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Food poisoning treatment tips you need to know about

by , 25 May 2015

You had an undercooked burger, ate a sushi roll that was sitting out on the sushi belt a bit too long, or sampled something from a dodgy food truck… Now you're paying the price:

You have food poisoning!

Read on below to discover how to spot the signs and symptoms of food poisoning - and how to treat it…

What causes food poisoning?
 

In the majority of food poisoning cases, the technical term for your misery is gastroenteritis – an irritation of the stomach and intestines. Bacteria (such as Salmonella, E. coli or Campylobacter) or a virus (like norovirus) typically causes this condition.
 
In the case of food poisoning, you likely picked up bacteria in something you ate, but you can also get gastroenteritis from coming in contact someone who’s infected, or not washing your hands after going to the loo. Some also refer to it as “stomach flu”, but actually has nothing to do with the influenza virus.
 

The symptoms of food poisoning
 

The symptoms of food poisoning range from a mild tummy ache to severe diarrhoea. Depending on which bug you’ve picked up, symptoms start in as little as eight hours. And they can leave you feeling sick for up to two weeks!
 
You might experience the following: Nausea, lower fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting, cramping and bloating.
 
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How to treat food poisoning 
 

Firstly – don’t take an over-the-counter diarrhoea drug without the thumbs-up from your doctor. Your body is trying to expel bugs that are making you sick, and you don’t want to interfere with the natural healing process.
 
Secondly, do stay hydrated. You’ll need to replenish all the fluids you’re losing to avoid serious dehydration. Sip electrolyte-rich liquids, like Energade, broth or coconut water. If you’re keeping those down, slowly introduce easily digestible foods, like bananas, toast and rice.
 

When to get help
 

See a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
 
Diarrhoea with a high fever
Severe dizziness
Unable to keep anything down for more than 24 hours
Diarrhoea for five days or more

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