No. Dr. Diamond is right: take no chances.
Take No Chances. Untreated strep throat in rare cases can cause serious complications. These include rheumatic heart disease which generally is permanent damage. There is a window of a week or so where treatment with appropriate antibiotics will prevent this problem. See your doctor for proper diagnosis.
No. Strep throat absolutely must be treated with antibiotics. Not only are antibiotics needed to clear the throat infection, but they are vital to the prevention of more serious complications that are potentially lethal. Untreated strep can result in kidney inflammation and failure (post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis) or rheumatic fever which can seriously affect heart valves.
Symptoms will pass. The symptoms of strep throat generally pass in a few days, if that's what it is. Gargling with salt water or sucking candy will help. That said, the real reason to treat strep is to end the possibility your body will create abnormal antibodies that will attack your brain, kidneys or heart. Rheumatic fever is uncommon today but still exists. Overall risk/untreated infection may be as high as 1%.
How do you know? There are no specific symptoms of strep throat that distinguish it from other causes of sore throat. A screening test or culture is the only way to be sure it's strep. Most of the time a sore throat will get better by itself. The main reason for treating strep throat is to prevent rare but potentially serious complications, like rheumatic fever which can cause permanent heart damage.
You cannot. I would need more information as to what you were on---some antibiotics are not appropriate for strep throat.
Strep throat. Only certain antibiotics help strep throat. The trick is if you really have strep throat or not. If someone doesn't have fever, doesn't have pus on tonsils, doesn't have big swollen lymph nodes, but does have a cough or runny nose, it is very unlikely they have strep throat. A simple in-office strep test can help though, and if positive, you can get the proper antibiotic. Best of luck!
No. You need to see the doctor and make sure it is strep. Antibiotics only help strep not viruses. See the answer for symptomatic pain relif.