Food Poisoning – How To Treat It, How To Avoid It
Food poisoning happens when you consume pathogens that have contaminated your food or drink. It is estimated that at least one in every six people experiences food poisoning at some point in their life. The symptoms usually manifest themselves through an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Health experts advise that you let your stomach rest for a while by staying off food and drinks. Here are some more in-depth details on what foods to consume and what to avoid after food poisoning:
Water is essential in helping your body combat food poisoning. Vomiting and diarrhea significantly dehydrate you, hence the need for constant re-hydration.
Drinks with electrolytes such as sports drinks and clear sodas are also useful in preventing your body from dehydrating. You can also try chicken soup or decaffeinated tea.
Once you begin to feel like you can have some food and hold it down, go easy on your stomach by eating foods with low fat and fiber.
Fatty foods are more taxing to your stomach during digestion, and this can cause it to get further upset. Try eating bananas, oatmeal, egg whites, rice, plain or mashed potatoes, and applesauce. Maybe they’re not be your favorite foods, but it’s vital to let the body re-adjust gradually. It’s only temporary, and the more you stick to it, the faster you will recover.
You can use holistic treatment methods for your food poisoning to get rid of the bacteria causing all the chaos in your digestive tract. Drinking ginger tea, for example, is a great way to go about this.
Remember to replenish your intestinal bacteria by drinking natural yogurts, or you can try other alternatives such as probiotic pills.
Foods and drinks to avoid
As your body fights off the upsetting bacteria, avoid hampering its work by introducing substances that may cause further distress.
The priority is to stay away from the food that gave you poisoning, to begin with. From there, avoid eating anything that may be tough on your stomach. These include the following:
- Alcohol – ethanol dehydrates your body which works against your attempts to stay hydrated after food poisoning
- Nicotine – Nicotine acts as a stimulant laxative, so it’s best to avoid smoking after food poisoning
- Fried foods – besides being fatty and harder to digest, fried foods also over-stimulate your stomach
- Dairy product – milk is difficult to digest and goes through a longer process. Avoid it if you can
- Spicy and seasoned foods
- High fiber foods
- Fatty foods
Bacteria that cause food poisoning
Four primary pathogens cause most of the foodborne diseases:
- Staphylococcus – they mostly occur in eggs, milk, and other animal products.
- Norovirus – usually found in fruits and vegetables
- Clostridium perfringens – exists in meat
- Salmonella – occurs in dairy products, meat, and eggs
Other causes include parasites, allergens, mold, contaminants, and toxins.
The best way to avoid these pathogens from entering your body is by making sure you shop in clean places, keep the cooking and eating environment sterile, thoroughly cook your eggs and meat, wash any veggies with care and mind the expiration date.
People at higher risk of food poisoning
The rate of food poisoning among kids is the same as that of adults, but their cases should be of more concern, especially when dealing with infants. They quickly become dehydrated in comparison to adults.
Take your child to a medical professional immediately if they show continuous symptoms of food poisoning.
Any expectant woman should be cautious when dealing with food poisoning. This is because cases such as Listeria food poisoning has been associated with impeding the development of your unborn child.
Pregnant women need proper nutrition for proper development of the baby hence the need to see a doctor after food poisoning.
Particular strains of the E. coli bacteria are known to cause severe symptoms in older adults. It’s therefore wise to reach out to a medical professional when dealing with such a case.
People suffering from chronic conditions
Anyone with medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, or any other chronic illness should seek treatment after food poisoning. They are at a much high risk of experiencing extreme symptoms and complications.
When to call a doctor?
If you experience any severe symptoms such as extreme diarrhea, blood in your stool, dizziness, and muscle weakness, see a doctor immediately. The same goes if your symptoms persist for more than 48 hours.
Food poisoning can be extremely unpleasant, but if you treat it properly – it shouldn’t last too long. Having said that, remember that prevention is always the best remedy!
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