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Food Poisoning

Submited by- Team Sitagita on 27 May, 2011 HEALTH  AGING & DISEASES  

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When you eat the wrong kind of food you get food poisoning. Food poisoning is usually a common problem but at times it can be dangerous too. Some of the symptoms of poisoning of foods include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramp and diarrhea that happen suddenly within 48 hours of the intake of contaminated foods and drinks. Depending on the kind of food taken in fever, chills, dehydration and damage of nervous system follows. This may affect a single individual or a group of people who have ate the same food. If it happens to a whole group of people then it is considered as an outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that food poisoning causes about 76 million illness, 325,000 hospitalization and up to 5,000 deaths per year in the United States alone. One type of bacteria that causes this infection is the salmonellae organisms. One of the major ways of preventing poisoning of foods is to take precaution at every stage from cooking to storing of the leftovers. The responsibility for fighting against this disease goes to the adults but the kids also have a major part to play. The most significant of it is to wash hands before or after having food. You should take extra care for your health reasons.
Other important ways to prevent food contamination is to wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Eating half cooked foods can be dangerous too. So it is advisable to properly cook the food. Rotten foods and half cooked are the principal agents of food poisoning. Mold which is green, pink, white or brown is often a sign that the food has been spoiled.

Food poisoning Causes

There are a variety of causes which can cause Food poisoning. Many people suffer from mild symptoms and hence these cases remain unaccounted. There are two broad categories through which Food poisoning can happen. Infectious and toxic agents cause poisoning and lead to various problems. Infections agents are mostly viruses, parasites and bacteria. Toxic agents are food which has rotten or poisonous in nature. Pesticides on fruits and vegetables often cause Food poisoning. Food gets contaminated by preparation or improper sanitation methods. Handling food with dirty hands can also lead to poisoning. Often food gets rotten and stale when stored at the wrong temperature.

Food poisoning Symptoms

There are many symptoms for Food poisoning. If you see these symptoms and cannot control it within 24-48 hours then you should immediately contact medical professionals. The symptoms vary from each type of contaminant and the amount of food consumed. Some of the common symptoms of Food poisoning are nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and fever. The symptoms can get from bad to worse and before it does one should seek medical help to cure one. Other mild symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, and yellowing of eyes and skin, and headache. So if you see any of the symptoms occurring in you do consult a doctor without any delay.

Medical Assistance in Food poisoning

It is always better to seek medical assistance before things get out of hand. You should consult your doctor as soon as you see symptoms of vomiting, or an upset stomach. You should immediately contact the doctor if the concerned person is within 10 years of age. If your symptoms start immediately after a recent foreign trip then do call your doctor. If your symptoms persist for more than two days then you should seek medical assistance. If the sick person cannot take any liquids due to vomiting or any other emergency situation seek immediate medical assistance so that nothing serious happens.
Tests and Exams conducted during Food poisoning

Food poisoning can be dangerous at times. So visit your doctor as soon as you see any of the symptoms and it is getting bad to worse then you should do some tests and medical examinations so that you can confirm that you have Food poisoning. The medical tests may be based on blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate. Other major tests would include stool tests, or rectal examinations. Sometimes instead of the stool vomit can also be sent. A urine test has to be done too for further detailed assessments. CT scan, X-rays, and blood tests are to be done too.
Food poisoning treatment at home

If the symptoms of Food poisoning are mild and not dangerous then you can treat the illness at home only. Try to avoid solid food and drink lots of fluid like water. Do not have caffeine, alcohol or anything which contains high amount of sugar. When it starts healing slowly you can start eating but slowly and gradually. Dont gobble up food at one go. Have small amounts of food at one go. Rice, wheat, potatoes and chicken or fish is a good way to start. Do not give milk if the person has lactose intolerance. You can take some over the counter medicine to stop vomiting. But if the concerned person who is ill is below the age of 15 then it is better if you consult a doctor for expert suggestion and assistance.
Prevention of Food poisoning

Prevention is always better than cure as we all know. So see what you are consuming be it any food item or liquid. Bacteria cannot be seen with bare naked eyes. You should be careful when you are purchasing stuff from the market. When buying check whether packages are torn or not if yes then change the thing which you are buying with a fresh packet. Dont buy food which has passed its expiry date. When refrigerating food keep meat and poultry items away from other food items. Check the temperature of the refrigerator and especially of the freezer. Dont refrigerate food items in cooked or uncooked form for too long. While preparing food you should maintain hygiene. Wash hands before you handle any food products. Clean or sanitize your cutlery and plates as well as cutting boards as often as possible. There are various causes of Food poisoning but if you keep in mind these prevention tips then may be you can successfully avoid it.

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