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2023 Author: Alfred Shackley | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:14
A healthy and complete diet cannot be imagined without vegetables, berries and fruits. Their benefits for the human body can hardly be overestimated, but can these products cause health deterioration?
Very much even, especially when it comes to watermelons. You want to eat this juicy, sweet and refreshing berry without stopping, and even more so on a hot summer day. But, if you believe the stubborn statistics, then it is she who provokes severe poisoning. Why it happens?
How to protect yourself and not get poisoned by watermelon?
For quick ripening, watermelons are "fed" with nitrates, which is why they go on sale at a time too early for them.
The desire for profit does not stop the owners of farms and fields growing juicy berries from the risk of poisoning end consumers.
So it turns out that from year to year the number of children and adults poisoned by watermelon is growing at an alarming rate. And this despite the fact that the nitrate product is quite easy to determine without laboratory research.
So, the signs of a berry unfit for food are as follows:
- Abnormally bright color of the pulp;
- Longitudinal yellow lines going from the middle of the berry to its rind;
- Yellowish tint of grains;
- If you dissolve a little pulp in water, the latter becomes very cloudy.
Classic symptoms of watermelon poisoning
The general symptoms of watermelon poisoning appear six hours after drinking it.
Depending on the amount of pulp eaten, age and other circumstances, you can observe a complete or partial set of such manifestations:
- Vomiting urge;
- Stool upset in the form of diarrhea;
- Pain in the head;
- Intestinal cramps;
- Painful sensations in the liver and gastrointestinal tract;
- General breakdown;
- Decrease in heart rate and its threadiness;
- Leg and / or arm cramps.
All these symptoms should motivate a person to start immediate treatment, especially if children are affected by watermelon poisoning.
Symptoms of acute watermelon poisoning can be fit into the following list:
- A sharp drop in blood pressure;
- Violation of heart rhythms;
- Rapid pulsation;
- Hypoxia: coldness of the extremities, pale skin or cyanosis;
- Muscle cramps;
- Loose stools mixed with blood;
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes.
If you ignore these signs of watermelon poisoning, hepatic-renal failure will become a logical course of events. Without clearing the body of toxins in time, you can provoke a strong increase in the liver, which will complicate subsequent urination.
Why does intoxication occur?
Watermelon poisoning occurs for one of three reasons:
- Increased accumulation of nitrates in the berry, which is the result of the abuse of nitrogen fertilizing. These additives have the ability to accumulate in the earth and water, getting into vegetables and herbs. Penetrating into the human body, nitrates are transformed into very dangerous nitrites;
- Long-term and improper storage of watermelons at home and on the shelves of stores (retail outlets);
- Eating berries, in the cracks and splits of which pathogens and harmful microorganisms have accumulated. The abundance of easily digestible sugars in the pulp of watermelons attracts bacteria, which become a source of intense fermentation.
What to do in case of watermelon poisoning?
It is quite possible to neutralize light poisoning with watermelon at home, which is done through such measures:
- Gastric lavage. To this end, you should drink a lot of salt water or a weak potassium permanganate solution. The washing procedure must be repeated until a clear liquid comes out. If necessary, the gag reflex should be induced artificially, irritating the receptors at the root of the tongue with your fingers;
- The use of enterosorbents. Treatment of poisoning with these drugs helps to remove toxins from the intestinal lumen. For children and adults, you can recommend products such as "Polysorb", activated carbon or "Smekty";
- To prevent dehydration and provoke private urination (the bulk of toxins come out with urine), the liquid must be drunk through force;
- In order to neutralize nausea and vomiting, you can drink warm tea with sugar and lemon.
Treatment for watermelon poisoning is never done with medication for bowel disorders and analgesics. They lubricate the main symptoms and do not allow an adequate assessment of the human condition.
If independent first aid for watermelon poisoning does not bring noticeable relief, you should immediately visit the hospital.
There they will perform a standard set of manipulations to detoxify the body, namely:
- Oxygen therapy;
- The introduction of hepatic hepatoprotectors;
- The use of drugs to normalize the work of the heart, etc.
Treatment in a hospital is necessary when the first signs of poisoning not only do not weaken after the measures taken, but also develop into indomitable vomiting, incessant diarrhea, clouding or loss of consciousness.
How can I help my child?
A child experiences watermelon poisoning much more difficult than an adult, which is quite logical and predictable. It is not at all recommended for babies under one year old to offer this berry, while older children are allowed a maximum of 150 g of pulp per day. The fact is that the natural mechanisms of detoxification of the body do not work properly in preschoolers, they have a small volume of blood, and dehydration occurs much faster than in adults.
Watermelon poisoning at a young age has its own peculiarity: signs of intoxication can be observed even two days after the product is consumed.
They can look like:
- vomiting and constant nausea;
- blue lips and nail plates;
- toxic pneumonia;
- cardiopulmonary failure, etc.
The first aid a child can receive from their parents is as follows:
- Induce vomiting. To do this, you can use a weak mustard, potassium permanganate or even soap solution;
- Do not induce a gag reflex if the baby partially loses consciousness;
- Offer non-carbonated mineral water or "Regidron" solution in order to prevent dehydration;
- Use enterosorbent suitable for age;
- Organize an enema.
In the case of severe spasms, you can treat with an antispasmodic like "No-shpy". It is by no means permissible to treat watermelon poisoning with painkillers that mask surgical pathologies (intestinal adhesions or the same appendicitis) that have similar symptoms.
What to do during pregnancy?
Symptoms of sweet berry poisoning are often diagnosed in pregnant women experiencing strange gastronomic needs due to toxicosis or simply neglecting their position. In this case, first aid should be provided as quickly and professionally as possible.
If you do not have the necessary skills and knowledge, it is better not to take any measures, otherwise you can provoke negative consequences in the form of fetal hypoxia, blood clots and thrombosis in the mother.
The only sure way to avoid intoxication is to deny yourself the pleasure of enjoying the sweet and juicy pulp on a summer day.
Only a few are capable of this, and therefore the following self-preservation instruction comes into force:
- Do not purchase melons before August. The first berry, suitable for food, ripens not in June or July, but only in August;
- Do not buy an opened or damaged product;
- Do not ask to cut the berry before purchasing. While she gets home in extreme heat, pathogenic bacteria will accumulate in the pulp;
- When storing melon in the refrigerator, wrap all sections tightly with food grade plastic;
- For adults, the daily dose of pulp is no more than 0.5 kg, for babies from one to two years old - 50 g, from two years old you can offer 100 g per day;
- The very first aid against bacteria accumulated on the peel is to wash the berries with very hot water;
- You cannot eat the pulp located directly at the skin, because it contains the maximum amount of nitrates.
The first alarm bells indicating intoxication should be the reason for receiving medical advice. Only doctors can provide qualified emergency assistance and minimize possible complications.