While the exact cause may not always be known, food poisoning mostly occurs when you consume contaminated food or water. World Health Organization estimates the burden of foodborne diseases is caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins.
Statistically, 80% of food poisoning is usually related to eating commercially prepared foods or institution foods, mostly in the form of undercooked food such as meat and dairy products. However, you can also get the same in your home.
Although the symptoms associated with food poisoning usually subside within a day or so, some incidents can be quite dangerous.
How can you tell that you have food poisoning?
Some of the symptoms to watch for include:
If you have any of the above symptoms, you are likely suffering from food poisoning. Nevertheless, you should get a proper diagnosis to ascertain the condition.
Ensure that you call a professional if vomiting and nausea persist for more than 24 hours or if the two symptoms are severe and abrupt. You may also need to call for help if diarrhea is severe or contains blood. Also, it would be advisable to seek medical help if fever exceeds 102 degrees.
Another group that requires immediate medical care when food poisoning is suspected are pregnant women, people with impaired systems, the elderly, and young children.
Diagnosing food poisoning is quite basic. The symptoms are the first thing your doctor will look out for and fortified if there is an accompanying history of a person eating with you who also became ill. Providing information regarding the time you ate the contaminated food and when the first symptoms began can help your doctor diagnose the problem.
If the doctor wants to identify the particular microorganism that caused food poisoning, he will conduct a stool culture test.
As large amounts of fluids are lost via diarrhea and vomiting, attention is largely on preventing dehydration. Treatment regime hence focuses on drinking plenty of fluids regardless of whether they remain inside.
Once you can keep the fluids inside the stomach without vomiting, bland foods are included in your diet. However, if vomiting and diarrhea persist for longer than expected, your doctor may prescribe medications to suppress nausea.
Also, antibiotics are sometimes recommended for some infectious causes of food poisoning.
Fortunately, the symptoms associated with food poisoning do not last for long, and you are likely to be much better in a couple of days.
Preventing Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is easily preventable. As it is caused by consuming contaminated foods, all you have to do is be careful with what you put in your mouth.
These preventive measures can ensure that you never suffer from food poisoning:
Other than that, ensure that you store foods properly:
Also, prepare foods safely:
Outside your home, eat food cautiously. Be wary of soft cheeses, raw seafood, and anything that contains raw eggs.
As mentioned, food poisoning is quite preventable. You only need to watch what you put inside your mouth, and you may never have to deal with it.
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