If you’ve ever had sudden food poisoning, you may be wondering: what causes it? In the past, doctors told people to starve themselves for a few days to avoid getting sick. While that is not advised today, you should drink plenty of water and eat small, light meals. Follow your body’s hunger cues, and if your stomach is empty, go ahead and drink water. You should also wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
Certain physical conditions make people more susceptible to infection by pathogenic bacteria. People with certain health conditions, such as weakened immune systems, are at higher risk of foodborne illnesses. Pregnant women and older people are at an increased risk because their immune systems are weakened and they are less likely to recognize the signs of contaminated food. People with chronic diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, may have a more severe case of food poisoning.
While most people do not need medical help if they experience food poisoning, it is important to seek medical attention if the symptoms are severe or last for several days. For those who experience these symptoms, however, it’s best to visit a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor can also perform blood tests to rule out other conditions such as dehydration, as well as check for other symptoms.
When food poisoning strikes, symptoms can begin several hours, days, or even weeks after eating contaminated food. Symptoms usually subside within a week. You’ll need to drink lots of water, but they can last as long as a week. It is best to avoid work or school until you’re sure you have no more symptoms. You should also watch for early signs of dehydration, since diarrhea can cause dehydration fast. In addition to taking fluids, you should check for any other individuals who have recently consumed the same type of food as you.