Every year, millions of Americans report illnesses that can be traced to foods they have eaten.
As many as 9,000 deaths occur annually from all types of food poisoning and many cases lead to chronic health disorders. Food poisoning is caused by eating foods contaminated by harmful organisms, such as bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Symptoms of food poisoning usually occur an hour to a few days after eating the contaminated food. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, severe headache, diarrhea, fatigue, gastric distress and the like. In rare cases, serious food poisoning agents such as salmonella, E. coli or botulism can cause severe medical problems for the elderly, young children, or those with compromised immune systems. It is vitally important to treat symptoms of food poisoning as soon as they appear.
Many cases of food poisoning are caused by parasites or bacteria, which enter the body by the thousands or millions immediately after one ingests contaminated food. As a defense mechanism, your body should begin to send out antibodies to combat the invasion. All of this takes time, however, so victims of food poisoning need to minimize other activities in order to allow the body to heal itself. Get as much rest as you possibly can.
fluid & electrolyte replenishment
For many food poisoning sufferers, the symptoms can be harder to handle than the disease itself. Bouts of vomiting, for example, should be followed by rounds of fluid replenishment. The body's natural electrolytes need to be replaced, so victims may want to consume:
fortified bottled waters
celtic sea salt mixed with water
celtic sea salt mixed with water/raw honey/raw lemon juice/kelp
raw celery juice
Natural popsicles, ice and frozen juice bars may also help food poisoning patients to remain hydrated between meals.
Feelings of nausea can be treated by limiting the victim's diet until the food poisoning event has passed. Consume:
barley and rice water
soups such as miso
ginger tea, as well as others
Some find that crackers or slices of fresh bread can also calm waves of nausea. A room's temperature may also need to be adjusted for maximum comfort, since excessive heat or cold may trigger nausea. Stress can often make nausea worse, so victims may benefit from soothing music and pleasant conversations with visitors.
alleviate diarrhea & bloating
One of the hallmarks of many food poisoning incidents is chronic diarrhea and bloating. The ingested chemicals, parasites or bacteria often wreak havoc on a victim's entire digestive tract. Normal digestion becomes virtually impossible as the body's fluid levels and bloodstream change to attack the invading organisms. As the bacteria or parasites die off, they often leave acidic or gaseous wastes in their wake. Foods that help with diarrhea and bloating are:
Foods that could make diarrhea worse are fatty foods, dairy products, gas producing foods such as cabbage, spicy foods, caffeine, fried foods, sugary foods.
kitchen remedies for food poisoning
Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water before a meal to prevent acid indigestion.
Drink 2 tablespoons of undiluted apple cider vinegar. This remedy is highly recommended if you have food poisoning.
Drink herbal teas such as mint, ginger, raspberry or chamomile tea.
Olive leaf extract - a powerful immune booster, it has been shown very helpful against food poisoning.
Lobelia - an herb that has emetic and anti-spasmodic effects, which has led to it being used to treat asthma and food poisoning.
Eat garlic. Garlic destroys bacteria in the colon while it detoxifies.
Take a probiotic. When a person is deficient in probiotics the immune system is not operating at peak strength and this may predispose the person to experience an acute reaction to food poisoning microorganisms such as salmonella and E. Coli.
Vitamin A - Studies on rats show that vitamin A offers some protection against salmonella. Rats infected with Salmonella appeared to eliminate the bacteria from their bodies faster when pretreated with vitamin A rather than with placebo, according to one study. They also gained more weight and had a greater immune response than rats given placebo.
Alpha lipoic acid - Several reports indicate that alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant commonly found in broccoli, spinach, and beef, may help treat Amanita (mushroom) poisoning, especially when combined with milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Seek medical treatment if you suspect mushroom poisoning. Do not self treat.
Charcoal capsules are very effective in removing toxic substances from the colon and bloodstream. Recommendation for use: At the first sign of illness, take 2 - 3 capsules. Try to separate intake of charcoal from taking other nutritional supplements, since it can absorb vital nutrients as well as toxins.
prevention is the most effective remedy
Possibly the most effective home remedy for food poisoning is prevention. Always keep foods protected from insects and exposure to chemicals. Never use the same cutting board for raw and cooked foods. Keep foods wrapped and refrigerated when not being served immediately. Make sure meats are cooked thoroughly before serving.
food poisoning facts
-An estimated 76 million people get food poisoning each year in the U.S. The vast majority of food poisoning cases are mild and require only rest at home and extra fluids. However, every year an estimated 325,000 people are hospitalized, usually for dehydration. In rare cases, such as botulism, food poisoning can be life-threatening.
-Mass-scale food production, a larger at-risk population, and the global distribution of foods are factors that have increased the threat of becoming ill from contaminated food.
-U.S. Food and Drug Administration surveys show 20 per cent to 100 per cent of chickens in grocery stores carry bacteria that can make people sick if they are not cooked thoroughly.
-Research indicates food poisoning may trigger other conditions, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, arthritis, heart disease and meningitis, in two per cent to three per cent of food poisoning cases.
-Campylobacter, salmonella and E. coli are bacteria that are often present in the intestines of healthy farm animals, but can be harmful if they make their way to the table during processing. They can contaminate meat, especially ground meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs and sometimes fruit and vegetables.
-Contamination of harmful bacteria, such as staphylococcus and shigella, is often the result of inadequate restroom facilities for farm workers and lack of hand-washing by food handlers.
-In bacterial food poisoning, food must first be contaminated by harmful bacteria. Then, bacteria usually need to multiply in the contaminated food, reaching sufficient numbers to make a person ill. Warm temperatures and protein-rich foods contribute to bacterial growth.
-In some cases, the bacteria itself is toxic; in others, bacteria produce a toxin that attacks the body.
-After contaminated food is eaten, nausea and vomiting usually begin in several hours to several days. Vomiting is the body's normal reaction to toxins, and it may help to remove harmful bacteria that have not yet been absorbed by the stomach. Symptoms progress as the toxins move from the stomach to the intestines, causing inflammation, cramping and diarrhea. Fever may or may not be present.
-In most cases, people recover in a few days to a week as toxins are flushed from their systems. Weakness may be present for several days after other symptoms subside.
-The C. botulinum bacteria produce toxins that paralyze the nerves and the muscles. Botulism symptoms usually begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated foods. Toxins created by the bacteria poison the nervous system, initially causing weakness and double vision. Intensive care, including mechanical ventilation, is needed to support failed breathing. Because of aggressive medical care and the availability of antitoxin, about 90 per cent of people with botulism live. Recovery from botulism may take months, and people are often weak and tire easily for as long as a year after the disease strikes.
-People at increased risk of becoming ill and of having more severe symptoms with food poisoning include pregnant women, young children, older adults and people who have impaired immune systems.
-Factors that increase your risk for developing food poisoning: eating or drinking unpasteurized juices, raw sprouts, unpasteurized milk and milk products made from unpasteurized milk; eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, fish and shellfish.
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