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Apr 14, 2016 07:02 AM EDT

What Doctors Don't Tell You About Food Poisoning

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Food poisoning does get better after a few days, but given the awful feeling and constant vomiting, something has to be done. These doctors share their experience in tackling the states' outbreak problem and relieving the suffering.

Drinking Plenty of Water

GI Health's gastroenterologist, Dr. Anthony Ng, told his patients who suffered from food poisoning, to drink sufficient amount of fluid. Food poisoning causes dehydration, which is the loss of fluid in our body which often leads to muscle cramps. If the condition is severe, a patient can alternate it with electrolyte water obtained from sports drinks.

Eradicating the Infection

While people suffering from diarrhea often use medicines like Imodium, it is not advisable when it comes to food poisoning. In fact, it makes the matter worse because diarrhea, as one of the symptoms of food poisoning, is actually our body telling us to flush the infection away.

Professor Helen Oh, a specialist in infectious disease from Changi General Hospital, explains that elder people, pregnant women and children are prone to infection due to their weak immune systems.

It is better to pay attention to the digestive system by taking food that won't worsen diarrhea. Doctors don't recommend food poisoning sufferers to consume dairy products, oily or uncooked stuff. Instead, a medically reviewed article suggests doing the BRAT diet, which is about eating soft food like bananas, rice, applesauce and toast to relieve an upset stomach.

Identifying the Trigger

Dr. Raymond Lin, a microbiologist at the National University Hospital, lists some of the food that should be avoided to prevent food poisoning. These are raw seafood, salad, poultry and non-pasteurized milk.

Aside from contaminated food, doctors might not be able to exactly determine which ingredient causes food poisoning. Furthermore, it becomes harder to examine because the signs do not develop instantly, but a few hours or days after. Patients are usually asked about the food they ate previously or to describe a strange taste of the meal, which they think could likely be the trigger.

Seeing a Doctor

The key to distinguishing a mild and severe case of food poisoning is whether diarrhea occurs too many times or if fluid intake won't fix the problem at the end of the day. If not, the best and smartest thing to do is seek the help of a professional.

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