Have you ever eaten something wrong and bore the consequences of it? Unhealthy food could lead to many diseases, food poisoning being one of the worst ones. It is caused by infectious bacteria and viruses thriving in stale or uncooked food. The initial symptoms of food poisoning are a severe stomach ache, nausea, and weakness.
Food contamination by bacteria or virus could happen at the stage of cooking, storing, and consuming the food. The contamination usually occurs when the food is not correctly cooked. If food poisoning is treated in the initial stages, a visit to the hospital is not necessary.
However, there is more to food poisoning than the usual Diarrhea and nausea. Further, in this article, we will discuss the main symptoms and food poisoning causes. These will help you to take precautionary measures to avoid being hit by food poisoning.
Food Poisoning Causes
As mentioned above, food poisoning is caused by contaminated food. Contamination of food could occur at any point of time, right from harvesting a crop to cooking it. In fact, raw food could cause food poisoning more than cooked food. Because organisms are not killed before consuming it, raw or half-cooked foods are the main causes of food poisoning.
The following are some common causes of food poisoning or food contamination.
- Contamination of food due to contact with animal feces.
- Unpasteurized milk or dairy products.
- Food kept open for a long time.
- Undercooked meat, especially beef.
- Food eaten is either too cold or not warm enough.
- Contaminated water used to grow sprouts, green leafy vegetables, etc.
- Fishes from contaminated/polluted water bodies.
- Infected food handler could transfer contaminants to other food.
- Knives, spoons, other vessels that are infected.
The above are a few common causes of food poisoning that could be avoided by cleaning vegetables before consumption, cooking food well, using disinfected utensils, and so on.
Symptoms Of Food Poisoning
The source of the disease may vary; it never remains constant. The symptoms of food poisoning are about the same for all types. The initial symptoms include nausea, vomiting, loose motions, stomach cramps, and slight fever.
Most of the symptoms start to show within a few hours of eating the wrong food. In very few cases, the signs start showing after days or weeks of consuming contaminated food. Food poisoning signs stay for a long time until it is treated properly.
Below are a few signs of food poisoning which should not be ignored. These are signs that tell you to go visit a doctor at the earliest:
- Vomiting often.
- Inability to drink any liquid without vomiting.
- Blood spotting in vomit or stools.
- Continuous Diarrhea for more than 3 days.
- Severe stomach pain.
- Fever ranging above 100 F.
- Dehydration caused by vomiting and Diarrhea.
- Weakness and Fatigue.
Effects of food poisoning
Food poisoning is a deadly disease for any individual. Its impact depends on the intensity of the contaminant, age of the patient, fitness level, and presence of any other ailment. Older adults, pregnant women, infants, and children have higher chances of getting infected. People with other ailments and lower immunity are also prone to get infected by food contaminants.
Food poisoning reduces the immunity of the body and causes serious complications in the body. Below is a list of a few common effects of food poisoning on the body.
- Dehydration – Continuous vomiting and stools Causes Of Dehydration – a severe loss of water, minerals, and salts from the body.
- Miscarriage – This is for pregnant women. Severe cases of food poisoning could lead to a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Internal damage – Severe food poisoning could cause serious damage to the kidney lining and intestines. This could lead to bloody Diarrhea and loss of blood
Food Poisoning Treatments
The best treatment for food poisoning is to replace the lost electrolytes and take ample rest. There are medications available to control vomiting and relieve stomach ache. A few common treatment methods are listed below:
- Oral Rehydration Supplements (ORS) – As dehydration is the outcome of food poisoning, it results in weakness and fatigue. Replenishing lost salts and nutrients is of utmost importance. Doctors start their treatment by giving ORS to patients especially to infants and old age people.
- Drug Treatment – Anti-diarrheal and anti-vomiting drugs are available widely. These are used for treating food poisoning by controlling the loss of food and liquids from the body. Talk to your doctor and get medicines prescribed for food poisoning symptoms.
- Probiotics – They are good bacteria that help in correcting the body’s digestive system. Doctors use probiotics for treatment alongside ORS.
According to Everything Health food poisoning is a serious disease, visit a doctor as soon as you show its symptoms. Food poisoning could be fatal for infants, children, and old aged people. It should not be taken lightly, and the patient should be admitted to the hospital as soon as the first signs start showing up.