Listeria and Cheese: What Expectant Mothers Need to Know

Listeriosis is a type of food-borne illness that is caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Even though this condition is rare in humans, expectant mothers have a much more likely risk of contracting it than the rest of the population. If a pregnant woman has this illness, she may have a miscarriage, premature birth or still birth.

The Ayurvedic treatment of listeriosis is aimed at treating the gastrointestinal symptoms and preventing neurological complications. Medicines like Sukshma-Triphala, Triphala-Guggulu, Sanjeevani-Vati, Kutaj-Parpati and Panchamrut-Parpati are used to treat the basic gastrointestinal infection.

Infection is rare, but when it does occur it most frequently affects pregnant women in their last trimester, newborns, and kids and adults whose immunity is weakened by diseases such as cancer or HIV. People who have had various types of transplants are also more at risk for listeriosis.

Food contaminated with the bacteria is the main source of infection. Main reservoirs include soft cheeses (feta, brie, camembert), blue veined cheeses, Mexican-style cheese (queso blanco), coleslaw, pâté, pork tongue, unpasteurized milk, foods prepared from raw milk, turkey franks, and delicatessen foods.

Listeria bacteria are found everywhere in our environment — soil, water, plants, sewage, and animal droppings. Usually people get infected by the bacteria through contaminated food leading to an infection known as listeriosis.

A type of food poisoning caused by bacteria, listeriosis can cause premature delivery, miscarriage, newborn infection, and even death. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to this bacteria; 27% of all cases in the United States occur during pregnancy.

You need to aim for around 60-80 grams of protein a day (speak with your Dietitian for specific individual needs). The good news is that protein content is listed on every nutrition label, so if your food comes with a label, keep track of your intake. Items such as lunch meat from the deli counter won’t have a nutrition label.

There are certain foods that can pose a potential risk during pregnancy because certain bacteria could be present. For example, listeriosis, which is fortunately quite rare but still occurs in 1 out of 30,000 births in the UK. Nonetheless, listeriosis is avoidable.

Foodborne illness (many times referred to as food poisoning) is commonly difficult to identify. There is usually no immediate identifiable cause and symptoms typically mimic other illnesses. Many foodborne illnesses last for a relatively short period of time (leading to the misnomer of the “24 hour flu”).

The amount of radiation in routine X-rays should not affect your ability to become pregnant in the future. However, women who have had pelvic radiation for cancer may have problems conceiving. The level of radiation in any one diagnostic X-ray should not increase your risk of miscarriage.

Alcohol is certainly with tobacco the sworn enemy of pregnant women. Today, we know that even one drink of alcohol can be harmful to the baby, especially if taken during certain development milestones. So remember: total abstinence for 9 months.

Ultimate health prevention starts with preconception health care. Ensuring that your child is conceived form the healthiest egg and healthiest sperm as possible and that it is developing in a toxin free environment and is provided with all the nutrients it needs is the best possible start you can give your baby.

Food recalls and food related illnesses and deaths have increased nationwide. Food was meant to nourish our bodies; our food safety system needs to be reinvented to fit the needs of today. It’s time to rethink what we’re doing and understand why the current system is not working.

Listeriosis symptoms can be very unpleasant, and the possible outcomes of an infection can be even more devastating. However, this is where the good news comes in.

Now you know what Listeriosis is, how it is contracted, and how it can be avoided. And that is the most important part. You now know how to protect yourself and your bundle of joy against contracting the Listeria bacteria.

Cheese is full of Calcium isn’t it? Yes indeed it is. But mild Flu like symptoms can be caused by eating unpasteurised cheeses. And because the symptoms of Listeriosis are so mild, they may not be noticed. This can lead to miscarriage or premature delivery.

This nutritional outline includes 6-11 servings of grain daily, 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruits, 4-6 servings of milk and milk products, 3-4 servings of protein, 6-8 glasses of water, and limited fats and sweets.

If this diet prescription can be followed along with some folic acid and calcium supplements, then expectant mothers will be covering all of the necessary bases for themselves and their child.

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The Staff of The Guardian Express thanks you.

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