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Self-eating “foreign seeds” to prevent diabetes, the couple is poisoned with muscle atrophy, whole body paralysis

Information from the Poison Control Center (Bach Mai Hospital) said that the Center has just received 2 patients with poisoning cassava seeds lead to paralysis of the whole body, muscle atrophy. Here are 2 patients poisoning The fruit was first recorded in Vietnam.

The patient is Ms. Pham Thi X (born in 1966) and her husband is Mr. Truong Cong N (born in 1958, residing in Kien Giang). Two patients were transferred to Bach Mai Hospital in a state of muscle atrophy, limited movement of both arms, difficulty speaking, and paralysis of both legs.

Ms. X said that in September 2021, her and her husband were given seeds by acquaintances to plant and eat seeds. According to the advice of cassava seeds can cure diabetes, so the couple ate cassava seeds to prevent disease.

It is known that the blood sugar ratio of the couple is only slightly higher than the normal number, but not yet at the threshold of diabetes. But she and her husband still want to take precautions.


TS.BS. Nguyen Trung Nguyen, Director of the Poison Control Center is evaluating advocacy for the patient’s wife poisoning cassava seeds. Photo of BVCC

Struggling to find the cause poisoning

According to Mrs. X, at first, she and her husband only ate 2 cassava seeds a day, then gradually increased and ate every day. After eating for about 3 months, Mrs. X saw that she was tired, weak, weak in limbs, and lost 15kg in weight, so she went to a hospital in Kien Giang.

Here, the doctor diagnosed her with calcium deficiency, so she prescribed calcium supplements for her. Finished the prescription but the symptoms did not improve, even worse.

Soon after, Ms. X’s husband continued to experience the same debilitating symptoms as his wife and lost 10 kg of weight.

The couple went to a large hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for treatment. Here, the doctor diagnosed her husband and wife with polyneuritis, acupuncture and acupressure.

At the end of the course of treatment, the disease did not improve, but got worse, not only weak in limbs but also paralyzed in both legs and had to move in a wheelchair.

The hospital sent her and her husband’s blood sample to Singapore for testing and the results showed: The couple suspected heavy metal poisoning. She and her husband were referred to the Poison Control Center (Bach Mai Hospital) for treatment.

Mrs. X and her husband were transferred to the Poison Control Center, Bach Mai Hospital on April 12, 2022 in a state of muscle atrophy, limited mobility in both arms, difficulty speaking, and paralysis of both legs.

TS.BS. Nguyen Trung Nguyen – Director of the Poison Control Center, Bach Mai Hospital shared: When both patients were admitted to the hospital, they suffered from paralysis of the roots and nerves of the whole body, severe muscle atrophy, and the wife began to paralyze the oropharynx, which could potentially affect them. survival function.

The center has carried out many examinations, tests, consultations with many specialties. Investigations and examinations have ruled out other causes of illness, including poisoning Neither are heavy metals. Two patients also had muscle biopsies that showed signs of muscle fibrosis, atrophy, and degeneration.

After taking the history, knowing that the couple had been eating cassava seeds for a long time, the doctors sent a sample of the seeds for identification. Experts show that this is the plant, or star fruit, the scientific name is Senna occidentalis (also known as Cassia occidentalis). It was the poison in the cassava seeds that caused the poisoning for the couple Mrs. X.


Image of cassava with seeds causing poisoning for Mrs. X and her husband.

Case poisoning The first cassava seed in Vietnam

According to Dr. Nguyen Trung Nguyen, Director of the Anti-Poison Center (Bach Mai Hospital), the toxin in this plant is anthraquinone, a toxin found in the whole plant but concentrated in the seeds, which has been recorded to be toxic to humans. muscles and nerves, especially causing muscle necrosis, muscle degeneration, liver and brain damage, and death in humans and animals.

However, most people do not eat cassava seeds, so there has never been a case before poisoning cassava seeds. That’s why finding the cause poisoning Mrs. X’s husband and wife have difficulties.

“Case poisoning Muong seed of Mrs. X and her husband is the first case of Vietnam discovered. Outside of Vietnam, in the world medical literature, only a few cases have been reported poisoning among Indian children (most of which have died). Status poisoning This plant occurs a lot in cattle and poultry in other countries,” said Dr. Nguyen.

Sharing about the treatment of Mrs. X and her husband, Doctor Nguyen said that the patient suffered from poisoning over a long period of time, causing muscle atrophy, leading to paralysis of all limbs. The Poison Control Center has made every effort to treat with the most optimal solutions.

After more than a month of intensive treatment with 8 times of dialysis and plasma exchange, the health of Mrs. X and her husband has gradually improved. Mr. N was able to hold a bowl of rice, stand up on his own and walk around the bed. Mrs. X made it clear, swallowing normally, lifting a bowl of rice on her own and standing up on her own two feet.

“The patient’s health has been partially improved, but in the long run, there is still a risk of leaving sequelae,” said Dr. Nguyen.

Doctor Nguyen also recommended that people should not listen to word of mouth, tips to self-medicate, eat “foreign objects” without the doctor’s prescription.

When people feel that there is a problem with their health, people should go to a licensed medical facility, get an accurate diagnosis and treatment, and take medicine according to the regimen prescribed by the doctor.

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