JULY 2016
*Name: Rebecca
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: Hi Jeff, I was in Vieques, off the coast of Puerto Rico a week ago. I was with four other family members. On our second to last day, we consumed both Spanish Mackerel and King Mackerel that was fresh caught right off the coast of Esperanza, a common place for reef fish to hangout. Everyone in my party enjoyed the Mackerel for breakfast in the morning, and I quickly experienced gastro intestinal concerns. I had diarrhea and vomiting. Two other members of my party felt the fish was making us ill, and decided not to have it again for dinner. However, the other two members of our party had ANOTHER meal of both Spanish and King Mackerel. Interestingly, the individuals who had the Mackerel for both breakfast and dinner, never indicated gastro intestinal issues. When we returned home from the airport, I drank a cold glass of water, and noticed that my mouth was burning and tingling when the water hit my tongue. Other members of our party experienced extreme itching, general malaise, feeling “intoxicated” without having had a drink, red eyes, metallic taste in the mouth, hot-cold reversal, and tingling extremities. The fatigue was terrible. One member of our party even said he felt like his teeth were falling out! We did some googling, and quickly realized that the locals rarely eat the fish off the coast of Vieques, due to how common Ciguatera poisoning is in that region of the world. It has been a week since we first ingested the fish, and I have to say, the onset of the neurological symptoms was quite scary. We went to our doctor, here in the contiguous United States, and she said that she had heard of Ciguatera, believed that this is what we had, and gave us instructions to stay away from all fish, alcohol, caffeine, nuts, poultry, and exercise. I was reading Connie’s story about her sister wanting to ingest alcohol, and I would tell her to begin this slowly. I believe that the ability to drink alcohol safely after poisoning is a case by case basis, and it will improve over time. However, she should proceed with caution. Currently, I experience extreme itching with alcohol, but I have no noted concerns with caffeine. Other members of my party can drink alcohol with limited symptoms. It appears to depend on each individual. I have read that alcohol can make symptoms worse, and this is true for me as of right now. I am hoping that as days go by, our symptoms get better. It feels like fatigue has lessened, and using distraction techniques helps with other concerns.
Thanks for making this blog, Jeff!