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Health issues

Health experiences

29 July 2018


Cristina Garcia Del Campo in Javea, Spain, is a teacher/medical interpreter who attends medical appointments (with English people mainly) & it came to Cristina's attention recently that Nolotil/Metamizol, a strong painkiller was toxic to many British & Irish descendants, causing issues with their white blood cells, often leading to sepsis & sometimes death.

Working alone Cristina has tirelessly strived to help stop these drugs being used/prescribed in Spain, they are banned in the UK & many countries. Well over 100,000 people have been reached so far and warned about the terrible effects of NOLOTIL/METAMIZOL on the British and Irish and many, many lives have been saved. 

On a  personal note: At the end of April I was in the Costa Blanca, Spain & contracted Shingles. As well as an antiviral drug I was prescribed Metamizol for pain relief by a Dr. at Guardamar Medical Centre. I had heard about Nolotil but not Metamizol (though I now understand it is the same). I decided not to take the drug then I started reading about Cristina's sole efforts to get the drug banned because of everything she had found out.



The full article can be read here:


Follow Cristina Drug Research on Facebook 

From Cristina, posted on her Facebook page 13/7/18 

Gracias a todos aquellos que me habéis hecho llegar vuestros casos durante estos meses. El pasado viernes 6 de julio me reuní con la AEMPS en Madrid y, tras presentarles mi carpeta repleta de casos acompañados de informes médicos y fotos de personas afectadas, han decidido dejar de recetar Metamizol a las poblaciones afectadas. A lo largo de esta semana han tenido conversaciones con el Hospital de Denia y esta mañana se han reunido los jefes de la AEMPS para decidir cómo y cuándo hacer efectiva dicha decisión.

Thank you to all those who made me get your cases over these months. Last Friday 6 July I met with the AEMPS in Madrid and, after presenting my folder full of cases accompanied by medical reports and photos of affected people, have decided to stop prescribing metamizole to affected populations. During this week they have had talks with the hospital in Denia and this morning the heads of the AEMPS have been gathered to decide how and when to make that decision effective.

You can listen to Cristina's interview on 26th July 2018 on Talk Radio Europe:

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: If you or your family or friends have suffered by taking the drug & didn't know about this problem please contact Cristina on email

She will send you a form which she would appreciate you filling in.


Below: Article in The Sunday Times 5/8/2018


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Hmmm, barium blocks toilets!
11 February 2012

Although most of the barium was drained out of me on Thursday morning I was told to ensure I ate high fibre foods like granary bread, Fruit 'n Fibre cereal, baked beans etc which would stop constipation which could likely occur otherwise. I was told my faeces would be white for up to 36 hours too. What they didn't say was the barium was like sludge & could well be a problem flushing it away.

We thought we'd get round that by keeping a large bucket in the bathroom & chucking water from that into the WC. After Googling I decided I was worried the barium would clog up the WC out of sight so this morning when it wouldn't flush away I donned a pair of Marigolds & gently put my hand down the pan & carefully managed to retrieve the barium ... which was like thick white sludge that tried to slide out of my fingers... & after a long discussion about which recycling bin it should go in it was decided it was ending up in the wheelie bin.

My husband was talking about burying it in the garden but it's solid ground out there seeing as the temps -2C & I persuaded him not to fuss quite so much. Subsequent 'dumps' have flushed away without problems, getting back to normality fast.


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9th February: Barium enema xray day
09 February 2012

As I said in my previous post my sleep was broken a number of times last night. I was tired & felt shaky. We had set the alarm for 8am as we needed to leave home at 9.45am, we were travelling to Weston Super Mare General hospital which is the other side of town to us. I went to the bathroom a few more times, feeling washed out by then, & was dismayed to see I was still passing bits of faeces in water & I had the worst feeling it was going to affect the Xrays. I can't do this again, I'd heard it's the preparation that's the worse part.

I checked in at Xray & was told to go to room 6 &, in case I forgot, I was handed an A5 sized laminated red card with ROOM 6 written on!! Unfortunately, at reception, we were told to go to the end of the corridor, turn right & sit down which was where I'd been before recently for a pelvic ultrasound. No sign of room 6 so I stayed where I was & my husband went off to locate room 6. He returned saying we'd passed it! It was through a door with ROOM 6 written on but the door had been wedged back so you didn't see the ROOM 6 on it!! It had three people waiting in there but they seemed to be waiting for people undergoing a procedure. I'd not even sat down when I was called through into a private changing room right by the waiting room.

