Food poisoning is common, but can also be life threatening. The symptoms for food poisoning are fever, abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Food poisoning has many causes, for example, chemicals (from toxic fish or plants) and bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus or Salmonella). Treatment of food poisoning depends upon the cause. Read more: Food Poisoning Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Colitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. Symptoms of the inflammation of the colon lining include diarrhea, pain, and blood in the stool. There are several causes of colitis, including infection, ischemia of the colon, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, infectious colitis like C. difficile, or microscopic colitis). Treatment depends on the cause of the colitis.
Staph (Staphylococcus) Infection
Staphylococcus or staph is a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases. Staph infections can cause illness directly by infection or indirectly by the toxins they produce. Symptoms and signs of a staph infection include redness, swelling, pain, and drainage of pus. Minor skin infections are treated with an antibiotic ointment, while more serious infections are treated with intravenous antibiotics.
What Causes Abdominal Pain?
Abdominal pain can have many causes that range from mild to severe. Some of these causes include bloating, gas, colitis, endometriosis, food poisoning, GERD, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ovarian cysts, abdominal adhesions, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disease, liver disease, and cancers. Signs and symptoms of the more serious causes include dehydration, bloody or black tarry stools, severe abdominal pain, pain with no urination or painful urination. Treatment for abdominal pain depends upon the cause.
Why Am I So Gassy and Bloated?
Bloating is a feeling that your abdomen is distended or larger than normal, but it does not necessarily mean that it is. Gas (flatulence) also can be a problem if you are bloated. Common, less serious causes of bloating are eating too fast, too much, or too many fatty foods; swallowing air; pregnancy; and menstruation. Cancer and IBD (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) are examples the more serious causes of bloating. Examples of foods and drinks that cause bloating are high fiber foods if you don't eat them regularly; eventually the bloating and gassiness will resolve if you eat them on a regular basis; fatty greasy foods, dairy products (for example, cheese, ice cream, milk, and yogurt); foods high in salt (for example, processed, frozen, and canned foods), and artificial sweeteners. Some doctors and other health care professionals recommend natural remedies like chamomile or peppermint tea, or pumpkin to relieve bloating. Examples of OTC medicine (medicine available without a prescription) and other products that may relieve bloating and gassiness are, Gas-X, Beano, Pepto Bismol, Metamucil, probiotics, and Ex-Lax for constipation associated with bloating. If you have persistent or severe gas and bloating, and if you have any of these symptoms see a doctor or other healthcare professional, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain, bloody diarrhea, fever, or if you think you are or may be pregnant.
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
Stomach Flu (Gastroenteritis) Symptoms, Signs Treatment Remedies, Diet
Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) is a term referred used to describe a variety of gastrointestinal problems. The most common signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States is Norovirus. Other causes of gastroenteritis include Rotavirus, Astrovirus, Adenovirus, and Sapovirus. There are bacterial causes of gastroenteritis such as Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter Aeromonas, E. coli, Clostridium, Vibrio, Campylobacter, and Yersinia spp. Parasites that cause gastroenteritis include Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Entamoeba. Treatment for gastroenteritis is generally home remedies such as keeping hydrated to prevent dehydration. At times, hospitalization may be necessary if dehydration occurs.
Amebiasis (Entamoeba Histolytica Infection)
Amebiasis is an infection caused by an amoeba. Signs and symptoms include bloody stools, abdominal pain, weight loss, fever, and gas. Treatment may involve taking luminal agents or antibiotics. Surgery may be indicated for various reasons.
Nausea and vomiting after eating are symptoms that may be caused by many conditions. Antiemetics are drugs that help get rid of nausea and vomiting. Though some antiemetics for motion sickness and mild nausea remedies are available over the counter (OTC), most require a medical evaluation and prescription. Read experts describing what causes nausea and how to stop nausea and vomiting.
Is a Staph Infection Contagious?
A staph infection is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Staph can cause boils, food poisoning, cellulitis, toxic shock syndrome, MRSA, and various other illnesses and infections. Most staph infections are transmitted from person to person.
Trichinosis Worm Infection
Trichinosis is a food-borne disease caused by ingesting parasites (roundworms) in undercooked pork or wild-game meat. Symptoms of trichinosis include diarrhea, nausea, muscle aches, itching, fever, chills, and joint pains.Trichinosis usually resolves without treatment, but more severe cases are treated with thiabendazole (Mintezol), albendazole (Abenza), or mebendazole (Vermox).
Typhoid fever is an illness caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria. The illness is contracted by ingesting the bacteria in contaminated water or food. Symptoms include headaches, fever, diarrhea, lethargy, aches and pains, and poor appetite. Treatment focuses on killing the Salmonella bacteria with antibiotics.
