Woman poisoned after eating fish bile in folk remedy

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A woman is recovering in hospital in China after eating raw fish bile to cure eye discomfort.

The 43-year-old woman from the Hankou district of Wuhan, Hubai Province, was rushed into hospital last week with abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. According to the report in Wuhan News, she had heard of a folk remedy where fish bile is eaten to alleviate eye ailments and as a result had extracted some bile from a raw carp and taken it.

But in fact bile acid is toxic and can lead to liver or kidney failure. Doctors diagnosed her with severe liver damage and following three days of treatment she has now been transferred to a gastroenterology ward.

A spokesman at the hospital said there have been many cases of people ingesting fish bile as part of the same folk remedy, explaining that in larger doses it can lead to disease of the nervous and cardiovascular system and acute liver failure.

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