Mild food poisoning is a frequently manifested ailment, caused due to consumption of contaminated foods and drinks. To be more precise, food items are fouled by carelessness in cooking, storing, and preserving, which overall may cause bacterial growth and accumulation of toxins. Food poisoning is often a mild and short-term ailment, but at times, the symptoms may be severe and life-threatening, lasting for more than a week.
Mild food poisoning is caused by contamination either with infectious agents or toxic components. The former implies to disease causing microbes, such as bacteria (e.g., Salmonella, E. coli), viruses, and parasites; whereas, the latter represents non-edible or toxic food sources (e.g., pesticides, poisonous mushrooms) and improper cooking of certain food items. In majority of the cases, poor hygiene while cooking is the leading cause.
Depending on the cause and the extent of poisoning or the amount of contaminated food consumed, the discomfort symptoms vary from one patient to another. As per health experts, the condition usually lasts for 1-2 days. However, depending upon the cause of the ailment, it may take about 2 weeks for complete recovery.
Mild to severe poisoning that affects many people at a time after consuming the same contaminated food, is called an outbreak. Commonly manifested signs include stomach pain, upset stomach, loss of appetite, and other gastrointestinal problems, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Though fever is usually not seen in most cases, some patients do have high temperature.
Symptoms may be observed immediately after consuming the toxic foods or may occur after several days. For example, consuming poisonous mushrooms causes abnormal symptoms within a few hours; while having foods contaminated with bacteria may take some time to cause noticeable symptoms. It is not unusual to mistake this as stomach flu, in which the latter is exclusively caused due to a bacterial or viral infection.
As the symptoms are rarely dangerous, most people do not require therapeutic intervention for treatment. And many of them recover successfully after trying effective remedies. Thus, there is lack of medical data that reveals the actual statistics of such incidences. Some of the best recommended home treatments are:
- Drink ample amounts of water and keep yourself hydrated. Otherwise frequent diarrhea and vomiting may result in dehydration.
- Even if you do not feel like eating, try consuming dry and easily digestible foods. Strictly avoid hot, spicy, and acidic foods, which may aggravate the symptoms.
- An effective home remedy is to include probiotic foods and electrolytes drinks in your diet. This will help in treating the symptoms and replace the lost electrolytes.
- Take adequate rest and stay calm while dealing with the symptoms. Follow personal hygiene and simple self-care tips to prevent contamination of food as far as possible.
This was in brief on how to treat mild food poisoning at home. In case of dehydration or persistence of the poisoning signs even after following natural remedies, therapeutic treatment by a qualified doctor is necessary. The physician may conduct urine and stool tests for presence of blood cells and harmful germs, after which appropriate medicines are prescribed.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.