Food poisoning treatment at home can be an alternative way to treat an upset stomach due to food poisoning, especially when you are traveling.
Food poisoning is not considered a fatal illness, but this condition still can’t be ignored. In some cases, food poisoning can lead to serious health problems. Cases of food poisoning are still frequently found in many developing countries, including Indonesia. This stomach problem is often experienced by foreign tourists during their stay in Asian and other developing countries. In most cases, food poisoning is caused by eating street food, which doesn’t always have the best hygiene standard. Symptoms of food poisoning usually don’t appear immediately after eating, so it will take a while for many people to realize that they have been infected. Treatment for food poisoning is important so other complications don’t occur, one way to treat it is by doing food poisoning treatment at home.
Food Poisoning: What It is, Causes, and Symptoms
Food poisoning is a condition caused by infectious organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Food poisoning can occur when someone eats food that has been contaminated with viruses, parasites, or bacteria. Contamination can occur when food is not processed or cooked properly. Toxic substances can also contaminate food at any time during the cooking or food storage process. Food poisoning can attack anyone, but children, babies, and foreign tourists are more vulnerable to get infected because they don’t have the immune system to prevent it yet. To treat this sudden illness, food poisoning treatment at home can be one way to cure it.
Food contamination is usually caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites, such as Campylobacter bacteria, Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Listeria, Clostridium botulinum (botulinum), Shigella, Norovirus, Rotavirus, Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia parasites. Some examples of foods that are easily contaminated if not handled, stored, or processed properly are raw meat, milk, fast food, canned food, raw eggs, and raw seafood. Below are other factors that can trigger bacteria to develop much faster in food and cause food poisoning:
- Not storing food at the right temperature, for example, meat products and dairy products should be stored in the refrigerator;
- Leaving cooked food in the room with warm temperatures for too long;
- Food isn’t cooked evenly, especially meat;
- Consuming food that has passed its expiration date;
- Using cutlery that has not been properly washed before.
Other than bacteria, parasites, and viruses, food poisoning can also be caused by fungi. Germs in food will enter our digestive system then produce symptoms. However, these germs take some time to multiply in the body, so symptoms don’t usually appear right after consuming the contaminated food. Typically, symptoms will begin up to three days after consuming the contaminated food. Common symptoms that usually appear include:
- Abdominal pain;
- Stomach cramps;
- Body weakness;
- Loss of appetite;
Food Poisoning Treatment at Home
In most cases, food poisoning doesn’t need certain treatment. This sudden illness can heal on their own after a few days. However, treatment is still necessary to prevent the condition from becoming worse. Food poisoning treatment at home can be done to relieve symptoms that occur. The patient may also get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration because if dehydration occurs, the symptoms will get worse and recovery will be longer. You can drink water, coconut water, oral rehydration solutions (ORS), or isotonic drinks to replace lost fluids due to diarrhea and vomiting. Below are some ways that you can do for food poisoning treatment at home as well as to prevent dehydration:
- Drink lots of water
The best food poisoning treatment at home is to immediately provide adequate fluids such as water, ORS or a mixture of water with 2 teaspoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt, or coconut water to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Do not drink fluids too quickly because it can worsen nausea and vomiting, so it is advised to drink little by little every few hours.
- Drink coconut water or oral rehydration solution
Coconut water or oral rehydration solution can help to cure food poisoning and replace lost salts and minerals. Oral rehydration solution can be purchased at the nearest pharmacy and make sure to get safe and clean coconut water.
- Eat light meals
Eat easily digested and low-fat foods, such as rice, porridge, clear soup, cereals, bread and bananas as food poisoning treatment at home. Avoid consuming spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, and soda. If the patient has diarrhea, the consumption of dairy should also be limited.
- Drink milk
Milk can be consumed as food poisoning treatment at home to bind poisons in the digestive system and stimulate the person to vomit so that toxins come out and do not circulate in the body. However, if the infected person has diarrhea, milk should not be given, as it will worsen the condition.
- Keep the head down when vomiting
If vomiting occurs, try to keep your head down so the vomit does not enter the respiratory tract.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep
If food poisoning leads to diarrhea and dehydration occurs, immediate treatment should be taken because if it’s left unchecked, dehydration can cause fainting, and severe damage to organs can lead to death. Besides drinking plenty of water, another way to treat dehydration is by getting fluid infusion / IV therapy service, which can be done at home. This infuse contains electrolyte fluid which has a function to restore the body’s balance due to the lost fluids caused by diarrhea. Therefore, this treatment will help the healing process and rehydration faster. In addition, if you are traveling abroad, especially in developing countries, it is advised to always wash fruits or vegetables before eating and only drink bottled water to avoid food poisoning.
To have food poisoning treatment at home, immediately contact Medi-Call’s Doctor if symptoms occur. You can get Infusion / IV Therapy Service at your home through Medi-Call application or contact Medi-Call Hotline at +62 81210783387.