E. coli (0157:H7) Infection
There are many types of E. coli (Escherichia coli). E. coli can cause urinary tract and bladder infections, or lead to sepsis. E coli O157:H7 (EHEC) causes bloody diarrhea and colitis. Complications of E. coli infection include hemorrhagic diarrhea, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. E coli O157:H7 commonly is due to eating raw or undercooked hamburger or raw milk or dairy products.
Cholera is an infectious disease characterized by intense vomiting and profuse watery diarrhea and that rapidly lease to dehydration and often death. Cholera is caused by infection with the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, which may be transmitted via infected fecal matter, food, or water.
Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) is typically caused by the consumption of contaminated foods. Symptoms of salmonellosis include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Salmonellosis typically resolves on its own in four to seven days. It's important to increase one's fluid intake to compensate for the fluid lost by vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Norovirus infection causes stomach flu, or gastroenteritis. It's a very contagious illness with symptoms that include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics, so treatment focuses on maintaining proper hydration.
The bacteria Brucella causes brucellosis, an infectious zoonotic disease in humans. Symptoms and signs include fatigue, fever, sweating, and appetite loss. The preferred treatment is doxycycline and rifampin taken for six to eight weeks.
Travelers' diarrhea is generally contracted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Food is the primary source of travelers' diarrhea. Enterotoxigenic E. coli is the cause of up to 70% of all cases of travelers' diarrhea. There are five unique classes of E. coli that causes gastroenteritis. Other bacteria responsible for travelers' diarrhea include Campylobacter, jejuni, shigella, and salmonella. Viruses such as rotavirus and Norwalk virus (norovirus) and giardia lamblia a parasite may cause travelers' diarrhea. Prevention is careful eating and drinking of water.
The most common food allergies are to eggs, nuts, milk, peanuts, fish, shellfish, strawberries and tomatoes. Symptoms and signs of a food allergy reaction include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, itching, hives, eczema, asthma, lightheadedness, and anaphylaxis. Allergy skin tests, RAST, and ELISA tests may be used to diagnose a food allergy. Though dietary avoidance may be sufficient treatment for mild allergies, the use of an Epipen may be necessary for severe food allergies.
Stomach Flu vs. Food Poisoning
The stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis) and food poisoning are not the same infections. However, they do have a few similar symptoms, for example: Nausea Vomiting Diarrhea Fever Abdominal (stomach) pain and cramping. Symptoms and signs of food poisoning show up earlier (2 hours up to a couple of days) in comparison to the stomach flu in which symptoms may take 4 hours up to 48 hours (2 days) before symptoms begin. Medical treatment for the stomach flu and food poisoning generally is not necessary. A bland diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and rest may be the only treatment necessary.
Anthrax is a deadly infectious disease that may be transmitted to humans by infected animals or by biological warfare. There are three types of anthrax: cutaneous, inhalation, and gastrointestinal. Symptoms of cutaneous anthrax include a swollen glands, muscle ache, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and a red-brown raised spot that enlarges, blisters, and hardens, forming an ulcer crater with black crust. Symptoms of inhalation anthrax are flu-like and may progress to respiratory distress, shock, coma, and death. Symptoms of gastrointestinal anthrax include loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Treatment for cutaneous anthrax involves penicillin, tetracycline, erythromycin, and ciprofloxin. Inhalation anthrax necessitates treatment with IV therapy with antibiotics.
Is E. coli Contagious? (Symptoms and Cure)
E. coli is an infection found worldwide. There are several subtypes of the E. coli species. E. coli spreads from person to person via contaminated food or water. Symptoms and signs of E. coli infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and sometimes fever. Antibiotics treat E. coli infection.
Botulism is an illness caused by a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are three types of botulism: food-borne, wound, and infant. Symptoms include muscle paralysis, dry mouth, constipation, slurred speech, and blurred vision. If food-borne and wound botulism are detected early enough, they may be treated with an antitoxin.
How Do You Know If You Have E. Coli or Salmonella?
E. coli and salmonella are both bacteria that can cause food poisoning. What is the difference between E. coli and salmonella?
Hepatitis A (HAV, Hep A)
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A (HAV, Hep A) is one type of liver disease caused by a virus. Since hepatitis A is a virus, it can pass from person to person from eating or drinking contaminated food or coming into contact with contaminated materials containing the virus. Symptoms of hepatitis A include stomach pain, diarrhea, dark yellow urine, jaundice, and more. There is a vaccine to prevent contracting hepatitis A.
What Medicine Helps With Food Poisoning?
Learn what medical treatments can help ease your food poisoning symptoms and speed up your recovery.
Bioterrorism is a form of terrorism where there is the intentional release of biological agents such as viruses, germs, or bacteria. Diseases caused by bioterrorism agents include anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, tularemia, brucellosis, food poisoning, Q fever, ricin toxin poisoning, cholera, epidemic typhus, viral encephalitis, XDR TB, and MDR TB.
