I ate cheesecake and now I'm sick.
July 5, 2015 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Generally I can have cheese and yogurt in small amounts but not milk and cream, and I've had cheesecake in the recent past even after I became lactose intolerant to the aforementioned. I still feel terrible after 24 hrs. Do I have to seek medical attention?

I shared this cheesecake with three other people and all of them are fine, so my guess is that its my lactose intolerance becoming stronger. I got sick saturday (11am?) morning and finally got myself to throw up at 8pm. I didn't turn on the light so all I saw was that the vomit was brown-ish. one of the cheesecakes was coffee flavored and I was also fed a brown powdery 'medicine' so i didn't think anything of it. all night last night i was still sweating and having full body aches. still have them but its lessened a bit. i had plain oatmeal and water this morning and was able to keep most of it down until just now, where i threw some of it up and there were flecks of bright red blood in the vomit. i didn't throw up much so there wasn't much blood either, more like 5-6 flecks on the bits of oatmeal, not swirling in the liquid. i did stick my finger down my throat to make myself puke.

unfortunately i have no health insurance.

so i guess my question is: do i have to seek medical attention? i've had food poisoning before and was able to ride it out but so far as i know i've never puked blood. thank you.
posted by one teak forest to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm guessing the blood is due to you injuring yourself when you stuck your finger down your throat to make yourself puke. Stop doing that. If you throw up again and there's blood in it, then see a doc immediately. Right now, though, it seems to have a direct physical cause so I wouldn't let it concern me.

Right now just work on staying hydrated and ride this out. Personally, oatmeal never goes down well when I'm feeling barfy. Stick to things like small nibbles of plain toast or crackers until you can reliably keep food down. Stop making yourself throw up please.

and I was also fed a brown powdery 'medicine'

Is this a euphemism for something? I don't know what this means. If you took some kind of weird drug/med then that could certainly be aggravating things.
posted by phunniemee at 11:15 AM on July 5, 2015 [8 favorites]

I'm lactose intolerant as well. A few years ago I consumed what I thought was a dairy free soup but turned out it was full of cream. It took about 24 hours for all the pain to go away. The pain from bloating and gas even woke me from my sleep and was so bad I was sweating and had body chills.

I've definitely puked blood from dry heaving so much from a hangover. It freaked me out so I googled it and it's a pretty common occurrence with too much vomiting.

I'd only be concerned if this continues throughout the day without getting better. If you're still feeling like this tomorrow definitely see a doctor.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 11:26 AM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, seconding what's the brown, powdery "medicine"? Seems like a potentially important detail.
posted by amro at 11:26 AM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

If lactose intolerance is causing your illness, making yourself throw up does no good at all. That only clears your stomach, but it's your small intestine where lactose would normally be digested, and your large intestine where bacteria go to town on the undigested lactose, causing the bloating and diarrhea associated with lactose intolerance.

What is this "medicine" you mention?
posted by brianogilvie at 11:28 AM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

I would be more concerned about "brown powdery 'medicine'" which...are you saying you ate cheesecake and then took mescaline or mushrooms? The problem might not be the dairy.

The worst gastro virus I've had ran its course in about 36 hours and I did end up with some post-nasal bleeding that left specks of blood in my vomit. Get someone to bring you some clear Pedialyte and chicken soup, rest, ride out whatever else you've taken, and unless you throw up a measurable amount of blood, like more than a nosebleed, there's not really anything to treat.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:30 AM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

There seems to be more going on here than your stomach, but yeah, cheesecake is pretty much the worst thing for my lactose intolerance. I can tolerate small amounts of some kinds of cheese, but cheesecake is large amounts of the wrong kind of cheese. You may find that it ends up on the list of foods that you're going to decide aren't worth the stomach distress.

Don't make yourself puke. Don't go to the doctor for this, unless you continue puking blood. Consider this an unpleasant part of figuring out what your stomach can and can't tolerate.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:46 AM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Cheesecake is indeed the worst thing.

