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Toxic girl - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Toxic girl
Health food is bad for you. All I've had today is a mug of sage tea (caffeine-free drink) and a load of pumpkin seeds (supposedly healthy snack), but something has managed to make me violently ill. I suspect the pumpkin seeds, because I felt okay (well, tired, but that's normal) until I'd had a few handfuls of them... after which I felt drowsy, headachey, and extremely nauseous, until actually being sick.

Is it possible for things to make you sick that quickly? If not then it must have been the steak at the Mill last night.

I am now at home, where I can lie down & feel grotty in peace. This does however have the welcome side-effect that I can listen to acronym on CUR1350 - hence the nicely appropriate subject line, because he's just dedicated the track of that name to me.
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From: ewtikins Date: October 5th, 2004 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
That does sound like an odd reaction to pumpkin seeds. Did they taste rancid? Are you sure they are for human comsumption and not garden ones with pesticides all over? (This shoudl be obvious)

Perhaps they're a little tough to digest and weren't the right thing on an empty stomach, though. I can digest nearly anything on an empty stomach so I'm not sure.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 5th, 2004 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
They tasted fine, and they were bought from a health food shop (in the food section, next to all the dried fruits and seeds and nuts and stuff) so I'm pretty sure they were intended for human consumption...

I can normally digest anything any time, empty stomach or not. Though actually thinking about it, the reaction was a bit like trying to eat on a really really gruesome hangover (you know, when you wake up after a really heavy drinking session and think "maybe breakfast would help", and you turn out to have been wrong). So maybe it was something I ate/drank last night...
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: October 5th, 2004 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I have eaten them before but not for a very long time and probably not in such large quantities (never used to like them much, but would pick at one or two if they were there).

Am resting, but drinking water just makes me sick again. :-(
nja From: nja Date: October 5th, 2004 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)
My mother's advice when I had this sort of thing* a couple of Christmases ago was not to eat or drink anything for 12 hours, apart from the odd drop of water to wash your mouth out and for comfort. She was right - anything else just came straight back up again. I didn't eat properly for about a fortnight. It's horrible, but it's one of those things you've just got to put up with. It probably is something you ate a few hours ago, not the pumpkin seeds, unless you've suddenly developed a violent allergy to them.

* Caused by a 2-year-old sticking her finger in my mouth, she was home from the nursery with a stomach bug.
anat0010 From: anat0010 Date: October 5th, 2004 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)


Pumpkin seeds ... health food shop ... sounds like a case of aflatoxin poisoning. Processes pumpkin seeds and especially peanuts are treated to remove mould which can grow on their surface, which produces the unpleasant aflatoxin. Organic untreated seeds can sometimes be contaminated. Symptoms include headache, nausea, sweats and abdominal pain. You only need a little bit too.
Nothing to worry about, it wont kill you, rest in bed, take frequent little sips of water and you'll be feeling fine tomorrow morning.

Yes it does say its carcinogenic on the web, but so is pub cigarette smoke and car fumes, and you dont worry about those.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 5th, 2004 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Aflatoxin

Yes it does say its carcinogenic on the web, but so is pub cigarette smoke and car fumes, and you dont worry about those.

Er, well, yes I do, actually. Not worrying in a kind of "oh my god this is going to kill me" way, but I don't like staying any longer than I have to in smoky pubs -- if I wanted to kill myself I could think of better ways to do it than slowly and painfully by means of side-effects from some other moron's pathetic addiction! -- and I try to avoid breathing in excessive car fumes (as far as one can do so when living in a city).

I don't, however, worry about recent assertions that orange juice and mushrooms are carcinogenic, and likewise I wouldn't worry overmuch about assertions that pumpkin seeds are carcinogenic, since you would probably have to consume your own weight in them before suffering any ill effects. Laboratory testing causes cancer in rats, etc.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: October 5th, 2004 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds more like the sage tea; it is a very, very powerful drug and usually is taken by the spoonful. Have you had it before?

The pumpkin seeds may well have had a tiny bit of Aspergillus or other mold on them, which would also give you a fairly instant reaction.

Hope you feel better soon; rest sounds like comepletely the right thing. Some people find flat Coca-Cola over ice in small sips an excellent remedy.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 5th, 2004 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
sage tea

Yeah, I've had lots of it before -- I really like it, can drink two or three mugs in a day quite happily. Probably not advisable really but it's never done me any harm before! This one didn't taste as nice but that was because I'd stored some other teabags in the same box, unidentified fruit tea which as far as I can tell from the taste was hibiscus & cardboard. (Had one of them yesterday, see, & thought I'd see if the sage was still okay today.)

