Women’s Health Magazine Shares My Story on The Scary Fish Poisoning You Don’t Know About

Women’s Health Magazine Online breaks my story today; one that needs to be shared with people and physicians world-wide.

The Scary Fish Poisoning Disease You Haven’t Heard Of: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/ciguatera

I am approaching 3 years to the day, June 11, 2011; of when I first contracted this mysterious fish borne disease, ciguatera.  This debilitating condition has turned my life upside down but has given me a deep appreciation for those who suffer from neurological, untreatable medical conditions.



Mostly, I am humbled and inspired to think of so many people who endure chronic nerve pain on a daily basis and how they go on.  I will be very honest that this has been more difficult than having back surgery, broken legs at the same time; or even after a restaurant building’s roof, caved in on my head here on Maui in 2002; leaving me with a shaved head and stitches from ear to ear.  I would rather have any of those circumstances than dealing with ciguatera.

It is triggered by sunlight, intense exercise, alcohol, eating fish again, some nuts and is slow to ever go dormant.  My skin is usually a red-tan and the burning is insane and can make you insane.

The public, physicians and anyone traveling especially to exotic locations where they serve fish, such as sea bass, grouper, barracuda, snapper; need to be very aware of any unusual symptoms that may occur upon ingestion. It’s not often immediate.

*****NEW FINDINGS ON CIGUATERA DEVELOPMENT/ HOW AND WHERE SUZIE COONEY ACTUALLY CONTRACTED THE TOXIN: It was first suspected that shrimp was the carrier of the toxin. Since the first noted symptoms reported June 11, 2011 and after reviewing my personal calendar more in depth and interviewing who I was with, it was concluded that I ingested the toxin here on Maui at a local restaurant. Fish tacos were offered as an appetizer but the fish name or type was not offered. We also discovered that often different types of miscellaneous fish are battered and served in this fashion.There is no way to smell, sea or taste the toxin. Diner be ware and ask your server to confirm they type of fish you are requesting if it is not stated clearly on the menu.

To learn more and read my original story: A Personal Peek Into My Life: Living With Cigautera, click here   or here: https://suzietrainsmaui.com/a-personal-peek-into-my-life-living-with-ciguatera/   Here is an excerpt  “And what if you were paddling on a downwinder and your skin, your eyes, your mouth, your feet, felt afire like a vat of acid being poured on your body the entire way because your nerves have reversed your normal sensation of temperature?

The best I can do is share my story and continue to try and “live” my active lifestyle as it is my career.  We don’t have the answers to many things but hopefully one day there may be a way to permanently rid my body of this toxin.

I’d like to personally thank Kenny Thapoung and his editor, Amy Keller Laird, Executive Editor of Women’s Health.


Suzie Cooney
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Suzie Cooney



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