Published: 05/10/2011 - Updated: 10/07/2018
Author: K. Laura Garcés G
Food poisoning occurs when you have ingested poisonous substances after ingestion of contaminated foods, whether organic or inorganic substances harmful to the body.
Some elements or conditions that cause food poisoning are:
- Excessive toxins in food
- Food decaying
- Pathogenic biological agents in food
- Toxic substances such as pesticides, drugs, solvents, heavy metals, etc.
In most cases, food poisoning is caused by pathogenic bacteria, viruses or parasites. A food is usually contaminated due to poor handling, inadequate preparation or maintenance, lack of good hygienic practices or handling in places with toxic waste.
One of the most common causes of food contamination is that these viruses are handled by people who carry an infectious disease and transmit the virus through lack of care and hygiene.
Another important source of contaminated food is the food exposure in environments with pests such as flies, rodents and cockroaches, which are carriers of contaminants.
Many poisonings occur through contaminated water, which sometimes can have Shigella, hepatitis A and the parasites Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum.
Symptoms of poisoning
Symptoms depend on the quantity of the ingested poison or the type of microbe. Usually, the symptoms occur several hours or days after eating contaminated food.
Some signs of poisoning are:
- Appearance of reddish skin outbreaks
- In some cases, itchy skin
- Abdominal pain
- Headache and fatigue
What to do?
Usually, the body has the ability to auto recover after a short period, so you shouldn’t get stressed and simply help the body eliminate harmful agents rather than hinder their duties.
It is always advisable to take greater precautions in case of pregnant women, infants, elderly and seek or weak people. People with weak liver are more prone to poisoning.
If you suffer from poisoning, avoid taking antacids as these weaken the defenses of your body reducing stomach acids that kill bacteria.
Drink pure water with lemon and pinch of salt to prevent dehydration in cases of severe diarrhea. Avoid any anti-diarrheal medication since they only worsen the conditions, because these drugs counteract the body's ability to fight infection.
Avoid at all costs: white flour, refined sugar, red meat, sausages, fried and junk food. Try a soft diet and eat mainly foods high in vitamin C as oranges, guava, lemon, berries, etc.
Also, consider the following home remedies:
Garlic: Take two cloves of raw garlic or one clove if the intoxicated is a child. Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic and debugger really effective in helping the body to sweep noxious agents, viruses, bacteria, etc.
If case of diarrhea or vomiting: Drink fresh apple juice with the juice of a lemon and half teaspoon of honey. Add a pinch of salt. This serum will repair the loss of minerals and help a speedy recovery.
Nausea and rehydration: boil two tablespoons of ginger in a cup of water for five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for two minutes and drink two or three cups a day.
To overcome the intoxication: Drink during daytime cups of pure water with the juice of a squeezed lemon. Lemon is also an excellent natural medicine to fight infections.
In addition of appropriate hygienic practices like washing hands, utensils, etc., you should avoid raw, spoiled or moldy food. Avoid potatoes with roots because they contain high levels of solanine, which infiltrates the potato and is not destroyed during cooking, and which can cause severe poisoning. Do not use cracked eggs. Avoid anything that has an unpleasant odor or appearance, or that come from cracked jars, bruised or swollen cans and clear liquids that have become clouded.
Prefer organic food which is a healthier choice that also helps to prevent intoxication.
Go to the doctor if:
- You have vomiting or diarrhea abundant for more than 24 hours.
- There's a fever above 37.8 ° C.
- You have difficulty swallowing, speaking or breathing.
- If there is muscle weakness or paralysis, especially if this occurs after eating mushrooms.
- if you have dry mouth and decreased urine.
Organisms with a low immune system are more likely to become intoxicated. Anger or frequent bursts of anger, in addition to lowering defenses, it weakens the liver, which predisposes the body to suffer this kind of health problems.
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