Woman Mistakes Wasabi for Avocado and Ends Up in E.R.


Category:  Health, Science & Technology

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  10 months ago  •  25 comments

Woman Mistakes Wasabi for Avocado and Ends Up in E.R.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Woman Mistakes Wasabi for Avocado and Ends Up in E.R.

A big bite gave her "broken heart syndrome," doctors said.



Nearly everyone’s made a seriously nasty food mistake at some point—expecting what you spread on your cracker to be fig jam when it was onion confit; biting into the lentil burger that you thought was beef. But one woman’s food error landed her in the hospital with chest pain, according to a British Medical Journal case report.

At a wedding in Israel, the 60-year old woman downed “a large amount” of what she innocently thought was avocado, but turned out to be a mouthful of wasabi. As anyone who’s had too much knows, it burns. It can make your eyes water. The whole fiery experience reverbs through your sinuses.

And it gave this woman chest pain that sent her to the hospital. Reports say that she was diagnosed with “Broken Heart Syndrome”—technically takotsubo cardiomyopathy. That’s when extreme physical or emotional stress can cause one of the chambers of the heart to balloon and can keep your heart from pumping blood effectively.

It has been associated with situations like receiving sudden and unexpected bad (occasionally good) news, accidents, intense fear, asthma attacks, and even fierce arguments and financial loss.  

Symptoms are the same as heart attack symptoms, but people with broken heart syndrome usually recover within a month. (Weird fact: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is the named after a Japanese balloon-looking vessel with a narrow neck, called a tako-tsubo that’s used to catch octopuses.)

Doctors say this is the first time it’s been associated with wasabi—and reportedly the first time it’s been associated with any type of food consumption—and it’s likely due to the extreme dose. She spent some time in cardiac rehab and is now recovered. And, we might assume, thinking twice about whether that guacamole is something else.

MARTY MUNSON Marty Munson, currently the health director of Men's Health, previously served as deputy editor at Dr Oz The Good Life and director of digital content at Shape.


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Buzz of the Orient
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    10 months ago

A cubic centimeter of that stuff is enough to make your eyes water.  Is there anyone here who has never used wasabi to spice-up something?

1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    10 months ago

watched a youth who didn't know how spicey it was, almost pass out

Buzz of the Orient
1.1.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1    10 months ago

Where I live is famous for spicy food. I once ate some lettuce from a salad not realizing that the dressing was like fire, and I had trouble breathing for a while.  The area is famous for its "hot-pot", and when I'm there they have to put a divider in the pot so that part is ultra-spicy and the other part is for me. 

1.1.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.1    10 months ago

Which area of China are you in ?

Buzz of the Orient
1.1.3  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1.2    10 months ago

We are in Chongqing, which is my wife's "hukou" (home town).  During WW2 it was known as Chunking, where the American Flying Tigers were based.  It was once a very eastern part of Sichuan Province but separated and is now a City-State in itself.  Its population is almost that of all of Canada.


2  igknorantzrulz    10 months ago

General Tso's chicken, Extra Spicy for lunch one day. Bit into what i thought was a hunk of chicken, it was a damn hot pepper ! i had to polish off a six pack to cool the fire, then , i didn't feel like working, so we all went to the bar   assault by pepper


Another time were drinking at my buddy's parents house (I was around 20) and we're doing prairie fires  tabasco and tequila

i had the brilliant idea to guzzell tabasco  sauce, whole small bottle, and washed it down with a bottle of Tequila, worm and all.

To this day, a few decades later, don't even like hot wings, even mild ones

Buzz of the Orient
2.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  igknorantzrulz @2    10 months ago

I think General Tso's chicken is an American invention.  I don't think it exists here.

2.1.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    10 months ago

Was there a General Tso? Or, is that another American invention?

2.1.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  dave-2693993 @2.1.1    10 months ago

pretty sure you know that was a real Chinese invention

Buzz of the Orient
2.1.3  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  dave-2693993 @2.1.1    10 months ago

General Tso?  I have no idea.

2.1.4  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.3    10 months ago
  1. n.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Tso's_chicken

    General Tso's chicken is a sweet deep-fried chicken dish that is served in North American Chinese restaurants. The dish is named after Zuo Zongtang, a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader, although there is no recorded connection to him nor is the dish known in Hunan, Zuo's home province.

See that, i wasn't scared to investigate Chicken, So, in General

i was more spacific on this side of the atlantic

2.1.5  dave-2693993  replied to  igknorantzrulz @2.1.4    10 months ago

Learn something new every day!!

