Food Poisoning: Guide

what is food poisoning

This is a common condition. Food poisoning is something you will definitely go through at some point in your life. It is actually a foodborne illness which happens when you are eating contaminated food.

But don’t worry, it is not a fatal condition or something which is clinically very harmful. Also in many cases, people will get better with time if they are taking care of themselves properly right at home. You don’t even need treatment for the same.

In majority of the cases where you get food poisoning, it is usually due to contamination which is caused by bacteria like salmonella or even E.coli.

What happens is that there are infectious organisms or even toxins which actually contaminate the food. This contamination can happen at some point when the food is processing. The contamination also can happen at home if you don’t cook or clean it properly.

This article aims to give you the complete picture regarding food poisoning, including its symptoms, causes, ways to combat it and prevention tactics.

So let’s begin:

What is Food Poisoning?

its impact on food

This is a major illness which can take over a child or even a grownup. It is basically relating to the food you eat. In some cases it can be severe and is accompanied by extreme nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhea.

In this kind, the issue is the toxic food you may consume. It can be uncomfortable but the thing is food poisoning is not a major mishap or anomaly. This infectious condition can happen to anyone. However it is more so common in those who have digestive issues. Especially when it comes to the elderly who don’t have strong strength and cannot be digested properly.

Now let’s go into the symptoms of this condition:

Food Poisoning Symptoms

If you have food poisoning, there are many chances that it will not be detected. The symptoms for the same can vary and it actually depends on the source of the infection. There was definitely something that had set this in motion.

The time it actually takes for these symptoms to set in motion can depend on a range of things. But this can be from an hour to even three weeks. Let’s now look into some of the common cases of food poisoning and the kind of symptoms it will take into motion:

  • you will have abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea is also a common issue
  • vomiting uncontrollably
  • loss of appetite can take place as well
  • the onset of mild fever can happen
  • weakness is a common state
  • nausea can take over completely
  • on/off headaches can also take over

There are some symptoms which can take over if your food poisoning took over due to some very serious illness or condition. These can include:

  • diarrhea which is ongoing for days especially more than three days
  • you are suffering consistently from a high fever which is more than 101.5F
  • the feeling of heat exhaustion or dehydration in where you feel you have a very dry mouth
  • you will also be passing very little to no urine at all
  • it also becomes difficult for you to keep the fluids down as well
  • there is concerns when you notice there is blood in your urine

If you are going through any of these symptoms, you need to consult your doctor immediately. There may be some underlying issues that need your quick and undivided attention.

Now let’s talk about what are the causes of this condition:

Causes of Food Poisoning

unclean and unhygienic food

Most food poisoning issues will come forth due to a few main causes. These can include:

Bacteria

This is actually one of the leading and most prevalent reasons as to why a person may be suffering from food poisoning. When you talk about bacteria, a few major names that come into the picture will include E.coli, Listeria and even Salmonella.

These bacteria can cause major food poisoning issues and even lead to hospitalizations.

Parasites

This is yet another major reason why you may be suffering from food poisoning, It is not as common as bacteria but parasites can actually move through your food very quickly. And this can become very dangerous. One of the most common kinds of parasites is the one you will find in cat litter boxes. This is why it is essential that you keep it clean and keep your hygienic measures in optimal health.

Did you know that people who have weakened immune systems and even those women in pregnancy will be suffering from serious and prolonged illnesses if the parasites actually enter their systems. Hence it is important to ensure you are keeping safety measures in order to ensure these pests don’t go into the intestinal region.

Viruses

Lastly let’s talk about food poisoning which is an onset due to viruses. Did you know that the norovirus is one of the most deadly kinds which have caused such fatal concerns throughout the world. Some other viruses also exists like rotavirus, astrovirus, but these are not the very common kind.

The Hepatitis A virus is one which can actually lead to a serious condition. This one easily gets transmitted through your food.

So how does it happen? Now we will look into ways in which your food will get contaminated.

Contamination of Food -How it Happens?

Now we will talk about and look into how the food you are eating actually gets contaminated. Did you know that you can find pathogens in all kinds of food that humans actually eat. But when you heat what you are about to eat, it actually kills the pathogens on the plate.

Did you know that the foods which you eat raw actually as some sources of good poisoning. This is due to the fact there are issues with the cooking process.

Occasionally what happens is that the food will actually be in fecal matter. This can happen when you are eating food from someone who did not wash their hands properly before preparing the food.

This is why you will notice that meat, eggs, and dairy products which are actually full of contamination. Did you know that water is also possibly contaminated with organisms. And this can lead to issues of illness in the body.

Who Can Get Food Poisoning?

anyone can get food poisoning

The thing is anyone can get food poisoning. Actually it is quite possible that anyone can come down with food poisoning at some point in their lives.

But there are certain populations which are actually at higher risk as compared to others. It is because anyone who had a weak or suppressed immune system may not be able to handle the attack of these viruses and bacteria better than those with a strong and effective immune system.

Also pregnant women are at higher risk of suffering from this condition. Even having issues with how their body copes with the metabolism change and downbeat circulatory systems.

The elderly are also more prone for complications. And children can also be said to be at higher risks. This is because their immune system is still developing. Younger children will be sitting and vomiting often due to the same.

The Diagnosis of Food Poisoning

When it comes to properly diagnosing this condition, it usually depends on and is based on the kind of symptoms you may be suffering from. In many cases, your doctor will go through several tests like blood tests, stool tests and even testing the food which you have been eating. This is important to evaluate the condition and state of the food. And the severity of the food poisoning you may be suffering from.

Treatment of Food Poisoning

This is something which can be readily be treated at home. Also in normal cases, it can be very well-treated at home and the issue can actually resolve within 3-5 days.

If you have food poisoning, it is possible that you will remain hydrated. Having decaffeinated tea is also really effective, including chamomile, peppermint. This will be able to treat the upset stomach.

Some other over the counter medications which are super helpful include imodium and pepto-bismol. But before taking on any clinical medications, it is best if you also speak to your doctor about it before getting it administered.

Also in some cases, you will also be actually covering the severity of the condition if you are not treating it properly. You should also make it a point to take in plenty of rest. In the very severe and advance cases, you may also need to take in an intravenous fluids. This is in case f those very extreme cases.

Also you diet matters and is helpful. Some things you should be consuming include:

  • gelatin
  • bananas
  • plain rice
  • oatmeal
  • saltine crackers
  • potatoes
  • diluted fruit juices

Conclusion

Food poisoning is not a major and fatal condition. But it is a common condition and in some cases, it can become severe and case issues in the system. In this article I talked in detail about what is food poisoning and ways in which you can combat it and have it treated in a proper manner.

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