Food Poisoning Symptoms

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Overview of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a condition induced by the consumption of contaminated or spoilt food. The symptoms differed based on the amount of food consumed and the cause. There are various potential causative agents, such as even toxic chemicals and harmful microbes, that are formed when the food breaks down.

The word “Food Poisoning” is a misnomer as most infections are caused by pathogens like viruses and bacteria rather than artificial or natural toxins. Some of them are caused by abnormal reactions to food, on which an allergy especially. The effects of food poisoning include acute, usually lasting for about three days to one week.

Food Poisoning Causes

Food poisoning is caused because of the reasons given below.

Bacteria mainly cause food poisoning. Salmonella, Listeria, and E.coli, by far, are the most dangerous bacteria that cause food poisoning. Clostridium botulinum and Campylobacter are the lethal bacteria that spoil the canned food.

Viruses, in many cases, also cause food poisoning. Rotavirus, Norovirus, astrovirus, and sapovirus causes various cases of food poisoning every year. Hepatitis - A is a severe condition that can be easily transmitted via food.

Pathogens are found on all food items that are eaten by humans. When we heat the food, most of the pathogens count is killed. Raw food is a primary cause of food poisoning. Meat, eggs, and dairy products are even more contaminated.

Food Poisoning Symptoms or Signs of Food Poisoning

The food poisoning symptoms that include primarily are given below. These are also called otherwise as signs of food poisoning. If we think about what are the symptoms of food poisoning, those possible cases can be listed below.

  • Diarrhea - Diarrhea is one of the significant symptoms of food poisoning. It is characterized by a loose bowel movement and frequent watery. This happens due to the inflammation not allowing the bowel to reabsorb the fluids or water secreted during digestion.

  • Abdominal Pain and Cramps - In the case of food poisoning, the harmful microorganisms produce toxic substances, cause inflammation in the stomach lining and intestinal. This results in cramps and pains in the stomach.

  • Vomiting - This is also one of the significant food poisoning symptoms. This happened when the body tried for toxins removal. Thereby, it brings up the stomach contents and forces the vomit out of the mouth.

  • Headache - Food poisoning causes dehydration and fatigue. This, in turn, results in a headache. The brain temporarily shrinks because of the loss of water, which causes a headache.

  • Fever and Chills - Pyrogens, the fever producing substances, increases the body temperature. The body shivers to raise the temperature, causing chills.

Treatment for Food Poisoning

Usually, food poisoning can possibly be treated in the home itself and will resolve within three to five days in most cases.

If we have food poisoning, it is crucial to remain hydrated properly. Sports drinks containing a good amount of electrolytes can be helpful with this. Coconut water and fruit juices can restore carbohydrates by helping with fatigue.

It is better to avoid caffeine because it may irritate the digestive tract. Decaffeinated teas with soothing herbs such as peppermint, dandelion, and chamomile may calm an upset stomach.

Over-the-counter medications, including Pepto-Bismol and Imodium, can help to control diarrhea and also suppress nausea. However, it is advised to check with our doctor before using these medications, as the body uses diarrhea and vomiting to rid the toxin system. Using these medications could also mask the severity of the illness and causes us to delay in seeking expert treatment.

Also, those with food poisoning need to get the required period of rest.

Individuals may need hydration with intravenous (IV) fluids at a hospital in severe food poisoning cases. In the worst cases of food poisoning, a more extended hospitalization may also be required while a few individuals recover.

Food Poisoning Effects on Body

Some of the food poisoning effects on body include:

  • On Whole-Body - Dehydration, chills, dizziness, fever, fatigue, light-headedness, malaise, sweating, or loss of appetite

  • Pain Areas - In the rectum or abdomen part

  • Gastrointestinal Problems - Diarrhoea, bloating, indigestion, gagging, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, or flatulence

  • As common Problems - Weakness or headache

Diagnosing Food Poisoning

Many food poisoning cases never get an official diagnosis. This is due to most of the people recover within a few days at their own homes. If we have severe symptoms of food poisoning, our doctor will diagnose us. The person who got affected may order a blood test to determine if bacteria cause food poisoning. Alternatively, he or she may collect a stool sample to determine what germ has caused food poisoning.

Duration of Food Poisoning

The symptoms of ciguatera poisoning, which is caused by the intake of a fash can last for 1 to 2 weeks. Exactly how long a person last will depend on the amount of poison they have in the body. The symptoms can appear back at any time when anyone had an affected fish. Usually, the symptoms of scombroid poisoning last for 24 hours or less. The symptoms can fall back at any time a person ate fish that has not been properly refrigerated. Scombroid and ciguatera poisonings are rarely fatal.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How to Identify if a Person is Dehydrated?

Symptoms of dehydration usually include:

  • Urine that is darker than usual, or there may be a case with little or no urine

  • Sleepiness or fatigue

  • Dry mouth

  • Headache

  • Extreme thirst

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • Confusion

  • No tears when crying

To treat mild dehydration, try to take frequent water sips. Clear sodas, soups, and juice mixed with water can also help. Avoid tea, coffee, caffeinated drinks, and dark sodas. These drinks can make dehydration worse than expected. Give water to the children who have mild dehydration and/or an oral rehydration solution (ORS). An ORS contains the right mix of sugar, potassium, salet, and other nutrients to help replace lost body fluids. We can also buy an ORS at any grocery stores and drugstores. If our dehydration is severe, we may need to be treated in the hospital as soon as possible., doctors will give us intravenous (through an IV) fluids and electrolytes on a required amount.

2. Explain Living with Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning is a worsening condition that comes and goes. However, a person may be more likely to get food poisoning compared to another.

Elder ones and children are most likely to get affected by food poisoning. We may also be at a higher risk if we:

  • Have recently traveled to areas beyond the United States surroundings. We may have had greater exposure to germs that cause food poisoning

  • Are pregnant

  • Have a chronic medical condition, like diabetes or kidney diseases

  • Contained with a weaker immune system, and it could be caused by drugs taken after an organ transplant, infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or certain chemotherapy medicines.