The food you eat every day plays an essential role in supplying the energy and nutrients needed for activities, but eating spoiled and spoiled foods can cause various physical abnormalities. Food poisoning is a generic term for a toxin-type disease that causes symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain due to ingestion of food contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms or toxins or chemicals possessed by microorganisms. It is broadly classified into acute and chronic, and is known to occur a lot in the hot and humid summer, when food is easily spoiled. According to the causative substance, food poisoning is divided into food poisoning caused by microorganisms and food poisoning caused by chemicals. Food poisoning caused by microorganisms is divided into bacterial food poisoning caused by Staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, pathogenic E. coli, enteritis vibrio, and Shigella, and viral food poisoning such as norovirus and rotavirus. In addition, food poisoning caused by chemicals is caused by animal, vegetable, fungal natural poisons, and artificial chemicals. Now, let’s look at the symptoms that appear when food poisoning symptoms occur, as well as various information related to treatment and prevention.
Main symptoms of food poisoning
Food poisoning has a different incubation period from several minutes to several days depending on the causative agent, and the severity of the symptoms also appears differently. It usually causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. When food poisoning is caused by a microbial toxin, it is not absorbed from the digestive tract and only causes symptoms such as vomiting. It is often accompanied by systemic symptoms. Most food poisonings recover without complications within a few days even with symptomatic treatment for symptom relief. However, if the symptoms worsen, severe dehydration and bloody stools may occur, and in the case of toxins produced by some bacteria, it may cause symptoms such as nerve paralysis, muscle cramps, and impaired consciousness. In particular, it can cause an imbalance in electrolytes and fluids in the body in the case of infants, the elderly, and chronically ill patients with weakened immune systems. Therefore, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible when several of the above-mentioned symptoms appear. In addition, it is important to pay more attention to food hygiene management to prevent bacterial and viral infections.
Food poisoning treatment and prevention
1. Diagnosis and treatment
Food poisoning is diagnosed by synthesizing the pattern of onset, incubation period, and major symptoms, and in the case of severe fever and enteritis, a bacterial culture test is performed. Following the diagnosis, the primary process to treat food poisoning is to correct the imbalance of electrolytes in the body caused by vomiting and diarrhea, and to supply fluids to compensate for water loss. Also, if the vomiting is too severe to drink water, or if the dehydration is too severe, the fluid is supplied through a vein, and if bloody stool or fever is severe, antibiotics can be used.
2. Food hygiene management
To prevent food poisoning, it is recommended to cook all foods thoroughly before eating. In addition, it is recommended not to leave cooked food at room temperature, and it is recommended to consume it after reheating it once it has been cooked. In addition, it is necessary to keep the cooking space clean, and to keep the worktop, cutting board, knife, and dishcloth clean. In addition, it is recommended to separate the tools used for handling meat and seafood to prevent cross-contamination. It is also recommended to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing or eating food. Especially in the summer, when the temperature rises and humidity is high, the occurrence of food poisoning increases, so it is necessary to pay more attention to food hygiene management.
3. Stay hydrated
When food poisoning occurs, vomiting and diarrhea can cause a lot of water loss in the body, which can lead to dehydration, so it is good to drink water frequently. Water can also contain bacteria, so you should boil it as much as possible before drinking. In addition, since water contains glucose and electrolytes, and the absorption capacity of the body is higher than that of pure water, it is helpful to drink boiled water with sugar or salt, or to drink an ionized beverage.
4. Eat foods that minimize intestinal irritation
When food poisoning occurs, the intestinal mucosa is damaged and the absorption function of digestion is reduced. Therefore, when diarrhea is reduced, it is recommended to eat foods that are not oily, such as rice porridge or rice porridge, and that can minimize intestinal irritation. After the diarrhea has stopped, you can eat rice little by little. In addition, it is not recommended to use old food after the expiration date, and you should eat fresh food. In other cases, antidiarrheal drugs used to stop diarrhea should not be used arbitrarily because they can delay the release of toxins or bacteria in the intestines, thereby delaying recovery and worsening the course.