Because of the large amount of Mushrooms sprouting in the pasture and manure piles this is
important information for Adults and Children around these areas. Pictured above are a few
mushrooms photographed in the pasture.
How many mushroom ingestion's happen in a year?
Every year across the United States, more than 9,000 cases of mushroom ingestion's are reported to
the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Children under the age of 6 years account for a
majority of these cases. The consequences of mushroom poisoning can be severe.
Mushroom or Toadstool whats the different?
Because there is so much misinformation about toadstools and mushrooms, the terms need
definition. Some people mistakenly believe the word "mushroom" means an edible or safe variety and
the word "toadstool" means a poisonous or bad mushroom. This is incorrect. Many mushrooms are
poisonous and some toadstools are edible or safe.
How poisonous are mushrooms?
Medically speaking, "poisonous mushroom" means any mushroom or toadstool that causes an
adverse or negative reaction when eaten. Symptoms can range from 6 hours of vomiting to lethal
liver or kidney failure.
How many poisonous mushrooms are there?
In the United States, there are about 5,000 types of mushrooms. Of these, about 100 are
responsible for most of the cases of mushroom poisoning. Less than a dozen species are considered
deadly. However, death from other species, even so-called "safe" mushrooms, has occurred in very
young children or in very ill adults.
What are the facts and fiction about mushroom identification?
FICTION: A mushroom is considered safe if:
Ideally, people and animals should never eat mushrooms that have not been identified by an expert
or bought at the store. Unfortunately, many mushrooms are difficult to identify even for a trained
mycologist, a biologist trained in the study of mushrooms.
What symptoms do poisonous mushrooms cause? There are a variety of mushrooms, each may
cause different symptoms. Since there are approximately 5000 types of mushrooms in the United
States each may cause different symptoms, these are broke down in groups.
Group 1. CYCLOPEPTIDES: The first signs and symptoms may not develop for six to 24 hours,
usually 10-14 hours after the ingestion. Symptoms begin with sharp abdominal pains, followed by
violent vomiting and persistent diarrhea, often containing blood and mucous. In three to four days,
the patient begins to worsen with symptoms of kidney and liver failure. Death is very possible.
Group 1A. ORELLANINE: Symptoms begin 36 hours to 11 days after ingestion. They include nausea,
lack of appetite, headache and, most importantly, a severe burning thirst and kidney failure.
Group 2. IBOTENIC ACID-MUSCIMOL: A state resembling alcohol intoxication develops 30 to 60
minutes after ingestion. Confusion, muscle spasms, delirium and visual disturbances, which last for
about four hours, develop following the intoxicated state. Vomiting usually does not occur.
Drowsiness and sleep follow and recovery is usually rapid.
Group 3. MONOMETHYLHYDRAZINE: After six to eight hours, the patient experiences a feeling of
fullness in the stomach followed by vomiting and watery diarrhea. Headache, fatigue, cramps and
intense pain in the liver and stomach regions occur, followed by jaundice. Seizures occur in cases.
Group 4. MUSCARINE-HISTAMINE: Within 30 minutes to two hours after ingestion, symptoms include
sweating, drooling, diarrhea, watery eyes, blurred vision, pinpoint pupils, decreased heart rate and
blood pressure, and asthmatic breathing. (The sweating, drooling, diarrhea and watery eyes do NOT
occur with other types of mushroom poisonings.)
Group 5. COPRINE: Symptoms will occur if this mushroom is eaten by a person who drinks alcohol
within the next 5 days. Flushing of the face and neck, a metallic taste in the mouth, numbness of the
hands and feet, palpitations, and an increased heart rate are the symptoms.
Group 6. PSILOCYBIN-PSILOCYN: These are the hallucinogenic mushrooms that alter
consciousness. An intoxicated or hallucinogenic condition begins between 30 and 60 minutes after
ingestion. The mood may be apprehensive (anxious) or pleasant. The person may experience
compulsive movements and uncontrolled laughter. In children, a high temperature (102-106½ F) with
seizures may develop.
Group 7. GASTROINTESTINAL: Within 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion, sudden severe vomiting and
mild to severe diarrhea with abdominal cramps occurs. Symptoms generally last six hours. In
children, this may lead to dehydration severe enough to require hospital treatment.
DO NOT WAIT FOR SYMPTOMS TO APPEAR.
TAKE A SAMPLE OF THE MUSHROOM THAT HAS BEEN INGESTED TO THE DOCTOR.
If it is a small child that you find eating mushrooms, it is important to call a doctor immediately
because of their small size and body weight the mushroom ingestion may have an even quicker and
stronger effect. Just because a victim does not have any symptoms right away does not mean that
everything is OK. Symptoms may not develop until several days later. Not all mushrooms are
poisonous. But several people have developed complete liver failure after eating the wrong
mushrooms. They received liver transplants and will be taking anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their
lives. If no liver is available for an emergency transplant, the patient could die.
NO ANTIDOTES TO TREAT MUSHROOM POISONING?
There is NO antidote for mushroom poisoning! All mushrooms not bought at the grocery store are
considered to be potentially dangerous. Call the Poison Center as soon as you even suspect a
mushroom ingestion. If a significant amount of time passes after the ingestion, treatment at a hospital
will be required. Mushroom ingestion's can be very serious and emergency treatment may be
required. Spring and autumn seasons with cool, damp evenings encourage mushroom growth.
Check your yard for mushrooms before letting young children and pets out to play. Be watchful of
people, teenagers in fields that may be picking mushrooms to use as an hallucinogenic, this is a very
popular use by teenagers, no one should be picking them for any reason. Teach children not to
taste or even touch ANY outdoor mushrooms. Don't add mushrooms from the wild to your gourmet
dishes unless you are absolutely positive that the mushroom has been accurately identified and is
safe. The life you save may be your own.
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Photos By Paula Carver