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Scombroid Poisoning (Fish Poisoning) Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis, and Cure


What did you or your doctor do to treat your scombroid poisoning? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: robynlayne, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I returned from a business lunch with symptoms like my blood pressure was too high (heart pounding, flushing feeling, itchy, and couldn't sit still). I was lobster red from head to toe (including the whites of my eyes). Urgent care initially treated me for anaphylaxis, then used Tagamet (for stomach acid lowering) when I didn't respond to epinephrine or Benadryl by IV. Tagamet resolved all symptoms, it was scombroid poisoning.

Comment from: Shay, Female (Patient) Published: April 07

I wanted to share my experience last night. I am not sure if it is related to alpha-gal directly but it is related directly to histamine intolerance which I have never had before alpha-gal allergy (from the bite of the lone star tick). Yesterday, I purchased Pacific cod from Kroger. It had a strongish smell but seemed better after being soaked in cold salt water and baking soda which I do to all seafood. It smelled strong to me cooking (no one else thought it smelled off) and I should have gone with my gut feeling not to eat it. Alas, I ate it against my better judgment. All I ate was the cod which I baked. Within 30 minutes to an hour after eating it I didn't feel right, gut was unsettled. My eyes started burning and swelling, my mouth was burning, I had a slight all over itch. Two to 3 hours into the reaction I was flushing, my throat started swelling, my face started swelling, my eyes kept swelling and I had burning mouth. My gut was upset, I had gurgling nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Three to 6 hours into the reaction, I started having a cough, headache, severe gut cramping and pain. This morning I could still smell the fish. It made me nauseous. No one else thought there was a terrible fishy smell. At 12 hours, symptoms continue but not as severe. Face and eyes still are swollen almost 12 hours later, mouth still burns, throat still hurts, now joint swelling heat and pain, headache. I started antihistamines right away and continued them the whole time. I did not have trouble breathing so I saved the EpiPen (insurance will only let me get one every other month). I had to go to clinic first thing, get more antihistamines and prednisone for the swelling. I am still sick, still swollen, and have a bad headache, ugh! I reported it to Kroger and to the FDA as cod is not normally listed in the scombroid poisoning lists, it is however an oily fish and found in the same waters, like the others on the list. Two things I think happened; histamine fish poisoning and food poisoning. Both caused by not handling the fish properly and spoiled fish.


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