Know the basics
What is toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a microorganism that lives in birds, animals and humans. It affects the gastrointestinal tract (including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestine and anus), heart, nerves, and skin. Toxoplasma infection most dangerous for pregnant women and those with weak immune systems such as chemotherapy, disease and organ ADIS.
Children under 5 years old in need of treatment to prevent eye complications. Other complications include inflammation (edema) brain, heart and lung damage. If pregnant women infected in the early stages of pregnancy, they may miscarriage, stillbirth or can children born with birth defects.
How common is toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite of the most popular in the world. Toxoplasma infection may suffer or have from at birth (congenital). Millions of people are infected with Toxoplasma, but only few symptoms because healthy people often have immune system which is not enough to control the disease-causing parasite.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of toxoplasmosis?
Most healthy people do not exhibit symptoms. The remainder may have flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, myalgia, headache, and swollen lymph glands.
If you have HIV / AIDS, chemotherapy or a transplant newly infected toxoplasma recently, before possible reactivation. In this case, it appears likely that the symptoms and signs of serious infection, including:
- A headache;
- Poor motor coordination;
- The issue of occupational lung similar or Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, a common opportunistic infection in patients with AIDS;
- Blurred vision due to severe retinal infection.
Multiple infections early in pregnancy will cause miscarriage or stillbirth. The surviving children will usually born with serious problems, such as:
- Liver splenomegaly;
- Yellow eyes and yellow skin;
- Severe eye infections;
- Reduce the hearing;
There may be other symptoms not mentioned. If you have any questions about these signs, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
Sick with flu-like symptoms, but can cause serious complications, especially if the disease is congenital. Call your doctor if you:
- Seeing your symptoms do not improve during treatment.
- Bleeding, bruising, confusion, loss of motor coordination, with the change in visual acuity or weaker.
Know the causes
What causes toxoplasmosis?
Main cause is a microscopic parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. The disease can be transmitted by eating meat from infected animals that have not been cooked (especially lamb and pork) or by contact with cat toilet sand or cat litter if infected cats. Patients eat fruits or vegetables contaminated, contact each pathogen but undercooked or rinse can also get sick. Pregnant women can transmit the parasite through the bloodstream infants.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for toxoplasmosis?
There are many factors that can increase the risk of Toxoplasmosis, including:
- Have HIV / AIDS.
- Showing chemotherapy: Chemotherapy weakens the immune system, making you susceptible to infections.
- Use of steroids or immunosuppressive drugs: cancer treatments can weaken the immune system.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is toxoplasmosis diagnosed?
Most patients do not need treatment. The remainder may need prescription medicines such as antibiotics or antibiotic sulfadiazine-pyrimethamine parasites from 4 to 6 weeks or longer. These drugs can cause spilling inside, sensitivity to sunlight, bleeding or bruising. Your doctor will do blood tests to monitor more side effects.
To reduce fever, use acetaminophen or you can soak in a tub of cool water. Do not need a special diet, but patients need to drink plenty of water.
How is toxoplasmosis treated?
Doctors diagnosed based on history, physical examination and blood tests. If there are no specific screening tests are Toxoplasmosis often difficult to diagnose because of the occurrence of the signs and symptoms are similar to common diseases, such as influenza and increased monocytes.
Testing during pregnancy:
If your doctor suspects you have an infection, you can get a blood test to check for antibodies to the parasite. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system response to the presence of foreign objects, such as parasites. Because the antibody tests are difficult to interpret so all positive test should be confirmed by a laboratory specializing in the diagnosis of Toxoplasmosis.
Testing for baby:
If you are pregnant and infected with Toxoplasma, the next step to do is determine if the baby is infected or not. Your doctor may recommend tests:
- Amniocentesis. This procedure is usually done after week 15 safe pregnancy. In particular, the doctor uses a small needle to draw some fluid from the sac surrounding the fetus. After that will perform the test the fluid for evidence of infection with Toxoplasma. Amniocentesis may cause miscarriages and other complications are relatively low light, such as abdominal pain, leakage of amniotic or irritation where the needle puncture.
- Supersonic. This test uses sound waves to create pictures of a baby in the uterus. Advanced Ultrasound Toxoplasmosis can not diagnose, but it may show some signs of the baby, such as fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus). However, ultrasound negative result does not exclude the possibility of infection. For this reason, babies need to be examined and determined tracking blood tests during the first twelve months.
Tests in severe cases:
If you have a life-threatening condition such as encephalitis, you may need one or more means of diagnostic imaging to examine lesions or cysts in the brain. These include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This test uses magnetic fields and electromagnetic waves to produce cross-sectional slices of the head and brain. During the procedure, you will be in a large machine, annular magnets containing a core, surrounded by the coil. MRI is a noninvasive procedure and is not harmful to your health.
- Brain biopsy: in rare cases, especially if you do not respond to treatment, your doctor may Neurosurgery take a small sample of brain tissue. This sample is then analyzed in the laboratory to find Toxoplasma cysts.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage toxoplasmosis?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with Toxoplasmosis:
- Use acetaminophen for pain and fever.
- Soak the person in cool bath to relieve fever.
- Rest until the symptoms disappear. Gradually increase your activities again.
- See your doctor regularly for periodic blood tests.
- Use sunscreen when outside for treatment may make you more sensitive to the sun more.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially when handling meat, vegetables and fruit.
- Cook meat carefully. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Ferri, Fred. Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders / Elsevier, 2012. Download version.
Porter, R. S., Kaplan, J. L., Homeier, B. P., & Albert, R. K. (2009). The Merck manual home health handbook. Whitehouse Station, NJ, Merck Research Laboratories. Printed version. Page 1225.