Food poisoning is an unpleasant yet common experience that can make life uncomfortable for a few days. The leading cause of food poisoning is consuming food or drink infected with harmful bacteria that produce irritating toxins within the body. Spoiled foods or incorrectly cooked meals can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, weakness and vomiting. Luckily, most cases are treated at home or with antibiotics in severe cases.
The at-home treatment process for food poisoning is simple and requires rest and hydration to help the body expel all the toxins. Food poisoning can last for a few days, though medical attention is needed if the problem persists or becomes severe.
At-Home Treatments for Food Poisoning
It is best to avoid eating or drinking for the first few hours, even when symptoms reduce and the stomach settles. However, the body may become dehydrated due to lost fluids, so increasing fluid intake is necessary. The best drinks for increasing hydration and electrolytes include water, sports drinks and soup broth.
While it may be difficult to eat or drink while sick, nutrition and hydration are essential in helping the body heal. Start by reintroducing foods and drinks into your diet that are bland and easy on the stomach. Follow simple meal plans like the BRAT diet, which recommends bananas, rice, applesauce and toast as great introductory food items. Other foods are easy on upset stomachs include:
Other at-home treatments use over-the-counter medications and natural remedies to treat the symptoms of food poisoning. Anti-diarrhea and pain relief medications help with some painful symptoms of food poisoning, and natural treatments like peppermint, generally ingested through tea, calm nausea and an upset stomach.
When to Seek Professional Medical Treatment for Food Poisoning
Medical attention is required if at-home methods do not help resolve persistent symptoms after three days. Doctors prescribe antibiotics for cases caused by bacterial infection, while anti-parasite medication will help remove any parasites that cause food poisoning.
Extra medical attention should be given to infants, the elderly, and pregnant women who experience food poisoning symptoms as they could be a sign of another issue. Symptoms requiring medical attention include:
If your condition worsens or does not improve within a few days, see a physician or call 911. If you’re experiencing extreme pain or food poisoning, seek medical attention from ShorePoint Health ER & Urgent Care.
Offering urgent care and emergency room services under one roof, our approach delivers quality care with an extraordinary customer experience. We believe in billing transparency and quality services.
As one of the only health systems in Cape Coral with emergency and urgent care services in one building, ShorePoint Health ER & Urgent Care prioritizes the patient experience. We only administer and bill for the level of care you receive. There are no appointments needed for visits. The emergency room is available every day, 24 hours a day. The urgent care clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and we accept walk-ins.
ShorePoint Health ER & Urgent Care, a department of ShorePoint Health Port Charlotte, is located at 2521 Del Prado Blvd. N., Cape Coral, FL3 33909. Call for more information at 239-356-0740.