There are only a few things that can ruin your daily activities like food poisoning. Mild to severe symptoms, such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and cramping, can start from an hour to several weeks after you digest spoiled food. In many cases, toxins or bacteria are contaminated through improper processing, storage or handling of food. Most people outgrow food poisoning within a few days after the food is naturally removed from the body; however, infants, pregnant women and the elderly should be very careful to avoid food poisoning because of the possibility of serious disorders. Knowing how to recover from food poisoning quickly will help you to reduce discomfort and restore your health as soon as possible.
Drink plenty of fluids and solutions. If you have frequent vomiting and diarrhea, your body will lose fluids quickly, leading to dehydration. Drink as much fluids as possible to replace lost fluids. If you find it difficult to drink large amounts, drink little by little often.
If you can’t get fluids into your body because you’re too nauseous, call your doctor right away. You may need to be taken to the hospital for treatment using an IV.
Try drinking water, decaffeinated tea, or fruit juice. Drinking broths and soups is also a great way to get nutrients and fluids.
Drink rehydration fluids. It is in powder form which you dissolve in water and then drink. These fluids can help replace nutrients lost from your body due to vomiting and diarrhea. You can usually buy them at the pharmacy.
To make your own rehydration solution, mix 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 4 tablespoons sugar in 4 1/4 (or 1 liter) water. Stir until all the ingredients are dissolved before drinking it.
Eat bland foods gradually. After you feel a little hungry and your nausea subsides, start eating “BRAT” or banana (banana), rice (rice), appelsauce (apple sauce), and toast (toast). These foods can help soothe your stomach and should not trigger nausea or vomiting.
Biscuits sprinkled with salt, mashed potatoes, and vegetables cooked until soft are also gentle for an upset stomach. Remember, don’t force yourself to eat or rush to eat too much.
Stop consuming dairy products for a few days. As long as your body is trying to fight off food poisoning, your digestive system will temporarily become lactose intolerant. Therefore, all the dairy products you consume — such as butter, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. — will make your condition worse. Avoid consuming dairy products until you are sure your body is back to normal.
Avoid foods that can trigger nausea or vomiting. You may not want to eat these foods when you have food poisoning, but try to avoid spicy or fatty foods that are difficult to digest.
You should also reduce the consumption of fiber-rich foods which are also difficult to digest. High-fiber foods include: oranges, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and vegetables or fruit with a skin on.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption. Both caffeine and alcohol will affect the system in the body, making you feel even more uncomfortable. Both also have diuretic properties, making you urinate more often. Frequent urination can lead to dehydration, which is a serious problem when accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea.
Try Home Remedies
Drink barley or rice water. Both can help soothe an upset stomach and relieve indigestion. This method also has the added benefit of meeting your body’s fluid needs, when you need them.
Take probiotics. Yogurt is a good source of probiotics that can restore the balance of bacteria in your body. Although it has been scientifically proven, a popular home remedy suggests taking fenugreek seeds along with yogurt to relieve nausea and vomiting at the same time.
Drink apple cider vinegar. Another popular home remedy is apple cider vinegar which has antimicrobial properties. To use it, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water and drink it before eating solid food. You can also drink apple cider vinegar directly if you like.
Use herbs. Some herbs have antimicrobial properties and some can relieve symptoms of food poisoning. Try drinking basil juice or adding a few drops of basil oil to the water. Cumin seeds can also be eaten directly or boiled into a hot drink.
Thyme, rosemary , coriander, sage , mint, and fennel are also herbs that have antimicrobial properties, although more research is needed.
Soothe your stomach with honey and ginger. Honey has antimicrobial properties and can control stomach acid, while ginger can reduce stomach pain and indigestion.
Boil fresh ginger in hot water, then add honey, stir, and drink slowly. You can also drink ginger juice along with a mixture of honey.
Take time off. Don’t go to work if you have food poisoning, especially if you work in the food business. Give yourself time to recover before returning to work (usually 48 hours until your symptoms subside).
If you work in the food business, and experience food poisoning at work, tell your supervisor immediately, and stay away from where food is prepared. Never prepare food when you have food poisoning.
Rest a lot. Chances are, you will feel tired as your body tries to flush out toxins from within. It’s a good idea to rest as much as possible so your body can use its energy to recover. Napping will also help you avoid fatigue.
Avoid strenuous activity. Doing strenuous activities when you are tired can result in injury.
Let your stomach rest. Don’t eat large meals, or eat a lot of solid foods. Chances are, you don’t want to eat a big meal, but your body needs a chance to recover from whatever toxins or bacteria are making you sick. Avoid overeating on the first or second day you experience symptoms of food poisoning.
Instead, drink plenty of fluids, broths, or soups. Wait a few hours after experiencing nausea or vomiting before eating food again.
Take ibuprofen or paracetamol. Take ibuprofen or paracetamol at the recommended dose if you have a low-grade fever or headache. These medications can also relieve aches and pains in general.
Avoid using antidiarrheal drugs. Although diarrhea caused by food poisoning is not pleasant, it is the body’s mechanism to flush toxins from the inside quickly. Thus, you are advised not to take any antidiarrheal drugs.
Wash your hands often. If you are vomiting or have diarrhea, it is important to wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs. Do not share towels with other people, or prepare food for others.
Preparing disposable cleaning wipes is the right thing to do. When you’re done using the bathroom, wipe down any surfaces you’ve touched.