Toxoplasmosis in humans
The only evidence of infection is detection of antibodies in the blood against the toxoplasmosis parasite. However, in HIV/AIDS patients who are not producing antibodies this test is unreliable. The risk of toxoplasmosis infection is highest when the CD4 cell (T-cell) counts are below 100.
The parasite forms egg-like, thick walled protective structures called oocysts which cannot be penetrated by conventional medicines and will remain in the human body for life. These parasites must be ingested by mouth so are not usually transferred from person to person. They can survive in water, soil or sand in wet or very dry conditions for around 18 months. Young children who play in sandpits and gardens may be at risk if they come into contact with infected cat faeces.
Drinking contaminated unpasteurised milk can also cause infection with toxoplasmosis parasites.
It is estimated that a very large proportion of the human population has contracted toxoplasmosis in their lifetimes but are show no symptoms as the immune system keeps the parasites in check within the oocysts. Under normal circumstances, the immune system will easily destroy any parasites that escape these oocysts, but a person with lowered immunity such as organ transplant patients, malnourished people, those undergoing chemotherapy and those suffering with HIV/AIDS, may not be able to fend off an attack. The parasites can greatly increase in number then travel and infect other parts of the body such as the eye, brain, heart and lungs and cause a variety of serious illnesses.
Studies have also shown behavioural changes in humans infected by toxoplasmosis, including slower reaction times and a six fold increased risk of traffic accidents, irritability, depression, self harm and suicidal tendencies as well as links to schizophrenia including hallucinations and reckless behaviour. It is thought that toxoplasmosis directly affects the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters and it triggers inflammation, which in turn might change the chemical balance in the brain. This is probably because, as with the mouse or rat that becomes reckless and attracted to cat's urine (so that is will be easily caught and eaten by the cat) the parasite may influence the human in the same way so it will become easy prey to other predators in order for the parasite to complete its life cycle.
Toxoplasma gondi life cycle
Toxoplasma has a complicated life cycle and is an organism capable of infecting many mammals and birds, but only in the cat is the full life cycle of the parasite able to be completed. Initially the cat may get infected from capturing and eating an infected mouse or bird. The meat of the infected animal has pockets of a special form of Toxoplasma called bradyzoites, which are released from the meat into the cat’s small intestine soon after ingestion. The parasite grows and multiplies within the cells lining the cat’s intestine. This phase of the life cycle is called the intestinal phase, and eventually results in the formation of oocysts. These are released by large numbers into the cat’s faeces but are not infectious at first. After a day or so in the environment they mature or sporulate into infectious oocysts, which then are not only resistant to chemicals and drying, but also can infect whatever mammal happens to eat them. They can persist in the environment for months and be carried about by rain, wind, earthworms, and insects (another good reason for routine worming!) They may eventually end up on produce or on pastures where different grazing animals may ingest them as they graze. They might also get into irrigation water to be used to water produce which may be for human consumption.
The disease operates in two stages, a proliferative stage and a latent stage. During the proliferative stage the infection can be treated, although there are many side affect problems with available medicines. Then it progresses to a latent stage, where the oocysts form that hold the parasites in a less active state. These oocysts are untreatable as scientists can’t get medication inside the cyst. The oocysts eventually rupture and release proliferating parasites, which can cause a recurrence of the illness if the immune system is weakened and in those with eye disease. Such recurrences can cause severe damage to the eye and nervous system.
Toxoplasmosis symptoms and signs
Effects of toxoplasmosis on the unborn baby
If a woman contracts toxoplasmosis for the first time while pregnant, the parasites may affect the baby through the placenta. Effects of toxoplasmosis on unborn babies can include:
Toxoplasmosis prevention and precautions
Conventional drug treatment for toxoplasmosis
The Toxoplasma gondii parasites needs the vitamin B complex to live. Pyrimethamine stops toxoplasma from getting any and sulfadiazine prevents the parasites from using it. The normal dosage of these drugs is 50 to 75 mg of pyrimethamine with two to four grams per day of sulfadiazine. This combination of drugs is very effective against toxoplasmosis. Over 80% of people show improvement within two to three weeks but it usually returns after the first episode if the immune system is not boosted enough to produce antibodies against it.
