Food poisoning has affected millions of individuals every year with cases that range from mild to life-threatening. Food poisoning is typically caused by eating food that has been contaminated with viruses, bacteria and harmful chemicals. If you are able to quickly and accurately recognize the symptoms of food poisoning, you can perform the appropriate first aid care and seek medical care as well as facilitate fast recovery.
Determining the specific symptoms of food poisoning
The specific symptoms of food poisoning are all related to the inflammation of the stomach and intestines due to bacteria, viruses or chemicals. The symptoms include the following:
- Severe abdominal cramping
The definitive symptom of food poisoning is when vomiting and diarrhea occur at the same time.
Symptoms of dehydration
When it comes to food poisoning, always watch out for the symptoms of dehydration which is considered the most dangerous side effect of the condition due to the excessive loss of fluid through vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms include the following:
- Dark-colored urine
- Lack of energy
- Cramping in the legs and arms
- Dry mouth and nose
You have to take note that in some types of food poisoning, it can cause breathing difficulties since the virus can partially paralyze the lungs. If this is the case, immediate medical care is required which involves the insertion of a breathing tube into the airway as well as the administration of intravenous fluids.
Differentiate between the symptoms of food poisoning and other GI issues
It is important to be familiar with the differences between the symptoms of food poisoning and other GI issues. When it comes to food poisoning, the symptoms do not diminish after the food has been digested and can increase in intensity as the poisoning moves on into the bloodstream. A stomach upset is rarely accompanied by fever while cases of poisoning have the tendency to be accompanied by elevated temperatures.
When to seek medical care?
It is important to seek medical attention immediately if the individual experiences any symptoms or signs of either food poisoning or dehydration. In mild cases of poisoning, it can be treated with first aid measures without requiring medical care. As for the severe forms of poisoning, it would require administration of intravenous fluids and prescription of antibiotics in order to diminish the detrimental effects of bacteria, viruses or chemicals. This is the reason why it is important to recognize the symptoms and seek help before the individual is incapacitated by the effects of dehydration.
You have to be aware of the symptoms that can linger for several weeks after the treatment on certain types of food poisoning, especially salmonella. In most cases, these symptoms are strikingly similar to arthritis with pain in the extremities and stiff joints.
Do not forget that the symptoms of food poisoning will take some time to manifest which makes it difficult to determine the cause. There are some types of salmonella that can even take up to 72 hours before the symptoms manifest.