A really sweet young nurse called Cheryl of around 25 said she was going to look after me. She said Steve was the consultant radiologist who was going to do the xrays but she would be with me at all times. She saw I was nervous but was very reassuring & said it would take 10 mins if that & they'd stop if I wanted them to. She explained what Steve was going to do. I asked if nothing was found could they please let me know rather than me have to worry up to two weeks for my doctor to get the results especially as I'm meant to be flying to Spain on March 3rd. CheryI said Steve would certainly do that. I was given two cotton gowns, one to wear with the ties at the back, the other to wear like a dressing gown to preserve my modesty. Cheryl called me into a dimmed Xray room where I met Steve - looked maybe mid 30's - who also was very personable. He explained the procedure in greater detail & Cheryl had obviously had told him I was very nervous.

I sat on the edge of a narrow padded Xray table & then lay down with my head on a pillow, my feet against a metal footrest. Steve explained he would give me an injection of Buscopan into a vein to relax my bowel which makes it more comfortable for me & easier for him. He couldn't find my vein in my right elbow but my left one was fine & I felt nothing, needles don't bother me anyway. Then he asked me to roll onto my left side so he could insert a tube into my anus. He put gel on my anus & very slowly inserted the tube which I didn't see but I think it was probably only 1/2" in diameter, Steve said it only goes in about 2". I think his 2" differs to my 2" though. It seemed to be in further than that, it wasn't very pleasant but it was over in seconds. He said he was going to tape the tube to my BTM so it didn't come out as I'd be asked to move positions a lot. Then he said barium was flowing into my colon, I felt nothing at all till he added a bit of air when I felt like I wanted to go to the WC but the air was added very slowly. It didn't phase me & I didn't get cramps like I've read many others experience. The air expands the colon so the barium coats the colon easily. He added more air as the barium moved further into my colon.

I started off on my left side then moved onto my back then onto my right side then I was tilted so I was almost standing up then flat on my back again then into a position where my head was lower than my legs. Cheryl was constantly keeping me reassured. (I was worried I'd fall off the narrow table). Steve asked me if I'd like to watch on the monitor once I faced him & I watched with great interest. He explained that, if I watched a narrow part of the colon he was pointing out, it would expand as he puffed more air in. Fascinating. He said he'd done around 6,000 barium enema Xrays. It was over fast & extremely interesting & certainly not painful or with much discomfort. I'd worried about having the procedure since my Dr had said she was ordering one over two weeks ago. I'd suffered nightmares & anxiety attacks over it too, mainly the results should it indicate cancer, everyones concern. The barium bag was taken down & laid on the floor allowing the 300ml of barium back into the bag. This, I was told, means I won't have the cramping as bad as the air comes out too. I was shown to the WC where I was told to take as long as I liked to make myself comfortable & I was ok within a minute. I was expecting to feel bad & I didn't.

Steve assured me he had seen nothing of concern, no cancers & no polyps either though he explained he wouldn't see any polyps under 5mm. That was the news I wanted, the news I'd dared to hope for.

I said I had to return tomorrow to have an ultrasound of my stomach area having already had one of my pelvic area due to pain in my abdomen. I said I'd rung to ask if I could maybe have the ultrasound straight after the barium enema but was told the barium would affect the results but I could have the ultrasound the following day as already planned. Steve said the barium can stay in your system for a week so if I couldn't have the ultrasound that day I should not be having it tomorrow anyway but he said it would be ok to have it today & he'd try to find someone free to do it. I went to the WC & got dressed & he said a consultant was free so he would do it & within 15 mins I'd had the ultrasound & then drunk the coffee that Cheryl had made me too. I don't need to go out in the cold again & give the car park another £2 parking fee tomorrow.

As I'd bought Windsetlers I took two with some water once in the car & felt well enough, no wind, to go shopping in Aldi on the way home. They sell a great sliced loaf, a multigrain toast thickness one for only 89p & I want beans on toast later. I need to eat lots of fibre to get rid of any barium left in me. After eating white bread & low fibre foods for a few days I'm eager to have some tasty foods.

Back home our WC looks like I've cleaned it with Vim or Ajax powder as there's white in the bottom of it.

Well, that's it over with & no reason to worry any more. I hope this helps someone who's worried about this procedure.


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Like 0        Published at 19:46   Comments (0)

8th February: Preparation day
09 February 2012

8th February: 7.30am  I prepared the 1st Citramag to drink at 8am. I had to put 200ml of hot water into a large wide mouthed jug as it fizzes up LOADS! It was like adding water to Andrews Liver salts & it fizzed violently for ages as I stirred it. I shouldn't have looked into it as it had fumes coming from it that almost took my breath away. You could smell the lime & lemon, which it was flavoured with, all over the house.

