Food Poisoning

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Food Poisoning Dangers Slideshow

Quick GuideFood Poisoning: 20 Common and Uncommon Types, Signs and Symptoms

Food Poisoning: 20 Common and Uncommon Types, Signs and Symptoms

What are the complications of food poisoning?

The first and most important complication of food poisoning is dehydration. Food poisoning can cause significant loss of body water and changes in the electrolyte levels in the blood.

If the affected individual has underlying medical conditions requiring medication, persistent vomiting may make it difficult to swallow and digest those medications.

Other complications of food poisoning are specific to the type of infection. Some are listed in the causes of food poisoning such as HUS, TTP, or encephalopathy.

What is the prognosis for someone with food poisoning?

Fortunately, most cases of food poisoning resolve within a few hours to days and the affected individual returns to normal function.

Depending upon the cause of the infection, and the patient's underlying medical condition, the infection may cause significant organ damage and even death.

REFERENCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States. Jan 08, 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Listeriosis Outbreak Associated with Mexican-Style Cheese - California. May 02, 2001

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis Associated with Jensen Farms Cantaloupe - United States, August--September 2011.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cyclosporiasis Outbreak Investigations - United States, 2013 (Final Update). Dec 02, 2013

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2015

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