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Donald K. Liebell, D.C., B.C.A.O

477 Viking Drive Suite 170 Virginia Beach VA 23452

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of Lyme Disease & Other Tick-Triggered Illness (After All Else Has Failed)

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Toxoplasmosis: Could This Common Parasite
Be Causing You Headaches or Psychiatric Problems?


   By Dr. Donald Liebell 


   Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled, infectious microorganism called a protozoan. 


   It is NOT a bacterial germ. 


   Toxoplasma is a parasite that has been reported in medical literature to be significant in people who are immuno-suppressed, specifically in the case of AIDS. 


   Lyme disease can also significantly suppress one’s immune system.  Therefore, Toxoplasma can be a major factor in your illness.

    Common symptoms associated with Toxoplasma include headache, confusion, seizures, coordination problems, and fever.   What perhaps is even more significant is that Toxoplasma may be linked to mental illnesses as schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder.   It is one of the world’s most common infections, yet it seems to be rarely considered medically.  


   
Mental Illness and Chronic Infection

    Syphilis has been long-known to trigger psychosis.  Borrelia, the bacterium of Lyme disease has been reported to potentially cause nearly any mental illness.  It is not a new discovery that microorganisms can inhabit the human brain.  Associations have been made by scientists between Streptococcus bacteria and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and nervous tics.  Research has also shown a relationship between a herpes virus and bipolar disorder.  

    It has been suggested that Toxoplasma can result in impairment in reaction time, which can in turn, increase one’s chances of auto accidents.  Toxoplasma has been linked with anti-social, aggressive, and jealous behavior in men.  Toxoplasmosis has been associated with promiscuity in women.  It also has been implicated in bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  The implication is that Toxoplasma gondii can affect one’s thoughts and actions. 

  
So does this mean your cat could be making you "crazy?"

   Maybe.  Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much motivation for more research effort towards Toxoplasma and its relationship to psychiatric illness, Lyme disease, and other these problems. 


   Could it be that researching effective treatment for eliminating such a germ would be destructive to the profits of the psychiatric drug industry?  Considering that Toxoplasma can cause chronic headaches alone, shouldn’t it be something regularly evaluated? 

    But it simply is not.    

   
Transmission of Toxoplasma

    This microbe reproduces primarily inside cats.  The cats get infected from eating infected mice, rats, birds, and other small animals, and spread Toxoplasma to humans through their feces.  This is why pregnant women are advised to not clean cat litter boxes.  

    Toxoplasma is one of the most commonly spread microorganisms in the entire world. 
It can be spread through handling and/or eating undercooked and contaminated meat, such as lamb, pork, or venison.  Poultry livestock that are fed Toxoplasma contaminated food or water can be a problem too. 


   Outdoor cats can contaminate water and soil with Toxoplasma, so clearly one does not need to have direct contact with a cat, or infected meat to have this microbe enter the body.  Unwashed fruits or vegetables can even spread it, which is why I suggest avoid eating uncooked foods from restaurants (that’s right… salads can be bad for you!).

   
The following is obtained directly from the website of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

    “Toxoplasmosis is considered to be a leading cause of death attributed to food borne illness in the United States. More than 60 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry the Toxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.  However, women newly infected with Toxoplasma during pregnancy and anyone with a compromised immune system should be aware that toxoplasmosis can have severe consequences.  Toxoplasmosis is considered one of the Neglected Parasitic Infections, a group of five parasitic diseases that have been targeted by CDC for public health action.”

  
I whole-heartedly agree that Toxoplasma is neglected in medicine.  After surveying my patients over several years, few have ever heard of it.  If you have a weakened immune system, blood tests for Toxoplasma could be useful, and you should discuss such with your conventional medical doctor. 


   Regarding treatment, there are powerful and aggressive prescription medicine approaches (most specifically for AIDS patients) that are suggested by the CDC, for which I will not comment on in this article.  

    The CDC states that a strong immune system is how one best deals with existence of this microorganism.    


   In my practice, I do not treat infection, nor do I prescribe pharmaceutical medication.  However, the purpose of my comprehensive homeopathic bio-energetic wellness treatment is to support improvement of immune system strength. 



   The image below, obtained from cdc.org depicts the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii.

Dr. Donald Liebell
D.C., B.C.A.O., B.A.
Licensed by the 
Virginia Board
of Medicine Since 1993