Food Poisoning (cont.)

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What is the treatment for food poisoning?

Maintaining good hydration is the first priority when treating food poisoning. Hospitalization may be appropriate if the patient is dehydrated or if they have other underlying medical conditions that become unstable because of the fluid or electrolyte imbalance in their body.

Medications may be prescribed to help control nausea and vomiting.

Medications to decrease the frequency of diarrhea may be indicated but if food poisoning is suspected, it is best to consult with the health care professional before taking OTC medications such as loperamide (Imodium), because it may cause further problems for the patient.

Except for specific infections, antibiotics are not prescribed in the treatment of most bacterial and viral food poisoning. Often, the health care professional will decide upon their use based on multiple factors such as the intensity of the disease symptoms, the additional health factors of the patient, sepsis, and organ system compromise. For example, a pregnant woman suspected of having listeriosis will likely be immediately treated with IV antibiotics because of the effect of the infection on the fetus.

Complications of certain types of food poisoning are best treated in consultation with infectious disease specialists (for example, HUS, TTP, bovine spongiform encephalopathy).

Are there any home remedies for food poisoning?

The key to home care is being able to keep the affected person hydrated. Oral rehydration therapy with water or a balanced electrolyte solution such as Gatorade or Pedialyte is usually adequate to replenish the body with fluids. A person can lose a significant amount of fluid with each diarrheal bowel movement, and that fluid has to be replaced to rehydrate. Patients that show any signs of dehydration such as decreased urination, dizziness, or dry mucous membranes, especially in the young or elderly, should see a health care professional.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/3/2013

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Food Poisoning - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your food poisoning?
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