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Food poisonings are the common illnesses which occur when contaminated foods are consumed. Usually, food poisonings are not serious and most of the people recover within a few days even without undergoing any treatment. However, if the condition does not improve even after several days then medical help is necessary.
Symptoms of food poisonings become evident within one or two days of consuming the contaminated food. However, sometimes the symptoms may appear within few hours or as long as after several weeks of eating such foods. The main symptoms may include:
Consult the doctor if the above symptoms are severe or if they do not improve in a few days. Children, pregnant women and elderly patients aged above 60 years also need medical help in case of food poisonings.
Most of the cases of food poisonings are due to the contamination of the food by the toxins released by certain bacteria, viruses and even parasites or by the organisms themselves. Contamination of food can happen at any stage such as during production, handling, processing or while cooking. Some of the common reasons for food contamination may include:
Foods which are more susceptible to contamination include:
The risk of having food poisoning depends on the following factors:
Diagnosis of food poisoning is often based on the history of the patient, symptoms and the foods consumed recently. A physical examination may be performed to look for the signs of dehydration. The doctor will also monitor the vital signs such as blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate. Additionally, blood tests and stool culture are necessary to check for the presence of bacteria, viruses or parasites.
Usually, most of the food poisoning cases resolve without any treatment but sometimes the condition can be long lasting and needs treatment. Treatment depends on the source of food poisoning and the severity of the symptoms. Treatment options may include:
Some of the home remedies which are helpful to recover from food poisonings include:
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