At 8am it was cold & looked slightly milky. I was expecting it to taste disgusting but it thankfully was very pleasant. It tasted much like a very good lemonade, the one that says "made with real lemons". I was very relieved. I'd decided to take my laptop to the bedroom & work from there as it's next to the bathroom for convenience. It wasn't long till I felt heat starting in my stomach then I needed to go. I've not had solid motions in ages & I'm used to having diarrhea, that's one reason I'm being investigated. Yup, diarrhea! Still, better out than in & out IS the whole idea! A while later the fire began in earnest, another trip to the bathroom.

Now, I had been told I could have white bread & a boiled or poached egg for breakfast with the same for lunch but I had to fit lunch in before 4pm which was the latest time i was meant to take the 2nd dose of Citramag laxative. So, I made some toast & was waiting for it to cool when the need took over & I flew upstairs to the bathroom. OMG! I had such incredible pain in my stomach & felt sick too. I shouted out in pain & yelled "fetch a bucket fast" to my husband who, thankfully, was within hearing distance. Jeez!!! When your stomach is empty you bring up what tastes like grapefruit juice, awful. When the intense pain hit I sicked & crapped together, I was sweating & yet I felt chilled too. I felt desperate. Suddenly the sickness left me & I decided to eat my toast.

I had more toast with a few teaspoonfuls of plain cottage cheese around 3pm - I couldn't face egg - then made up the 2nd Citramag & thought "I'm not looking forward to this, AT ALL!" At 4pm I drank that & waited & waited & waited! It was ages till my stomach stirred, it rumbled rather than felt it was on fire. I never felt any urge (or pain) to go to the bathroom with this 2nd lot, I had to tell myself to go &, by then, it was like shitting through the eye of a needle.

By 7pm I decided I'd settled down enough to venture downstairs to watch TV in the lounge with my husband. I kept popping to the bathroom & more came away. At bedtime I'd felt I'd got off lightly with this 2nd dose. When I lay down I felt I had to go & that happened twice before I could settle - I put two thick towels under me, just in case - I woke a few times during the night to go then too so I didn't have a good night. I was also feeling shaky about this test &, quite naturally, the results. I've read up probably too much on health forums from others who've experienced it.


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Like 0        Published at 17:19   Comments (0)

Countdown to my barium enema xray
07 February 2012

Thursday 9th February is my barium enema xray so today I was only to eat low fibre food. As the xray dept didn't tell me WHAT to eat I ate two slices of white toast with the minimal of margarine (& black coffee which I'd have anyway) for a late breakfast then three small white rolls with chicken breast & a teeny bit of mayonaise so it wasn't so dry. I'd Googled for low fibre diets & it said I could eat chicken also mayonaise but I really wasn't sure. I do not want to have to repeat the xrays if I've done something wrong!

Tomorrow at 7.30am I have to add a strong laxative (Citramag powder) to 200ml of hot water then cool it & drink at 8am then I have to take a 2nd dose between 2pm & 4pm. I can eat a boiled or poached egg with white bread for breakfast after drinking the 1st Citramag & the same for lunch (with cheese & clear soup if I want) before the 2nd Citramag. nothing solid to eat afterwards till after the test at 10.20am Thursday. I'm allowed black tea, black coffee, Lucozade, clear soup, water, fizzy drinks tomorrow & Thursday.


** I’ve been using Transferwise to send money abroad. Really easy and a lot cheaper than the bank! Sign up now using this link and get your first transfer up to £3,000 for free.** For lots of info take a look at THIS.

Like 0        Published at 23:04   Comments (1)

Barium enema Xray
01 February 2012

After suffering pain in my abdomen for some time (not all the time) & also passing motions which are generally really loose & sometimes liquid a few times daily for some time - having been a once a day person - my doctor tested my urine & I had blood tests which were taken after I'd fasted. I had a pelvic scan too. I'd got a slightly raised sugar but, as it was immediately after Christmas, maybe that was due to the amount of Celebrations etc I ate.  The ultrasound showed nothing.

Today I had more blood tests & I have another ultrasound arranged to check out above the pelvic area (stomach etc) on 10th February BUT I'm booked in for a barium enema Xray on 9th & it is this that I'm concerned about. I am in the UK (Bristol area) having these tests. I am a UK resident but with a holiday home on the Costa Blanca.

I've read so much about it on the internet that I don't know what to think anymore &, as I suffer from anxiety attacks especially when stressed like I am, I can't think of anything else & I have been having nightmares & little sleep. I have been prescribed Citalopram daily to try to stop these attacks. 

So, can anyone tell me THEIR experiences of having a barium enema Xray please?

Kindly say where you had it (Spain or the UK & when).

Many thanks. 



** I’ve been using Transferwise to send money abroad. Really easy and a lot cheaper than the bank! Sign up now using this link and get your first transfer up to £3,000 for free.** For lots of info take a look at THIS.



Like 0        Published at 20:35   Comments (3)

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