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Back Training Again, Recovered From Illness — well, not so fast: Contaminated Turkish Apricots?

Update: how crazy. Less than 24 hours after I wrote the text that follows below the logs, terrible abdominal bloating, extremely uncomfortable left side chest ache/pain, right side localized pain, feeling hot as if feverish. Same deal as what I fought for 6 weeks so I'm quite concerned.

Terrible flatulence night of 7/12, so something 7/12 kicked off a strong reaction all over again, the one I fought for weeks. Food reaction or infectious? Is it the food or is it something else like a certain type of wheat?

Scared that the problem is gonna persist as before.

UPDATE: the apricots that I suspect as the root cause are from Turkey, which is signficant, see quote and link to scientific paper below.

UPDATE 2 July 20: stomach isn’t right yet and the localized right side pain persists on and off (I call it RSG = “right side gurgle” because of highly localized air bubbles; I can massage the area and make gurling noises there, something ain't right in that spot). But my training has not been interrupted in spite of my abdomen remainins unsettled and carrying water weight. To be clear, this is something very different from conventional food poisoning (no diarrhea).

See comments that follow.

Organic turkish-style dried apricots suspicious: have caused severe gas before. I am an idiot or eating them. Could they be contaminated (who could test them?) or some kind of food reaction? Or could it be a certain type of whole grain wheat as per 7/13 diet? Or the pecans or nut bar? Had not eaten pecans in July until 7/11 (35g).

Update: the apricots I strongly suspect as the cause are from Turkey, which dovetails neatly with the mite contamination theory that follows.

The apricots are not too far-fetched, as this article makes clear (mite contamination including mycotoxin- producing fungi). I will have to find their source. As an organic product, this seems even more possible than treated apricots (presumably no multispectral fumigant methyl-bromide). So it’s a long shot, but as this article states, the question of intestinal acariasis or other issue has a real scientific basis for considering it:

The introduction of live insects into human food is rare in developed countries. However we report, for the first time, an emerging risk that exists from dried fruit in Central Europe.

Recently, massive and frequent infestation of dried fruit imported from the Mediterranean region by the mite Carpoglpyhus lactis L. (Acarina: Carpoglyphidae) has been found. In 180 samples taken from supermarkets, 13% were contaminated; the contamination levels ranged from 0 to 660 mites per g of dried fruit. The contamination was found in dried apricots, figs, plums and raisins.


Because mites are well-known allergen producers (Colloff 2009), house dust mites are a primary concern because of their proximity to humans. However, recently, there has been an increasing number of reports describing the sensitization of humans not only to Dermatophagoides mites but also to stored-product mites (Fernandez-Caldas 1997).

The consumption of pest mites may cause allergic reaction and also direct infestation in the form of intestinal acariasis (Li et al. 2003). Allergy risk is heightened by the limited options available for effective mite chemical control using traditional pesticides (Hubert et al. 2007).

The second risk is associated with the vectoring of mycotoxin-producing fungi. The association of mites and mycotoxin-producing fungi such as Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. has been reported (Aucamp 1969; Franzolin et al. 1999; Hubert et al. 2004). The contamination of dried fruit by aflatoxins and ochratoxin is a common event (Trucksess and Scott 2008). During their migration, mites can disseminate the fungal spores. The risks associated with C. lactis are possible allergen production and vectoring of mycotoxin-producing fungi. Although there is no evidence of this for C. lactis, evidence does exist for related species of mites. The contamination of dried fruit is directly correlated with the risk of direct consumption of hazardous mites.

Or they could be radioactive (see Chernobyl's radioactive contamination of food and people or this piece realizing that reality and fear-mongering are often two different things). I do not have a geiger counter to test for radioactive contamination or even know if it could test for Cesium-137:

In many European countries levels of I-131, Cs-134/137, Sr-90, and other radionuclides in milk, dairy products, vegetables, grains, meat, and fish increased drastically (sometimes as much as 1,000-fold) immediately after the catastrophe. Up until 1991 the United States imported food products with measurable amounts of Chernobyl radioactive contamination, mostly from Turkey, Italy, Austria, West Germany, Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Sweden, and Denmark. These products included juices, cheeses, pasta, mushrooms, hazelnuts, sage, figs, tea, thyme, juniper, caraway seeds, and apricots.

Generally felt OK in morning through about 13:00, but then mild symptoms start to build steadily to considerable discomfort at 17:00.

The following was written about 24 hours prior to the above

Two months shot from an unknown 'bug', which I suspect was an internal infection, hard to kill, perhaps something E. Coli like. I was able to ride over that period with varying success, generally (in June) rides at 1/3 and 1/2 distance at low power, and skipping some days.

After nearly two weeks of a course of Clarithromycin antibiotic and continuing internal left-chest and right-abdominal pain, and a show-nothing ultrasound and X-ray, I inadvertantly took 3 antibiotic pills on the 29th of June day instead of two.

The very next day the fatigue vaporized, the pain retreated, and I had a good hard ride. I repeated that dosage the next day. Over the next ~5 days the pains steadily diminished and then disappeared. I think I had a pernicious hard-to-kill bug internally. All it took was a higher dose. It could have been a wild coincidence, but that’s sure the way it looks to me.

I've had good strong workouts now since June 30, so I think the bug is finally killed off. While it made me miss all my planned late April through late June events, I am elated to be back to normal again.

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