Despite good standards for foods in the US, nearly one in every six Americans experience food poisoning each year.
This trouble, also called foodborne illness, occurs when you eat products, contaminated by certain viruses, bacteria or parasites. Sometimes poisoning may be caused by chemicals or toxins, produced by fish, animals or plants.
Pathogens can enter the food during processing, storing or preparing. Raw foods are more likely to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and other poisoning symptoms.
These unpleasant symptoms usually start within several hours or days after taking contaminated product. The time depends mainly on the kind of pathogen.
It was found that seniors, pregnant women, children and people with chronic conditions (like diabetes or liver dysfunction) have higher risks of becoming ill after consuming pathogen-contained foods than others.
The good news is that in most cases symptoms of foodborne illness go away during one or two days without any specific treatment.
It's extremely important to stay well-hydrated, as your body loses high amount of fluid with stool, puke and perspiration. That's why it is recommended to take more liquids, particularly oral rehydration solutions, which can compensate lost electrolytes (elements like potassium, sodium and calcium).
Be aware that severe dehydration is a dangerous complication, which can lead to death, if left unmanaged.
If you aren't able to drink fluids because of frequent vomiting and can't meet body's needs for liquid, you can receive special solutions through the vein.
Sometimes certain medications (loperamide) can relieve your diarrhea, but first you need to consult with medical professional. It's not always such a good option because these drugs can worsen the situation.
For some bacterial poisonings health care expert can prescribe antibiotics, especially if you're pregnant. The reason is that certain bacteria may affect your baby, resulting in congenital defects or premature birth.
Once you feel better and can sip water, you can try eating small amounts of easily-digested foods such as bananas, rice, boiled veggies and toasts. You'd better avoid taking fatty and spicy foods, dairy, caffeine and alcohol, if you don't want to make your stomach even more upset.
If your symptoms continue more than three days, or you have noticed bloody additives in the vomit or stool, seek for medical help as soon as possible. It's also the best way for those, who have neurological symptoms (sudden muscle weakness or blurry vision) or signs of severe dehydration (absent urination or low amount of dark concentrated urine, lightheadedness, dry mouth and feeling too thirsty).
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