Why I'd get sick?
March 5, 2010 10:04 AM   Subscribe

What was going with my body that caused me to get so sick yesterday? (WARNING: somewhat gross details)

Yesterday, I got really sick, but I can't figure out why. Hopefully you have an idea.

I'm on doxycycline for a infection, taking a pill twice a day. I took one in the morning just fine, being careful to eat something before taking the pill and then to drink something when I took the pill.

For lunch, I had a large chicken breast (marinated in yogurt, for Greek style chicken) and a small dinner roll (about 20g carbs). I took a twenty minute or so walk in bright sunshine. I drank Power Ad Zero throughout the day.

As the afternoon went on, I feel progressively weaker and queasier and had a bit of diarrhea. I had minor feelings of wanting to throw up, but nothing major. By 6pm, I felt bloated, feverish, weak, nauseous. The smell of food made me want to gag, but I was also somewhat hungry, as I had had nothing to eat since noon. I attempted to eat a piece of bread, but just couldn't, it was as the smell and texture of bread I normally eat just fine now seemed disgusting. I did manage to eat two small packaged cups of applesauce, which seemed to make my stomach feel a lot better.

Then I threw up. A lot! There were large chucks of the chicken breast in the throw up. As soon as I was finished throwing up, I felt a lot better, though still had a bit of diarrhea and felt queasy. Today, I'm ok, but feel like my body has been put through the wringer.

Keeping in mind that two other people ate the chicken and did not get sick at all, can anyone throw out a guess as to why I got so sick?
posted by bcreative to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My first thought is that you might want to keep tabs on the other two people. Sometimes food poisoning hits people at vastly different times. Or they're already more accustomed to a fairly tiny bit of whatever made you ill.
posted by Etrigan at 10:05 AM on March 5, 2010

You may have had a quick flu. You may have had the only undercooked chicken breast. You may have a weaker stomach than the other chicken-eaters.

Keep hydrated and follow BRAT: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast (dry). Feel better!
posted by sallybrown at 10:08 AM on March 5, 2010

I have in the past gotten VERY sick to my stomach from amoxycillin (sp?)--even if you do eat beforehand some of those antibiotics can really mess you up. I'd vote for a particularly bad reaction to that. Vomiting and diarrhea aren't out of the norm.
posted by supercoollady at 10:11 AM on March 5, 2010

Doxycycline can induce photosensitivity (make people react badly to sunlight). You said you took a walk in bright sunlight. I would ring your doctor, say what has happened, and ask if a) you should continue taking it, especially if you have to spend time outside and more importantly b) if there is anything you should be doing now you might gave had a reaction. Either way, let your doctor know as soon as you can.
posted by cromagnon at 10:51 AM on March 5, 2010

There is a huge list of the causes of nausea and vomiting here; a similar list could be made for diarrhea as well. The antibiotic could cause it, but it could also be food poisoning, viral infection (rotavirus, Norwalk virus, others), toxins, metabolic disease, central nervous system disease, and on and on. In other words you have pretty non-specific symptoms. The good news is that for the most common and least serious causes it will go away on its own in a day or so; if it doesn't, if you are unable to keep anything at all down, or if you start having other, more severe symptoms go to a doctor or even the ER if for no other reason than to get some IV hydration.
posted by TedW at 11:07 AM on March 5, 2010

Side effects of doxycycline can cause mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach upset. Antibiotics can cause diarrhea, since it kills the helpful bacteria in your stomach. You should call your doctor.
posted by hooray at 11:34 AM on March 5, 2010

Response by poster: My first thought is that you might want to keep tabs on the other two people.

I live with the other two, they've been perfectly fine.
posted by bcreative at 12:11 PM on March 5, 2010

This sounds exactly like a stomach bug that went around my circle of friend about a month ago. Roughly 12-18 hours of sickness, inability to even look at food with nausea, near full recovery the next day except for feeling worn out. I know probably 10 people who had this exact pattern happen near the end of January/start of February, including myself.
Sounds like it may have started it's way around your social circle.
posted by Benjy at 12:26 PM on March 5, 2010

Norovirus recently hit my wife, then me, then my four year old son, the inlaws, etc. It sounds very similar to what you described.
posted by inthe80s at 1:32 PM on March 5, 2010

Nthing what Benjy said. Sounds like a random stomach bug; comes in with a bang and then very suddenly disappears.
posted by Melismata at 2:27 PM on March 5, 2010

Please correct me if I'm wrong, y'all, but wouldn't an antibiotic clear out all the intestinal flora that would normally deal with the yogurt cultures? Could it be that the yogurt upset your stomach?

Another possibility is that the doxy is just making your digestive tract super sensitive and yesterday your body had had enough! Stay hydrated, and call your doc if you can't keep liquids down. Feel better soon!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 3:22 PM on March 5, 2010

Doxycycline makes me throw up if I don't eat a big meal (and I do mean a big meal, not just some cereal or something) before I take it, so I usually ask the doctor for something else. It was probably just the antibiotic. If you call the doctor and leave a message that you think the doxy is making you sick, they probably won't have a problem calling in something else for you to finish off the round with.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:38 PM on March 5, 2010

Norovirus (often this is what causes "stomach flu") is making the rounds in my town right now. Apparently it is hitting Boston right now as well. The linked article says that there is a new variant of norovirus circulating and the emergence of a new strain means that more people than usual are getting sick. It also says that Norovirus often strikes annually in late February and early March. Norovirus usually only lasts 24 - 48 hours.
posted by gudrun at 9:30 PM on March 5, 2010

Please correct me if I'm wrong, y'all, but wouldn't an antibiotic clear out all the intestinal flora that would normally deal with the yogurt cultures? Could it be that the yogurt upset your stomach?

Actually, the bacteria that doxycycline is typically prescribed for are not the same as the bugs that live in the gut. There may be some disruption in the intestinal flora by doxy, but not nearly enough to cause something like what the OP describes.
posted by i less than three nsima at 3:21 PM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It's not Norovirus. We've had that before and seen it spread through the family. The other two people who ate the same foods I did have not gotten sick at all.

I've been careful about taking the doxy in the middle of a heavy meal and drinking a glass of liquid when I take and have been fine.

I'm gonna blame the doxy or possibly an undercooked piece of chicken and call it a day.
posted by bcreative at 6:06 AM on March 7, 2010

« Older acoustic french ladies   |   What to do about a smelly workplace? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.