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Understanding Food Poisoning and How to Soothe It Naturally

Perhaps you ate something that looked a little questionable or you left your picnic basket out in the hot sun a bit too long. Food poisoning can strike anywhere – at fast food restaurants, high-end establishments, while grilling outdoors, and inside your own home. Anyone who’s had food poisoning in the past knows how unpleasant this condition can be, but food poisoning can be especially dangerous for children, the elderly, and anyone with a weak immune system.

Here is some information about food poisoning and what you can do to ease it naturally to start feeling normal again.

Photo credit: James Palinsad via Flickr

What Causes Food Poisoning?

Bacteria, viruses, and parasites can all cause food poisoning in the human body. Viruses most commonly cause food poisoning in the U.S., especially if the following pathogens are present in food: norovirus, salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, campylobacter, and clostridium perfringens.

Some of the most common foods that lead to food poisoning are meats, poultry, eggs, cheese, and unpasteurized milk. However, raw fruits and vegetables can cause food poisoning if they aren’t properly washed before eating, and even nuts and spices can cause food poisoning symptoms.

Food Poisoning Symptoms

When you have food poisoning, the first thing you’re likely to notice is abdominal pain. After that, you may begin vomiting and having diarrhea. These symptoms typically appear about 12 hours after consuming the contaminated food, but it could take a little longer than this too. In serious cases of food poisoning, you may experience additional symptoms of blood in the vomit or stool, headaches, weakness, blurred vision, bloating, and seizures.

How Long Does Food Poisoning Last?

Most people experience the symptoms of food poisoning for about 24 to 48 hours. Also, most cases of food poisoning will go away on their own with a little time and don’t require medical attention. However, it may be necessary to seek treatment if the food poisoning leads to dehydration, especially in very young or elderly individuals.

Natural Treatments for Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a condition that can usually be treated at home with natural means. Ginger helps to ease nausea, and apple cider vinegar has a way of soothing the gastrointestinal lining as well. Lemon has antiviral and antibacterial properties that is great for people who have food poisoning. Other natural remedies to try include consuming garlic, basil leaves, honey, olive leaf extract, and yogurt to resettle the stomach and start feeling like yourself again.

Photo credit: Quinn Comedant via Flickr

What to Eat and Drink After Food Poisoning

Chances are that the last thing you’ll feel like doing is eating or drinking when you have food poisoning. But when you feel like consuming food and drinks again, it is a smart idea to stick to bland foods and hydrating liquids. In addition to eating the foods mentioned above for continued benefit, you’ll want to increase your fluid intake with electrolyte-rich beverages, decaffeinated tea, and pure water to prevent dehydration. Bland foods to start with when you feel like eating again include bananas, oatmeal, potatoes, rice, and saltine crackers. As you recover, try to avoid fried, fatty, spicy, and dairy foods.

Have you had food poisoning recently? Feel free to share your best at-home remedy for food poisoning with us in the comment section below.

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