Woman Mistook Stomach Symptoms for Food Poisoning

A young woman- Diana Zepeda, 34, assumed that her Gastrointestinal symptoms were as a result of stress and insufficient diet.

Here is her story in her brightest hope that others, who are wise enough, will definitely learn from her misapprehension.

Two years ago, she started experiencing diarrhea. But, instead of apprehending the situation clearly, she assumed unanimously that it was her diet and stress since she used to work many an hour. During an interview, she told TODAY, saying: “I thought to myself, ‘I guess I shouldn’t eat sushi in someone’s car for 40 minutes’”.

However, the seen symptoms did not disappear quickly. Last year January when she defecating, she observed blood coming out and the diarrhea was always on and on. She went to the family doctor, gastroenterologist Dr. Jessica Korman, so as to get some drugs for the diarrhea.

Dr. Korman, who is with Capital Digestive Care in Washington had to run blood test and carried out a laboratory test on Diana stool. Tests revealed that Diana had E coli and drugs were thus prescribed for her by Korman. Escherichia coli (E coli) are bacteria found in the food, environment, and intestinal walls of people. The availability of these E coli in her intestines is as a result of the food (possibly the sushi she had been eating).  But the prescription did not get better as they had thought. Diana said: “my symptoms didn’t get better, they got worse”.

After several tests carried out but no progress was seen, her doctor set a day for a colonoscopy procedure. This is a procedure that helps a doctor (gastroenterologist) to examine the inside of the colon (large intestine) with the aid of a colonoscope, transmitting an image of the lining of the colon to help the doctor examine it for any abnormalities.

But because the procedure did not work, Diana was given a partial colonoscopy called sigmoidoscopy. They discovered that there was tumor blocking her colon. A biopsy procedure revealed that she had stage 4 colon cancer.  What a paralyzing news to her and her family!


The tests revealed that Diana’s cancer had also spread to her liver. As a result, surgery was recommended by doctors in other to remove part of her colon, 75 percent of her liver, her appendix, and her gall bladder.

Expressing how shocked she was, she said: “I was pretty paralyzed with shock”.

The surgery involved the removal of her ovaries first, so that her fertility might be preserved since she is still a young woman and anticipates to have children. The surgery was climaxed with a short round of radiation for shrinking the tumors before the organs and lymph nodes were removed.

By and large, Diana Zepeda has a message for everyone; “stop self-diagnosing and please go to the doctor”, she said.

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