Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common parasites in the world. Sixty million people are infected by this parasite and develop toxoplasmosis. Although symptoms rarely emerge, they do exist and mood swings could be the least of your problems.
Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis and Mood Swings
One of the reasons why you won’t even know you’re suffering from toxoplasmosis is because many of its symptoms are similar to what you suffer from when you have mononucleosis or the flu.
Such symptoms include but are not limited to an occasional sore throat, fever and fatigue, headache, swollen lymph node, and various body aches. All these are uncomfortable to have and it’s no wonder why, if you experience more than one of them at the same time, you end up having mood swings.
Other Medical Conditions Causing Toxoplasmosis and Mood Swings
If you have recently undergone organ transplant, are currently being treated with chemotherapy or are suffering from HIV or AIDS, your condition will also put you at risk of suffering the symptoms of toxoplasmosis infection. This includes but isn’t limited to blurry vision, lung problems, seizures, poor coordination, confusion, and headache. Again, all these are certainly not pleasant to have and they can only contribute to your mood swings instead of alleviating them.
Toxoplasmosis and Mood Swings during Pregnancy
It is especially dangerous for your unborn child if you are infected by toxoplasmosis during your pregnancy. The complications can be mild to life-threatening and early detection is critical for effective treatment.
If the infection took place in the early trimester of your pregnancy, there is a lower risk of having your baby similarly infected, regardless of whether you’re suffering from its symptoms or not. Early infection, however, also means it’s possible for the baby to develop complications caused by the disease even without being infected.
Toxoplasmosis can cause stillbirths and miscarriages. If not that, then babies infected with or affected by the disease may be born suffering from a severe eye infection, jaundice, an enlarged liver and spleen, or seizures.
There may also be instances when symptoms of toxoplasmosis will only manifest in the child’s teenage years. Symptoms not only include mood swings but possible blindness, mental retardation, and hearing loss as well.
How You Get Infected with Toxoplasmosis
Prevention is still the best cure for any disease. To avoid mood swings caused by toxoplasmosis, you need to know how to avoid getting infected in the first place.
Infected Cat Feces
Cat lovers are the ones facing the greatest risk of contracting toxoplasmosis. The parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis is most often found in cat feces, especially when your pet has just returned from hunting or is being fed with raw meat. Coming into contact with it while you’re cleaning your pet’s litter box or gardening immediately puts you at risk.
Contaminated Water or Food
T. gondii can also be found in contaminated food and water, especially unpasteurized goat’s milk or meats like pork, lamb, and venison. Eating any of these infected substances or food also puts you at risk.
Contact with contaminated objects and other foods are also another way for you to get infected with toxoplasmosis.
Unsafe Organ Transplants
Last but not the least, make sure that any blood or organ transplant you receive is completely safe and clean.
Keep all these tips in mind and you’ll be free from mood swings caused by toxoplasmosis!