No one, really, can escape from food poisoning. There’s no way to say beyond a shadow of a doubt: “This can’t happen to me”
Not even if you cook everything yourself and only buy organic food. You are also dependent on the personal hygiene of all employees who handle your food. And not only that. Especially in warm countries, maintaining the cold chain is not always taken so seriously. And there are several other possibilities…
All right, this has hit me twice in eight months. Because my body doesn’t like to eat spoiled food. Usually I have a super working defense mechanism, but in some countries the food is heavy spiced up and that means that my defense mechanism is not working perfectly. Within a few hours I get nasty stomach cramps and throw up.
Food poisoning is caused by toxins, bacteria, viruses or other pathogens in food. Possible causes are therefore various bacteria (e.g. Salmonella, Listeria, Escherichia coli), toxins (e.g. fish), but also poisonous fungi and plants. The range in which the symptoms persist is between a few hours and several days.
The following signs are typical:
- Abdominal cramps
- fever, chills
- muscle, joint and limb pain
- circulatory problems (dizziness)
These signs are also typical for other gastrointestinal diseases, which makes it difficult to distinguish between them. But a food infection without vomiting or diarrhea is almost impossible, because the body is trying to get rid of the toxins as quickly as possible. Vomiting and diarrhea are therefore extremely necessary and should only be suppressed with medication on medical advice.
Food poisoning is contagious!
Whenever bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, EHEC or Yersinia are the cause. Distance to sick people are therefore necessary, as well as disinfecting the hands and bathroom furniture.
If it’s bad, and the two times I write here were awful, you should know a few things, in case something similar happens to you, which I do not wish. In my experience, you feel horrible for 24 hours. Besides nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, fever, headache and aching limbs are a problem. But after that, with my recommendations, you should feel much better. If this is not the case, or if your condition worsens considerably (shortness of breath, rash), you must go to the nearest hospital immediately.
What helps you?
- Paracetamol or another pain-fever medication
- Bed rest
- Electrolyte solution (purchased or self-produced)
- Iberogast drops
- Light meals like Soup
Besides stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, you must expect a high fever, because the body will extremely fight back. That’s good, because that’s how it solves the problem itself. But your body needs support. Therefore, only take fever drugs at night or if the fever rises above 40 degrees Celsius. But in this case a trip to the hospital would be better anyway. Chills are also not uncommon. This also means, that the body is completely weak. Therefore, the body get quickly short of breath and dizzy. Getting up to go to the bathroom can become a problem. So, it’s better if someone else is at home.
I’m sure, I don’t need to stress that bed rest is a matter of course. The next problem is fluid loss and loss of electrolytes. If you get terrible, even drinking warm water will cause vomiting. You can do something about this by drinking teaspoons of warm water. Warm water because the stomach/body has no capacity to heat the water first. The result would be repeated vomiting. The warm water stays in the stomach? Now it’s time to add electrolytes. This also helps against the headaches that often occur as a side effect. To do this, mix in your warm water (1/2 liter), half a teaspoon of salt, 2-3 teaspoons of dextrose (alternatively icing sugar or household sugar). If you like, put about 100 ml orange juice in it. Keep to your recommended drinking quantity or approx. 2 liters per day.
Besides, I always take 3 × 20 drops of Iberogast for 1-2 days. This herbal medicine is a great help for my body. It quickly reduces nausea and stomach cramps. I find that it generally restores my gastrointestinal tract to a good condition faster.
Light food is possible for me, maximum after 24 hours and then only a few crostini (plain! Without oil and spices). If that remains in your body without problems, you can try some crackers. Continue with a vegetable or meat broth. Depending on how you feel, also with soup noodles. The broth also contains important minerals and vitamins, which are important for the healing process. Afterwards, you should be a little cautious for a few days with dairy products, fats, cabbage and other flatulent vegetables and strongly spiced foods.
I hope that my article will help you and that you will survive a food infection quickly and well. Feel free to write me if you miss anything here or if it helped you.