Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome You Should be Aware...

tampons can increase odds of toxic shockBacterial Toxin is the root cause of the life-threatening, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TTS). There are different bacterial toxins like the causative bacteria which include Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes.

The infection from these bacteria is often associated with the use of tampons in menstruating women. The chances of bacteria entering your bloodstream are very high, if you are using a tampon.

In 1980 there was an outbreak of TSS and later research found out that the outbreak was caused by the use of one particular brand of super-absorbent tampons which was a hot seller in the market at that time. The super-absorbent tampons were a good breeding ground for group A Streptococcus bacteria. Women left the tampons overnight or wore them for too long, thus increasing the chances of infection.

50% of the reported TSS has been linked with the use of tampons in menstruating women, but TSS can affect both men and women of any age due to some other situations like infections after surgery and skin infections caused by bacteria.

Signs and Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome

Many people suffering from toxic shock syndrome (TSS) will experience a few days of mild symptoms before the actual disease kicks develops in earnest.  These mild symptoms include low-temperature fever, aches in muscles and joints, mild chills, and malaise; the lethargic feeling you often experience when you have the common cold.

Toxic shock syndrome can be a near fatal disease as it can affect most organs in the human body, including the lungs, kidney, liver and pancreas. In some cases it may have adverse effects on our skin and blood cells. A person suffering from Toxic shock syndrome usually has a mild fever and may experience at least 3 of the below mentioned symptoms.

  • Skin rashes like sunburns. These rashes turn white in color and cover most of your body parts. If you are dark-skinned then it would be difficult to see the rashes but your eyes, lips and tongue may turn red in color. You can also expect rashes with intense erythroderma (an inflammatory skin disease), blanching with subsequent desquamation (skin peeling), on your palms and soles of the feet.
  • The patients who survived the initial phase of toxic shock syndrome, the rash desquamates and peels off, after 10–14 days. You can also expect mild headache as it is very common symptom of people suffering from toxic shock syndrome
  • Muscle aches and pain in joints
  • A sore throat
  • Cough which may turn chronic
  • Nausea and frequent vomiting
  • Diarrhea which is profuse and watery
  • Abdominal Pain; you may lose your appetite due to the pain.
  • You may also experience lightheadedness or fainting if you are on your feet all day
  • Confusion or disorientation at home or at work


You are advised to seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any combination of the above symptoms as Toxic Shock Syndrome can be difficult to resolve if the source of the infection is not treated properly and immediately.