Food poisoning. It’s like a smack in the face. One minute you’re fine and the next, well – you know the rest of the story.
Some of us are certainly more savvy about how to avoid it than others but suffice to say, it can affect absolutely everyone on the planet. Sure, some of us might also have “stronger stomachs”, but even the strongest aren’t enough to rebuff any food that isn’t up to scratch.
A lot of people say that it’s this form of sickness which is the worst of the lot – and it’s certainly not unheard of for the problem to last for days on end.
Unfortunately, we’re not here to tell you how to stop it in a flash. It will take time for the sickness to exit your body, but in the meantime we have a few suggestions which can at least ease the symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to treat food poisoning and just as importantly, stop it spreading in its tracks.
Rest, rest and more rest
This first suggestion is most probably something you are already carrying out, for the simple reason that your body will be struggling to do much else.
Therefore, if you are one of the select few who aren’t choosing to rest, it’s time to change. Food poisoning is exhausting to say the least and by attempting to stay strong, you will probably just be extending your recovery period.
Limit your food and water intake
Again, a lot of people who are suffering from food poisoning just won’t even consider the thought of food – and it’s really no surprise why. Sometimes, this might be due to psychological reasons, while on other occasions it might purely because you can’t think of anything worse than a piece of food entering your system.
Well, this is the right way to go. Try and avoid all food and water during the early stages of food poisoning, before starting small and increasing your intake 1. Avoid fats like the plague at this point and instead opt for light meals that are of the bland variety. Usually, the likes of crackers, rice and bananas fall into said category and won’t cause any further complications to your condition.
Alcohol is off the menu
We were tempted to shoehorn this next suggestion into the previous one, but in truth it’s so important that it needs its own section. If you are considering sampling alcohol, it’s time to send that thought straight to the back of your mind 2. Likewise, anything like fizzy drinks or caffeine is also off the menu.
The reason for the above is simple – all of these beverages aren’t exactly kind to your stomach. A lot cause gas or aren’t easily digested and suffice to say, you don’t want to be adding to your problems.
You might need an oral rehydration solution
Let’s put something of a disclaimer out at this point, you might not require this action. Instead, oral rehydration solutions, or ORS, tend to only be provided to the vulnerable. Anyone with an existing health condition, or the elderly, can fall into this category.
The aim of ORS is in the name – they are there to rehydrate your body. They are dissolved in water and will replace all of the important minerals you have lost during this period.
It’s not unheard of for medication and hospital visits to be on the cards
Without trying to concern people, it’s not unheard of for some people to be admitted to hospital due to food poisoning. Let’s reiterate that this is rare, but in some cases where the symptoms aren’t slowing down it might be an option.
Before this occurs, you will usually have to provide a stool sample which will provide a more accurate picture of what has caused the sickness. Following the results, admittance to hospital or antibiotics will be provided, with the latter usually designed to immediately prevent you vomiting. In the case of a hospital visit, the aim will usually be to replenish all of the fluid you have lost. Generally, this will be administered intravenously.
Become obsessive about washing your hands
Now we have covered the immediate treatment options, it’s time to think about just how you can stop the problem spreading. Firstly, you have to treat your house like a hospital when it comes to washing hands, and ensure that everyone in the household signs up to this.
This process shouldn’t occur after dealing with obvious bacteria either – it needs to be done on a frequent basis. Admittedly, more time needs to be taken following toilet trips and food preparation, but ensuring that you apply warm water and soap to them regularly can really help to stop the spread of food poisoning and prevent a household epidemic.
Have the same obsession when it comes to surfaces
We’ve spoken about obsessing over your hands, well now’s the time to take the same approach with surfaces. Don’t merely consider “standard” surfaces either – we’re referring to everything in your household, from toilet seats to taps. In other words, it’s not just table and your kitchen tops.
Ensure that you arm yourself with an appropriate cleaning product for this; any of the anti-bacteria sprays sold in stores will suffice and again minimize the chances of spreading.
Keep separate laundry for each person in the house
While a lot of people may have been able to guess the previous two suggestions when it comes to managing spread risk, this next one probably isn’t.
Firstly, you need to make sure that everyone in the house has their own towels and flannels. Unbeknown to many, it’s items like this which can carry bacteria and by separating them between household members, you can again manage the risk.
As well as this, any of your washing needs to be cleaned on the hottest setting on the machine. Again, this is from a bacteria-killing perspective and will help to keep things at bay.
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