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Is it possible to vomit 10 minutes after eating a bad prawn?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Is it possible to vomit 10 minutes after eating a bad prawn ? I ate a prawn dumpling last night and within minutes felt unwell with a burning sensation at the bottom of my throat , then within 10 minutes I was retching violently . I'm never sick and did not stop vomiting until there was nothing more to throw up . Can I safely assume it was a rogue prawn ? The only other thing I had consumed in the previous few hours was a small portion of crispy pok belly .

My question is : can vomiting , induced by food poisoning , occurr as soon as 10 minutes after ingestion of said food item ? It's the time element I'm querying .
Posted Tue, 14 Aug 2012 in Eating Disorders
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

Vomiting induced by 'food poisoning' can occur within 30 minutes of consuming food especially if the contaminant bacteria are virulent (strong) and in large quantities.

However what you seem to have experienced is most probably an 'allergic reaction' to prawns. An allergy to prawns can occur unexpectedly at any age, even if you had no such past history and have had the same food item earlier without any consequences. Here the symptoms can be varied from mild gastrointestinal upset to severe hives, breathlessness, anaphylaxis, etc. And the gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping can occur within minutes (as in your case within 10 minutes) to up to 2 hrs time frame.

If the episode is mild one (as in your case), the reaction often resolves on its own without treatment usually within 24 hrs.

If you develop fresh symptoms like diarrhoea, itching, rash, fever, etc., then you might consider consulting a doctor promptly.

In all, as per your description I think it's most probably a mild acute shrimp (prawn) allergy and you need not worry. This should resolve without any consequences. But in future you should avoid eating prawns to be on the safer side.

Hope I have answered your query.
Kindly accept my answer if you have no further queries.

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