So I went hiking a couple years ago and lost my water filter. So instead of cancelling my hike, I put pepper spray in my unfiltered water thinking it might be antiseptic. 3 days later I came down with watery diarrhea that made me dump a whole bowel movement’s worth of water at least four times during the night. It was so bad that I was even rehydrating with water and still got a headache which I cured with Gatorade. I had to go to the bathroom a couple more times the next day but other than that I had absolutely no symptoms and was fine after that.
Here’s the thing. According to Wikipedia, the main pathogens causing Wilderness Diarrhea have an incubation period of 7 days, not 3. Plus, I actually did check my stool to see if it was bloody or mucousy, and it was not to the best of my knowledge (which would seem to rule out the main Wilderness Diarrhea pathogens as well unless I was wrong.) Plus the main pathogens also have others symptoms like fever, which I didn’t have, and fatigue, which I only had because I couldn’t get any sleep! I was strong enough to walk around Washington D.C. that day without pooping out (ha!) until late afternoon.
I wonder if this wasn’t my gut’s reaction to the capsaicins from the pepper spray, but it usually takes me less than 2 days for me to get diarrhea if I have to much hot food to eat and it doesn’t cause watery diarrhea.
I wonder if I didn’t get a totally unrelated pathogen from something I ate before my hike and it didn’t bite me until I hit Washington.