In America, food poisoning affects around 9.3 million people each year. This is due to consuming drinks or food that contain bacteria, parasites and viruses.
With proper cooking techniques, most harmful organisms are destroyed. But the lack of hygiene and the correct food storage methods can lead to contamination, which could make you sick. Therefore, if you neglected to wash your hands, do not storage raw meat correcting, or under-cook some foods, these acts can place you at a higher risk for food poisoning.
Some foods contain poisonous toxins. These toxins are naturally present in the food. For instance, some species of mushrooms can contain these toxins. Also bacteria is produced some toxins when it becomes spoiled. Then again, some foods that are under-cooked, like chicken, eggs, unpasteurized dairy products or meat, carry a greater risk of food poisoning. More so, because of different processes that might occur, there are different symptoms to look out for. Plus, it could be difficult to the food that has led to the poisoning, as the symptoms can manifest from a few hours to a few days later.
The symptoms of food poisoning:
Abdominal pain and cramps
After food poisoning, you could experience abdominal pain. This is due to the detrimental organisms that could produce toxins that vex the lining of your intestines and stomach, which causes the abdominal pain.
Besides abdominal pain, some people can experience cramps. These cramps are when the abdominal muscles contract, which the natural response of your bowels to push out the harmful toxins out of your body, as quickly as possible.
Another symptom of food poisoning is diarrhea. Diarrhea is when you have loose, watery stools that can occur three or more times with in a 24-hour period. Diarrhea happens when there is inflammation and the bowels cannot successfully absorb water during digestion.
If you have diarrhea, you could also experience bloating and cramps. Moreover, you could become dehydrated. For which you should ensure that you drink plenty of fluids, or broths and soups to give yourself some energy.
Headaches can manifest due to different factors, such as stress, dehydration, high blood pressure or fatigue. Food poisoning can cause dehydration and that you can become fatigued, it can lead to a headache. Although unconfirmed, it is believed that dehydration lead to the brain briefly decreasing.
Vomiting happens when your diaphragm and abdominal muscles contract powerfully. This forces you to bring up the stomach’s contents, which will come out through your mouth. This is a protective mechanism, removing harmful organisms from your body. The problem with extensive vomiting is that you could become dehydrated.
A generally sick feeling
There are other symptoms associated with cases of food poisoning. These can range from a loss of appetite and fatigue. As your body deals with the bacteria, your body releases cytokines – chemical messengers. These messengers have different roles, but one is to regulate your immune system to protect your body from an invasion. The cytokines will inform your immune cells how to behave and where to go. But they also send a message to the brain that the body has been compromised, as a result you can experience symptoms of feeling sick.
Your body’s temperature should be around 36 -37 °C. If it exceeds that range, you have a fever. A fever is an indication that your body is trying to fight off an infection.
Your immune system or the bacterium that has invades your system releases fever producing substances, which are called pyrogens. These pyrogens trigger the rise in body temperature. This they do by sending a code to the brain, which thinks it is cooler than what it actually are, thereby your body produces more heat and your body temperature raises. It is a natural response, as your body is trying to fight of the infection by using heat to kill the bacteria.
With a raise in your body temperature, your body can start to shiver. This happens as your muscles start to contract and relax, producing heat. Your body produced heat, as it is thinking that it is too cold and it tries to warm up.
Weakness and fatigue
You could also have symptoms of weakness and fatigue. They occur since there is a release of cytokines, namely the chemical messengers in the body.
Eating less could also cause some weakness as the body lacks energy.
Weakness and fatigue are an indication that your body wants to rest.
Nausea is the unpleasant feeling that you are about to vomit, although you may or may not actually do so. Nausea related to food poisoning typically comes on between one and eight hours after a meal. It works as a warning signal to let your body know that it has ingested something potentially harmful. It may be exacerbated by a slowing of the movement of your bowel, which occurs when your body tries to confine the toxin in your stomach. If you feel nauseous, you might want to try some of these natural remedies to help relieve your symptoms.
Your muscles can ache when you get an infection like food poisoning. This is because your immune system has been activated, causing inflammation. During this process, your body releases histamine, a chemical that helps widen your blood vessels to allow more white blood cells to get through to fight the infection.
Histamine helps increase blood flow to infected areas of your body. Along with other substances involved in the immune response, such as cytokines, histamine can get to other parts of your body and trigger pain receptors.
This can make certain parts of your body more sensitive to pain and result in the dull aches you often associate with being sick.
To prevent food poisoning, be sure to practice good personal and food hygiene. This involves ensuring your kitchen is clean, washing your hands regularly and storing, preparing and cooking food in the advised way.
Most cases of food poisoning are not serious and will resolve on their own over the course of a few days.
If you notice some of these above mentioned symptoms, and suspect you have food poisoning, try to rest and stay hydrated. Seeking help from a pharmacist may also be helpful, as they can suggest medication to help ease your symptoms.
However, some types of food poisoning can be serious. If you are concerned, you should get checked out by a doctor.