Food Poisoning Treatment
Most cases of food poisoning are mild, lasting from one to three days. Since many people do not seek medical care, their food poisoning is not diagnosed.
Though your symptoms may sound suspicious, the only way to know for sure if you have food poisoning is to test the offending food or check the stool, blood, or vomit.
Chemical or toxin food poisoning can usually be diagnosed by a description of symptoms and by testing food potentially responsible for the poisoning.
Food poisoning symptoms
- Abdominal pain
- Low fever
- Vomiting and diarrhea are the body's way of flushing poison out of your system, so don't take any over the counter medicine to treat these symptoms unless instructed by your doctor. Once you can keep fluid in your stomach, start drinking clear liquids. Then avoid greasy foods, caffeine, and sweets as you start to advance your diet if you still have diarrhea. Some people may also have trouble digesting milk products at first after having diarrhea.
- Because repeated vomiting or diarrhea can remove large amounts of fluid from your system, dehydration is a potentially dangerous complication, especially in children and older adults. Lost fluids must be replaced promptly and completely. If you cannot keep liquids down, call your doctor. Intravenous fluid replacement may be necessary.
Call a doctor immediately if symptoms last more than 3 days and include:
- Severe belly pain
- Bloody diarrhea or dark stools
- Vomiting that is prolonged or bloody
- Signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, decreased urination, dizziness, fatigue, or increased heart rate or breathing rate