Food poisoning. These two words are enough to ruin anyone’s day, especially when the symptoms appear with sudden, yet severe, onset. When food-borne illnesses strike, many individuals are simply focused on hunkering down and waiting until the symptoms pass – but this isn’t always the best course of action. There are many considerations to keep in mind when suffering from food poisoning, including:

Staying hydrated. Since food poisoning often results in diarrhea and vomiting, it’s important to conscientiously consume liquids throughout the day. Avoid caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, and opt instead for water. Sports drinks are also a good idea, since they are loaded with electrolytes.

Eating throughout the day. Even if you experience a loss of appetite, it’s important to eat throughout the duration of your illness. It’s critical to replace the nutrients you lose as a result of vomiting and bowel movements. Consider snacking on pretzels or a few other salty snacks, as these will also help boost the electrolytes in your system.

Keeping track of your symptoms. While most food poisoning symptoms will alleviate on their own, it’s crucial to keep track of your progress. If the symptoms show no sign of improvement or even get worse, it’s vital to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

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By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be more likely to avoid complications from food poisoning. However, not all food poisoning cases resolve on their own. Some cases do lead to complications, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths every year.

Keeping track of your symptoms will make it easier to communicate effectively with your primary physician. This, in turn, will expedite the process of diagnosing the cause of your symptoms.