What are the causes and symptoms of mushroom poisoning?
Poisonous mushrooms contain at least two different types of toxins, each of which can cause death if taken in large enough quantities. Some of the toxins found in poisonous mushrooms are among the most potent ever discovered. One group of poisons, known as amatoxins, blocks the production of DNA, the basis of cell reproduction. This leads to the death of many cells, especially those that reproduce frequently such as in the liver, intestines, and kidney. Other mushroom poisons affect the proteins needed for muscle contraction, and therefore reduce the ability of certain muscle groups to perform. Symptoms of Amanita poisoning occur in different stages or phases. These include: • First phase. Abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and severe watery diarrhea occur anywhere from 6-24 hours after eating the mushroom and last for about 24 hours. These intestinal symptoms can lead to dehydration and low blood pressure (hypotension). • Second phase. A period of remission of symptoms that lasts 1
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