But if it's lactose intolerance, you're totally working the wrong end. There is absolutely no reason to make yourself throw up.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:51 AM on July 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

I had no idea about the lactose being digested in the small intestine. good to know, thank you. the nausea was super awful for all of yesterday so in desperation i made myself throw up. it gave me some mild relief for like, 30 mins maybe and i continued to feel awful.

Honestly, no idea what the brown powder dissolved in water was. It was some remedy (Thai? Chinese? idk) that my mom's friend gave me to 'help relieve air' (burp). and i did burp a lot after taking it. i mentioned it because i thought the brown vomit from yesterday evening might've been colored by this medicine or it could be brown blood.

i'll have someone get pedialyte and chicken soup.

Yeah, no more cheesecake ever even a slice of it.
posted by one teak forest at 12:05 PM on July 5, 2015

for me, the the key is also how empty my stomach is before I ingest the diary product.
If I ingest diary on an almost empty stomach, I can almost guarantee that I will get sick.
posted by calgirl at 1:29 PM on July 5, 2015

The only thing that makes illness from lactose intolerance go away is either lactase enzyme or waiting until the offending lactose-bearing food has exited your system in the usual (butt zone) way. Puking it up will not help. Stop making yourself throw up.

Don't take strange powdered medicines you don't know the ingredients of. Many things use lactose as an inert filler, which will only make you sicker.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:47 PM on July 5, 2015 [5 favorites]

I'd start carrying LactAid (the brand name for lactase enzyme) or its equivalent with you. My child developed a lactose intolerance and is fine with dairy as long as she takes it with the offending food. It really can save you a ton of misery.
posted by Requiax at 2:28 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was also fed a brown powdery 'medicine' so i didn't think anything of it

Until you can verify what this was, would think a lot of it. My first instinct wouldn't be the cheesecake, it would be this mysterious substance.

Try a bite of regular cheesecake and see if you get sick. Then ask your friend what this mysterious brown substance was.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:42 PM on July 5, 2015

You want to get the offending dairy out of your gut. Drink water. If you can walk a bit, do. Both will help move things through your digestive system.
posted by theora55 at 5:33 PM on July 5, 2015

Maybe taking a laxative would help move it faster out of your system? And drink lots and lots of water. I hope you feel better soon.
posted by mareli at 6:25 PM on July 5, 2015

So about three hours after I started drinking pedialyte I felt well enough to eat chicken soup and keep it down. Yay! And I feel a lot better today. I did spontaneously, not-finger induced threw up yesterday and there was no blood. Yay again! Looks like I did injure myself with my nail. I did manage to have two bowel movements, which made the headaches go away but not the muscle aches (those went away with nighttime cold medicine). I've learned that drinking water too quickly makes me nauseous, darn.

I *did* ingest said dairy product on a practically empty stomach (only had coffee before it). Blergh. Huh. Wonder what is the best (or nicest, or something such) fast-breaker....

Asked about the brown medicine and they said it was stuff like mint, anise, etc. So erm I'm not concerned about it. I've had lots of these medicines, this particular one before too, and they've never made me more ill.

I will track down LactAid! Thank you everyone :))
posted by one teak forest at 6:22 AM on July 6, 2015

I was going to guess that the brown powdery substance was actually some sort of ginger tea. Ginger tea is an excellent remedy for stomach ailments, as ginger's effect on the body is to cause the stomach to empty. I often take it when I've inadvertently ingested too much msg, which causes me similar discomforts as what you've described.
posted by vignettist at 7:36 AM on July 6, 2015

I *did* ingest said dairy product on a practically empty stomach (only had coffee before it). Blergh. Huh. Wonder what is the best (or nicest, or something such) fast-breaker....

What length of fast are we talking here? If it's more than a day, then breaking it with coffee (a gut irritant), followed by fatty food full loaded with lactose you can't digest, followed by a mystery herbal powder that makes you burp a lot, is certainly not going to end well. I'd expect to end up with the gas pains from hell from doing that.

When I fast seriously, I generally find that the least stressful way to break it involves a smallish garden salad, followed a couple of hours later by nibbling an apple to death.
posted by flabdablet at 9:51 AM on July 6, 2015

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