Food poisoning can leave you severely dehydrated and might need immediate medical attention. This article discusses what to do for food poisoning.
Food poisoning occurs when one swallows water or food which was contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins. In this condition, one will get acute symptoms like stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, with or without diarrhea. Due to certain contaminants, a person might also get chills, fever, bloody stools, dehydration, nervous system damage, and in rare cases, death.
However, in many cases, one might get better without having to visit a doctor. Hospitalization is required only if the person undergoes severe dehydration, which means, one has lost too much fluid due to diarrhea and vomiting. In such a severe case of dehydration due to food poisoning, the doctor will supply you intravenous fluids and medicines.
You can use certain home remedies to treat this condition. However, if you have severe stomach pain, then instead of using any home remedy, contact a doctor immediately as this could be more serious than food poisoning. The main focus of treatment is to prevent dehydration. Following are some self-care measures that you can use:
- If you have nausea or vomiting, then avoid eating any solid foods.
- Keep on having clear fluids. You can buy electrolyte drinks powder from the drugstore, mix it water, and drink it.
- Avoid drinking any milk or caffeine containing products.
- If the vomiting and nausea stops, then keep having little portions of foods. Easy to digest foodstuffs like banana, rice, and toast are good choices.
- If nothing stays inside the body, then keep sucking on ice chips.
- Try to limit your time in sun, as this can cause further dehydration.
- For 3-4 days, avoid foodstuffs which are difficult to digest.
- After 4-5 days, you can slowly resume your normal diet.
- Do not keep meats, poultry, seafood, milk, or eggs for long period at room temperature. Refrigerate these foodstuffs to store and use them.
- Avoid using unpasteurized milk or milk products which are made with pasteurized milk.
Following are some tips that will help you to prevent food poisoning and also help store food in good conditions:
- Always wash your hands properly before you start preparing food and after you get out of the toilet and handle the pets.
- Maintain the surfaces of the kitchen and surroundings clean.
- Keep your pets away from the kitchen and food.
- Take care to defrost the food completely before you cook it.
- Cook the food properly before eating. Meat shouldn’t have uncooked pink bits in it.
- Whenever eating leftovers, reheat them, and serve them piping hot.
- Always keep raw fish and meat covered and stored at the bottom of the fridge.
- For food safety, keep the raw foods like vegetables, fruits, etc., covered.
- Rinse vegetables and fruits under running water thoroughly before consuming them.
- Always check food products for expiry dates. If the food packets look like they have fungus or smell bad, or have an expired date, then do not buy them.
If your symptoms fail to subside within 24 hours, or gets worse, then seek a doctor’s help. Also, if you get food poisoning during pregnancy, then seek immediate medical help as this condition can harm the fetus.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.