Contents Articlea diet of as many different foods as possible, but a special place is always given to vegetables and fruits. The beneficial qualities of watermelons are well known, but is it possible that sweet, fragrant flesh causes malaise or even serious poisoning?
Indeed, in the summer months, doctors celebrate a wave of appeals related to disorders caused by melons. What are the symptoms and treatment of watermelon poisoning, and what can provoke it?
Causes of watermelon poisoning
If a good quality watermelon falls on the table, then there is nothing to fear - health will not be affected, the body's reserves will be replenished with microelements and vitamins, and the accumulated slags and toxins will be removed with moisture.
When, after eating ripe pulp, all signs of watermelon poisoning are found, the following causes of unhappiness can be said:
- Excessive nitrate levels in fruits, caused in most cases by excessive application of nitrogen fertilizers. If, with the observance of agrotechnics, nitrogen promotes the development of plants and the accumulation of green mass, then with an excess it accumulates in the soil, and then in the fruits of cultivated plants, which include watermelon.
- Watermelon poisoning is also possible when it is inseminated by pathogenic microorganisms. This happens when the skin of the fetus is broken in one way or another, and bacteria have entered the pulp during storage.
In case of a difference in the causes of watermelon poisoning, the treatment in one and the other is serious, and the consequences can be the most unpleasant.
Signs of watermelon poisoning
If the concentration of nitrates or pathogenic microorganisms entering the digestive tract with the pulp is not so high, the body itself copes with their neutralization and excretion through the intestine and urinary system. But with the presence of critical amounts of dangerous microorganisms and compounds, the body can no longer cope. As a result of biochemical processes, nitrates are transformed into more dangerous nitrites, and the picture of bacterial contamination grows.
An adult can withstand a daily dose of nitrates of 60 mg per kilogram of body weight, and children and patients with disorders of the urogenital sphere and digestion also suffer with smaller amounts of nitrogenous compounds.
The first signs of watermelon poisoning can be observed already 1–6 hours after the meal. The most common poisoning manifests itself in the form of:
- pain, agitation, and discomfort in the intestinal area;
- nausea, accompanied by gagging;
- feelings of general weakness;
- slight increase in body temperature;
- chills and sweating.
The general picture of poisoning is complemented by diarrhea caused by eating poor-quality watermelon. But the list of symptoms is not limited to this, if there were excessive amounts of nitrates in the eaten fruit.
In this situation, because of the ability of nitrites to replace hemoglobin in the blood, poisoning is complicated by hypoxia, when the body is acutely lacking in oxygen.
Characteristic features of this condition include:
- pallor and possible blueing of the skin and mucous membranes, lips and nail plates;
- reduction in overall tone;
- dizziness and extreme weakness;
- decrease in saturation and pulse rate;
- the temperature of the skin of the limbs;
In the most serious cases, a disturbance of cardiac activity is added to the signs of watermelon poisoning. A recently healthy, cheerful person has shortness of breath, heartbeat failure, a drop in blood pressure.
Nitrites not only disrupt oxygen supply to tissues, but also cause blood vessels to expand. As a result, hypoxia only increases.
Excessive amounts of nitrates trapped in the digestive tract have a destructive effect on the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines, resulting in diarrhea from watermelon, where fecal masses become almost black due to blood impurities.
Among the dangerous symptoms of watermelon poisoning are the yellowness of the whites of the eyes, as well as bitter taste in the mouth after watermelon. Such sensations can signal liver damage, as well as the need for urgent action. However, it is worth noting that even a high-quality watermelon, having a choleretic effect, can leave behind a bitter taste in the mouth if a person already has identified or hidden problems with the pancreas or liver.
That is why, and also because of the ability of the watermelon to activate intestinal peristalsis, the question: “Is there watermelon for poisoning?”, The doctors answer negatively. Although watermelon contains a lot of useful substances, mineral salts, moisture and vitamins, you should not use fruits to clean the body of toxins. To do this, there are specialized drugs and techniques.
What to do in case of watermelon poisoning? How dangerous is this condition, and is it worth to see a doctor?
Treatment after watermelon poisoning
In a situation where signs of poisoning become apparent, it is important to take measures as soon as possible to neutralize the dangerous substances that have entered the body. With a mild degree, a set of measures can and should be started at home.
