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tips for recovery from food poisoning
November 10, 2004 8:50 AM   Subscribe

What are some tricks and tips to get over food poisoning ? (disgusting details inside)

It looks like the pizza I ate last night gave me food poisoning. I feel awful, have no energy, my stomach is 3 times its normal size and i'm either on the toilet or lying in bed feeling like i need to throw up.

what can i do gain back some energy, feel better, and get over this as quicky as possible? I work from home so anything that can get me the energy to do some PHP coding from home would be great.
posted by Stynxno to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Having had food poisoning multiple times, I can speak from experience. First of all, your body is having an "everything must go" sale, and it will, or close to it. That will take 24 hours or so. Sorry.

Your first concern is dehydration, which is one contributor to your overall feeling of fatigue. Drink water, if your stomach can tolerate it. Small amounts, a mouthful at a time, are fine. Sports drinks, like Gatorade, can be substituted over time. Avoid fruit juices since they have too much sugar. Sad to say, you'll know fairly quickly if you're not ready for liquids.

If you can sleep, then do so. Lay down, otherwise. If you feel up to it, a shower won't hurt. But if you're dizzy or lightheaded, don't bother.

You can consider taking one of the "liquid cork" medications, like Kaopectate or Immodium AD. You have to be able to keep them down, so judge accordingly. You probably also have a headache and fever. I'd avoid taking any medication since they tend to irritate the stomach. Consider cool compresses or an ice pack.

The good news, if there can be said to be any, is that once your system decides it's clear, you'll probably feel fine. Just keep in mind there are different kinds of food poisoning causes. It wouldn't hurt to call your doctor, even though they probably won't want to see you unless symptoms linger. Good luck and get some rest.
posted by tommasz at 9:17 AM on November 10, 2004


I'm not a doctor, but ...

charcoal pills?
posted by magullo at 9:23 AM on November 10, 2004


if you're not already empty, are you sure it's food poisoning? in my experience, the main problem is deciding whether to kneel before, or sit on, the toilet, because everything comes spewing out at once (about 6 hours after eating - normally some godawful moment very early in the morning). if you're feeling bloated and it's been a fair while since eating, you might have other problems...?

also, after the "emptying" my experience is that you feel better pretty quickly. good luck.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:30 AM on November 10, 2004


You're in luck. I've been studying diarrhea for about 3 weeks now.

Did anyone else eat the pizza and get food poisoning? Was it reheated, or fresh? Was there meat on the pizza? Chicken? Beef?

Do you have diarrhea? Bloody? Fever? Nausea? Vomitting?

Did you eat anything more suspect in the past week? Sushi, meats, reheated rice, eggs? The most common "food poisoning" bug, called Campylobacter jejuni (found in 80% of chicken sold in grocery stores) can have an incubation time of up to 7 days.

If it was due to the pizza, it's probably either Bacillus cereus, a virulent strain of E. coli, or maybe Clostridium perfringens?

Tommasz is right on most counts; dehydration is your biggest concern if GI symptoms are all you're having, but it also wouldn't hurt to go to your doctor, if you have one. You can take Immodium, Pepto, etc, but sometimes they won't do a whole lot.

You want to rehydrate, and juices contain too much sugar, but so does Gatorade. Not to get too technical, but you need to have a solution that has sugars and salts, because the body mainly absorbs water through pathways that are nutrient-dependent, and you need to have a solution that is close to your body's own osmolality. The WHO has studied lots of different solutions, and its Oral Rehydration Therarpy (ORT) has saved thousands when cholera or dysentary outbreaks occur around the world.

Here's some information on dehydration, and a recipe to make your own rehydration fluid. Get well soon!
posted by gramcracker at 9:41 AM on November 10, 2004 [1 favorite]


For the next few days, eat a bland diet. Think white foods. My doc calls this the BRAT diet. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Apples and Toast. Your stomach may feel delicate for several days.
posted by onhazier at 9:55 AM on November 10, 2004


Is the swelling thing normal? I've never noticed this before. Is there any outside chance Styxno might have something more serious?
posted by weston at 10:17 AM on November 10, 2004


Sudden onset like that? I was assuming by "stomach" he meant his abdomen was bloated, full of gas.
posted by gramcracker at 11:32 AM on November 10, 2004


I once got food poisoning while traveling and spent 10 days in a hotel sleeping it off and eating nothing but bread and Coca-Cola. I saw three different doctors who prescribed charcoal pills and various intestinal disinfectants. Finally I got in touch with a specialist who tested my shit and discovered that it was salmonella, and resistant to common antibiotics as well. Once he found the right antibiotic, I was cured in 3 days, but I lost 15 pounds that I didn't have to lose and felt skinny and weak for about 6 months.

So if you're not better by tomorrow, GO TO SEE A DOCTOR. If you're running a fever, it's even more urgent.
posted by fuzz at 11:56 AM on November 10, 2004


Thanks for the tips everyone.

I started getting symptons right after snacking on the pizza so now that I think about it (and the fact that my gf ate it and didn't get sick), i'm thinking its something else. The only other thing i can think of is probably the bottle of water that i drink out of (and reuse - a lot). The rim of the water bottle might have been contaminated / had bacteria start living on it.

I took a lot of rest and I'm feeling a lot better. My stomach is allowing water to enter it now. And the swelling was gas but that seems to have gone away. The only problem being my whole body is tense and sore.

And if I'm not better tomorrow, I'll definitely go see a doctor. Also, I'm going to try that BRAT diet once i can start eating food.

Thanks again :)
posted by Stynxno at 12:21 PM on November 10, 2004


Not to get too gross, but salmonella usually presents with bloody diarrhea and fever. (But yes, it's very serious; Salmonella typhae is the serotype that causes typhoid fever.)
posted by gramcracker at 5:38 PM on November 10, 2004 [1 favorite]


Hope you feel better tomorrow. Let us know.
posted by fuzz at 8:44 PM on November 10, 2004


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