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- Food poisoning facts
- What is food poisoning?
- What are the signs and symptoms of food poisoning?
- Are food poisoning and stomach flu the same thing?
- How long does food poisoning last?
- What are the types of food poisoning?
- What are the causes of food poisoning?
- Short incubation of less than 16 to 24 hours
- Intermediate incubation from about 1 to 3 days
- Long incubation of 3 to 5 days
- Very long incubation of up to a month
- When should the doctor be called for food poisoning?
- How is food poisoning diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for food poisoning?
- Are there any home remedies for food poisoning?
- How can food poisoning be prevented?
- What are the complications of food poisoning?
- What is the prognosis for someone with food poisoning?
Quick GuideFood Poisoning: 20 Common and Uncommon Types, Signs and Symptoms
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 a health-careprofessional before taking OTC (over-the-counter) medications such as loperamide (Imodium), because it may cause increased problems for the patient.
Except for specific infections, antibiotics are not prescribed in the treatment of most food poisoning. Often, the health-careprofessional will decide upon their use based on multiple factors such as the intensity of the disease symptoms, the additional health factors of the patient, a serious response to infection (sepsis), and organ system compromise. For example, a pregnant woman suspected of having listeriosis will likely be 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. People who 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.