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Food Poisoning

  • Posted on- Jul 24, 2017
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Food borne illness, also known as food poisoning, is the result of eating contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food.

  • Any infectious organisms, including bacteria, viruses and parasites, or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning.
  • Contamination can also occur at home during cooking or if left uncovered or not properly handled.


Symptoms

Symptoms of food poisoning:

  • Such symptoms usually get treated with time and with healthy diet, but in case such serious symptoms, patient must show a doctor:
  • Frequent episodes of vomiting and inability to keep any food
  • Diarrhoea for more than three days
  • Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping
  • High fever may be higher than 101.5 F (38.6 C)
  • Dehydration
  • Blurry vision, muscle weakness, tingling in the arms etc

Diagnosis of food poisoning:

Diagnosis can be done by knowing the symptoms and knowing about what the patient has eaten which has lead to food poisoning. But certain test can be done such as:

  • Blood test- To determine the cause of poisoning may be virus or bacteria
  • Stool test- to identify any infectious organism in the stool.

Causes of food poisoning:

Most of the food poisoning is caused by:

  • Bacteria- it is most prevalent cause of food poisoning. Among them, dangerous bacteria like E.coli, listeria and salmonella may be the reason. Salmonella are the most dangerous one to cause serious food poisoning.
  • Parasites- It is not so common as that of bacteria. Toxoplasma is the most often cause of food poisoning.
  • Viruses- They are also the higher reason for food poisoning. Norovirus, Sapoviru or Astrovirus and the viruses who can cause the poisoning. Hepatitis A can be transmitted through food which can cause serious illness.
  • Sometimes pathogens can also be the reason for food poisoning if the food in undercooked or eaten raw.

Risk factors of food poisoning:

Food poisoning can occur to every individual, but in case of a person to lower immunity, food poisoning can be frequent to them. Such as:

  • Older adults- As getting older, the immune system get compromised and may not respond as quickly and as effectively to infectious organisms as to younger people.
  • Pregnant women-During pregnancy, changes in metabolism and circulation may increase the risk of food poisoning.
  • Infants and young children- As their immune systems are not fully developed, they can be more prone to food poisoning.
  • People with chronic disease. Having a chronic condition – People with certain diseases such as AIDS, liver disease or undergoing chemotherapy or other therapy may be more risked to food poisoning.


Treatment

Treatment of food poisoning:

Mostly food poisoning can be treated without any treatment, and by staying in a healthy diet.

  • Diet to have during food poisoning
  • saltine crackers
  • gelatine
  • bananas
  • rice
  • oatmeal
  • chicken broth
  • bland potatoes
  • boiled vegetables
  • toast
  • diluted fruit juices
  • sport drinks
  • Caffeine should be avoided as it can irritate the digestive tract
  • Certain over the counter medicines such as Imodium and Pepto-Bismol may be given to control diarrhoea and nausea
  • Intravenous fluids must be taken to control dehydration.

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