Food poisoning is caused by bacteria found in food that has been contaminated because of poor preparation or poor sanitation. For example, food stored at the wrong temperature or meat that was not adequately cooked could be a cause of food poisoning. Thousands and even millions of bacteria could enter food and begin to wreak havoc on a patient’s digestive track.

The major symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, fever, severe headache, nausea, and diarrhea. It’s very important that you begin to treat a patient once he begins to exhibit symptoms of food poisoning. Most of the time, the patient can begin to recover after about 24 to 48 hours, and simple home remedies are sufficient.

1. Let the patient have complete bed rest. The patient’s digestive system is a virtual war zone at this time, as the millions of bacteria are being attacked by the body’s antibodies. To help facilitate recovery, the patient should stay at home, in his bed, doing very minimal activities, and should be cared for his needs.

2. Keep the patient hydrated. As the patient’s body is constantly ridding itself of toxins through vomiting and going to the bathroom, you should make it a point to replenish the water in the patient’s body. Constantly give him clean water in between meals. You could also supply the patient with sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, which will replenish his body of its natural electrolytes. It is better, however, to dilute these drinks with water, since they may contain too much sugar that could worsen the diarrhea.

3. Give the patient a soft, liquid diet. Supply him with soft and easy to digest meals such soup, crackers and fresh bread.  Soup is a particularly good idea since this would help hydrate his body even more.

4. Consult with the doctor about the meds that he needs. Some of the medicine that the patient could use will include antibiotics, to help his body fight the bacteria that entered his body. The patient may also benefit from over-the-counter liquid medications that will provide relief to the throat.

5. Let his body recover naturally. As much as possible, the patient should avoid antacids since these could reduce the acids in the stomach, thereby weakening its anti-bacterial defense.  He should also never take antidiarrheal products such as Imodium or Lomotil, since his body is naturally trying to flush out the toxic organisms. At the same time, he shouldn’t induce vomiting either.

6. Provide for him a peaceful, soothing environment. You could provide soothing music as background in the patient’s room, as this could help alleviate his nausea.

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