Coke usually does seem to settle my stomach so I'm sipping that (it's not totally flat, but close). Seems to be helping, though I still feel grotty.
k425 From: k425 Date: October 5th, 2004 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to disagree with just about everyone so far and say yes, it is possible for things to make you sick that quickly, but if pumpkin seeds haven't affected you before it could be aflatoxin or it could be something you ate further back that's causing the problem.

Nothing to eat for 12-24 hours. Drink water if you can. Actually, I prefer tonic water when I'm throwing up, and flat coke can be good too.

If you can't drink water for 24 hours without throwing up hie thee to thy GP or you'll get dehydrated.

Get well soon.
bellinghman From: bellinghman Date: October 5th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, flat coke (with some added salt) was recommended to me as a rehydration fluid by my doctor when I had dysentery.

Just make sure it's real, not diet, coke - even if you normally go for the diet version.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 5th, 2004 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
even if you normally go for the diet version

Heh. Definitely not. I'd rather drink ditchwater! I loathe sweeteners, and diet coke doesn't even taste of anything except sweeteners. Full-fat coke for me every time. :-)

I must confess coke with salt in sounds utterly retch-making... may give it a try later but for now I think I'm just going to stick to ordinary coke.
j4 From: j4 Date: October 5th, 2004 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Flat coke is good. A lot of people have now blamed aflatoxin so you're not alone... annoyingly I threw the remainder of the pumpkin seeds in the bin before coming home from work (I didn't want anybody else to eat them, and the web team tends to pinch each other's snacks) so I can't get them tested or anything! Not that I'd be able to anyway, but still.

Nothing to eat for 12-24 hours.

Annoyingly, I am now hungry. But my stomach still feels painful, though more like it's been kicked by a badger than like I'm going to be sick again.

Hmmm. What do you recommend, Ms krool nurse? :-)
emperor From: emperor Date: October 5th, 2004 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)
If you've kept fluids down for several hours, then a little dry toast is probably safe (if exceedingly dull).
anat0010 From: anat0010 Date: October 5th, 2004 08:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Damn !

What a sham a packet of toxic pumkin seeds could be fun. Your own do-it-yourself biological warefare kit. You could innoculate peanut butter with the mould spores to umm.. err.. wreak havoc in the peanut butter sandwhich constituent of society. Or umm.. stuff one in the water coolers throught Cambridge like an evil Johnny Appleseed.
Even better grind them up and stir into the tea of people at work who you dont like for an almost break for them.

Hours of fun for all the family.
k425 From: k425 Date: October 5th, 2004 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Right. My Crool Nurse professional opinion and my Wot I Do opinion may vary here...

If I were in your shoes and were keeping down water without throwing up, or keeping down flat coke, I'd try something fairly easy to digest but something that I fancied. Rice is easily digestible but would you want to? No. Nor me. A plain biscuit, say a digestive, or a piece of toast. If that doesn't come back I'd assume that my system had chucked up everything that insulted it and go back to eating normally. Normally, that is, but a) light and b) careful. Don't have a slice of toast and then a curry, for instance!
j4 From: j4 Date: October 5th, 2004 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the advice!
I had a piece of toast and so far (fingers crossed) am okay. Might make myself some pasta, plain pasta is usually a good bet when I'm feeling grotty.

I wonder if it would be silly to have the salad I made myself for lunch. (It has onions and olives and avocado in it.)
k425 From: k425 Date: October 5th, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, this is probably a bit late, but half of me says "if you fancy it, eat it" and the other half of me says "onions might be a bit much".

Me, I'd eat it.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: October 5th, 2004 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I felt okay (well, tired, but that's normal) until I'd had a few handfuls of them... after which I felt drowsy, headachey, and extremely nauseous, until actually being sick.

Is it possible for things to make you sick that quickly?

Yes, it definitely is; papersky's capsicin allergy can cut in within seconds. Take this seriously. k425's right about how to take care of yourself through it.
karen2205 From: karen2205 Date: October 5th, 2004 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't limit your water intake - drink as much as you feel like and aim to drink at least a litre and a half over a whole day.

If you still can't keep anything down tomorrow, try one of the rehydration sachets you can buy in chemists - they should be palatable, but have enough salt and sugar in them to keep you hydrated.

Hope you're feeling better soon.
brrm From: brrm Date: October 5th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC) (Link)
My partner ms_saffie's allergy to mushrooms causes a similar reaction, similarly quickly, so I wouldn't discount it. She can confirm the exact feelings before the reaction.
lnr From: lnr Date: October 5th, 2004 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope you're feeling a bit better now.
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