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Food poisoning usually occurs when pathogens such as Norovirus and Salmonella contaminates the food or drinking water. Salmonella and norovirus are the causes for most hospitalizations due to food poisoning, but other pathogens including bacteria, mold, and allergens can also cause it. Meats that are undercooked or improperly handled is the most common cause of food poisoning. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most common symptoms. They typically subside within 48 hours.
After you experience the symptoms of food poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach, it is advisable to let your stomach settle. Avoid eating food altogether for a few hours.
**Stay Hydrated: **Consuming a lot of liquids and keeping yourself well hydrated is crucial to help your body recover from food poisoning. Vomiting and diarrhea cause dehydration; therefore keeping yourself hydrated is essential. The body loses a lot of electrolytes throughout the initial hours. You have to replace these lost electrolytes by drinking an ORS solution. Other recommended liquids are chicken or vegetable broth.
Food: When your stomach is settled, start by eating food that is gentle on your stomach. Eat only bland and low-fat food. Fat is a hard food to digest, especially during an episode of food poisoning. Completely avoid fatty foods to prevent upsetting your stomach. You can stick to bananas, cereals, and egg whites until the symptoms completely disappear.In case you vomit, brush your teeth after you do, to prevent any damage that the stomach acids might cause to your teeth.
Things to avoid: Your body is already trying to fight the pathogens responsible for food poisoning. For the next 3 days, avoid all food that can potentially upset your stomach. Avoid foods and liquids that can cause another episode of an upset stomach. These include fried food, alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, and fatty foods. It is also a good idea to abstain from smoking. Also, remember to rest sufficiently as it will help your body to recover quicker.
Dr. A S Sanjay
MBBS,Cert course in Diabetology, Ex-Capt(AMC)