If you consume food that is contaminated by germs (or toxins), you will probably end up with food poisoning. However, you might not know the exact cause of it. It might have been caused by bacteria or viruses. Sometimes, certain parasites can also cause food poisoning. You may also suffer from food poisoning if you eat food that is adulterated by harmful pesticides.

Food Poisoning Symptoms

The symptoms of food poisoning can vary depending on the type of contaminant and the individual’s sensitivity, but common symptoms include:

  1. Nausea and vomiting: First symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, aiding elimination of harmful substances.
  2. Diarrhea: Diarrhea, a common food poisoning symptom, can range from mild to severe and may contain blood.
  3. Abdominal pain and cramps: Abdominal pain, sharp or cramping, can be localized or spread.
  4. Fever: Food poisoning can cause low-grade or high fever, indicating infection, and may indicate infection.
  5. Fatigue and weakness:Food poisoning causes fatigue and weakness as the body fights off infection and eliminates toxins.
  6. Headache: Headaches and migraines may occur from food poisoning due to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, or body response.
  7. Muscle aches: Individuals may experience muscle aches and joint pain due to infection-induced inflammatory response.
  8. Loss of appetite: Food poisoning causes temporary appetite loss; hydrate and consume small, easily digestible meals.
  9. Dehydration: Diarrhea and vomiting cause dehydration, causing symptoms like dry mouth, excessive thirst, decreased urine output, dizziness, and lightheadedness.
  10. Other symptoms: Contaminants can cause additional symptoms like chills, sweating, dizziness, blurred vision, tingling, and neurological issues in severe cases.

It’s worth noting that the onset and duration of symptoms can vary depending on the type of pathogen involved.

How Can You Conclude That You Have Food Poisoning?

By analyzing the conditions under which the food was cooked, the color, smell, or texture of the food you had in the past few hours, you can conclude that you have food poisoning. You will get to know that you are actually suffering from food poisoning if the food you have eaten within the last few hours was undercooked, smelled funny, or tasted “off.”

If others who ate the same food as you seem to suffer from the same symptoms, then probably, you and the others are experiencing food poisoning. In some scenarios, you can conclude that you have food poisoning if your symptoms start suddenly (out of the blue).

What to eat when you have food poisoning

When you have food poisoning, it’s essential to give your digestive system time to recover and avoid further irritation. Here are some guidelines on what to eat when you have food poisoning:

  • Stay hydrated: Manage food poisoning by preventing dehydration through clear fluids like water, electrolyte-rich solutions, and herbal teas, and sipping small amounts frequently.
  • BRAT diet: BRAT diet: bland, easily digestible foods for stomach soothing and nutrition; start small, gradually increase.
  • Plain crackers or dry toast: Consume foods that settle stomach, provide energy, and avoid irritants.
  • Boiled or steamed vegetables:Cook light vegetables like carrots and green beans for nutrient-rich, stomach-friendly meals without heavy sauces.
  • Clear broth or chicken soup: Choose clear broths for hydration and nutrition without heavy seasoning or meat chunks.
  • Plain grilled chicken or fish:Grilled chicken or fish provides lean protein in small, well-cooked portions without heavy sauces or spices.
  • Probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics promote gut health by restoring balance in yogurt, kefir, and plain, unsweetened foods.
  • Avoid certain foods: Recover from food poisoning by avoiding spicy, greasy, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and high-fiber, fat foods.

It’s crucial to listen to your body and introduce new foods gradually. Start with small portions and pay attention to any adverse reactions.

Are Viruses That Cause Food Poisoning Contagious?

Stomach flu or “viral gastroenteritis” is nothing but an intestinal infection. There are several ways through which viral gastroenteritis spreads. One way is by getting into contact with an infected person or a person who is suffering from food poisoning (caused by a virus). Another way is by consuming contaminated water or food. 

Therefore, such viruses causing food poisoning are contagious. Then again, it all depends on the person who is affected. Some can be easily infected, whereas others may not be affected but can act as carriers of the virus.

What to do When you have Food Poisoning

When you are suffering from food poisoning, make sure you stay home so that you get adequate rest and you don’t spread it to others. Go out only if there is a dire necessity. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. 

We cannot say for sure whether a particular case of food poisoning is contagious or not. However, since the microbes causing food poisoning are contagious, you need to assume that your case (if you’re facing it) is contagious, to be on the safer side. It is also extremely important to practice proper hand hygiene. Last but not least, get the advice of your healthcare provider.

When you follow the above measures, you can prevent the germs causing food poisoning from spreading to others. But as the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure,” eat food that is properly cooked, store food in refrigerators (if necessary), and avoid eating unhealthy food. 

Stay healthy, stay safe! To know more about Home remedies for Food poisoning click here.