Food poisoning symptoms may also indicate other more complex disease states. If your symptoms persist for longer than two days, consult your healthcare professional.
The symptoms of food poisoning are all too familiar!
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhoea which may contain food particles or blood
As the name suggests, food poisoning is caused by eating contaminated food.
Bacterial food poisoning occurs when an unwanted bacterium is contained in the food you have eaten. Salmonella is one common example - this harmful bacteria grows in cooked and raw meat and fish, dairy products, and prepared foods left at room temperature for too long. Badly canned or bottled products may also contain bacteria that don't need oxygen to multiply and are not destroyed by cooking.
People who are ill or infected can transmit disease through food they prepare. This is particularly common when food is prepared under unhygienic conditions, and in foreign countries where our bodies are exposed to organisms for which we have no tolerance.
The severity and duration of the symptoms are related to the nature of the infective organism, your underlying immune system, and the sensitivity of your digestive system.
If your symptoms are mild, you probably don't need a doctor. However, if your symptoms are severe or last longer than two days, medical advice is recommended.
Vomiting and diarrhoea are the body's way of flushing poison out of your system, this is a natural process.
Because repeated vomiting or diarrhoea can remove large amounts of fluid from your system, drink plenty of filtered water to replenish your system, and use an electrolyte replacement drink to prevent dehydration.
Ginger has traditionally been used to quell nausea and vomiting
The herbs Slippery Elm and Peppermint may help to relieve the irritation and inflammation of the digestive tract caused by diarrhoea and vomiting. Use after condition has settled
Once the condition has settled, restore the natural gut flora by taking a probiotic supplement containing acidophilus and bifidus
Life Style Factors
After symptoms subside, restore strength slowly by eating foods which are easily digested, such as white rice, bland vegetables, and bananas.
Home-made soups and fresh diluted fruit juices are a valuable way to receive high amounts of nutrients during periods when your digestive system is not functioning well.
Practice good hygiene and wash your hands before cooking and preparing any meals, and after you have been to the toilet.
Don't thaw frozen meat at room temperature. Allow it to thaw gradually in the refrigerator, or do it in a microwave oven and cook immediately. Once frozen food has been thawed, it should never be re-frozen. Cooked meat or dairy products that have been unrefrigerated for more than two hours may be spoiled.
Don't eat any food that looks or smells rotten, or any food from bulging cans or cracked jars.
Don't eat any unidentified fish. A good rule is only eat fish that have scales.
Be particularly careful about the safety of the food you eat when you are travelling overseas. Taking a probiotic supplement before and during your trip may help to prevent food poisoning.
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