Eating something contaminated with germs can put you at risk of food poisoning. This usually happens when the food is; not stored correctly, not adequately cooked, left out for too long, or handled by someone ill.
When you have food poisoning, symptoms (ranging from vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea) can start within 1 to 2 days after eating contaminated food. Though this condition is mostly not severe, and most people can get better within a few days, it can sometimes lead to complications.
What, then, is food poisoning? Food poisoning is a condition that involves the inflammation of the lining of the gut, particularly the stomach and intestines, as a result of pathogens (e.g., bacteria, virus, or parasites) that infect a person through the ingestion of contaminated foods.
Food poisoning can affect almost anybody, and each person can have a more severe reaction to food poisoning, depending on how strong a person’s immune system is.
Often, symptoms depend on what led you to get sick, but commonly, you’ll throw up and/, or you’ll have diarrhoea. This is no fun, but that’s how your body is trying to kick out the toxins to get better.
Your symptoms should pass in a few days or even in mere hours. However, if your discomfort doesn’t go away, you may need to check out what made you sick. Speak to a doctor if you notice some complications like; high fever, blood in your stool, feeling dehydrated, or unable to keep any food or liquid down.
In this article, we have explained the causes and treatments of food poisoning. Continue reading to know more.
Food poisoning takes place when contaminated food is consumed. Usually, bacteria or parasites are transmitted to food from other sources, causing it.
Though some food (e.g., poisonous fish or mushrooms) are already toxic, it is highly expected that they will cause food poisoning. However, most microorganisms can cause food poisoning when exposed to certain food items. Some of them are;
1. Bacteria and bacteria toxins
Many bacteria can cause food poisoning through the toxins they produce or directly. Bacteria that cause food poisoning can be found in undercooked eggs, meats, dairy products, processed fish, meats, cream pies, custard, and contaminated water.
Norovirus and other viruses can cause food poisoning, primarily through contaminated raw or uncooked produce and shellfish from contaminated water.
Giardia lamblia, a parasitic organism, can cause food poisoning through contaminated produce and water.
Treatments; what to do at home
Vomiting and diarrhoea, two significant symptoms of food poisoning, can throw off your body’s balance of electrolytes (which helps to keep the heartbeat normal) and fluids.
Therefore, your main work is to drink plenty of fluids. It would be best to start with ice chips or small sips of water. You can also;
- Drink broth, water, or an electrolyte solution, to replace the minerals you lost during vomiting.
- Avoid taking food for the first few hours so your stomach will take time to settle down.
- Get plenty of rest
- Steer clear from caffeine, caffeinated beverages, dairy, alcohol, fizzy or bubbly drinks, or fatty and spicy foods; they can worsen the whole thing.
- Eat only when you feel you’re ready. Start with small amounts of bland, non-fatty foods, like rice, toast, and crackers.