What We Treat

Food Poisoning: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Food poisoning, also called foodborne sickness, happens when you eat contaminated food. Contaminated foods have harmful organisms living in it, such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses. Food poisoning may develop due to these microbes’ poisonous waste products.

Toxins are eliminated from the body as a protective mechanism after ingestion. You might get rid of the poison by throwing up, developing a fever, or both. Your body’s response to food poisoning is the unpleasant symptoms you experience, which might take two days to develop.

Causes of Food Poisoning

  • Bacteria And Viruses

Bacteria and viruses like Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Listeria, and Campylobacter cause most cases of food poisoning. The severity and intensity of food poisoning symptoms vary depending on the specific organism responsible for the contamination.

  • Parasites

Parasites, like Giardia and Cryptosporidium, are organisms that survive off of the resources and safety of other organisms, called hosts. The most common hosts for these parasites are dirty water and raw meat.

  • Toxins

Most cases of food poisoning are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites, as opposed to toxic substances in the food. However, some cases of food poisoning can be attributed to either naturally occurring or artificially added contaminants and chemicals.

  • Allergens

An allergic reaction to food is an aberrant response by the immune system to a particular meal. People who suffer from food allergies may have adverse responses when exposed to foods including nuts, dairy products, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

The type of germ you consume will determine the severity of your symptoms. The most typical signs of food poisoning are:

  • Stomach cramps.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

Treatment of Food Poisoning

Keeping yourself hydrated is the best home treatment for food poisoning. Diarrhea, vomiting, and fever can cause significant fluid loss. Water, clear broth, and electrolyte replacement beverages can assist in maintaining hydration and replenishing lost electrolytes.

Mild meals like bread, crackers, bananas, and rice can be reintroduced once the initial bout of nausea and vomiting has passed. Avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, or spice since these may make your condition worse.

Symptoms can be managed with the use of several over-the-counter (OTC) medications. However, talking to a doctor before taking any medication is crucial, as different conditions call for different treatments.

Prevention of Food Poisoning

It’s important to clean fresh produce in sanitary water thoroughly. Prepare food safely by washing your hands and any tools you use. Cutting boards, countertops, and plates should all be washed and disinfected before being used.

Separate raw meats and eggs from other foods to prevent infection. Meat products may harbor bacteria that are killed during cooking. Transferring those germs to an uncooked food item increases the likelihood that they will grow and spread.

Cooked dishes should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours to prevent bacteria growth. Look for signs of mold and other microbial growth in your refrigerated items. Toss out any dairy that has gone bad or is past its expiration date.

Book Your Appointment at Novomed Today!

If you think you have food poisoning symptoms or want to book an appointment with board-certified specialists at Novomed, call us toll-free on 8006686 or click the live chat icon at the bottom of the screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is food poisoning diagnosed?

Your doctor will evaluate your current state of health and the foods and beverages you have consumed recently. They may take a blood sample or examine a stool sample to look for certain parasites or bacteria if you’ve been experiencing certain symptoms.

How long does food poisoning usually last?

Most cases of food poisoning clear up in a few days to a week. However, this can vary depending on the contaminant type and the disease’s severity.

Can food poisoning occur from eating fruits and vegetables?

When contaminated with hazardous bacteria or parasites, fruits and vegetables can be a common source of food poisoning. Fruits and vegetables should be washed properly before being consumed.

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