Food Poisoning: Symptoms, Causes, Home Remedies, Diet and Prevention

As summers approach the risk of food poisoning increases. Here in this article, we will discuss the home remedies and ways to prevent food poisoning.

Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning


What is Food Poisoning

Food poisoning may be defined as a foodborne illness. It is caused due to eating contaminated, spoiled or toxic food. In summers the chances of food spoiling increase, thus the chances of food poisoning increases.

Food Poisoning: Symptoms, Causes, Home Remedies, Diet and Prevention

Food Poisoning: Symptoms, Causes, Home Remedies, Diet and Prevention


What are the Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning results in nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, weakness, loss of appetite, mild fever and diarrhea. It is an uncomfortable condition and is common in children.
Sometimes food poisoning may be life threatening if diarrhea persists for more that 3 days or there is a high fever or person has severe vomiting, difficulty in speaking and confusion.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

In such cases, look for the sign of dehydration such as passing no or very little urine, increased thirst, dry mouth and difficulty in keeping fluids down. Such cases are to be hospitalized without any delay.

What Causes Food Poisoning

Food poisoning may be caused due to bacteria, fungi or virus. Salmonella is one of the biggest culprits in the cases of serious food poisoning. Other bacteria responsible are listeria, E.coli, C.botllinum, Campylobacter etc.. Parasitic food poisoning is less common. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that may cause food poisoning. Around 19 million cases of food poisoning every year is caused due to Norovirus. Other virus causing similar symptoms are sapovirus, Astroviru and Rotavirus. However, they are less common. Food contaminated with hepatitis A virus may cause hepatitis A and this condition may be serious.

Causes Food Poisoning

Causes Food Poisoning

One of the questions that arise is how foods get infected??
Almost all the foods that are eaten by the humans contain pathogens. But the process of making food such as washing and cooking at high temperature kills these diseases-causing microbes. Sometimes food gets in contact with fecal matter and gets contaminated. This is why it is advised to wash your hands before eating.

Who are at the Risk of Developing Food Poisoning

Small children, elderly, pregnant women and individuals suffering from an autoimmune disease or at immuno-suppressants are more at the risk of developing food poisoning as their immunity is low.

Risk of Developing Food Poisoning

Risk of Developing Food Poisoning

The incidence of food poisoning is common during summers as the pathogens get a suitable environment to thrive.

Treatment of Food Poisoning

In most of the cases with mild food poisoning, symptoms can be managed at home. Such cases resolve in just a few days. Only you have to take care that the person is properly hydrated and take proper rest. Below are the home remedies to fasten the recovery.

Home Remedies for Food Poisoning

  1. Ginger- Ginger is an excellent home remedy for most of the digestive problems including food poisoning. Extract the juice of ginger. Add a few drops of this juice to a teaspoon honey and have it 3 times in a day. This will reduce the pain and inflammation.
    ginger

    ginger

  2. Lemon- Being antibacterial and antiviral lemon is known to provide quick relief. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to water and drink it. You may add a teaspoon of honey to it for taste.
  3. Yogurt- Yogurt contains good bacteria that are known to bring the digestive system back to the track. So it is always advised to take yogurt during food poisoning.
    Yogurt

    Yogurt

  4. Fenugreek seeds- fenugreek seeds have been used since ages to treat abdominal discomfort. Add a teaspoon of fenugreek seed to yogurt and have it. Remember, you do not have to chew fenugreek seeds, but to swallow them.
  5. Basil Leaves- Basil leaves is antimicrobial. Extract its juice and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Also, add the juice of fresh coriander to it. Drink this concoction 3-4 times in a day.
    Basil Leaves

    Basil Leaves

  6. Garlic- Garlic has proved its efficiency in treating food poisoning. It is a strong antibacterial and antiviral and relieves diarrhea as well as abdominal discomfort. Swallow a clove of garlic with water.

Besides the above home remedies, you need to be very careful with the diet.

Diet for Patient Suffering from Food Poisoning

Drink lots of water, avoid caffeine, have drinks high in the electrolyte. You may have fruit juice and coconut water.
Follow brat diet. Include rice, boiled potato, apples, banana, chicken broth, boiled veggies and oatmeal in your diet. Avoid foods rich in sugar, fats, fibers, highly seasoned foods, and dairy products.
Severe cases of food poisoning require immediate hospitalization as they can be life threatening. In such cases, the patient requires intravenous fluids.

Prevention of Food Poisoning

To prevent food poisoning, cook food properly, wash vegetables properly before cooking, wash your hands before eating, drink boiled or purified water and discard foul smelling spoiled food.

Prevention of Food Poisoning

Prevention of Food Poisoning

Cook meat, poultry, egg, and shellfish properly. Do not eat them half cooked or raw. Also, handle food with clean hands while cooking.

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