Food Poisoning: Can It Be Prevented?

Food poisoning also referred to as food-borne illness is the effect of the intake of spoilt, contaminated, or toxic food to the body system. It is not an uncommon disease as it expected to be contracted by at least one in every six people in the world on a yearly basis. It is extremely uncomfortable and can give the patients different intensity of pain that can be the cause of the extreme discomfort. Nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting are some of the common symptoms of food poisoning. It can result in the improper nourishment of the patient as the food intake will become less and can lead to fatigue and weakness.


Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is one such condition which has very rare chances for going undetected. This is due to the fact that it has more expressive symptoms when compared to other diseases and can result in a break in the routine of the person’s daily life. Below listed are some of the main symptoms of food poisoning and if you have any of it, make sure to consult a doctor at the earliest:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Mild fever
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting

In the common cases of food poisoning, at least three of these symptoms will accompany this condition. But there is another side to food poisoning which is quite dangerous. It can also be life threatening as the intake of fatal toxins can result in death. Some of the symptoms of life-threatening food poisoning cases are:

  • High fever of over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Severe dehydration
  • Less passage of urine, difficulty in keeping fluids down, and dry mouth
  • Diarrhoea which persists for three days or more

It is of the highest importance to consult a doctor in case you are having any of these symptoms as it can be extremely dangerous.

Causes of food poisoning

Food poisoning can be caused due to the following reasons:

  • Bacteria – it is one of the most common reasons for food poisoning. Salmonella, E. coli, and listeria are some of the most dangerous bacteria that cause life-threatening food poisoning.
  • Viruses – Norovirus or Norwalk virus is one of the major causes of food poisoning with over nineteen million cases every year. Rotavirus, Sapovirus, and Astrovirus are other less common viruses that bring the same symptoms.
  • Parasites – these are not as common as bacteria, but they spread through the food dangerously and very easily. One of the most common parasites when it comes to food poisoning is toxoplasma.


Diagnosis and treatment of food poisoning

Diagnosis can be done by a doctor based on the signs and symptoms shown by the patient. Several tests such as stool tests, blood tests, and test on the food you ate are conducted to get a clear idea to determine the cause of the food poisoning.

Food poisoning usually leaves in three to five days. You are expected to keep yourself hydrated by the use of sports drinks which is high in electrolytes and avoid drinks which contain caffeine. If the case is persistent, over the counter medication can be taken to get rid of food poisoning.