Our body parts are connected to one another in ways we can only begin to imagine without an extensive knowledge of biology. In order to function as a single, coordinated machine, different areas of our body have the ability to affect or connect to each other. Most of the time, it’s a good thing, but sometimes, this can lead to dangerous results.
In Canada, a 27-year-old man baffled doctors when they diagnosed him with endocarditis, an infection whereby the heart’s chambers and valves are affected. The condition, often brought on by the germs and bacteria brought from different areas of the body through the bloodstream, was certainly not common in a young and healthy man. But he’d been suffering from a fever and night sweats was experiencing pain in his abdomen and had completely lost his appetite. On the palm of one of his hands, a painful aneurysm had developed.
When the doctors began to question the man about his past few weeks, things started to fall into place. He’d gone to the dentist a while before, and during that visit, a kind of bacteria had entered his bloodstream, traveling throughout his entire body. When doctors ran the test, the bacteria was revealed to be streptococcus salivarius, and it had traveled to his spleen and left kidney, leaving the dead tissue in these organs, before traveling to his heart and affecting his hand’s blood vessels.
Thankfully, antibiotics could take care of most of the infections, but major surgery would be needed to fix the affected valves in the man’s heart, one of which is the valve responsible for controlling blood flow through the major arteries.
What lesson can we learn from this? If you feel that something is wrong with your body and that you’re starting to notice multiple seemingly minor and unconnected issues in different areas of the body, talk to a doctor and trust your instinct!