JULY 2015
*Name: Chisato

Have you been affected by Ciguatera Poisoning?: Yes, I have had ciguatera poisoning

How did you hear about us?: Search Engine
Tell us your story: Hello, I am a 20 year old student and have had ciguatera for 5 years now. I ate fish from a restaurant (which must have gotten the fish from the black market) in cuba. We were living there at the time, and the friend who i went with and ordered the same dish also had Ciguatera, but only for 6 months. The night that we ate the fish we were both up all night with awful leg pains and could not sleep. for almost a week we had typical food poisoning symptoms, vomiting, diarrhea, and in addition, sensitive teeth and mouth. We went o the doctors and were both diagnosed with Cifguatera and were told not to eat fish or canned goods for a year and that then it would go away. After a year i started eating fish again (only a little). I am a pescatarian and don’t eat other meat, but do not eat fish that often. It has been 5 years now and i still get pains in my legs very often and find that the only way to make them go away are to take strong pain killer, wait it off or to use a hot water bottle or a bath to heat them up. I have been to doctors in Japan (where we lived after cuba) and in the UK – where we are living now. And every time, the doctor has no idea what ciguatera is and has to look it up. When i was first diagnosed i thought the if i didn’t eat fish or canned goods for a year then it would go away and that made it bearable, but after 5 years, and it still having a grave impact on my every day life, i don’t now what to do and have almost lost hope that it will ever go away. Do you have any tips or tricks for preventing or treating leg pains? i also get pains in my arms and hands when it is cold.

 

 

 

Chisato:

So sorry to hear you got Ciguatera and are still suffering from the symptoms, I haven’t heard of anyone suffering for this long since I got sick and created the website. I have heard of stories in the past of people having symptoms for years as one woman did on the video “Reef or Madness” which is a link on the site. I suspect the fish you had was probably Barracuda being in Cuba, I understand this is still common practice in Cuba and also hear of local Cubans here in Florida still eating Barracuda which is like playing with fire!
Are you still eating fish?  If the answer is yes, I would definitely stop all fish intake for 6 months and see if the symptoms subside. I was told not to eat any fish at all if I was still feeling symptoms, I still have reversal of hot & cold but not as severe as it was in the beginning. I still don’t eat any reef fish, I do eat Mahi Mahi, Swordfish & Tuna but not that often, every now and then I wake up the next morning with sweaty feet that last for a few hours, luckily I haven’t had any of the other severe symptoms come back.
I don’t know of any treatment that actually helps with any of the symptoms, just time. I feel for you and hope you do get better, only people who have experienced the effects of Ciguatera can relate to what your going through, I’m going to get back in touch with a few specialist I’ve spoken to in the past to see if they have any options for you…
Sincerely,
Jeff