- To wash the stomach, the patient is given to drink warm water with the addition of a small amount of potassium permanganate and sodium chloride. After consuming the liquid, they provoke an attack of vomiting to clear the stomach and esophagus from watermelon pulp residues. The procedure is repeated several times until the effluent is completely clear.
- Residual content of toxins and other harmful compounds are intended to collect sorbents. This measure of treatment of watermelon poisoning is necessary in any patient condition.
- If there are signs of poisoning with watermelon, you need to drink as much as possible, this will activate the work of the kidneys, which also remove harmful substances.
Sweet hot tea with a slice of lemon will help support your strength and relieve nausea and vomiting. But it is not worth taking antipyretics, painkillers or diarrhea eliminating drugs, because by their action they can change the picture of the disease, as well as slow down the elimination of toxins.
If vomiting and diarrhea after a watermelon does not stop, and besides this, there are health-threatening symptoms, such as chills, clouding of consciousness, loss of orientation in space, and heart rhythm disturbances, the call of doctors is necessary.
In a hospital setting or when receiving emergency medical care, the patient receives support from the liver and cardiovascular system, neutralizes nitrites and nitrates, and eliminates oxygen starvation. Since watermelon poisoning can be bacterial in nature, it is imperative that tests are performed for the presence of E. coli, Salmonella, and other microorganisms that have a negative effect on humans.
Symptoms and treatment of watermelon poisoning in a child
Children suffer from the ingestion of nitrates, pesticides and other chemicals that unscrupulous intermediaries and merchants pump watermelons and other melons. Due to an unformed immune system, less blood volume and other factors, intoxication is always difficult, and signs of dehydration are rapidly developing. Treatment of watermelon poisoning here should be as soon as possible and effective.
Therefore, watermelon is contraindicated for children up to the age of one, and it is important to refuse feeding the fruits of untested quality to nursing mothers, because nitrogen compounds easily get into the milk and then into the baby’s body. At an older age, children should also not eat watermelons uncontrollably. The optimal portion is 100-250 grams.
And yet, what to do with watermelon poisoning, if a child suffered from a poor-quality fetus? Immediately after the onset of signs of watermelon poisoning, measures should be taken to alleviate the child’s condition. To do this:
- with a salted pink solution of potassium permanganate in a child over 5 years old causes vomiting;
- younger children do a cleansing enema;
- give preparations sorbents and agents capable of preventing the development of dehydration;
- provide plenty of drink.
Whatever the condition, never give analgesics. If the child does not feel relief, 2 hours after fixing the poisoning, they call the doctors.
Watermelon poisoning during pregnancy
The signs and treatment of watermelon poisoning in pregnant women differ little from those already described. However, in this case, it is important to remember that even the improper use of rich moisture, fiber and trace elements of the pulp can cause deterioration of health.
In order to avoid undesirable spasms and increased intestinal motility, pregnant women are not recommended to use watermelon during or after the main meal, especially with rye bread or other cereal products.
But the main danger of eating watermelons containing nitrates is already described hypoxia, which is extremely dangerous for the fetus. At the first symptoms of watermelon poisoning, treatment should be prompt, so it is important that you seek qualified medical attention as soon as possible.
Prevention of watermelon poisoning
And although doctors have to celebrate a surge of watermelon poisoning every summer, it’s not difficult to avoid most of these cases and protect yourself and your loved ones:
- You shouldn’t buy watermelons before the mass gathering season starts in mid-August. Most often, such fruits are “rich” not with vitamins, but with nitrates and dyes.
- Watermelons purchased late fall due to natural causes can also lose quality and cause deterioration of well-being.
- You can not buy cracked or incised fruit, on the pulp of which is necessary, pathogenic flora instantly settle.
- The color of the pulp of a high-quality watermelon is single-colored, on the cut no coarse streaks, traces of fermentation or mucus are visible.
- Before serving, the bark of the watermelon is thoroughly washed and wiped dry.
- A sign of the presence of nitrates is the staining of water after lowering even a small slice into it.
- At room temperature, cut watermelon can not be stored, and the refrigerator does not lose the quality of the fruit for about a day.
When eating a purchased watermelon should not try to eat all the flesh to the skin. It is in the white layer of the crust and in the surrounding layer of pulp that most of the nitrates accumulated by the watermelon concentrate.