What is Listeria Bacteria and how to Prevent It?

Bacterial overgrowth is one of the aspects that functional medicine draws significant attention. Numerous bacteria can make problems in anyone’s body. One of them is listeria bacteria.

Listeria bacteria might be even “a group of bacteria capable of causing illness including potentially fatal infections in the elderly, newborns, pregnant women, and persons with a weakened immune system.”[1] That is one of listeria monocytogenes definition.

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Common listeria monocytogenes symptoms1:

  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

If this infection does not get appropriate treatment, it can also affect the nervous system and cause other symptoms like balance loss, confusion, stiff neck, headache, or/and convulsions.

Listeria monocytogenes causes:

In numerous cases, listeria bacteria has a connection with food. A person can get a condition that is called listeriosis – food poisoning. All it takes is to eat something contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. This problem is especially common for those who suffer from problems with the immune system. There can be some vegetables contaminated with the soil or fertilizer. Listeria bacteria can also be nesting in animals. Therefore, the bacteria can later be in their meat and dairy products. Contamination can also be in processed foods (e.g., soft cheeses, cold cuts). You might be careful too with unpasteurized milk or any products of this type of milk. You can read more about cross-contamination here. As you can see, listeria monocytogenes food is very diverse, and many people might be consuming either product for years without any problems, but for some the scenery is different.

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What can you do for listeria monocytogenes prevention?[2]

  • Shop safe foods
  • Prepare foods with caution (wash hands, clean cutting boards, etc.)
  • Cook safely (determine the safe temperature, do not undercook, etc.)
  • Serve safely (cooked foods need to be hot for eating, but cold foods – cold, etc.)
  • If there are any doubts, it is better not to buy certain foods or throw them out
  • Follow food labels
  • Make salads yourself safely (you can find a tasty tuna recipe here!)

Listeria monocytogenes treatment varies depending on the severity and other aspects. As a part of functional medicine, it is essential first to find the real reason for symptoms and treat them not only treat symptoms. You need to keep the infection in check, and not always antibiotics are the best choice. I have experience with immune system support supplements like Balance B12 as well as other approaches that can be successful with understanding and commitment to changes.

Reference:

[1] Medical Defintion of Listeria. Accessed from: https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4174rel=”nofollow”

[2] Topic Overview. Accessed from: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/tc/listeriosis-topic-overviewrel=”nofollow”

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