64-year old woman almost dies from toxic SQUASH syndrome after drinking trendy calabash liquid

An elderly woman suffered a severe drop in blood pressure and body temperature after being poisoned by a trendy fruit juice.

The unnamed patient, 64, suffered sudden weakness, nausea and vomiting just minutes after drinking gourd juice. The trendy drink has surged in popularity in recent years due to its purported ability to reduce stress.

The woman was admitted to a local ER with a diagnosis of “toxic squash syndrome” – a rare but potentially deadly disease that occurs when a person consumes a dangerous amount of cucurbitacin, a naturally occurring toxin in gourd.

Her blood pressure quickly dropped to a dangerously low level and she could have died if she hadn’t sought medical attention quickly.

The report comes as doctors also warn about other popular health trends, such as taping someone’s mouth shut while sleeping to improve breathing.

Woman 64 Nearly Dies Of Toxic Squash Syndrome After Drinking

An unnamed woman contracted “poisonous pumpkin poisoning” after drinking gourd juice. She noted that the drink was more bitter than usual. Her symptoms came on quickly and her blood pressure dropped to dangerously low levels. She would survive after five days in the hospital (file photo)

The story was reported as a case report in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine.

While the woman regularly enjoyed the drink, she commented to the doctors that it was more bitter this time.

This is a sign that there were higher levels of the toxic chemicals – which are found in gourds such as pumpkins, cucumbers and gourds.

The toxin interrupts the body’s cells’ ability to send signals to each other, disrupting normal bodily functions and potentially causing deadly complications.

What is Toxic Squash Syndrome?

Toxic squash syndrome is a rare but potentially deadly disease.

It occurs when a person consumes dangerous levels of the toxin cucurbitacin, which occurs naturally in gourds such as pumpkins, cucumbers and watermelons.

Symptoms come on quickly, often within minutes of consumption.

The toxin is extremely bitter, an indicator that food or drink may be contaminated.

Symptoms include sudden weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

A person can also develop serious heart and breathing problems.

If left untreated, it can be fatal, but doctors will often be able to help a patient resolve their symptoms within days.

Although cucurbitacin is toxic, its anti-tumor properties have given some scientists hope that it could be used in future cancer medications.

It also weakens cells’ defenses, making them more vulnerable to infections and other diseases.

Centuries of plant domestication and food science have allowed humans to grow gourds with insignificant levels of the toxin.

Improper farming practices by amateur farmers can cause the plants to grow with concentrations of cucurbitacin that are dangerous to humans.

However, improper farming techniques can cause some plants to overgrow.

It was a homemade drink that the woman had bought regularly at a local store.

She also suffered from high blood pressure and an overactive thyroid – a gland in the neck that distributes hormones throughout the body.

Immediately after consuming the drink, the woman developed complaints, including diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Her blood pressure dropped to an unhealthy level within minutes, from 142/90 to 46/27 when doctors examined her.

A level below 90/60 is considered dangerous, putting a person at risk for a stroke or heart attack.

She also reached 18 breaths per minute, slightly above the safe threshold of 16 per minute for a resting person, which could be an indication of lung or heart failure.

Her body temperature also dropped from about 100 to 96F, below what is safe for adults, but not low enough to be considered hypothermia. The woman’s limbs were also cold and tender to the touch.

Over the next five days, her blood pressure continued to drop to unhealthy levels before later recovering.

She was treated with electrolytes, high blood pressure medications, and injections that would help disperse acid in her stomach. The woman’s condition improved after five days.

Cucurbitacin is a bitter poison that aims to protect the plant from animals and insects that may try to eat it.

Its ability to disrupt normal cell functions could be valuable in the medical field.

It has shown promise in medicine, with the toxin having anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties when used in small, controlled doses.

It is being investigated for use in anti-cancer drugs. A 2020 process found that it could inhibit the proliferation of colon cancer cells by disrupting their ability to replicate.

Although toxic squash syndrome can be fatal, patients who seek prompt medical attention will almost always survive.

Store-bought gourds are generally considered safe, but experts advise caution for home growers.

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