Mushrooms: mushroom poisoning

True poisoning with poisonous or inedible mushrooms is rather rare - in four out of five cases, the mushrooms they eat are not poisonous, but basic edible mushrooms have been prepared or stored incorrectly.

What can be poisonous to mushrooms

As with other foods, bacteria can then colonize and spoil the fungi. This in turn leads to food poisoning, which can be as unpleasant as a meat poisoning.

Also, the re-heating does not get the mushrooms often - it disintegrate certain proteins, which can cause symptoms. Also rare are genetic disorders that lack a specific enzyme to digest the fungi.

The reason for poisoning with toadstools is often amanitin. This protein is contained eg in tuber mushrooms and can be made ineffective neither by cooking nor by drying. But other toxins can make a mushroom meal inedible.

Incidentally, most edible mushrooms are also raw incompatible and must be cooked for a sufficiently long time. And even then, they are quite hard to digest for many people. Therefore: always chew mushrooms especially well!

Symptoms of a fungus poisoning

Most complaints of the gastrointestinal tract are in the foreground: nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea - regardless of whether the fungus was a real toadstool or only wrongly prepared. Depending on the type of fungus, other symptoms are added, which are due to the effects of fungal toxins on the nervous system: confusion, hallucinations, anxiety attacks, drowsiness or, conversely, pathological restlessness, impaired walking, muscle twitching and convulsions, tachycardia. Later, signs of life-threatening liver and kidney failure are added.

By the way: As a rule of thumb, complaints that occur within a few minutes to 4 hours after the meal are often more likely to be triggered by fungi with low poison potential. Heavy poisonings, on the other hand, usually show effects only after 12-16 hours. This is especially dangerous because at this point the toxins have already spread throughout the body. The stomach has already passed, bringing about vomiting, so it has no effect at all.

In case of doubt: call the doctor and describe the symptoms. The poison emergency call centers also provide information. Vomit and fungus left over from cleaning should be removed for analysis, which is often performed in hospitals. Vomiting can be caused by very salty and lukewarm water, so that even more of the toxins is absorbed.

Incidentally, not all poisoning ends fatally, but the vast majority of deaths are caused by tuber-leaf fungi. Poisoning with one of these agents causes nearly 20% death in adults and half deaths in children.

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