Gastroenteritis is a state that involves gut lining inflammation, especially of the intestines and stomach. In many cases, it usually settles without any medical care but in few cases, this may lead to many complications and food poisoning is one major cause of Gastroenteritis leading to some commonly known unpleasant symptoms. The main source of gastroenteritis is bacteria, viruses and or parasites and if the source of such infection is exposure to polluted food or unhealthy food then it is called food poisoning. In simple, illness caused due to food we take is usually said as food poisoning. This is mostly due to consumption of food that is not supposed to be eaten like spoiled food, poisonous food or impure food. Food poisoning isn’t usual and once impacted is as severe as that it may lead mortality. Said, this let us see when to see a doctor for food poisoning.
Year after year millions of people of all ages suffer from food poisoning. Increased eating of food outside from home is also one of the main reasons. If the symptoms persist longer and are severe then doctor is prescribed for food poisoning.
Food Poisoning Causes
Food poisoning is caused by eating unhealthy food or contaminated food that contains gems or bacteria. Bacteria and germs cannot be seen with our naked eye.
Some Unhealthy foods that cause food poisoning are listed below;
- If we do not cook our food thoroughly.
- If we leave the cooked food outside for long time.
- If do not reheat the previously cooked food.
- If we touch the food with dirty hands.
- If we eat food that is out of date.
Food that gets contaminated if they are not stored properly or cooked properly are;
- Raw meat and poultry
- Raw eggs
- Raw shellfish
- Unpasteurised milk, cheese
- Ready to eat foods, packed food
Food Poisoning Symptoms
For some people symptoms are very serious and for some people symptoms are mild. Some people get better very soon in days or weeks or month without treatment. Most of the people try to recover at home, they make home remedies by doing fasting, taking liquids (like ORS) for 1 to 2days. These symptoms vary from person to person. Some bacterial infections spread from person to person. If one person is infected everyone in the house are treated. Some of the common symptoms that everyone face are;
- Stomach pain
- Feeling not to eat anything.
- Mild fever and chills
- Loss of appetite
How To Treat Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning in general settles by itself without any further medical intervention. Treating of food poisoning is mainly focused on controlling of the symptoms and avoiding further complications, importantly dehydration. Food poisoning treatment mainly involves resting and increase fluids and electrolytes intake.
- Drinking Oral rehydration drinks like sugar and salt water, carrot soup, rice water, gruels etc, and many other liquids.
- If vomiting still persists take small quantities of water.
- Eating solids gradually at a slow pace. It is suggested to start with blander foods like cereals, rice, toast, bananas etc.
Foods To Avoid
Food that worsens the symptoms and that are to be avoided during food poisoning are;
- Fatty foods
- Sugary foods
- Spicy foods
- Dairy products
When To See A Doctor For Food Poisoning?
Some symptoms are very serious and need to consult a doctor online or offline immediately. Those symptoms are;
- High fever more than 102 degrees.
- Blood in Urine.
- Facing Difficulty in speaking.
- Diarrhoea for more than 3 days.
- Weakness for more than 2 days.
- If you are pregnant
- If you are above 60 years
How To Prevent Food Poisoning?
Here are a few advices to prevent food poisoning;
Be sure to heat the food for proper period of time and at proper temperature so as to kill any bacteria that gives complications. Be sure to properly check cooked meat and also be sure of cooking eggs, if they turn firm.
It is also better to separately cook foods that may cause cross-contamination.
Storing in chill temperatures slows down bacterial growth.
Always maintain your kitchen or any other cooking areas clean. Wash hands frequently before and while cooking, before eating, before touching the mouth for any reason, etc.
Always maintain cleanliness and cook and consume food clean and on time. When to see a doctor for food poisoning depends on your level of symptoms, so be sure to keep an eye always on your body performance. Start with immediate home remedies and if problem still persists, book for an appointment with your doctor.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.