3 at-home food-poisoning relief tips


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1-in-6 people will suffer from a food borne illness each year. So what can you do if Aunt Ida’s potato salad went sour, or you ate bad sushi at the new Japanese restaurant down the block?

First, know the signs. Many other illnesses have similar symptoms to food poisoning. A good indicator is that food poisoning usually sets in four to 48 hours after consuming tainted food, according to WebMD. Symptoms can include stomach cramping and pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Here are some tried-and-true home treatments for food poisoning.

  1. It’s important to stay hydrated. Water is fine, as it’s generally safe for an upset stomach, but a beverage with electrolytes, such as Pedialyte, is also helpful to replenish the minerals you’re losing if you’re suffering from diarrhea.
  2. The Mayo Clinic advises against using anti-diarrheal medicines, such as Imodium. This can “slow elimination of bacteria or toxins from your system,” and clearly, you want that bad stuff out of there!
  3. Certain foods should be avoided: caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and fatty or spicy foods. If vomiting occurs, avoid solid foods until it subsides. Bland foods, such as crackers or bread, are best.

WebMD recommends calling a doctor if:

  • Diarrhea lasts for more than 3 days;
  • Eating seafood or mushrooms is what made you sick;
  • Your symptoms include a fever;
  • Your stool is especially dark or includes blood;
  • Vomiting will not stop and you cannot keep liquids down; or
  • You’re suffering from severe dehydration.