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Food Poisoning Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is food poisoning?

Food poison is an illness which is triggered due to consuming water or food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals or toxins.

What are the symptoms of food poisoning?

The symptoms differ with the contamination source. However, few common symptoms of food poisoning are:

  • Fever.
  • Abdominal cramps and pain.
  • Watery diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Nausea.

The symptoms tend to begin within few hours after consuming the contaminated drink or food, or can even start after few days or weeks. Illness caused by food poisoning normally last for some hours to some days.

What are the causes of food poisoning?

Few common causes of food poisoning include:

  • Bacteria:
  1. E.coli
  2. Listeria.
  3. Salmonella.
  4. Campylobacter.
  • viruses
  • Toxins, contaminants and mold.
  • Parasites.
  • Chemicals.
  • Allergens.

What are the risk factors of food poisoning?

Even though, we all tend to experience food poisoning at some point in our lives. However, you are more likely to have food poisoning if you:

  • Are an older adult.
  • A pregnant woman.
  • Have chronic disease.
  • Young child or an infant.

What are the complications of food poisoning?

Dehydration is the most common and serious complication that can be triggered by food poisoning. Dehydration is caused when your body loses excessive fluids, water, essential minerals and salts. In case you drink enough, you can soon replace the fluids loss from diarrhea and vomiting and are less likely face dehydration.

How is food poisoning diagnosed?

Usually, the diagnosis of food poisoning is based on the comprehensive history; including the time duration the patient has been ill, his symptoms, certain foods he consumed etc. Moreover, the doctor can also conduct a physical exam in order to look for dehydration signs.

Furthermore, depending on the health history and symptoms, the doctor can perform diagnostic tests, for example stool culture, blood tests, parasites examination in order to spot the cause plus verify the diagnosis. In stool culture test, a sample of stool is taken in order to detect the contagious organism.

How is food poisoning treated?

The treatment of food poisoning normally depends on your symptom’s severity and source of illness, in case known! Majority of the food poisoning cases resolves on their own needing no medical treatments, however few food poisoning types can last longer needing treatments to resolve.

Few treatment options of food poisoning include:

  • Lost fluids replacement.
  • Antibiotics.


In order to avoid food poisoning:

  • Frequently wash your food surfaces, utensils and hands.
  • Always keep the ready-to-eat food items separate from the raw foods.
  • Cook your food to the right temperature.
  • Quickly freeze or refrigerate perishable foods.
  • Defrost your food in a refrigerator.
  • In case you are not sure about a food to be prepared hygienically and safely, do not eat it!

Remember, a frozen food that is left at room temperature for defrosting, is a soft target of countless of toxins or bacteria which can never be destroyed even by cooking.


By : Natural Health News

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