How Do You Treat Food Poisoning?

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According to Mayo Clinic, most cases of food poisoning do not require medical treatment. Cases that cause severe vomiting and diarrhea, however, may result in dehydration that requires intravenous replacement of fluids and electrolytes. In addition, certain types of bacterial food poisoning may require antibiotics.

For home treatment, Mayo Clinic recommends that a person with food poisoning avoid food and drink for a few hours after the initial symptoms occur. Once the stomach settles, reintroduce liquids slowly by sipping water or sucking on ice chips. Soda, sports drinks and broth may be added slowly as they become tolerable. Bland foods, such as bananas or rice, may be consumed, but discontinue consumption if nausea returns. Get plenty of rest, and avoid caffeine, nicotine and fatty foods.

The most common complication of food poisoning is dehydration, and children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk. According to WebMD, signs of dehydration include dark urine, infrequent urination, dizziness and dry mouth. Seek medical treatment if food poisoning is accompanied by any of these symptoms.

In addition to increased risk of dehydration, pregnant women face potentially serious complications from food poisoning caused by the listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Mayo Clinic states that hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics are necessary to prevent miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death and neurological damage to the baby.