Food poisoning is certainly a potentially dangerous condition but for sure one of the most unpleasant experiences one can have. A person’s body reacts to toxins produced by bacteria that contaminates food or water. The most common types of food poisoning result from the bacteria of salmonella, campylobacter, and staphylococcus.
Most cases of food poisoning can be avoided. Improper handling, storing, or cooking of food causes most of the problems. That is why it is important for people to always wash their hands thoroughly with soap before eating and especially before preparing a meal.
Always refrigerate foods like mayonnaise, egg salad, potato salads, rice puddings, and fried rice. Another common error is not to cook foods thoroughly and at high enough temperatures ( especially meats).
Food poisoning can also occur from eating plants (certain types of mushrooms) that contain toxic chemicals. If you suspect that your child has eaten a poisonous plant, seek medical attention immediately.
Fortunately, most cases of food poisoning are short-lived, and your appetite will return within one or two days. But if any member of your family has a medical condition that impairs the immune system, such as HIV, hepatitis) or displays any of these severe symptoms, head to the emergency room:
* Violent vomiting
* A temperature of more than 102 degrees F
* Vision problems
* Severe diarrhea that lasts more than one day or contains blood
* Trouble breathing or talking
* Headache and dizziness
Here are some examples of food poisoning
If foods have been handled by people with skin infections and left at room temperature. Symptoms usually come on within 2-8 hours, and usually begin to calm within 12 hours. Symptoms may include
* Severe nausea and vomiting
* Abdominal cramps
* Headache and fever
This infection results usually from poultry that has been infected and not cooked properly. Also unpasteurized milk and contaminated drinking water. Symptoms usually come on in 2-5 days after exposure. Symptoms may include
* Nausea and vomiting
* Abdominal pain and cramping
The are many types of salmonella bacteria. The most common contaminated foods include unpasteurized milk and undercooked poultry and eggs. Acute intestinal distress, with sudden onset of headache, fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and even sometimes vomiting. This can be very severe for infants because of dehydration. Symptoms begin 16-48 hours after eating and can last up to 7 days.
Possibly home canned foods are the most common source of the spores that cause toxicity to the nervous systems, although commercially prepared foods can also be at fault. The spores are very resistant to heat. The toxins that are produce by the spores can be killed by cooking the food at 176 degrees F for 30 minutes. Symptoms usually start 18-36 hours after taking in the botulinum toxin. This can be a very severe and potentially fatal poisoning. Symptoms can include
* Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps, followed by neurological symptoms such as
* Vision changes
* Muscle weakness
* Difficulty breathing
Botulinum spores may be present in honey, so it is best not to give honey to children under one year of age. Infant botulism occurs most often in children who are less than six months old.
This infection usually occurs as a result of undercooked beef or unpasteurized milk or through fecal-oral contamination. It infects the digestive tract and can lead to bloody diarrhea and possibly kidney failure. Young children and the elderly are more likely to to be susceptible to the damaging effect. Symptoms usually include
* Severe abdominal cramps
* Watery diarrhea, followed by bloody diarrhea (usually 1-8 days)
* Fever is usually absent or may be low grade
This can be found in feces, water, soil, air, and even water. Contaminated meat left at room temperature is the main source of infection. Symptoms begins 6-24 hours and usually resolve in 24 hours. Symptoms commonly include
* Watery diarrhea
* Abdominal cramps
The most common example is Giardia. It is transmitted through the fecal-oral route, such as water contamination. Many times there will be no symptoms, and it they do they will take 1-3 weeks after exposure. If the do occur
* Watery, malodorous diarrhea
* Abdominal cramps and distention
* Flatulence and burping
* Low grade temperature
Of course the Wild mushroom, Fish, Shellfish can be classified as Chemical Food Poisoning.
Obviously severe cases require conventional treatment that focuses on identifying the type of infectious organism and then prescribing and antimicrobial medicine ( antibiotics for bacterial infections). However, natural therapies are often effective for mild cases and can be used adjunctively for more severe cases.
There are some very effective antimicrobial supplements such as Colloidal Silver and Oregano oil. Probiotics or friendly bacteria needs to be replaced to normalize the intestinal tract. Also activated charcoal capsules taken internally can help to absorb toxins from food poisoning if taken in the first stages, say when you first realize you have food poisoning.