Food poisoning

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lozlg | 15:03 Sat 25th Nov 2006 | Health & Fitness
3 Answers
I went on i 3 day break with my partner and came back wednesday. That evening i felt ill, got diarrhoea and had to come home from work. The next day, I couldnt get out of bed, i was sweating and ached all over. My doctor came round and said i had a virus and gave me tablets and drink sachets for the diarrhoea. Its now three days later, im getting stomach cramps almost every 10 minutes and still have bad diarrhoea. My stomach feels really tight, and uncomfortable but i havnt been sick once. It hurts more when i eat so ive stopped eating because the pain is too much.
Do you think it could be food poisoning or something else?
If it is food poisoning, is there any point in me going to hospital? Will they actually give me anything for it or is it a matter of time and flushing it out my system by drinking loads of water?


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I'd ring NHS Direct and get their advice hon...

0845 46 47

If you have diarrhoea you may also have crampy tummy pains, feel sick (nausea), feel feverish and lose your appetite.

Diarrhoea is a symptom and can be acute or chronic.
Acute diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral infection or a bacterial infection and affects almost everyone from time to time. It usually clears up in a couple of days and is not serious. However it can be serious in babies and the frail and elderly, because of the risk of dehydration.

Chronic diarrhoea may be a result of a more serious disorder and should always be investigated by your doctor.

If the diarrhoea lasts more than two weeks (in an adult), it is considered chronic. If your child has diarrhoea for more than five days you should take them to the GP.

Diarrhoea occurs when the lining of the small or large intestine is irritated. This leads to increased water being passed in the stools. The irritation also causes tummy pains as it contracts strongly and irregularly.

The most frequent cause is an infection with a virus or bacteria. The infection may come from infected food (food poisoning). Water is a common cause when travelling in some countries. Often the infection is spread between people by physical contact. You should therefore always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food and after using the toilet.

Other, usually short- term causes include emotional upset or anxiety, drinking too much alcohol, coffee or sweets or the side effect from some medicines.

If you have acute diarrhoea, the symptoms are very likely to settle down within a week and tests are usually unnecessary.

However if your diarrhoea becomes more persistent or if you have other symptom
If you have acute diarrhoea you are advised to keep to the following until your symptoms settle:

Avoid dehydration by drinking lots of fluids. You are more likely to be dehydrated if you are also vomiting. Try to take small frequent sips of water or diluted fruit juices. A small amount of fluid is better than none.

If you are worried that you are becoming dehydrated, your doctor or pharmacist may advise rehydration drinks. You can buy these sachets from your pharmacy and add them to water. They provide the correct balance of water, salt, and sugar. They do not help cure the diarrhoea, but are ideal to prevent or treat dehydration. Do not use home made salt/ sugar drinks- consult your pharmacist.

You should eat as soon as you can. The old advice was to not eat anything for a day or two but now it is advised that you should eat foods high in carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes, and other foods as soon as you feel like it. If however you feel you can�t eat, it will do you no harm, but continue drinking, and eat as soon as you are able. If your child wants to eat, offer soups and foods high in carbohydrates at first.

Anti-diarrhoea medicines relieve symptoms of acute (severe) diarrhoea and can be useful to reduce discomfort and social disruption, except where there is blood in your stools or if you have a high temperature.

Rehydration drinks should also be given if necessary. You can take recommended doses of paracetamol or ibuprofen if you have a fever or headache.

Always continue with good standards of hygiene; this is especially important if you or anyone in your family has diarrhoea.If you or your child has severe or persistent symptoms you should see your doctor. Further tests may be necessary. Occasionally antibiotics or other treatments are necessary.
Complications are uncommon, but see your doctor if you or your child has the following symptoms:

If you or your child is dehydrated (symptoms include passing little urine, a dry mouth and tongue, unresponsiveness, glazed eyes, drowsiness, confusion)

If there is blood in your stools If vomiting continues for more than a day If diarrhoea does not start to clear up after 3-4 days

If you caught the infection while travelling abroad

You or your child may be admitted to hospital if symptoms are severe, or if complications develop.

Sometimes an intravenous fluid drip might be needed if dehydration occurs.

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