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Food Poisoning Treatment

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Food poisoning (commonly known as foodborne illness) can cause severe illness and even death if not treated early.

It usually occurs within 48 hours of ingesting food or drink that is infected with food poisoning-causing pathogens.

Pregnant women, older, children under the age of 5, and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of food poisoning.

Severe food poisoning can significantly affect people who ignore their symptoms for too long. Hence it is important to undergo food poisoning treatment at the earliest.

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Food Poisoning-Causes Pathogens

There are a plethora of pathogens in our surroundings, which makes food poisoning a common problem.

About 250 different types of toxic foods are known to exist. Bacteria, parasites, or viruses can cause food poisoning, the most common of which are-

  • Parasites – Food poisoning by parasites is rare. These occur when consumed in contaminated or untreated water, causing minor symptoms that continue for days.
  • Campylobacter – one of the most common causes of intestinal issues, can persist for several weeks. The most common causes are contaminated meat, vegetables, milk, or water. Often, illness is self-inflicted, and death is rare.
  • Clostridium perfringens – It can be found in raw or undercooked meat, poultry, and cooked food. Symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea may emerge within 6-24 hours, although for other people it can take days or weeks.
  • E. coli – Mild to severe health concerns, especially in young children can be caused by cold outbreaks in contaminated foods such as raw or undercooked meat, raw milk, unpasteurized milk or juices, or contaminated water.
  • Listeriosis – It is a disease that can be dangerous for pregnant women and can be caused by bacteria in soft cheese, edible meat, and green shoots.
  • Norovirus – People can catch norovirus by eating raw shellfish or food prepared by a sick person.
  • Salmonella – Raw eggs and poorly cooked chickens are two familiar sources of salmonella (nontyphoid type). Salmonella is the most common cause in hospitals associated with food poisoning and death.
  • Shigella (traveler’s diarrhea) – It spreads in sewage-polluted water that causes mild to severe disease with fever, bloody or mucousy diarrhea, and bowel urges. 
  • Staphylococcal aureus – This infection can occur when pathogens from the hands contact food.
  • Trichinella spiralis worm can be found in raw meat such as pork.
  • Others – Food poisoning can also be caused by cryptosporidium, hepatitis A virus, clostridium botulinum, Bacillus cereus, & streptococcus, etc.

Reason & Source Of Food Poisoning

A food poisoning outbreak can occur even if you don’t come into direct contact with the pathogens responsible for it.

Because of the weakened immune system, older adults, pregnant women, and unborn children are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses.

Diseases are transmitted to people by food. Foodborne illness is the most common cause of illness when people eat contaminated food, beverages, or other liquids.

Food can be contaminated at any stage of storage, preparation, or cooking process. 

Food Poisoning Treatment

Most food poisoning episodes are self-healing, and no medical attention is required. Preventative measures are the initial step in the treatment of food poisoning. 

Follow These Tips To Avoid Food Poisoning:

Always keep your hands and surfaces clean when preparing meals:

Hands and utensils should be washed as often as possible. Bacteria may hide in many areas in the kitchen.

Handle Raw Meat, Fruits & Vegetables With Caution:

The finished product should be stored apart from raw meats, poultry, fish, and eggs.

Keep raw meat away from your shopping cart and your refrigerator’s food. Keep perishables in the fridge or freezer.

Thaw frozen meals carefully, safely, and efficiently. Replace any expired or damaged food from your fridge or pantry.

Temperature Should Be Kept At Safe Level To Avoid Food Poisoning:

An internal temperature of 165°F is considered safe. Keep the temperature of your refrigerator at or below 40°F.

Refrigeration is required within two hours of cooking and cooling. Cooking food to the correct internal temperature is the only way to ensure it is free of toxic bacteria.

Check your food’s temperature with a thermometer.

Avoid Untreated Or Unbottled Water When Traveling: 

Do not use water that has not been bottled or treated when you brush your teeth. Bacteria can be found in tap, well, lake, or river water.

Avoid unfiltered or unsterilized ice, food, and beverages

Maintain Hydration And Electrolyte Balance:

Dehydration can lead to death in children and adults if not treated early. A person with food poisoning will usually experience diarrhea and vomiting, which cause rapid fluid loss. This loss of fluid can also cause drowsiness and even irregular heartbeat.

As long as you follow your doctor’s instructions, most dehydration cases can be treated at home. Keep hydrated with oral rehydration solutions, electrolytes water, or electrolyte-fortified sports drinks to restore lost fluids. You should get IV fluids right away if your condition is life-threatening.

Take Time To Recharge:

Another way to help your body get better at poisoning food is to relax and feel better. Setting aside some time to rest and recharge.

Keep Up A Healthy Diet:

Consume food in moderation. Start with soft, light foods like biscuits and saltine crackers, and revive with oral rehydration treatments.

Avoid foods and drinks for several hours after experiencing symptoms.

A BRAT diet of bananas, rice, apples, and toast is good if you’re not feeling well.

Clear broths are among these foods. These foods replenish the nutrients that you may have lost during your illness and contain the nutrients that strengthen the stool you produce.

If you don’t want to eat this, consume a low-fat diet until you feel better.

Include Probiotics In Your Diet:

Probiotics are microorganisms that help keep the intestinal microbiota healthy. Some bacteria are “good,” while others are “bad,” and live in everyone’s guts.

Food poisoning may upset the digestive system’s healthy and toxic microorganisms balance. Probiotics can help restore your stomach’s natural equilibrium and help you avoid subsequent foodborne illnesses.

Use Of Over-The-Counter Medicines:

Food poisoning can be treated with over-the-counter medication. Anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medications like Pepto-Bismol and Loperamide (Imodium).

This drug is not for children under the age of eighteen. Children under the age of eighteen should not use this medication. 

The FDA encourages water and maintaining a regular diet for young children with diarrhea, but dietary modifications and rehydration therapies may be needed if the problem persists.

Some doctors recommend taking over-the-counter medications for nausea and diarrhea, while others say you should wait until the illness passes on its own to seek medical attention.

Some doctors recommend taking over-the-counter medications for nausea and diarrhea, while others say you should wait until the illness passes on its own to seek medical attention.

Few Home Remedies For Food Poisoning Treatment:

  • Humans have relied on herbal remedies such as ginger root to treat several ailments for centuries. It is scientifically proven that it can assist relieve nausea in some situations. 
  • Mint is also used to relieve stomach aches, according to traditional practitioners. 
  • Herbal tea can also help keep you hydrated when you’re sick. 
  • Lemon juice helps you stay hydrated by killing germs and toxins in your GI system. 
  • Basil’s antimicrobial properties make it an excellent stomach illness remedy. 
  • Cumin seeds stimulate pancreatic enzyme release, which is required for digestion and nutrient absorption.

When Do You Need a Doctor?

Food poisoning is usually treatable at home. A doctor should be consulted if your temperature increases above 100.4 degrees.

Doctors may administer antibiotics or intravenous fluids to rehydrate a patient.

However, certain cases need doctor attention, such as –

  • After more than three days without a bowel movement, you’re still experiencing pain and suffering.
  • After 10-15 minutes, you feel sharp or cramping symptoms are still present.
  • The stomach or abdomen swells.
  • The skin and/or eyes get yellowed.
  • Neurological symptoms such as tingling or blurred vision may be present. 
  • Your body is highly dehydrated or cannot keep any liquids down.
  • You observe blood in your bowel motions or vomit. 

Keep in mind that the primary goal of treatment is to ensure enough hydration. Preventive therapy is another alternative, which includes proper cleaning and cooking. 

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