Having good food often makes a person feel contented and one of the ways to destress oneself. Nowadays, there are many food choices available ranging from different types of cuisines coming from around the world. This is made more accessible by affordable food deliveries services that used to be a luxury in the past. While it may seem perfect for anyone to have delicious meals at ease, it also comes with a downside. One of the common occurrences with takeaway food or food delivered one is food poisoning. Some people might take medical supplements to prevent such situations or help to alleviate symptoms.
Food poisoning often is reported right after a person eats food that has been contaminated. Contamination often occurs in the presence of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or toxins in the food. Most cases of food poisoning in Malaysia are affected by salmonella species, Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The hot and humid climate in Malaysia triggers food contamination to be more possible.
Knowing yourself is affected by food poisoning can be a bit confusing as its symptoms may actually overlap with other digestive system issues. As a guide, symptoms of food poisoning usually occur right after the first few hours of eating the contaminated food. Common symptoms include feeling nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhoea, upset stomach and abdominal pain. Such symptoms often go away in a few days even without treatments and recovery at home should be enough for mild cases.
If you suspect yourself of food poisoning, you should make sure the symptoms are mild and not serious. Most often food poisoning is mild cases and does not need urgent visits to doctors. However, it is important to get medical advice once symptoms get severe such as bloody diarrhoea, high grade fever, continuous vomiting causing difficulty to drink water, diarrhoea lasts more than 3 days and visible signs of dehydration such as dry mouth or little to no urine. If you or someone you know experience symptoms of food poisoning and in a group of high risk for complications, do get medical advice immediately although the symptoms seem mild. Group at risk for serious complications from even a mild food poisoning are:
- Pregnant women
- Those aged 60 and above
- Infants and children
- Person with weak immune system such as HIV or those undergoing cancer treatments
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease
Mild symptoms can be treated at home by following home remedies. The main aim of such remedies is to help a person remain hydrated and allow time for the body to heal. Simple rest and drinking more fluid can help achieve this. Make sure to drink plenty of plain water with frequent sips. It is alright to have fluids in the form of fruit juices that have been diluted, sport drinks and broth. Get a few packs of oral rehydration solution (ORS) from the pharmacy to help the body gain its hydration and replace the lost electrolytes. An ORS contains glucose and electrolytes to help balance the fluid lost from the body caused by diarrhoea or vomiting. If you are not sure on how much ORS should be taken or how to prepare it, you can always ask the pharmacist or healthcare professionals for guidance. You may want to opt for medications such as loperamide and bismuth subsalicylate to help treat diarrhoea caused by food poisoning. Ask pharmacists or doctors on how much you will be needing this type of medicine. Never self-treat yourself with antibiotics without supervision or advice from doctors. If you are worried about food poisoning in general, it is best to visit the doctor’s office and have a discussion about it.