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Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) Toxicity Diagnosed in the Emergency Department

      Abstract

      Background

      Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) is sometimes used in complementary medicine practice for the treatment of chronic ailments. However, there have been reports of toxicity due to consumption of bottle gourd juice, leading to severe abdominal upset and upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

      Case Report

      We present a case of a 41-year-old gentleman who presented to the Emergency Department with multiple episodes of vomiting, hematemesis, and diarrhea after consuming bottle gourd juice. The patient was resuscitated and stabilized with fluids, proton pump inhibitors, and antiemetics. He was subsequently admitted to the General Medicine ward for further management. He continued to receive symptomatic treatment in the ward and underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy during his hospitalization stay. His symptoms improved and he was discharged stable 5 days later.
      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This? Early recognition of this rare presentation of bottle gourd toxicity is important in our local context, especially where traditional medicine is widely prevalent nowadays. Treatment is supportive. Public awareness of dangerous effects from the consumption of bitter bottle gourd juice and complementary medicine without proper consultation with a practitioner plays a crucial role to prevent further cases. Physicians need to advise patients on the use of traditional medicine and their potential side effects.

      Keywords

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