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Food Poisoning Signs Symptoms Causes Treatment and Prevention

Food Poisoning Signs Symptoms Causes Treatment and Prevention

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2022-03-09

Flatulence, Diarrhea and vomiting...Beware! It could be the very food you relished just hours ago. How many of us drool on the mere thought of savoury road side food; their smell and taste coupled with the ease of availability makes them a favoured quick meal for those routine hunger pangs! Apart from this junking, many in today's era, after fighting through a stressful day at work, storm back home and start munching on whatever they can latch onto: unwashed fruits from the basket, chips, etc. No time or energy to clean up oneself, wash hands or even the fruit... isn't it? "How does it matter!", "I can't see any dirt on my hands or the fruit!", "Oh those tiny germs can't affect my strong body!" Well yes, may be most of the times we are spared from any adverse effects, thanks to our strong immune system. But not always! At some point our body can give up and that is when we crash under the burden of "Food Poisoning!".

Food Poisoning Signs Symptoms Causes Treatment and Prevention

Foodborne illnesses better known as 'food poisoning' is referred to a series of health complications that may arise due to consumption of contaminated, spoilt or food containing toxins. Eating food that is contaminated with any form of microbes such as bacteria (Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, Campylobacter), viruses (Norovirus or Norwalk virus) or parasites (Toxoplasma gondii) can cause food poisoning. Even the toxins produced by either of the contaminants alone are potent enough to cause food poisoning. Food contamination can occur at any stage; right from processing, packaging, shelving, to the method of consumption; at every step lurks a probable danger! Again it is not necessary that only outside food or packaged food can cause food poisoning. Even the food cooked in your house can get contaminated with these microbes if it is not handled or cooked properly.

The signs and symptoms majorly depend upon the type of contaminant that has caused food poisoning. While some may start acting within an hour of ingestion, some may take few hours to days of incubation to show any visible signs. The classic signs and symptoms that are observed include:
- Abdominal cramps
- diarrhea
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Stomach pain

Certain life threatening symptoms if present are to be noted and immediate medical intervention to be done;
- Persistent diarrhea (more than 3 days)
- High fever
- Difficulty in speaking and blurring vision
- Decreased urine output (less passing of urine)
- Dehydration which is also accompanied by dry mouth
There are more than 250 causes recorded, but a few popular causative factors for poisoning include - E. coli, Shigella, etc.

As the name suggests, it is the poisoning caused due to ingestion of toxins that are present in mushrooms. It is the most common type of food poisoning which is a food in itself! It should be noted that allergy towards mushrooms should not be confused with mushroom poisoning. Under/ over cooking, or even a combination of ingredients can make mushrooms poisonous. Besides the classic signs and symptoms, an individual with mushroom poisoning may show
>> Excessive sweating
>> Dizziness
>> Continuous flow of tears from the eyes
>> Mental confusion

Most of the food poisoning conditions can be taken care of by over the counter drugs or by consulting a general practitioner.

Symptoms such as dehydration, vomiting, etc. can be handled by ensuring sufficient hydration. Consumption of food that is light on the digestive system, drinking coconut water, fresh fruit juices, etc. becomes a necessity to up the energy levels. Plenty of rest is also recommended to conserve energy. In case of life threatening symptoms, proper medical approach is a mandate; with some also requiring hospitalisation for recovery. Severe cases of poisoning warrant the need to culture and identify the causative agent for ensuing appropriate antibiotic therapy.

Prevention is always the best way to avoid any unwanted calamity and it stays true for food poisoning too. Handle the food you are to consume in the best manner possible, so that it does not come in contact with any unhygienic conditions. Implement proper washing and cooking methods in case of foods such as meat, eggs and other animal products as they tend to harbour numerous infectious agents. Certain vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, onions, etc. which are being used in salads should be washed thoroughly before use. Maintain self-hygiene. Wash your hands before cooking and eating food. Also, while handling meat there are chances of cross contamination (washing the meat and simultaneously cooking something). Avoid such incidences.


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  • Disclaimer: HealthcareOnTime offers extensively researched information, including laboratory testing for health screening. However, we must emphasize that this content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always prioritize consulting your healthcare provider for accurate medical guidance and personalized treatment. Remember, your health is of paramount importance, and only a qualified medical professional can make precise determinations regarding your well-being.
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