What is Food Poisoning? Know Its Causes and Treatments

What is Food Poisoning? Know Its Causes and Treatments

Eating infected, rotten, or poisoned food can result in foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea are among the signs of food poisoning that people typically experience. 

Food poisoning is not uncommon, despite the fact that it is very uncomfortable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 48 million Americans, or roughly 1 in 7, get some sort of food poisoning each year. 128,000 of the 48 million people are in hospitals.

Food Poisoning Symptoms

There’s a good probability that food poisoning won’t go unnoticed. Depending on the infection’s origin, symptoms can change. Several of the following symptoms are frequently present in food poisoning cases:

  • Constipation 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea 

Vomiting and a decrease in appetite can both be found 

  • A low-grade fever 
  • Weakness, available 
  • Headache 

Food poisoning symptoms that could be fatal include:

  • 102°F (38.9°C) or higher fever; 
  • difficulty seeing or speaking; 
  • severe dehydration symptoms, such as dry mouth passing little to no urine and difficulty keeping fluids down; 
  • and bloody urine. 

If you notice any of these signs, get in touch with a gastroenterologist right now through Help me Marham.  

How long does food poisoning last?

The time it takes for symptoms to manifest depends on the infection’s origin, although it might take anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 weeks. Most instances will resolve in a week, treatment or no treatment.

Causes of Food Poisoning

Bacteria, parasites, or viruses are the three main causes of the majority of food poisoning cases. These pathogens are present on almost all of the food that people consume. 

However, viruses on food are often killed by heat during cooking before it reaches our plate. Due to their lack of preparation, raw foods are frequently the cause of food illness. 

Occasionally, faecal debris or vomit-borne pathogens will contact food. The most common scenario for this to happen is when a sick person prepares food without washing their hands first.

Frequently contaminated foods include meat, eggs, and dairy products. Additionally, disease-causing microorganisms may be present in water.


Food poisoning is almost always caused by bacteria. among the bacterial causes of food poisoning are

  • E. coli, especially Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)
  • Listeria monocytogenes 
  • Clostridium botulinum 
  • Salmonella 
  • Campylobacter  
  • Shigella and Staphylococcus aureus are two common bacterial food poisonings
  • Also Vibrio vulnificus


Although parasites that spread through food are very dangerous, food poisoning brought on by bacteria is more frequent. They consist of:

  • Giardiasis and Toxoplasma gondii can both be found respectively.
  • A variety of tapeworms, such as the beef tapeworm Taenia saginata, the pig tapeworm Taenia solium, and the fish tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum. 
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • The roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides
  • Flukes (flatworms), including Paragonimus and Opisthorchiidae (liver flukes) (lung fluke)
  • Trichinella , or pinworms or enterobiasis


A virus, such as the following, can also result in food poisoning:

  • Norovirus, also referred to as the Norwalk virus 
  • Hepatitis A virus, 
  • Rotavirus, 
  • Astrovirus, 
  • And sapovirus are some more contagious diseases.

Food Poisoning Treatments

Most food poisoning cases can be handled at home. The following are some methods for treating food poisoning:

Stay Hydrated

  • It’s essential to drink enough water if you have food illness. Electrolytes-rich sports drinks are beneficial. 
  • According to many articles on exhaustion, fruit juice and coconut water can replenish carbs and combat fatigue. Avoid caffeine, which can irritate the digestive tract. 
  • An upset stomach may be soothed by decaffeinated teas infused with calming herbs like chamomile, peppermint, and dandelion.  

Take over-the-counter (OTC) Medications

  • You can control diarrhoea and control nausea by using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such loperamide, which is found in Imodium and Pepto-Bismol. 
  • The body uses vomiting and diarrhoea to get the toxin out of the system, so you should consult a doctor before using these drugs. 
  • Additionally, taking these drugs may make your condition appear worse than it is and make you put off getting professional help. A typical treatment for pinworms is pyrantel pamoate.

Take Prescription Medications

  • Depending on the organism that caused their sickness, some people may benefit from prescription drugs even though many cases of food poisoning resolve on their own. 
  • People who are pregnant, immunocompromised, or older may benefit from prescription drugs. 
  • Treatment with antibiotics during pregnancy aids in preventing the spread of an illness to the developing child.

Receive an Antitoxin

  • A C. botulinum infection is regarded as a medical emergency. 
  • An antitoxin will be given to you by a doctor if you have C. botulinum. BabyBIG, an unique antitoxin, will be administered to infants (botulism immune globulin).


  • Getting lots of rest is essential for folks who have food poisoning.

If your case is severe

  • You might need intravenous (IV) fluid hydration at a hospital if you have a severe case of food poisoning. 
  • In the severe cases of food poisoning, you might need to stay in the hospital for a longer period of time while you recuperate. 
  • Rarely, people with severe C. botulinum infections might even need a ventilator.

What to Eat and Drink when you have Food Poisoning

It’s preferable to progressively delay eating solid foods until after vomiting and diarrhoea have stopped. Instead, gradually return to your regular diet by consuming bland, low-fat foods that are easy to digest and simple to ingest 

  • Saltine crackers, 
  • Toast, 
  • Gelatin, 
  • Bananas, 
  • Rice, 
  • Oatmeal, 
  • Boiling vegetables, 
  • Chicken broth, 
  • Caffeine-free sodas like ginger ale or root beer, 
  • Diluted fruit juices, 
  • Sports drinks, and 
  • Bland potatoes and vegetables.

What not to do

  • Even if you feel better, try to avoid eating the following difficult-to-digest items to keep your stomach from getting worse:
  • Dairy items, particularly milk and cheese
  • Fatty foods, fried foods, 
  • Highly spiced foods, sugar-rich foods, and spicy foods

Also Avoid 

  • Caffeine and alcohol are both substances that might have negative impacts on health.
  • Nicotine and associated disorders 

Outlook for Food Poisoning

Food poisoning rarely poses a serious threat to life. Despite how terrible food poisoning can be, most sufferers fully recover within a few days, even without medical intervention. Talk to a gastroenterologist in Lahore right now to solve your problem your food poisoning right now. 

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