Imminent poisoning: There is a risk of confusion with these toadstools

Life-threatening poisoning from fungi: experts warn of deadly doubles

There are still relatively few mushrooms to be found in this country. But that could change in the coming weeks. Experts are therefore already pointing out possible dangers of poisoning from self-collected mushrooms. There are numerous species that can harm your health.

Good growth opportunities for autumn mushrooms

September and October are actually the main season for mushrooms in Germany. But the dry, hot summer has restricted mushroom growth. Nevertheless, experts assume that the autumn mushrooms will still have good growth opportunities in the next few weeks. After all, many types of mushrooms react to precipitation even after long periods of drought and start to grow: both edible mushrooms and toadstools, which often differ in appearance from edible variants. In order to prevent dangerous and sometimes fatal poisoning, the German Liver Foundation advises caution when collecting mushrooms.

Groups of people particularly at risk

"In the worst case, organ failure occurs after eating toadstools," warns Professor Dr. Michael P. Manns, CEO of the German Liver Foundation, in a message.

"If the toxins are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and come into the liver via the bloodstream, this can lead to liver failure," said the expert.

According to the information, the number of mushroom poisonings increased extremely in 2017, in which the moist, warm climate made the growing conditions for mushrooms good in June and July.

Severe poisoning that led to liver failure has also increased over the past year.

In addition to small children who pick and eat toadstools while playing, and adults who mistake toadstools for edible domestic mushrooms, there is another vulnerable group: Refugees and late repatriates.

These people mostly confuse the highly poisonous tuber agaric with edible mushrooms from the respective home countries.

Effect of dangerous toadstool only after several hours

As a preventive measure, the Hannover Medical School (MHH), together with the Poison Information Center North and the Lower Saxony Ministry for Social Affairs, Health and Equal Opportunities, informs with tuberous agaric warning posters in nine different languages.

According to the information, the tuber agaric is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in Germany and responsible for around 90 percent of all fatal poisonings in Europe.

After eating the tuber agaric (it tastes extremely good, according to those affected, symptoms only appear after a symptom-free period of six to 24 hours. If the poison is effective, it has spread throughout the body.

Then severe diarrhea and vomiting persist for six to nine hours.

The poisons of the tuber agaric, the so-called amatoxins, begin to destroy the liver as early as 24 hours after consumption.

Early diagnosis is extremely important

Early diagnosis is extremely important because poisoning can be treated. If the course is favorable, the symptoms disappear completely after seven to ten days. There is then a complete cure.

In the worst case, tuberous poisoning can lead to liver failure, so that only a liver transplant can save the patient's life.

"If there is only suspicion of fungal poisoning, the emergency doctor should be called urgently. The earlier diagnosed and treated, the greater the chances of a cure, ”says Professor Manns.

“An increase in liver and kidney values ​​are signs of systemic poisoning. To prove the fungal poison and thus for easier diagnosis, the remains of the fungus and the vomit should be kept and passed on to the emergency doctor. "

Alleged features of non-toxicity can be misleading

The expert appeals to all mushroom pickers to eat found mushrooms only if, after years of experience and with in-depth knowledge, they are absolutely certain that they are edible mushrooms.

Inexperienced mushroom pickers should always consult a mushroom expert before eating.

Alleged features for the non-toxicity of fungi such as maggot or snail infestation are misleading, according to Professor Manns:

"Snails, for example, get no liver damage from amatoxins because they don't have a 'real' liver, their central metabolic organ is the midgut." (Ad)

Author and source information

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