Symptoms of food poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea,
fever and stomach cramping, and usually begin 3 to 36 hours after eating tainted
food. Symptoms usually last from 12 hours to several days. Although food poisoning
usually has to run its course, here are some ideas to help lessen symptoms.
- STEP 1: Consult your doctor if the symptoms are severe
or if you have severe abdominal pain. You may be suffering from something
more serious than food poisoning.
- STEP 2: Sip clear fluids. Dehydration is the primary
concern when experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.
- STEP 3: Take small amounts of fluid frequently. Electrolyte
replacements (such as sports drinks) are your best options. You can also
sip flat ginger ale, which may help settle your stomach.
- STEP 4: Suck on ice chips if nothing else stays down.
- STEP 5: Introduce food slowly after vomiting stops.
- STEP 6: Eat bland, easily digestible foods such as soda
crackers if you are still having diarrhea. Bananas, applesauce, rice and
toast are good.
- STEP 7: Avoid milk, fatty foods, high fiber and caffeine
for a few days until you are feeling better' these foods are harder to digest.
- STEP 8: Limit your time in the sun, as this may dehydrate
- STEP 9: Gradually resume your normal diet once symptoms
- STEP 10: Contact your doctor if symptoms fail to subside
in 24 hours.
Tips and Warnings
- You can use over-the-counter medications to control vomiting or diarrhea,
but it is usually better not to use anything for at least the first 6 or
8 hours. The bacteria or virus causing the problem will pass from your
body faster if you don't try to slow it down.
- This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
advice or treatment.