Q:

How can you treat food poisoning at home?

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Quick Answer

Food poisoning can be treated at home by getting plenty of rest and letting a person's stomach settle by avoiding food and drink for a few hours, according to Mayo Clinic. It may also help if a person avoids certain foods in the following days, such as caffeine and alcohol.

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How can you treat food poisoning at home?
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Full Answer

One of the most important things to do while treating a person for food poisoning at home is the ensure she does not become dehydrated, states Mayo Clinic. Encouraging the person to eat ice chips and take small sips of water is one way to help prevent dehydration. A person could also try taking sips of clear soda, drinks with no caffeine or noncarbonated sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade. A person who is getting the right amount of fluids has urine that is mostly clear and not dark and is urinating regularly.

Frequent vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, especially in children and the elderly, notes Mayo Clinic. Oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte can help prevent dehydration, especially if vomiting and diarrhea last for more than 24 hours, states WebMD. Hospitalization may be required if dehydration is severe.

Slowly easing back into a more normal diet gives the stomach and intestines time to recover, advises Mayo Clinic. Once an individual can tolerate clear liquids and bland foods, she can slowly advance to a full diet, avoiding spicy, fatty, highly seasoned foods, dairy products, alcohol and caffeine.

Finally, she should take time to rest, counsels Mayo Clinic. Food poisoning takes a toll on the body, and dehydration compounds the fatigue and weakness associated with the illness.

If a person thinks that food poisoning has resulted from eating mushrooms or seafood, then home treatment is not recommended, according to WebMD. Anyone who experiences food poisoning caused by the above foods needs to seek immediate emergency medical care. If symptoms have not improved after three days, or if a person experiences severe stomach pain, fever, bloody diarrhea or vomit, or signs of dehydration, then she should call a doctor as soon as possible.

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