Food poisoning, an illness caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water, is an ordeal, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. While you should absolutely see a doctor for severe and prolonged food poisoning, luckily, most cases are mild and resolve in a matter of hours. Still, there are steps to take while you wait it out.
Here are some top tips.
Staying hydrated is highly essential. The nature of food poisoning means that you’ll likely be losing a lot of fluids through vomiting and diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration very quickly, and it’s important to replenish your fluids as the dangers of dehydration include muscle cramping, low blood pressure, poor kidney function, and death.
Besides drinking copious amounts of water, you should hydrate with electrolyte drinks. You can also try clear soups or broths, non-caffeinated sodas, and decaffeinated tea.
Eat Only Bland Food
While your body needs food to help fight the illness, certain foods are bad for your stomach in its weakened state.
For example, fiber is a no-go as it’s hard for a weakened stomach to digest. Dairy can also spell trouble as it contains lactose, which many people have difficulty digesting even when they’re not sick. And spicy and acidic foods will only further irritate an already upset stomach.
Instead, opt for eating bland foods like rice, cereal, dry toast, saltines, bananas, and potatoes. These kinds of foods will be easy on your stomach as your body heals.
When you have food poisoning, your body is working hard to fight the infection and expel the contaminated food from your system. This takes a lot of energy and sleeping is an effective way to help balance that out.
If you’re finding it difficult to sleep, first make sure that you’re in a comfortable position. Then, try drinking chamomile tea, taking a warm bath, and listening to calming sounds or music.
Locate the Source of the Contamination
You don’t want a repeat experience of food poisoning, so it’s a good idea to try and figure out what made you sick in the first place.
Not every restaurant takes food safety measures like using air-cooled chillers for temperature control seriously, so if you went out to eat at an unfamiliar spot before becoming ill, that could be the source of the problem.
You should also check your home for contaminated food or water. If you have well water, for example, it may not be as clean as you think. Or, in some cases, food poisoning can come from produce that was contaminated at the source.
Undercooked meat, poultry or eggs, unpasteurized milk, and seafood are all also potential culprits.
These are just a few tips to help you get through a bout of food poisoning. Remember to see a doctor if your symptoms persist or worsen. And most importantly, stay hydrated. AIDS! Is There A Cure For HIV?