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Diarrhea, uh-uh. Diarrhea, uh-uh!
July 25, 2012 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Managed to get some form of sickness in Istanbul. Am I okay now, or should I still go see a doctor?

Went to Istanbul in June. Came back and 72 hours later, I had severe diarrhea, cramping, stomach pains, fever and nausea. This lasted about ten days. I took some Imodium on the fourth day, which stopped some of the diarrhea (I also took a Greek remedy of coffee grounds and lemon juice). That was about a month ago. I felt fine after about day ten and continue to feel fine now.

I contracted whatever this was by either eating ground meat (kofte) or a chicken gyro from a street stall (my friends ate everything else that I ate except those things). I also accidentally brushed my teeth with the tap water.

Should I still go see the doctor, now that I'm back stateside? Is it possible that I have something that needs attention and, if so, any ideas as to what it likely was (so I can tell the doctor)?
posted by mrfuga0 to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
 
I felt fine after about day ten and continue to feel fine now.

You're fine.
posted by pompomtom at 9:42 PM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


There is no reason whatsoever to go to a doctor to tell him "I feel fine and have felt fine for weeks". He'll tell you to go away.
posted by Justinian at 10:16 PM on July 25, 2012


You're fine. You probably just had basic traveler's diarrhea, which is usually caused either by being exhausted and stressed in an unfamiliar environment or by local bacteria your system isn't used to dealing with. NOT a parasite, just, like, "o hai other continent with different stuff".

Istanbul is as sophisticated and clean a city as anywhere in Europe (cleaner than some, in my experience). You're not going to pick up typhoid or anything life threatening like that, and if you did, you'd have known long ago.
posted by Sara C. at 10:21 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've brushed with the tap water every time I've been in Istanbul. I've probably even drank it, just to help you rule out the water.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 1:21 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I contracted whatever this was by either eating ground meat (kofte) or a chicken gyro from a street stall (my friends ate everything else that I ate except those things). I also accidentally brushed my teeth with the tap water.

You also probably shook a few people's hands, held onto a grab rail on the bus, and used silverware, any of which could have just been touched by someone with (literally) shit on their fingers. It might have been the food, it might not, there's no way to know. As said above, unless you get a recurrence there's no point in going to the doctor.
posted by Forktine at 5:34 AM on July 26, 2012


That's pretty nasty 10 days of severe diarrhea, cramping, stomach pains, fever and nausea. Is there a reason you didn't see a doctor WHILE you were sick?

To me that sounds like a nasty bacteria or something much worse than "Travellers Diarrhea" which is more of a day or two of sickness. 10 days would have been rather worrying and also the long 72 hour incubation period seems weird for something ingested.

Don't most "food poisonings" have onset of symptoms within 24hours or so?
posted by mary8nne at 5:47 AM on July 26, 2012


Great! Thanks everyone. I just wanted to be sure I didn't have something lie Giardiasis or anything that would be brewing in my gut for weeks.

Mary8nne, I was on an island with no medical care facilities, so I just waited it out. Clearly I'm fine now! Thanks again everyone!
posted by mrfuga0 at 8:54 AM on July 26, 2012


Don't most "food poisonings" have onset of symptoms within 24hours or so?

A lot of what people refer to as food poisoning does. But a lot of what actually is food poisoning (salmonella, e coli, listeria, etc etc) have much longer incubation times. Sometimes on the order of a few weeks.

That's because there is more than one way to be made ill. The way which results in faster onset and less duration is being made ill by toxins produced by nasty bacteria but not being infected by the bacteria itself. That can happen very rapidly. But if the bacteria itself gets you, it takes a while to incubate and can make you much sicker for a significantly longer period of time. That's what this sounds like to me.

10 days of severe illness sounds like dangerous food poisoning. One for which I would seek treatment for on like day 3. But most people recover just fine even without treatment, like the OP seems to have done. So all is well that ends well.
posted by Justinian at 1:04 PM on July 26, 2012


OP: Just to be clear, I dont think any of us are in a position to tell you with absolute certainty what you did or did not contract. We can't even tell you it was a form of food poisoning with reliability. Only whether we would still seek medical treatment after weeks of feeling fine.

I wouldn't. But that's different from anyone telling you "don't worry it is a certainty you did not contract anything more serious.". If that difference makes sense.
posted by Justinian at 1:08 PM on July 26, 2012


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