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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: 25 year old mystery...


 7barnes - Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:36 pm

I have a mystery that I've been trying to get solved for 25 years now. My last two GPs haven't been interested in speculating, but I'm hoping that someone here can provide a clue as to what might have happened.

On the way back from a school trip, one of my friends became sweaty and very sleepy with some stomach distress. When I went home to sleep an hour later that night, I woke up about an 1.5 hours after that to vomit, went back to sleep, and woke within 15 minutes as I was vomiting again. As I ran to the bathroom, my legs gave out, and I became paralyzed from the waist down, but didn't vomit for another 15 minutes until I was dragged to the bathroom where I began vomiting again and continued through the dry heaves for a couple of hours. No blood. Still paralyzed, I was dragged to another room where I passed out and was unconscious for over 48 hours. When I awoke, I couldn't move anything but my eyes. Slowly I began to regain function, was able to move my extremities within a day, and was able to walk on my own several days later, but was unable to go farther than the bathroom for over a week and couldn't stand up straight for about 2 weeks. Never any diarrhea.

When I went back to school, another friend had also been sick with severe vomiting although she didn't have the paralysis that I did, nor the long unconscious period. I also found out that the friend who had had the initial distress, had been hospitalized with vomiting and that the hospital said that he had blood sugar issues, so they attributed the whole thing to diabetes and stomach upset. I'm not so sure....too much of a coincidence. The three of us had eaten together about 6-8 hours before he fell ill and about 8-10 before I did.

Since the lack of diarrhea doesn't sound very much like most food poisoning I know of, nor does the paralysis, I've been curious ever since as to what had occurred since I had never been taken to the doctor (long story). Anyone care to speculate? Please help me get rid of the curiousity. Thanks.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:21 pm

User avatar Dear 7barnes,

If you and your friends have eaten the same type of food or shared anyof it, or have eaten, drink in the same place, then the possibility of food poisoning is still high. Nausea, vomiting and neurological symptoms are indicator for certain types of food poisoning especially with certain chemicals (like nitrites) that are used as food preservative or even in certain juice excess of these preservatives leads symptoms similar to what you have experienced with your friends. however the diagnosis would have been possible if the vomitus of any of you would have been analyzed.
here is a link for one of the sites describing in general the most common causes of non infectious food poisoning.
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~ebam/bam-25.html
Best regards,

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