Tips for Quick Food Poisoning Relief
An undercooked burger during lunch at work, unwashed raw fruits or vegetables, an exotic meal during a trip abroad – eating all these foods may lead to symptoms of food poisoning. WebMD defines food poisoning as an illness caused by eating or drinking some contaminated fluids and foods. The symptoms of this illness may be vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, gas, and dehydration.
According to the sad statistics, each year about 128 000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and more than 3 000 people die from food poisoning each year.
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
According to Mayo Clinic, common food poisoning signs are:
- Abdominal cramps
- Mild-to-moderate stomach pain
Sometimes, the symptoms of food poisoning can get worse:
- High fever;
- Bloody vomit or stool;
- Severe dehydration;
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days;
- Feeling weak;
- Blurred vision;
- Burning sensations and numbness;
- Liver and/renal problems;
- Reactive arthritis.
Depending on the reason behind the food contamination, the symptoms may last from 8 hours up to 2 weeks.
What causes food poisoning?
Health care specialists define 4 types of food that have increased possibility to cause food poisoning:
- Bacteria and viruses like salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, norovirus, escherichia coli (E. coli)
- Parasites – amoeba, giardia, taenia solium, trichinella
- Toxins like belladona, ricin, hemlock, tetrodotoxin
- Chemicals like pesticides and lead
According to the recent statistics, viruses are the most frequent reason for food poisoning in the U.S. Annually, about 9.5 million diagnoses of food poisoning turn to be caused by the bacterial and viral pathogens.
Medical guidelines for the food poisoning treatment
Choosing a cure for food poisoning depends on its cause. Resting and drinking lots of liquids for people with food poisoning, especially children and the elderly, are the main guidelines given by health care specialists.
Many people choose to take an antibiotic medicine for food poisoning as soon as they get nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But it may turn out to be a wrong decision. For example, the over-the-counter antibiotic Loperamide (Imodium) that is prescribed for diarrhea may only prolong the symptoms of food poisoning. Any anti-parasitic food poisoning medicine can be more helpful but do not use it without consulting a doctor first.
Also, you can try using the natural food poisoning remedies that can deliver a quick relief.
Home remedies for food poisoning
Preventing dehydration is considered to be the first home guideline for the treatment for food poisoning. For this purpose, you can use a combination of clean water and/or electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte or Gatorade. Drinking these liquids can work as the most effective food poisoning cure at home because it may be enough to replace the fluids lost through diarrhea.
Other liquids that may be helpful for the fluid replacement are water, juice, decaffeinated herbal tea, chicken broth or soup.
You can make your own rehydration fluid. Try to add a ½ teaspoon of baking soda, a ½ teaspoon of table salt, and 4 tablespoons of sugar to 1 litre of water. Stir thoroughly and drink throughout the day.
If you are wondering what to take for food poisoning, try to drink 1 cup of the ginger tea after eating lunch or dinner. To make this tea, you can:
- Take 1 teaspoon of grated ginger;
- Add it to 1 cup of water;
- Boil the water with ginger for a few minutes;
- Add a pinch of sugar or raw honey to sweeten the tea.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV can work as a quick natural remedy for food poisoning that may relieve stomach cramps, nausea and reduce diarrhea. For food poisoning relief with raw ACV, mix 2 tablespoons of it in 1 cup hot water. Drink the liquid before eating.
Combination of yogurt and fenugreek seeds
This mixture can work as one of the most effective and quick food poisoning remedies because it can help to get rid of bacteria. Fenugreek seeds can also reduce the abdominal pain and cramps. You may take 1 tablespoon of fat-free yogurt and mix it with 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. Swallow the mixture, without chewing the seeds.
To kill the bacteria responsible for food poisoning, try sipping fresh lemon juice with sugar. You may add a bit of sugar to 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Drink it 2-3 times throughout the day. Alternatively, you can mix lemon juice with warm water to detox your body.
An upset stomach can be helped with 1 teaspoon of raw honey taken 3 times throughout the day.
What can you do after food poisoning?
If you are wondering what to do with food poisoning after getting rid of the first symptoms, here is what you can try:
Adjust your diet
You can slowly start eating bland foods that include bananas, rice, applesauce, toasts, mashed potatoes, and any soft boiled vegetables. Consider avoiding dairy products, spicy or fatty foods, legumes, citruses, nuts, whole grains, caffeine, and alcohol. All these products can negatively affect the weakened digestive system.
Rest as much as you can
Consider taking a few days off to give your body a rest. During the rest period, try to take frequent naps and avoid any physical activity.
Wash your hands more often
To prevent the spread of germs coming from the contaminated stool and vomit, wash your hands as frequently as possible. Also, prevent sharing the towels with healthy people and foods. Instead of towels, you may use disposable cleaning wipes.
It is recommended to see a doctor if the signs of food poisoning last longer than 72 hours, you feel thirsty despite taking the fluids, your fever is higher than 101°Fahrenheit, the foods do not remain in your body, your stool or vomit has a lot of blood and/or the heartbeat is racy or skipping.