Listeria is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Listeriosis symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and fever. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis. Listeria infection is treated with antibiotics.
Cysticercosis (Pork Tapeworm Infection)
Cysticercosis is an infection caused by Taenia solium, the pork tapeworm. Symptoms include seizures, lethargy, nausea and vomiting, headache, vision changes, weakness, and confusion. Treatment depends upon the individual's symptoms and the stage of the infection. Treatment may incorporate anthelmintics, corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and/or surgery.
Vibrio Infection (Vibriosis)
Vibrio bacteria thrive in warm coastal waters and cause illness when people eat undercooked shellfish or when brackish or saltwater comes in contact with an open wound. Treatment involves drinking plenty of liquid.
Cryptosporidiosis is an intestinal disease caused by the Cryptosporidium parasite. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, fever, weight loss, dehydration, and weight loss. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of cyptosporidiosis.
Ciguatera poisoning is a type of food poisoning caused by the ciguatera toxin found in a variety of large reef fish found between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Symptoms of ciguatera poisoning include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, vertigo, numbness, tingling, and muscle pain. Ciguatera poisoning requires medical treatment.
Shigellosis is a disease caused by the Shigella bacteria. Bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever are common symptoms. Mild infections usually resolve on their own. Antibiotics are used to treat more severe cases.
Is Salmonella Contagious?
Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause a variety of diseases. Salmonella can be transmitted via direct and indirect contact. Salmonellosis typically lasts for 3-5 days and resolves on its own. Supportive care to prevent dehydration due to nausea and vomiting is usually the only treatment.
Mad Cow Disease
Mad cow disease (or bovine spongiform encephalopathy [BSE]) is a fatal disease that attacks the central nervous system of adult cattle. Though the specific cause isn't known, it is speculated that infectious prions are the likely cause. Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease is found in people and is similar to BSE. A variation of this disease is thought to be caused by eating beef products from BSE-infected cattle.
Rat Lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis)
Rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) is a parasite that infects rats. The parasite can infect people if ingested by eating undercooked or raw infected snails or slugs. Though rat lungworm often causes no signs and symptoms, the parasite can cause eosinophlic meningitis in some. Stiff neck, headach, vomiting, nausea, and fever are symptoms of eosinophilic meningitis. Treatment is usually unnecessary. For more severe infections, treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms.
Cyclospora Infection (Cyclosporiasis)
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite that causes infection when humans ingest food contaminated with feces from an infected individual. Symptoms include profuse diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, cramping, and fatigue. A 7-day course of Bactrim or Septra is the standard treatment for cyclosporiasis.
First aid is providing medical assistance to someone a sick or injured person. The type of first aid depends on their condition. Preparedness is key to first aid, like having basic medical emergency kits in your home, car, boat, or RV. Many minor injuries may require first aid, including cuts, puncture wounds, sprains, strains, and nosebleeds. Examples of more critical first aid emergencies include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and heatstroke.
Is Norovirus Contagious?
Noroviruses cause food poisoning symptoms in infected individuals. Norovirus is transmitted via direct and indirect contact. Infections typically resolve in 24-72 hours. Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, headache, and body aches.
Enterovirulent E. coli (EEC)
Enterovirulent Escherichia coli (E. coli) are strains of related bacteria that have a strong propensity to cause gastrointestinal tract infections. Examples of strains include: EHEC (enterohemorrhagic E. coli), ETEC (enterotoxigenic E. coli), EPEC (enteropathogenic E. coli), EIEC (enteroinvasive E. coli), EAEC (enteroadherent E. coli), and EAggEC (enteroaggregative E. coli). Symptoms may vary depending on the strain the individual contracts. Infection is spread generally through contaminated food or drink.
What Happens If You Get Salmonella?
What happens if you get salmonella? Most kinds of salmonella bacteria cause an illness called salmonellosis. Learn about this infection and how you can reduce your risk of contracting it.
What Causes Vomiting? 7 Reasons Why and How to Ease It
Vomiting is a reflex directed by the brain toward the intestines to reverse their peristaltic movements to force the contents of the stomach out through the mouth. It is usually a symptom of an underlying disease.
What Are the Best Ways of Treating Salmonella?
Salmonella is responsible for over a million infections each year. Find out more about the bacteria and learn some tips on preventing illness.
How Do You Know It's Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning is a common illness that usually resolves within one to two days. Learn the signs of food poisoning, what causes food poisoning, and what you can do to treat food poisoning.
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- Cases in Stomach Bug Outbreak Continue to Climb
- Health Tip: Foods That May Harbor Listeria
- Company Tied to Stomach Bug Outbreak Stops Shipments to U.S.
- Stomach Bug Outbreak Cases Top 500
- Stomach Bug Outbreak Grows, Bagged Salad Implicated
- U.S. Health Officials Still Tracking Source of Stomach Bug Outbreak
- Cyclospora Infections: Are You at Risk?
