In most cases, food poisoning can be treated without any specific medication. Most times, rest and hydration with water, tea, smoothies, coconut water or other isotonic solutions can help to relieve symptoms. However, if symptoms persist for longer than 2 to 3 days, or if they progressively get worse, you should see a doctor for assessment.
Children, older adults and pregnant woman are most at risk for complications from food poisoning, and particularly require medical assessment and more targeted treatment.
Medications for food poisoning serve to relieve symptoms and speed-up recovery. Anti-diarrhea and vomiting medication is not recommended for treatment, as it can worsen the condition and impede with the elimination of bacteria.
The medications recommended for the treatment of food poisoning are:
1. Activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is recommended for the treatment of food poisoning because it able to absorb the toxins causing the symptoms. It also helps to reduce gastrointestinal absorption of the toxins and promotes their elimination.
The recommended dose is 1 capsule twice a day. It should not be taken with other medications, as it will interfere with their absorption and therapeutic effect.
In some cases, the doctor may recommend analgesics like acetaminophen to help relieve abdominal pain and headaches associated with food poisoning.
In more serious cases, when symptoms are very intense from circulating toxins, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. The prescription will depend on the microorganism causing the food poisoning. Antibiotics can help to eliminate the toxins more rapidly to relieve symptoms.
Probiotics can be recommended to restore or reinforce the intestinal flora. This natural bacteria is found in the gut and can help reduce symptoms and strengthen the immune system. Probiotics are often prescribed with antibiotics, as antibiotics can weaken gut bacteria.
A great home remedy for food poisoning is drinking mulberry and chamomile tea. These teas contain an anti-diarrhea, bactericide and soothing action that helps to regulate intestinal flow. They can eliminate the microorganisms causing the food poisoning, and reduce the frequency of diarrhea.
To prepare these teas, add 1 teaspoon of chopped dry mulberry leaves and 1 teaspoon of chamomile leaves to 1 cup of boiling water. Then cover and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and drink up to 3 times per day.
Another great home remedy is to suck on or chew a piece of ginger. Ginger is a natural antiemetic and can help reduce nausea and vomiting.
What to eat with food poisoning
During the first few days of food poisoning, you should ensure adequate hydration to restore any fluid losses from vomiting and diarrhea. You can drink water, fruit juices and teas, although coconut water and electrolytes purchased at the pharmacy are also great options.
When these symptoms start to improve or if they resolve, you should maintain a light diet with salads, fruit, cookies veggies and lean meat to promote easy digestion.