothing that essential oils can’t do, and helping ease strep throat symptoms is one of their magical powers. We’re particularly fond of lemon oil, which helps limit the spread of bacteria.
Plug your nose and drink some apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is made up of chemicals like acetic acid. This helps get rid of harmful bacteria (looking at you GAS) and promote the growth of healthy bacteria. Make sure to dilute any apple cider vinegar before you drink though!
Bonus remedy: Try a super immunity smoothie! Our favorite is packed with bananas, reishi powder, coconut oil, avocado, kale, and even more good stuff. The result is a new you who feels better, strep throat or not!
There you have it, common strep throat symptoms and some natural home remedies. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to get more of this good stuff delivered straight to your inbox!