Food poisoning is commonly related to outside food consumption but the real fact is that food poisoning can occur even with homemade-food if cleanliness and safety measures are not taken while preparing food at home. Have you heard of people opting for vaccination before travelling abroad? The reason for it is that the water in certain countries may be contaminated with germs and viruses that can get a person hepatitis A, food such as uncooked shellfish or contaminated water is responsible for this type of virus.
The common symptom of a food poisoning is vomiting, diarrhoea or severe dehydration. The condition of a food poisoned patient varies from one to another depending on the amount of toxins consumed with the contaminated food and it must be remembered to never take medication unless your doctor has prescribed it.
What is Food poisoning?
Food poisoning is a condition where a person falls ill after consuming germ infected food. The lining of the gut gets inflamed in the stomach and intestine due to infection caused by viruses, parasite or bacteria. Though food poisoning is not a life-threatening disease, one of the serious complications of it is dehydration which may affect elderly people or young age children drastically. This condition is known to get cured within a week but extra precautions must be taken to prevent major damage to the internal system.
Main causes of Food poisoning
As the name suggests food poisoning is caused by food which has not been cooked properly or reheated, food which is not stored in a clean environment, left out food for a long time, consumed after an expired date, cooked or handled by someone who is not well or hasn’t washed their hands thoroughly.
Thus, it is necessary to maintain a clean environment in the kitchen-keep the chopping boards washed, regularly wash the dishcloths and renew them frequently. It has been found out that primarily 5 types of bacteria are responsible for this disease-
Present in eggs, dairy products and meat
Vegetables, oysters, and fruits contain this type of bacteria
Found in products like milk, cream and eggs
This bacteria is found in contaminated water or under cooked food.
To prevent such harmful bacteria from entering your system wash all edibles properly and cook them to ensure healthy food in your table; there are certain things that are needed to be taken care of, discussing broadly in the next section, keep reading.
Precautions of Food poisoning
Food poisoning can be prevented by following some simple yet effective steps-
- Maintain a safe cooking temperature
- Discard food when in doubt
- Separate raw food from preserved food (ready-to-read)
- Wash your hands before cooking a meal and while serving too.
- Always keep raw meat at the bottom shelf of the fridge to avoid contact with other food
- Regulate your fridge temperature, try to keep it below 5C
- Never eat preserved food that has expired even it looks or smells fine, germs might have already started growing in it. Discard a packet that has past its use-by date.
Symptoms of Food poisoning
After dinning on a hefty meal if you are experiencing one of these symptoms then there is a high probability that we might be suffering from food poisoning-
- An upset stomach that leads to bloody stools
- High fever that escalates to a temperature over 102F
- Dry mouth and throat
- Very less urination
- Dizzy feels
- Diarrhoea for three days or more
- Frequent vomiting
- Sudden blur in vision
- Muscles ache and stiff neck
When do I reach out to a doctor?
If you are suffering from the above-mentioned symptoms then you must immediately rush to the doctor, never delay a treatment thinking that you don’t have an adequate amount of money. LetsMD’s medical loan is here to rescue you if you’re going through a financial crisis and not able to get treatment. This medical loan will cover all medical expenses, all you need to call in the toll-free number: – 08448398633
Risk factors of Food poisoning
Symptoms of food poisoning can vary from person to person and may become severe depending on a number of factors. People with a less effective or weak immune system have a higher risk of food poisoning. Cancer patients, people with HIV/AIDS, diabetes patient, pregnant women, children up to the age of 5 years and elderly people must take special care and precautions while eating or handling food.
All such people in this risk group may experience severe condition if they get food poisoning, which also involves the risk of getting hospitalized.
Treatment of Food poisoning
Before undergoing treatment for food poisoning, proper diagnosis is carried out to confirm if the person has food poisoning or not. The doctor at first looks at the illness history of a person, types of food consumed in the last few days, and also a physical examination is done to check if there are signs of dehydration or not.
A couple of tests are also done like a blood test, stool culture to observe and examine for the presence of the parasite. For a few people, the condition may improve within a few days while others may take time.
Some of the treatment methods of food poisoning are-
At times doctor prescribes antibiotics to prevent further damage to the system due to food poisoning. For pregnant women, antibiotics are not recommended as they can affect the baby.
Replacement of lost fluids
Minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium are fed to a food poisoned patient in fluid form and electrolytes. These minerals help to maintain the balance of the fluids in the body and also treat dehydration.
Elderly people may switch to drink oral rehydration solutions like infalyte, naturalyte, ceralyte and pedialyte that contain glucose and electrolytes that will help to provide relief from the complications such as excess vomiting, severe dehydration etc.
For infants and children below the age of 5 years should be given to drink breast milk. Discuss with your doctor before offering any form of electrolyte to your child/infant.
Home remedies for Food poisoning
There are a handful of home remedies that can effectively provide relief from a food poisoning or in some condition it can get cure too with a day. Try to keep yourself dehydrated as much as possible and follow a very mild diet so that your stomach system settles down fast from the already infected food. Avoid solid food and stick to a liquid friendly diet such as-
- Chicken broth
- Boiled vegetables or vegetable soup
- Fruit juice
- Low sugar oatmeal
- Sports drinks
- You can also serve on bland mash potato with a pinch of salt in it.
Take rest and don’t overwork. See if you’re dehydrated enough or not by the colour of your urine. If the urine is dark in colour then it indicates that your system is not hydrated. Avoid certain food and drinks such as alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, nicotine, fatty, fried or highly seasoned food.
Food poisoning can be quite uncomfortable but the better part is that it does not last for long for most patients. Make sure to maintain a hygienic environment in the kitchen, wash your hand before eating and cooking food, sanitize raw products before cooking, and never consume leftover food that has not been properly sealed. While eating outside, always see that you’re dining at a clean and hygienic place,
What to eat during food poisoning?
Consuming bland food that does not irritate the stomach are usually the best ones. Go on a liquid diet, drink as much as water to keep your system hydrated. This will help to recover fast and once you are over a food poisoning reintroduce your normal diet to restore the energy lost.
How long does food poisoning last?
Food poisoning is reported to last for 1 to 2 days if by any chance it persists after it then he/she must immediately consult the doctor.
How to prevent food poisoning?
Food poisoning is one of the common food diseases that can occur due to unhygienic conditions. Therefore it is important to wash the vegetables, fruits and raw meat properly before preparing a dish. Also, care must be taken to wash the hands before cooking or handling food items.
How long does it take to recover from food poisoning?
It takes around one week to recover from food poisoning. Babies, pregnant women, and adults over 65 years of age are more prone to risk as their age and condition are subject to a weak immune system and thus they can become seriously ill from food poisoning.
How do I know if it’s food poisoning or a stomach virus?
The main difference between food poisoning and stomach virus is that the symptoms of a food poisoning start appearing within a few hours after consuming the contaminated food while the symptoms of a stomach virus take days to develop resulting in cramps and severe pain.
What is the most common cause of food poisoning?
The most common causes of food poisoning are bacteria and viruses. The effect then varies with the amount of viruses/bacteria consumed with the contaminated food.