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23 Jul

Food Poisoning – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Overview:

A very common disease brought upon by eating wrong, food poisoning or foodborne illness is caused when one eats contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food.

 

What are the causes of food poisoning?

Food poisoning is caused by 3 major organisms. They are:

  1. Bacteria: E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella
  2. Parasites: Toxoplasma
  3. Viruses: Norovirus, also known as the Norwalk virus, sapovirus, rotavirus, and astrovirus.

 

What organs are affected?

Food poisoning affects the entire abdomen area. Stomach, intestines, etc.

 

Symptoms:

  Generic symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • mild fever
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • headaches

Symptoms of potentially life-threatening food poisoning include:

  • diarrhea persisting for more than three days
  • a fever higher than 101.5°F
  • difficulty seeing or speaking
  • symptoms of severe dehydration, which may include dry mouth, passing little to no urine, and difficulty keeping fluids down
  • bloody urine

 

Prevention/Treatment:

Prevention:

Some foods are more likely to cause food poisoning because of the way they’re produced and prepared. Meat, poultry, eggs, and shellfish may harbor infectious agents that are killed during cooking. If these foods are eaten in their raw form, not cooked properly, or if hands and surfaces are not cleaned after contact, food poisoning can occur.

Other foods that are likely to cause food poisoning include:

  • sushi and other fish products that are served raw or undercooked
  • deli meats and hot dogs that are not heated or cooked
  • ground beef, which may contain meat from several animals
  • unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juice
  • raw, unwashed fruits and vegetables

Always wash your hands before cooking or eating food. Make sure that your food is properly sealed and stored. Thoroughly cook meat and eggs. Anything that comes in contact with raw products should be sanitized before using it to prepare other foods. Make sure to always wash fruits and vegetables before serving.

 

Treatment:

Food poisoning can usually be treated at home, and most cases will resolve within three to five days.

  • Stay hydrated
  • Sports drinks high in electrolytes can be helpful with this. Fruit juice and coconut water can restore carbohydrates and help with fatigue.
  • Avoid caffeine, which may irritate the digestive tract.
  • Decaffeinated teas with soothing herbs like chamomile, peppermint, and dandelion may calm an upset stomach. Read about more remedies for an upset stomach.
  • Over-the-counter medications like Imodium and Pepto-Bismol can help control diarrhea and suppress nausea.
  • It’s also important for those with food poisoning to get plenty of rest.
  • In severe cases of food poisoning, individuals may require hydration with intravenous (IV) fluids at a hospital.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-poisoning#treatment

 

 

Qube Health
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