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Blood Poisoning Signs & Symptoms

author image Lori Newell
I hold a Master's degree in exercise physiology/health promotion. I am a certified fitness specialist through the American College of Spots Medicine and an IYT certified yoga teacher. I have over 25 years experience teaching classes to both general public and those with chronic illness. The above allows me to write directly to the reader based on personal experiences.
Blood Poisoning Signs & Symptoms
Blood Poisoning Signs & Symptoms Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

If you have blood poisoning, it means that bacteria has entered your bloodstream. Your blood does not really contain poison. The medical term for this condition is septicemia. It is usually caused by a serious infection in the body. Prevention of blood poisoning is the key, which means properly controlling any underlying infections you may have. If not treated properly, blood poisoning can become life threatening. If you notice blood poisoning signs or symptoms, see your doctor right away as this condition tends to progress very rapidly.

Skin Discoloration

While the signs and symptoms of blood poisoning are different for everyone, there is a certain kind of skin rash that tends to occur with septicemia, says the University of Virginia medical school website. It often begins as small areas of tiny blood spots on the skin. These spots may grow and connect until they look like a bruise. Eventually, the bruises can connect and you will have large areas of skin that turn purple.

Fever and Chills

Blood poisoning can cause symptoms that are similar to a cold. This includes a fever, chills, fatigue and loss of appetite. You may not feel well in general. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the difference is that with blood poisoning your symptoms may come on rapidly and get worse very quickly. This differs from a cold that can take days to develop. At first these symptoms may be very general and mild, which may cause you to delay treatment. However, prompt medical attention is necessary. Your doctor can do blood and urine tests to confirm a diagnosis.

Mood Swings and Changes in Blood Pressure

With septicemia you may feel irritable, anxious or depressed. You may feel confused and be unaware of your surroundings. Your heart may start to race and your breathing may speed up. Others around you will notice that you do not look well. Blood pressure tends to drop and urination ceases. If left untreated, you can go into shock and become unconscious. The good news is that if caught early enough, antibiotics can cure this condition. If your situation is more severe, you may require hospitalization with oxygen and an IV.

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