It is a known fact that food poisoning can be a distressing experience for any individual since many individuals love to eat in cafeterias, restaurants and other food providers. Nevertheless, food poisoning can occur under various circumstances and triggered by certain foods that are inappropriately cooked or refrigerated, water from a source that is contaminated by bacteria or even in cases when the individual has a weakened immune system.
Elderly and infants are most susceptible to food poisoning. The usual symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, vomiting and headaches. The individual must consult a doctor right away if food poisoning is suspected. Always remember that the symptoms will resolve within 48 hours after the onset, but there are measures that you can perform to hasten the recovery period.
Solid foods must be avoided
The individual must be instructed to avoid eating solid foods while he/she has diarrhea. It is important to stick with fluids until the diarrhea triggered by food poisoning has passed. The individual should also avoid any dairy products since food poisoning can cause lactose intolerance temporarily.
You can provide the individual with clear fluids to drink and allow him/her to suck on ice chips to avoid dehydration. In case the individual could not tolerate this without worsening the diarrhea, he/she can move on to soft, bland foods.
The individual should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids up to the extent that he/she can tolerate. By drinking any type of fluid except milk and caffeine, it can help replace the nutrients that were lost through diarrhea and vomiting.
The individual should drink plenty of fluids in order to flush out the poisons present in the body. In case the vomiting or diarrhea is severe that the individual could not tolerate fluids, it is best to consult a doctor since the individual might need intravenous fluids. Always bear in mind that dehydration can occur if the individual has lost a lot of fluids through diarrhea and vomiting. If you want to learn more about dehydration, click here.
A doctor must be consulted regarding over-the-counter medications, especially anti-diarrheal medications. Even though the recommendation of the doctor will depend on the case of the individual, you can provide acetaminophen for the fever and body aches. If the individual usually takes a diuretic medication and suffers from vomiting or diarrhea, a doctor must be consulted. Always remember that avoiding dehydration during food poisoning is vital, thus the doctor will temporarily discontinue any diuretic medications being taken by the individual.
Important tips to bear in mind
You have to consult a doctor right away if the individual has blood-streaked stools, diarrhea that persists for more than 2-3 days and fever higher than 101 degrees F.
In some cases, a heating pad or hot water bottle can be used on the stomach of the individual since this will help soothe the abdominal pain.