What can you do to aid in the digestion of a whole bag of coconut?
December 10, 2009 5:47 AM   Subscribe

My idiot cousin ate a whole bag of shredded sweetened coconut last night and SHOCKINGLY feels really ill today. Is this something hospital visit worthy? Is there anything she can take/eat/do do help the massive pile of coconut move along in her system?
posted by gwenlister to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
She could force herself to vomit.
posted by greta simone at 5:53 AM on December 10, 2009

I suggested that to her, but she hasn't said yet if it has helped or if she was even able to vomit any of it up.
posted by gwenlister at 5:54 AM on December 10, 2009

I am not a doctor, but, I don't think it's hospital-worthy. Eating a whole bag of just about anything will make you feel sick, and some quick Googling didn't turn up any kind of coconut-specific hazards. She should expect to spend some quality time in the bathroom, though.
posted by SamuelF at 5:55 AM on December 10, 2009

Just have her drink a lot of water.
posted by carmen at 5:58 AM on December 10, 2009 [3 favorites]

I did this more than a few times as a kid. (And as an adult with fresh coconut, too. Some people never learn.)

It's mostly fiber -- it'll move itself along just fine. Drink water and enjoy having people dote on you is about all you can do. By now it should be out of her stomach and heading down the tubes, so vomiting won't help.
posted by Forktine at 6:00 AM on December 10, 2009

Drinking adequate water helps fibrous foods to pass. Have her drink 8oz. every other hour or so. IANAD but I don't think she needs medical attention for this.

On preview: If she ate the coconut last night, there's probably none left in her stomach this morning. Vomiting isn't going to help at this point.
posted by homuncula at 6:02 AM on December 10, 2009

Yeah, she said she tried to ralph it up this morning but was unsuccessful. I guess she'll just have to wait it out, the idiot.
posted by gwenlister at 6:03 AM on December 10, 2009

If it isn't the coconut causing the illness, you do need to go the doctor. Sometimes you might think you know the cause when the illness is really due to something else.
posted by alcahofa at 6:16 AM on December 10, 2009

She probably has a massive sugar hangover, unless she regularly ingests that amount of sugar. If she has a headache and is generally achey, a pain reliever could help a lot.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:18 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

The ill feeling is no doubt due to the sudden, large intake of sugar. She'll be fine. She'll just feel miserable for awhile. Encourage drinking water.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:26 AM on December 10, 2009

Like everyone said, drink plenty of water. Unless she had an allergic reaction, no hospital/doctor intervention necessary. To help her, point and laugh. She probably won't do it again.
posted by stormpooper at 6:43 AM on December 10, 2009 [4 favorites]

Coconut is basically just fiber and saturated fat, so I'd expect a lot of gastrointestinal discomfort after pounding a whole bag of it. She'll be fine but she's not going to want to leave the house for a day.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:47 AM on December 10, 2009

Holy crap! That's what she's going to think as it exits her system. From (too much) experience, I can tell you that it's probably going to be very..um..scratchy. Lots of water now to help ease things. For later, some Tuck's wipes and possibly a sitz bath and a ring cushion.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:48 AM on December 10, 2009

I have passed along your suggestions of forcing water. Good to know she will survive so that my lack of sympathyand incessant mockery at her expense isn't totally cruel. I mean, if she was going to die I would scale it back a little... probably...

anyway, thanks all!
posted by gwenlister at 7:06 AM on December 10, 2009

Instead of a sitz bath, she may just want a regular hot bath after the, uh, process finishing. It'll help with the aches, the pains, and the, uh, irritation.

Also, Preparation H has some very nice medicated wipes that are larger than the Tuck's wipes tend to be. But she will be happy if you go get her some of those, either way, due to the, uh, texture.
posted by mephron at 7:07 AM on December 10, 2009

Also please don't force water on her; normal hydration is fine.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:11 AM on December 10, 2009

Drinking water is a good idea, but make sure she doesn't overdo it.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:11 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

IDNEAWBOSCLN, but one time I did eat two bags of Peppermint Patties after getting back from a 12 mile run. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but you have to understand, this was 2005, and shit was crazy.

I got really dizzy and felt bad and had to drink a lot of water. An afternoon of unenthusiastic video games and complaining about how shitty I felt to my roommates was all I needed.

Also my poop was funny. Not "ha ha" funny, but like, clever funny.
posted by Damn That Television at 9:55 AM on December 10, 2009 [16 favorites]

Inducing vomiting is rarely a good idea but even if it were, inducing vomiting this long after consuming something is pointless. Food only stays in your stomach a couple hours. So vomiting 12 hours after you eat something is not going to do anything except make you even more miserable.
posted by Justinian at 1:41 PM on December 10, 2009

IANAD, but I suggest she eat a spoonful of mayonnaise and then go outside and hold her arms out at her sides, look straight ahead and start spinning in circles until she falls down.

Seriously though,

I have to agree that it's the sugar. When this happens to me, as it did today, after last night's Christmas party where i used cookies as a chaser for the carrot cake I had used as a chaser for a slice of key lime pie, what makes me feel better is a big serving of protein and drinking lots of water.

I'm not sure why it works, but it does for me. Today, I just ate a sandwich with a lot of slices of protien-rich vegetarian lunch meat and cheese. I felt much better and less dizzy/queasy pretty quickly. I've also used peanuts and a bottle of water in the past. YMMV.
posted by 4ster at 7:41 PM on December 13, 2009

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