Bad meal? Been to the toilet one too many times? Feeling sick? Let us try to help you!

Here’s some information about Food poisoning and what our qualified GPs can offer to you!

What is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning is rarely serious and mostly gets better within a week. 

The symptoms start within a few days of eating the food that caused the infection. Sometimes they start after a few hours or not for a few weeks.

You can catch food poisoning if you eat something that has been contaminated with germs. Any type of food can cause food poisoning.

In severe symptomatic situations, your GP may send off a stool sample for analysis and prescribe antibiotics, or they may refer you to hospital so you can be looked after more closely.

 

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Until you feel better, you should rest and drink fluids to prevent dehydration. Eat when you feel up to it, but try small, light meals at first and stick to bland foods – such as toast, crackers, bananas and rice – until you begin to feel better.

Causes

Food poisoning happens if food:

  • Isn’t cooked or reheated thoroughly
  • Isn’t stored correctly – for example, it’s not been frozen or chilled
  • Is left out for too long
  • Has been handled by someone who’s ill or hasn’t washed their hands
  • Is eaten after its “use by” date

Food poisoning is usually caused by, campylobacter bacteria – the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. Other causes include salmonella bacteria, E. coli bacteria and less commonly norovirus.

Symptoms

Symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Stomach cramps
  • A high temperature of 38’C or above
  • Feeling generally unwell – such as feeling tired or having aches and chills

Treatment

You should contact your GP if:

  • Your symptoms are severe – for example, if you’re unable to keep down any fluids because you are vomiting repeatedly
  • Your symptoms don’t start to improve after a few days
  • You’re pregnant or you’re over 60
  • Your baby or young child has suspected food poisoning
  • You have a long-term underlying condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), heart valve disease, diabetes or kidney disease
  • You have a known weak immune system

 

 

 

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