Do you enjoy gardening, own a cat, don’t wash your produce or eat raw meat? All of these lifestyle choices put you at risk for toxoplasmosis.
Most of you won’t know if you’re infected, because it rarely causes symptoms in those with healthy immune systems. An estimated 30-50 percent of the world’s population is carrying around this “leech” in their nerve and muscle tissue.
A healthy immune system puts and keeps this “toxo” parasite in check, and as such, no treatment is necessary.
On the other hand, Toxoplasma gondii parasite has the potential to cause some serious problems for those with a weak immune system:
And a baby from a mother who is initially infected during pregnancy, referred to as congenital toxoplasmosis. Thus, both situations are considered high risk and special precautions or medication may need to be taken. Both groups should discuss this issue with their doctors.
Signs and symptoms of severe toxoplasmosis infection due to compromised immune system include:
Toxoplasmosis can cause damage to your eyes, lungs and brain if you have a weak immune system.
Congenital toxoplasmosis may cause damage to an unborn child’s:
- other organs
There are drugs to treat toxoplasmosis for pregnant women and those with immune system issues.
Some various ways you can contract toxoplasmosis are:
- infected cat waste
- unwashed produce
- drinking infected water ~ rare in U.S.
- eating raw or undercooked contaminated meat
Venison, lamb and pork are notorious for carrying around the Toxoplasma gondii parasite.
Some obvious ways to avoid toxoplasmosis infection:
- garden with gloves
- wash your produce
- cook all meats thoroughly
- handle cat excretion with care
Toxoplasmosis is another great reason to keep your immune system supported. Support includes consuming a healthy diet and regular exercise. And avoid high fructose sugar, that stuff slows down your “infection defense” process.