FOOD POISONING : A general body illness

FOOD POISONING : A general body illness

You wake up in the morning and rush to your bathroom vomiting and you feel diarrhea coming in too. Rewind back to yesterday and you remember the delicious street foods you gorged on and the restaurant you had dinner at, followed by the ice cream and desserts at your favorite street cart. The sin of eating indiscriminately is finally catching up as you retch some more. Any of those things you feasted on could have been contaminated with all kinds of viruses, bacteria or pathogens. You were guilty of not insisting on clean and sanitary practice by that food vendor and the verdict is you have been poisoned. You are suffering from food poisoning.

Food poisoning is a very common disease and it is a given fact that every person will suffer from food poisoning at least once. Food poisoning occurs mainly due to the presence of bacteria (E.coli, listeria, salmonella), parasites (toxoplasma) and viruses ( norovirus, sapovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus and hepatitis A virus).

Some common symptoms of food poisoning are :

1. Abdominal cramps

2. Diarrhea

3. Vomiting

4. Loss of appetite

5. Mild fever

6. Weakness

7. Nausea

8. Headaches

Sometimes food poisoning can turn life threatening. Symptoms of deadly food poisoning are :

1. Diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days.

2. Fever that is higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit

3. Difficulty in seeing or speaking

4. Severe dehydration which may include dry mouth, passing little or no urine and difficulty keeping fluids down

Complications can arise in people with vulnerable and weak immune systems like those affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, pregnant women, elderly people, babies, people who take immunosuppressant drugs or long term medication like steroids, antihistamines or antibiotics.

Treatment of food poisoning can be done at home and resolve within 3 to 5 days. One should stay hydrated, avoid caffeine and get plenty of rest. Drink energy drinks with electrolytes, fruit juices, and coconut water.

However, it is advisable to consult your doctor and get a speedy recovery with prescribed medicines because if the symptoms worsen one might have to go to the hospital for IV drips. A very serious case of food poisoning may require a longer hospitalization.

Consult your doctor to prevent the symptoms from worsening and a smooth recovery.

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