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10 Most Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is an acute condition that can cause problems with the intestinal flora and cause some embarrassment along the way. Whether it was a night with friends, trying out a new restaurant for date night or a vacation to a tropical island, the possibility of coming into contact with bad food is everywhere. Food poisoning is the body’s reaction to consuming any food product that wasn’t prepared or stored correctly. That could mean chicken left on the counter too long before cooking, a Tupperware container left in the fridge for days, or defrosted and refrozen meat that could lead to bacteria getting the chance to enter your body. It can at first be difficult to figure out whether the symptoms are a result of food poisoning or a simple stomach bug going around, but generally food poisoning will strike within a couple of hours of eating and it will take your body about 24 hours to get rid of the bacteria. Whether it’s sweating, nausea, or vomiting, there are a few symptoms that are telltale signs of food poisoning. Listed below are 10 of the most common that you might encounter.


Possibly the symptom most synonymous with food poisoning is diarrhea. The onset can be sudden, and is caused by the body trying its hardest to rid itself of any bacteria in the food, or the food itself, that has caused the problem. Your body is essentially trying to flush out everything in your bowels, using the logic that if everything’s gone, it’s likely that the thing causing gastrointestinal issues will be gone as well. Bowel movements won’t be the same as they regularly are, as they often become watery and loose. This sometimes comes along with pain in making a bowel movement. Because the stool is so watery, it’s important to keep hydrated and not make matters worse with dehydration. Even though it may seem like you can’t keep anything, even water, down, it’s important to make sure that you keep sipping on water throughout the course of the illness and after in order to properly hydrate the cells.


This one is the reason many people get tripped up between diagnosing themselves with food poisoning as opposed to a stomach bug. Shivers or chills are the consequence of having a fever and make the body feel as though it’s cold when in most cases your temperature is too warm. If the body temperature rises too high, that can pose a whole host of risks far more severe than food poisoning, so it’s important to try regulate the body’s temperature as best as you can. If you can stand it, holding a cool, damp towel to the forehead or back of the neck will work to cool the body, as will a lukewarm bath. It may feel uncomfortable, as you feel cold inside, but it will ensure the internal temperature doesn’t get too hot. You’ll want to wrap yourself in blankets and clothing, but try to wear normal clothes and put a bed sheet on at most.