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What is Food Poisoning?

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Food poisoning occurs when a person consumes food which has been contaminated by germs, whether viruses, bacteria, or fungi, or a combination of them. This happens in cases where food has been left out at room temperature too long or when unhygienic practices were employed in its preparation or storage.

When a person consumes food that has been contaminated with harmful germs, the body’s first line of defense is to flush the stomach as well as the intestines of all contents. This results in intense diarrhea. The patient is advised to stay hydrated by consuming lots of liquids, and is advised to stay close to washroom facilities since consuming liquids will trigger more bowel movements. Diarrhea may last 24 to 48 hours.

The immune system’s second line of defense is to attack the foreign invaders using antibodies. This causes the patient’s temperature to go up. The body will then attempt to regulate the rising temperature giving the patient terrible chills. The patient will start to feel heat and shivering cold at the same time. The patient subsequently develops aches and pains about the body, possibly including a severe headache. Loss of appetite and general body weakness may also occur.

These are the most common symptoms of food poisoning. However, food poisoning symptoms vary considerably from person to person depending on factors such as strength of immune system, type of germ, etc.

The first line of treatment for food poisoning is the antibiotics to help the body destroy the harmful germs. The patient should also consume lots of liquids. The patient is advised to rest for 2 days following the termination of symptoms so as to help the body recuperate.

Have you ever suffered from food poisoning? Tell us in the comments.

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