How do I Cure Food Poisoning?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
A Salmonella bacterium, a common cause of food poisoning.
A Salmonella bacterium, a common cause of food poisoning.

There are different methods to cure food poisoning, and the best course of action depends on how sick an individual with this condition is and the precise causes of it. Many sufferers of food poisoning are able to get through mild bouts of foodborne illness simply by resting and drinking fluids. This isn’t always the case, and since food poisoning can cause serious illness and represent a bacterial or parasitic infection, physician treatment may be needed to cure it.

Drinking clear liquids, like water, will help to keep the body hydrated.
Drinking clear liquids, like water, will help to keep the body hydrated.

There are many common germs and parasites that cause foodborne illness. One of those most common, and less likely to need treatment is salmonella. Many infected with salmonella experience a dreadful day of frequent nausea or diarrhea, but they typically recover within twenty-four hours. In these instances, people cure food poisoning by letting their bodies get rid of the offending bacteria. In suspected food-poisoning cases, anti-nausea or anti-diarrheal medicines aren’t advised because the body is performing a helpful, though highly disagreeable, task of fighting the illness.

Feelings of nausea from food poisoning can be treated by limiting the individual's diet to clear liquids and soups.
Feelings of nausea from food poisoning can be treated by limiting the individual's diet to clear liquids and soups.

Medical wisdom suggests that a single day of extreme nausea or vomiting doesn’t necessarily require a medical method to cure food poisoning. There are some exceptions. The medically vulnerable like the elderly, pregnant women, those with severe illness or infants may quickly become dehydrated if they’re unable to retain fluids. These groups may need same-day treatment to stop the body’s processes and to provide fluids.

Often contracted from raw chicken, salmonellosis usually heals on its own within four to seven days.
Often contracted from raw chicken, salmonellosis usually heals on its own within four to seven days.

For most healthy individuals, the issue of when to seek medical advice to cure food poisoning becomes more important the second day of illness. Dehydration may set in, and continued vomiting or diarrhea may not be useful. It can suggest the body is not able to get rid of the germ — salmonella, listeria, e. coli, etc. — on its own and that greater medical support is needed. It should be noted that for every germ, people might have a range of reactions from mild to severe, so germ type isn’t always the best predictor on illness length or severity.

A severe case of food poisoning may require hospitalization and intravenous fluids.
A severe case of food poisoning may require hospitalization and intravenous fluids.

Doctors may test for different types of food poisoning or parasitic elements in a variety of methods. Stool samples are typically required to look for parasites, though information about a person’s recent activities may help narrow down what types of parasites are most likely. Information about consumption of food known to be contaminated can also be useful. Many times, when the condition appears to be bacterial, doctors start treatment with a broad-spectrum antibiotic, and if the patient is unable to take anything by mouth, initial treatments could consist of intravenous infusion of fluids and the antibiotic.

Getting plenty of rest is important when dealing with food poisoning.
Getting plenty of rest is important when dealing with food poisoning.

Some types of food poisoning are complex and require multiple treatments, and some individuals have extremely adverse reactions to certain germs. This has been the case with bacteria such as e. coli, which has, in the past, resulted in deaths. Due to possibility for extreme complications, it is not advised people try to cure food poisoning with home-based remedies. Getting medical advice early is safer.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments

donna61

My sister had a bout of food poisoning about four years ago. It was a moderate case. She did seek medical care and was given a round antibiotics. She was fine afterwards, but then needed to heal her gastrointestinal system.

She took digestive enzymes and probiotics for about two weeks to one month. After this and some rest she was back to normal!

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    • A Salmonella bacterium, a common cause of food poisoning.
      By: Lyuba Bunakova
      A Salmonella bacterium, a common cause of food poisoning.
    • Drinking clear liquids, like water, will help to keep the body hydrated.
      By: Andrey Kuzmin
      Drinking clear liquids, like water, will help to keep the body hydrated.
    • Feelings of nausea from food poisoning can be treated by limiting the individual's diet to clear liquids and soups.
      By: jedi-master
      Feelings of nausea from food poisoning can be treated by limiting the individual's diet to clear liquids and soups.
    • Often contracted from raw chicken, salmonellosis usually heals on its own within four to seven days.
      By: Bill
      Often contracted from raw chicken, salmonellosis usually heals on its own within four to seven days.
    • A severe case of food poisoning may require hospitalization and intravenous fluids.
      By: ShpilbergStudios
      A severe case of food poisoning may require hospitalization and intravenous fluids.
    • Getting plenty of rest is important when dealing with food poisoning.
      By: Kaspars Grinvalds
      Getting plenty of rest is important when dealing with food poisoning.