What to do if You Have Food Poisoning

Usually, food poisoning presents itself with gastrointestinal upset. People may experience stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, the person may also run a low-grade fever.
June 5, 2013

Usually, food poisoning presents itself with gastrointestinal upset. People may experience stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, the person may also run a low-grade fever.

Keep in mind that not all cases of stomach upset are food poisoning. Your illness could be related to a virus, side effects from certain medications, and drinking too much alcohol. Of course, you can rule out two of those. If you haven’t recently drank too much and you haven’t started any new medication, you know that you either have a virus or food poisoning. Generally, there are enough differences in symptoms to recognize the difference between the two.

If you do have food poisoning, don’t panic. In most cases, you can treat the condition at home and it will pass in a matter of hours. However, there are certain cases when you do need to make an appointment with the doctor. In very specific situations, you don’t need to waste any time and you need to call 000

For Mild Cases

Home care can often manage the symptoms of food poisoning to ease your discomfort until you recover. There are two main things to do: ease the nausea and avoid dehydration.

For Nausea

You need to eat more bland foods while you recover from the food poisoning. Throughout the time that you are vomiting, eat foods like the following:

  • Plain crackers
  • Rice
  • Plain bread
  • Bananas

You need to avoid any foods that could upset your stomach further. This would include anything fried or greasy, anything spicy, or foods that are overly sweet. Avoid taking any over the counter medications since they could actually aggravate your condition.

To Avoid Dehydration

If you are experiencing a great deal of nausea and vomiting, you are at risk of dehydration. To ensure you don’t become dehydrated, make sure you are getting enough to drink. Only choose clear fluids like water, juice, and sports beverages. Don’t drink soda, milk, coffee, or tea since they could make you feel worse.

When to Call a Doctor

Many people don’t know when they should call a doctor because of their food poisoning. You don’t have to make the appointment if you have only been sick for a few hours, but if any of the following symptoms continue, then you need to get in contact with your physician:

  • You have nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea that continues for more than a couple of days.
  • You are running a high grade fever.
  • You can’t keep anything to drink down without vomiting.
  • You are showing signs of dehydration.
  • You have any signs of bloody or black stool

When to Call 000

If you are experiencing signs of food poisoning after consuming any seafood, shellfish, or mushrooms, you should call 000 immediately. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms resolve on their own.

Foods to Eat While Recovering

When you have been sick for more than an hour or two, your stomach and digestive system will essentially be traumatized. If you are careful with the foods you eat, you can recover more quickly. Here are a few tips on eating the right foods:

  • Continue drinking clear fluids so that you don’t become dehydrated.
  • Eat mild foods to let your stomach recover. Consider such foods as rice, plain toast, yogurt, bread, and bananas. Continue to avoid anything fried or greasy for several days.
  • Avoid spicy foods and opt instead for grilled chicken, eggs, and clear soup.

If you have food poisoning, make sure you know when you need to call the doctor and remember it is always better to be safe than to become very ill. If you are in any doubt about your condition, make the appointment.