Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a broad term that can actually cover a whole lot of different infections. Symptoms and their degree of severity will differ. That will depend on the kind of bacteria, virus, or parasite responsible for the infection, how much is in your system, and how well your immune system is fighting it off. Most cases of food poisoning cause some mix of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

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In mild cases, symptoms may appear as stomach flu. Some persons may get better without treatment. But some people have such bad symptoms that they may need to go to the hospital.

Signs of Food Poisoning

Symptoms may start as early as 1 hour after eating tainted food and as late as 10 days or longer. It depends on what is causing the infection. Some possible of food poisonings might include:

Signs of Botulism

Some bad bugs that can also cause food poisoning are:

Symptoms of botulism might include:

  • Slurred speech
  • blurred vision
  • dry mouth
  • muscle weakness
  • Hard time swallowing
  • Muscle paralysis from the head down through the body
  • Vomiting

When to Call a Doctor

A mild case usually passes on its own with just rest and lots of fluids. You should call a doctor, however, if you or a loved one have:

  • Any diarrhea in a newborn or adult
  • Constant vomiting after intake of food
  • Blurry vision
  • Signs of dehydration such as dry mouth, dizziness, little or no urination, or sunken eyes
  • Diarrhea that lasts longer than 2 days (1 day in a child) or is severe
  • Severe pain in gut
  • Fever of 102 F or higher, or a rectal temperature of 100.4 F in a baby younger than 3 months
  • Stools that are black, tarry, or bloody
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling in your arms
  • Jaundice
  • Confusion


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