Food poisoning – What is it and how to treat it

One of the most common infections that affects most people across the world is the menace of food poisoning. After common cold, food poisoning is the disease that affects the people the most.

What is food poisoning in the first instance?

Well. The term “food poisoning” is more of a general term or a common term used to refer as many as 250 or more diseases caused through contaminated food. In short, food poisoning results from bacterial or viral contamination of food. It is a well-known fact that bacteria, including those that can cause food-borne illness, are found naturally all around the place. Since the bacteria are invisible to the naked eye, one cannot rely either on his sight or on the taste to recognize bacteria.

How food poisoning is caused?

We had already seen that food poisoning is caused as a result of bacterial or viral contamination of food. Thanks to strict regulations controlling food processing and the use of additives, illness due to deliberate adulteration of foods is a thing of the past. As such, contamination of food at the preparation stage is ruled out. Bacterial contamination, that can be traced to faulty handling of food, could be the primary cause for food poisoning in most of the cases.

What are the symptoms for food poisoning?

Nausea and vomiting are the common symptoms associated with food poisoning. At times, the patient could also experience headache, diarrhea as well as cramps in the muscles.

Vulnerable people such as infants, young children, people suffering with chronic and prolonged illness as well as elderly people could be worst affected when attacked by food poisoning. If the infected person falls into any of the group of people mentioned herein, it is advisable that a doctor’s assistance and guidance is immediately sought. In all other cases, there is no need to go to the doctor

What one should do when infected with food poisoning?

The body rids itself of the organisms that cause food poisoning through vomiting and diarrhea. However unpleasant it may be, it is better to let the nature run its course.

Do not tax your system with food until it is able to handle it. Prevent fluid depletion by sipping a mixture of apple juice and water or weak tea.

When you are confident that your system has settled down, reintroduce diet that includes foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce and toast (BRAT) for about 24 to 48 hours. After that, try other bland foods, such as soft-cooked chicken and mashed potatoes. Please try to stay away from fresh fruits for a few days.

How to avoid this disease in the first instance

It is clear that one contracts food poisoning only as a result of bacterial and viral contamination in the handling and processing stages of food. Eating fresh food at all times, safeguarding the unused food in refrigerators if not needed for immediate consumption, ensuring that the handling and processing of prepared foods is done in a hygenic way and discarding foods that smell bad are some simple things that one can try to do in order to safeguard himself from contracting this common disease. By following simple recourse, one can get cured in a couple of days, if not more, and there is no need to visit a doctor for treating this simple disease of food poisoning, as long as it is not serious.