Food Poisoning: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Food Poisoning: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

07-08-2015   |   Posted By: Admin   |   2620 View(s)

Food poisoning is not a very alarming ailment, but if not diagnosed at the right moment, it can lead to a lot of complications.

Signs of Food Poisoning

Symptoms of food poisoning can be different depending on the source of infection. But more or less all food poisoning symptoms usually have one or a combination of the following signs:

Stomach pain or abdominal cramps

Mild to high fever

Loose or watery stool/ Diarrhoea

Nausea or Vomiting



Indications can be found within a couple of hours of taking the contaminated food, while in some cases they might crop up after many days. Although food poisoning is very rarely life-threatening, it can cause a lot of discomfort and acute dehydration, which can lead to hospitalisation or even collapse of the body at times.


When to Consult a Physician

Food poisoning normally subsides within a matter of days, but sometimes the symptoms persist. You need to consult a doctor if you have any of these signs mentioned below:

1. Continuous bouts of puking with urge for throwing up even after taking liquids

2. Loose motion or diarrhoea for more than 4-5 days

3. Stool or vomit infested with blood

4. Severe stomach ache with cramps

5. Temperature shooting over 101degree consistently for 3-4 days

6. Indications of dehydration like excessive thirst, very little or no urination, feeling of nausea or dizziness.

7. Certain signs of a neurological disorder like blurred or disoriented vision, weakness in the muscles and tingling sensation in the arms.

Probable Causes of Food Poisoning

Food can be contaminated with various things. It can happen anytime during the whole process from production, growth, harvesting to shipping. Even it can be contaminated at the time of preparation or cooking. The transfer of harmful organism from one medium to another is the cause. This is known as cross-contamination. In maximum cases of food poisoning, the food gets infected by the attack of bacteria such as Salmonella or E.Coli. Another very common virus which causes food poisoning is the Norovirus.

Harmful bacteria or viruses thrive on uncooked food, and hence the chance of infection from salads, raw food is much higher.

Risk Factors

Food poisoning does not have very high-risk factors, but continuous infection for a long time can lead to overall loss of immunity and weakness. If there is a lot of vomiting, it can lead to severe loss of water from our body this causes dehydration, which can lead to loss of consciousness, breathlessness and even choking, which can lead to fatal complications at times.

How food poisoning can be treated

Food poisoning can usually be treated at home; usually, it is not necessary to consult your physician in the first place. Taking plenty of fluids, especially water is very important along with the rest. If you are unable to eat, do not force yourself and avoid spicy, fried and fatty foods for a few days. Try to avoid carbonated drinks and aerated fizzy fluids like alcohol, coke, lemonade, etc. Sometimes, over the counter drugs like Antacids and digestive medicines help. If the virus or bacteria can be traced, taking the required antibiotic gives relief pretty fast.

However, if the symptoms persist and do not go even after trying the home remedies, do consult your doctor.

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