The main focus in treating food poisoning at home is to prevent dehydration and keep nausea and vomiting under control, says WebMD. In the event symptoms are severe and persistent, patients are advised to seek medical attention.
Food-borne illness results from an individual ingesting food contaminated with infectious organisms such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. Symptoms of food poisoning usually show up within hours of eating the tainted food and typically include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to Mayo Clinic.
Drinking water and other clear liquids helps to combat the dehydration that often ensues from food poisoning, says WebMD. Ice chips can be used to help the patient remain hydrated when it is too difficult to eat or drink. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea cause the body to lose even more fluid; reintroducing foods into the diet slowly and transitioning from bland foods -such as bread, bananas and rice- can help to ease symptoms. An adequate amount of rest is also beneficial to prevent the body from losing additional nutrients, states WebMD.
Patients that develop food poisoning from fish or become severely dehydrated should seek immediate medical attention, warns WebMD. Additionally, fever, dizziness, blood in the stool, diarrhea or vomiting that persists for more than 72 hours also require physician help.