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Ask Dr. Gott 5/31
Blood poisoning needs immediate attention
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DEAR DR. GOTT: What are the symptoms of septicemia, and why are people dying from it within two or three weeks? I was told it is blood poisoning, but what is the cause, and why is it not treatable to save a person's life?
    DEAR READER: Bloodstream poisoning is an extremely serious condition. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream from infections or injuries. Once there, they are normally destroyed by the body's immune system. If not, septicemia can infect the whole body, especially the internal organs. The implication is that, for some reason, the infection-combating immune system is deficient. Antibiotic therapy can be life-saving and must be administered for several weeks.
    The symptoms include exhaustion, malaise, recurring fever, skin rashes and collapse. If untreated, the septicemia can lead to coma, shortness of breath and death. Senior citizens are more commonly infected.
    To answer to your questions, septicemia can be treated. Left untreated, the condition can progress rapidly and become fatal.
To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Blood: Donations and Disorders."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I'm a 65-year-old male, and for the past 25 years, I've been dealing with rosacea by applying topicals such as metronidazole and azelaic acid with an oral antibiotic. Each time I tried to get off the routine, I regressed to multiple pustules and red, blotchy patches on my nose, lips and chin area.
    Recently, I suffered a lower-back injury and as a result, pain pills, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs became part of my diet. I decided to stop the rosacea medication because I didn't want any medication in my body that I didn't feel was absolutely necessary. Within two weeks, although I did continue the topical medications, the rosacea blossomed out again.
    As a wild, last-ditch effort, I decided to try the first-aid kit in a jar: Vicks VapoRub topped off with Clearasil. I even tried the Vicks without the Clearasil and, certainly by now you've guessed it: My rosacea has gone away.
    I cannot begin to tell you how many different things I've tried through the years to get off the expensive topicals that usually cost $35 to $40 a tube, the stomach-upsetting antibiotics and the diet changes involving caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods.
    These results are so surprising that I feel compelled to share them with you and, hopefully, your readers. Thank you for the work you do to help us folks out here.
    DEAR READER: Rosacea, a chronic and common form of acne seen in adults, is linked to an overgrowth of tissue, redness and widened blood vessels of the cheeks, forehead and nose, and skin rash/irritation. It can be difficult to treat. I am publishing your letter because of your unique experience with Vicks and Clearasil. Perhaps your approach will help other readers, too.
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