- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Jan 16 2018
FOOD POISONING: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT & PREVENTION
Food poisoning is an illness that is caused due to consuming contaminated, spoilt or toxic food.
Although uncomfortable, food poisoning is a commonly occurring illness.
Most food poisoning occurs because of bacteria, parasites and viruses that enter your digestive tract through the contaminated food. Most food items contain pathogens but the heat from cooking usually kills these pathogens. Frozen, raw and ready to eat food products are more at risk as they don’t go through the cooking process. Food can be contaminated if the person cooking has not washed their hands. Meat and dairy products are frequently contaminated. Sometimes water can also be contaminated.
Older adults, pregnant women, children and people suffering from chronic diseases are high risk groups who can become seriously affected due to food poisoning.
The symptoms of food poisoning may vary with the source of infection and contamination. However, some of the most commonly occurring symptoms are:
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Mild fever
If you experience any of the above given symptoms, seek immediate medical help. A physical examination along with a stool or blood sample can help establish the presence of food poisoning.
Food poisoning can be treated at home and usually resolves within a week. However, it is advisable to visit a doctor for a proper treatment and to dismiss any other condition that could be confused with food poisoning. If you have food poisoning, it is important to remain adequately hydrated to prevent dehydration. It is also crucial that you get plenty of rest. In cases of severe food poisoning, patients may require hydration with intravenous (IV) fluids at a hospital. In severe illness, medications could also be prescribed. The duration of your hospital stay depends on the severity of your condition.
After you get food poisoning, it is advised to ease back to your regular diet by eating simple-to-digest foods that are bland and low in fat such as fruit juices, boiled vegetables, oatmeal, bananas, decaffeinated teas, etc. Avoid certain foods and substances that would further upset your stomach such as dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, fatty, spicy, fried and highly seasoned foods.
The best ways to keep food poisoning at bay are to - eat healthy and handle your food safely. You can exercise other ways to minimise the risk.
- Keep your hands clean before you eat or cook food.
- Keep food, vegetables and other food products at a clean area.
- Don’t eat stale or contaminated food.
- Make sure the meat is washed and cooked thoroughly.
- Refrigerate leftovers and do not leave them at room temperature for a long time.
Note We at Medikoe provide you with the best healthcare articles written and endorsed by experts of the healthcare industry to boost you knowledge. However, we strongly recommend that users consult a doctor or concerned service provider for expert diagnosis before acting on this information.