Common Poisons And Treatments Causes Poisoning Food

Food poisoning happens when you eat food that is contaminated. It is possible for food to be contaminated at any point during the time it is processed and prepared. There are a variety of organisms and substances that can contaminate food such as:

  • Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Toxins
  • Viruses.

Some of the most common causes of food poisoning include:

  • Food that has been improperly stored or prepared
  • Food that was prepared by a person with unwashed hands
  • Meat or dairy that has not been fully cooked
  • Raw fish or oysters
  • Unwashed raw fruits and vegetables.

Occasionally, food poisoning is caused by eating toxic plants (such as certain mushrooms) or animals (such as puffer fish).

Food Poisoning Symptoms

Food poisoning symptoms typically occur within a few hours after the contaminated food has been ingested. However, sometimes food poisoning signs develop very quickly, and in other cases it may take days for symptoms to appear. Food poisoning symptoms can last anywhere from one to 10 days.

Although food poisoning symptoms can vary depending on the person and severity of the case, there are some common food poisoning signs. These include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness.

If you experience the following symptoms, seek medical help:

  • There is blood in your stool.
  • You can’t keep liquids down for more than 24 hours.
  • You experience extreme pain or stomach cramps.
  • You have a fever above 101 degrees.
  • You have severe diarrhea that lasts more than three days.
  • You vomit blood.

Food Poisoning Treatment

There are several different treatments for food poisoning. The best treatment for you depends on your symptoms and their severity.

Among the most common treatments for food poisoning are:

  • Alternative therapies: Complementary and alternative therapies might help ease food poisoning symptoms. Some common therapies used are vitamin supplements, herbs and homeopathy.
  • Medications: Your doctor may provide an antibiotic, antitoxin, amitriptyline or other medication to help ease food poisoning symptoms.
  • Nutrition: If you get food poisoning, it’s essential to replenish the body with fluids to avoid dehydration. Water is a good way to stay hydrated. Some people find that rice water and apple cider vinegar are also helpful in cases of food poisoning.

How to Prevent Food Poisoning

Food poisoning can happen to anyone at any age, but there are ways to prevent food poisoning from affecting your health. You can help prevent food poisoning by:

  • Avoiding meats and dairy products that are not properly cooked.
  • Checking the expiration date on all food and liquids before consuming.
  • Looking at and smelling what you eat and drink before you ingest it. If something seems off, don’t take a chance.
  • Washing all fruits and vegetables before eating them.

By being cautious about the foods you consume, you can help prevent food poisoning. If you are experiencing food poisoning symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.

Resources

KidsHealth. (n.d.). Food poisoning. Retrieved May 1, 2010, from http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/food_poisoning.html.

Mayo Clinic (2009). Food poisoning symptoms. Retrieved May 1, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-poisoning/ds00981/dsection=symptoms.

MedlinePlus. (2010). Food poisoning. Retrieved May 1, 2010, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001652.htm.

University of Maryland Medical Center Staff. (n.d.). Food poisoning. Retrieved May 1, 2010, from http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/food-poisoning-000064.htm.