Food poisoning occurs when you swallow food or water that has been contaminated with certain types of bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins.
Most cases of food poisoning are due to common bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Escherichia coli (E. coli).
❧ Meat or poultry may come into contact with intestinal bacteria when being processed
❧ Water that is used during growing or shipping may contain animal or human waste
❧ Improper food handling or preparation
It takes only a few hours (between 2-6 hours) after ingesting a contaminated food that possible symptoms may appear.
❧ Abdominal cramps
❧ Diarrhea (may be bloody)
❧ Fever and chills
❧ Nausea and vomiting
❧ Weakness (may be serious and lead to respiratory arrest, as in the case of botulism)
Having food poisoning may leave you feeling wretched for hours or even days as the body battles the bacteria and rids the toxins. One home remedy for suspected food poisoning is complete bed rest. Many cases of food poisoning are caused by parasites or bacteria, which enter the body by the thousands or millions immediately after one ingests contaminated food. As a defense mechanism, your body should begin to send out antibodies to combat the invasion. All of this takes time, however, so victims of food poisoning need to minimize other activities in order to allow the body to heal itself.
Most food poisoning symptoms can be treated at home with food poisoning remedies – what is important is getting rest to allow the body to heal and defend itself from the food poisoning duration. The other important requirement is to fill up on fluids to prevent dehydration. This can be water, or water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, apple juice and soups kept at room temperature. Anything too cold or too hot will induce the vomiting. Herbal teas such as mint, raspberry, ginger or chamomile will also ease the stomach cramps. Even soft drinks are fine, provided they are consumed flat or defizzed, by pouring the soda back and forth between two glasses. Otherwise, carbonation will further irritate the stomach lining.
Once you feel and recognize the symptoms, eat some bread– it has been proven that it soaks up the bacteria and provides relief. Remember the BRAT diet: bread, rice, apples, and toast, especially if diarrhea becomes one of your symptoms.
❧ Add lemons to warm water and drink often. The acid will kill the bacteria.
❧ Drink¼ cup of charcoal powder mixed with a glass of water.
❧ Eat natural, unsweetened yogurt with probiotics to rebuild the healthy bacteria in the digestive system.
❧ Mix fruit juice with a bit of honey and a pinch of salt in a blender to retain important electrolytes.
❧ During a food poisoning bout, the potassium in the body will be considerably low– try eating bananas or fresh coconut water.
❧ Avoid painkillers. For relief from the pain, place heating bags or hot water bottles on your stomach
❧ After taking in some food, add three drops of garlic oil to half a cup of soya oil and rub on the stomach to sooth it.
❧ Place a clove between your teeth as relief against nausea.
❧ Once you feel yourself getting better, don’t jump into a rich diet!
❧ Don't eat solid foods until diarrhea has passed, and avoid dairy products, which can worsen diarrhea (due to a temporary state of lactose intolerance).
❧ Drink any fluid (except milk or caffeinated beverages) to replace fluids lost by diarrhea and vomiting.
❧ Give children an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte orwatered down sports drinks.
❧ Food poisoning remedies say that you should stay away from fried, spicy food, meat and alcohol.
If you find that home or natural food poisoning remedies seem to do nothing and you feel or see no improvement, then it is time to contact or call your health care provider! Remember every body heals differently.
❧ Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have:
❧ Blood or pus in your stools
❧ Black stools
❧ Stomach pain that does not go away after a bowel movement
❧ Symptoms of dehydration (thirst, dizziness, light-headedness)
❧ Diarrhea with a fever above 101°F (100.4°F in children)
❧ Recently traveled to a foreign country and developed diarrhea
⚠ The diarrhea gets worse or does not get better in 2 days for an infant or child, or 5 days for adults
⚠ A child over 3 months old has been vomiting for more than 12 hours; in younger babies, call as soon as vomiting or diarrhea begins
⚠ Go to the emergency room or call your local emergency number, such as 911, if:
⚠ Bleeding is excessive or your stools are maroon or black
⚠ You may have poisoning from mushrooms, fish, or botulism
⚠ Your heart is racing, pounding, or skipping
Sources: emedicinehealth.com, livestrong.com, wellnessmama.com