- CDC: Investigation of an Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in the United States
- Social Media Helps Pin Down Source of Foodborne Strep Throat Outbreak
- Health Tip: Keep Food Safe
- 61 Now Sickened in Hepatitis A Outbreak Tied to Frozen Berry Mix
- Listeria Food Poisoning Hits Elderly, Moms-to-Be Hardest: CDC
- Number of U.S. Foodborne Illness Cases Stalled: CDC
- Health Highlights: April 17, 2013
- 'Moderate' Red Tide Expected in New England This Summer
- 'Cruise Ship Virus' Also Sickens 1 Million U.S. Kids Yearly
- Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Foster Farms Chicken
- Health Tip: Avoid Food Poisoning
- Fish Like Grouper, Barracuda May Pose Food-Poisoning Risk
- What Food Made You Sick?
- Salmonella Cause of Most Foodborne-Illness Outbreaks: CDC
- New Strain of Norovirus Spreading Quickly in U.S.
- Veggie Burgers Recalled Over Listeria Risk
- Trader Joe's Recalls Frozen Chicken and Rice Dish
- Harmful Bacteria Found in Samples of U.S. Pork
- Health Tip: Talkin' Turkey
- Food Safety Tips For a Worry-Free Tailgating Party
- Peanut Butter Recall Expands
- Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Recalled Nationwide
- Kroger Recalls Spinach in 15 States
- 3 Dead in Listeria Outbreak From Ricotta Cheese
- More Benefits of Breast Milk Revealed
- Health Tip: Defrost Meat Properly
- Health Tip: If Your Child Develops Food Poisoning
- Deaths in Salmonella Outbreak Traced to Cantaloupe
- Health Tip: Protect Against Food Poisoning During Pregnancy
- 8 Tons of Kids' Lunch Wraps Recalled Over Listeria
- Onion Recalls Continue
- The 'Five Second Rule' Is a Myth
- 33 Sickened by Salmonella Linked to Ground Beef: CDC
- Beware of the Potato Salad: Preventing Foodborne Illness in Summer
- Dole Recalls Bagged Salad Because of Listeria Risk
- Infant Dies in New E. Coli Outbreak
- Salmonella Concerns Prompt Baby Spinach Recall
- Nationwide Recall of Bagged Salads Expands
- USDA Unveils Plans to Stem Food-borne Illness
- Health Tip: Have a Safe Picnic
- Imported Foods Causing More Disease
- Raw Milk Causes Most Illness From Dairy Products: CDC
- Hard-Boiled Egg Recall Hits 34 States
- Study Finds Bacteria in Unused Paper Towels
- USDA Issues New Safety Rules for Beef
- Health Tip: Don't Let Holiday Turkey Make You Sick
- Raw Cookie Dough Ready to Bake, Not Ready to Eat
- Can of Soup a Day Linked to High BPA Levels in Urine
- 2 More Deaths in Listeria/Cantaloupe Outbreak
- Listeria Outbreak Now 2nd Largest in U.S. History
- Ground Beef Recalled in 14 States
- Listeria: Are You at Risk?
- 8 Dead From Listeria-Contaminated Cantaloupes
- Death Toll Rises From Listeria in Cantaloupes
- Second Listeriosis Death From Contaminated Cantaloupes
- Listeria Forces Recalls of Ready-to-Eat Chicken, Meat
- Recalled Cucumbers in Your Fridge?
- 27 Tons of Turkey Burgers Recalled
- School Band Instruments Are Bacterial Hot Spots
- Ground Beef Recalled in 10 States
- Skippy Peanut Butter Recall: Salmonella Risk
- Year-End Flurry of Food Recalls, Illness
- 1 in 6 Americans Gets Food-borne Illness
- Egg Recall: FDA Finds Salmonella on Suspect Farms
- Egg Recall: Trail Leads to Iowa Firm
- Egg Recall: Frequently Asked Questions
- Egg Recall Expands; CDC Expects More Illnesses
- Salmonella Outbreaks Spur Nationwide Egg Recall
- Iams Cat Food Recalled
- Frozen Meals Linked to Salmonella Outbreak
- Irradiation Almost Erases Risk of Food Poisoning
- Peanut Butter Food Poisoning Warning
- Ground Turkey Recall: 36 Million Lbs., Among Largest Recalls Ever
- Summer Barbecue: Heat the Meat!
- Interpreting Dates on Food Products
- Start at the Store: 7 Ways to Prevent Foodborne Illness
- Travel: Is Water on Planes Safe?
- Food Safety: How Safe is Imported Food?
- Diseases from Animals: A Primer
- Salmonellosis, Frequently Asked Questions
- Eggs Safer from Salmonella?
- Salmonella from Raw Meat Alert
- Salmonella Enteritidis Infection (Egg Associated)