3  dave-2693993    10 months ago

I love wasabi and I love avocado, but I would never down wasabi the same way I down avocado.

Glad she is doing well.

Buzz of the Orient
3.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  dave-2693993 @3    10 months ago

I have a tube of wasabi (like a toothpaste tube) in the fridge.  I mix a little of it with soy sauce as a dip for smoked salmon slices appetizer.  Too much wasabi will make your nose hurt.

3.1.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    10 months ago
I mix a little of it with soy sauce as a dip for smoked salmon slices appetizer. 

Wow, that has my mouth watering, right there.

Yep, too much wasabi will wake you up.

4  Tacos!    10 months ago

Wow, this sounds horrifying. Like a lot of people, I too, have ingested a little more wasabi than I meant to, but at least I knew it was wasabi. I can't imagine the agony if I ate it like guacamole.

It Is ME
5  It Is ME    10 months ago

Had that happen to me at a restaurant. Not knowing what it was, I ate it off the plate. Just a little pea size made it so I couldn't speak to tell my family at the table I needed water. Couldn't even swallow and breathing was a bit hard. It's like your spit just disappears ! My son figured out what I was trying to tell them…..Water. whew, Relief !

That wasn't fun.

5.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  It Is ME @5    10 months ago

I remember in the mid 80's when I was in the Navy I and my family were flying to the Philippines, where I was to be stationed, on a Flying Tiger Lines 747 we had a unexpected layover at Okinawa.

 We were allowed to leave the plane for a couple of hours and decided to get something to eat. There was a small cafe in the terminal and we ordered. When the food came and we started eating my 10 year old son looks at a small dish with a greenish paste and decided he would taste it. Realizing what it was I warned him to take a very small amount on the tip of his tongue and taste it. I fully expected him to immediately cringe and make a sour face. Instead, to my utter surprise, he smiles and says "Dad, this is good stuff. You should try it!". Did not bother him at all. Oh to be young....

It Is ME
5.1.1  It Is ME  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5.1    10 months ago

Your sons a tuff one. I can't take the stuff. 

Buzz of the Orient
5.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5.1    10 months ago

LOL.  Maybe it was avacado.

5.1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  It Is ME @5.1.1    10 months ago

Yep. A neighbor of ours in the Philippines had her mother living with her who was from Burma and she used to have peppers sent to her from Burma that were small and green about the size of the tip of a little finger. Those things were so fiery hot they made jalepenos, chitepenes, and cayennes look like candy. My son would eat those raw and not even break out in a sweat! Sometimes I wondered who he took after cause I am Hispanic and I cannot handle spicy hot foods. My late wife on the other hand was of Pennsylvania German heritage and she loved hot spicy foods.

Buzz of the Orient
5.1.4  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5.1.3    10 months ago

The nanny my brother kept for years for my nephew was from the West Indies and did a lot of the cooking, which was very spicy.  My nephew was an English teacher in China for many years and had no trouble with very spicy foods here.

6  sandy-2021492    10 months ago

My son decided to eat the serrano pepper that was garnishing my omelet at an IHOP a few years back.  I warned him, but he thought I was just being overprotective and took a bit bite.  Then his eyes started watering and his face turned red.  I tried to get him to chase it with some sour cream, but he refused.  A few minutes later, he said that even his teeth hurt.

Stubborn kid.

Dismayed Patriot
7  Dismayed Patriot    10 months ago

Most wasabi paste is fake!

Yes, it’s true. Over 95% of wasabi served in sushi restaurants does not contain any real wasabi. Most fake wasabi is made from a blend of horseradish, mustard flour, cornstarch and green food colorant. This means that most people who think they know wasabi have actually never tasted the stuff!

What is real wasabi?

Real wasabi paste is made by grating the wasabi rhizome (the subterranean stem of the plant). When you grate wasabi, the volatile compounds that give it its distinguished taste begin to break down within minutes. That’s why real wasabi paste has the best taste when it’s really fresh. Wasabi is also considered difficult to grow and that makes it an expensive plant. The fake wasabi paste on the other hand is cheap and has a long expiration date.


Buzz of the Orient
7.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7    10 months ago

LOL.  Thanks for that info.  I'll bet my tube is of fake wasabi, because the Chinese are sometimes pretty dishonest about food things.  For example, it could produce a big jar of vegetable oil and put one drop of olive oil in it, and then they label it as "Olive Oil Blend". 


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