Q:

How do you treat food poisoning at home?

A:

Quick Answer

Letting the stomach and intestines settle, preventing dehydration, easing back into a normal diet and getting plenty of rest are the mainstays of home treatment for food poisoning, according to Mayo Clinic. Avoiding dairy products, spicy foods and fatty foods during recovery also reduces stomach irritation.

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Full Answer

Getting nausea, vomiting and diarrhea under control is the first step to treating food poisoning, states WebMD. Those with food poisoning should avoid eating and drinking for several hours, or until the gastrointestinal tract settles and symptoms subside. They can then try sucking on ice chips, drinking small sips of water or other clear liquids, and eating small servings of bland foods. If nausea or vomiting returns, hold off on food and fluid until symptoms pass.

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.

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