Highest sources of vitamin B9 in micrograms per 100 grams
Nature cures remedies to treat toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasma infections are especially difficult to treat because they recur and are never eliminated from the system. Natural remedies that can help fight off this parasite are essential plant oils listed below and a healthy nutritious diet of root and leafy vegetables, fruits, seeds, herbs, spices and oily fish as well as probiotic foods, whey, cottage cheese and fish oils.
Nature cures tips to boost the immune system
What to avoid
Only buy organic non refined or processed produce to avoid toxins from artificial food additives and agricultural pesticides which can further burden the immune system. See the following pages.
Avoid refined salt. Use seaweed or unrefined pure sea salt or Himalayan salt crystals, instead of refined table salt which has had all nutritious elements stripped out. Many foods already contain sodium so use sparingly. Too much sodium has many adverse side effects which can lead to serious illness.
Avoid all refined sugar as it feeds parasites. Use honey, coconut milk, parsnips, raisins or fruit to sweeten instead. See Sugar dangers.
Cut meat consumption down to three times a week and consume more organ meats. Avoid processed meat products such as sausages, bacon, paté and meat pies and reconstituted meat. Protein can be obtained from cottage cheese, eggs, fish, legumes, nuts or seeds on meat free days.
What to eat more of
Consume the following daily when any infections are present:
Garlic (four cloves per day).
Lemon juice (the freshly squeezed juice and zest of one lemon per day. Add to drinks, meals, fish, fruit, meals, salads and teas).
Psyllium husks in water, juice or soup once a day. Makes sure to drink a full glass of water with one tablespoon of psyllium husks.
Sea salt or Himalayan pink crystals (unrefined).
Turmeric (one teaspoon per day).
Oily fish should be consumed at least three times a week. The following are good to consume with oily fish as they can chelate to and remove the heavy metals such as mercury that fish may be contaminated with.
Yoghurt with live cultures should be consumed everyday, use as cream, as a dressing and in sauces and soups. Other probiotic foods to consume to promote the good bacteria balance in the intestines and avoid infections are:
Coloured vegetables: Try to consume at least one root vegetable and one green leafy vegetable, one red, one yellow/orange, one white and one blue, purple or black fruit or vegetable fresh, lightly steamed or juiced everyday. See why and how:
Clean the teeth with natural toothpastes (fluoride free) after every meal and before bed and alternate with bicarbonate of soda mixed with a little coconut oil and/or fresh aloe vera gel, from the leaf of a plant, which will kill bacteria in the mouth and also help to balance the PH of the body which will assist the immune system.
Nutrients required to help boost the immune system
Allicin: After chopping garlic cloves or onions, always leave them to stand for ten minutes to allow the chemical process to take place that produces the powerful antibiotic and antioxidant substance known as allicin.
Berberine: The following contain berberine which can successfully treat toxoplasmosis.
Carotenoids: When eating tomatoes and other foods containing fat soluble carotenoids, always have them with some fatty foods such as avocado, olive oil, fish oil, nuts (almonds, pine nuts and walnuts are a good choice) or seed oils.
Vitamin D is essential for many body processes especially concerning the immune system and the bones yet 80% of the populations of northern hemisphere countries such as the UK, Europe, Canada and North America are deficient. Lack of sunshine during the winter, sunscreens and indoor workplaces are common reasons why. A daily 15 minute dose of midday sunshine on bare skin (without sunscreen and not through a window) can provide the body with all it needs. During the winter, (from October to April, the sun is too weak to provide the rays required for the skin to make vitamin D therefore the extra consumption of foods rich in vitamin D are necessary as the body only stores enough vitamin D for between 30 and 60 days. December is a good time to get a blood test to check vitamin D levels.
Highest sources of vitamin D per serving listed
NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.
For a relaxing and cleansing bathing experience add fresh herb leaves such as bay leaf, basil, bergamot, borage, eucalyptus, fig leaf, lavender, lemon thyme, mint, peppermint, and/or rosemary to baths under the hot tap and leave to steep for at least 10 minutes then scoop out before bathing. Add one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda or unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt crystals, a table spoon of coconut oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. Fresh herb leaves can be soaked in cold water with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda then rinsed well to remove soil and microbes. This bath will also successfully treat fungal and bacterial infections of the skin and scalp.
"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC
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