Food poisoning has a lot of ways it may develop, one of such is fungal infection growing on foods. There are certain species of fungi, virus and bacteria that are very deadly when consumed accidentally in foods. Bacteria species includes but not limited to Campilobacter pylori and C. botulinum, E. coli, E. salmonella and E. listeria; Viruses such as norovirus, sapovirus, astrovirus has been linked to over 19 million food poisoning cases yearly. Hepatitis A virus may also be transmitted through food. What is food poisoning? It (foodborne illness) is the result of food contamination by toxic substances and micro-organisms. So also, insect parasites can inject toxins into foods, while this is very rare, rats, cockroaches and cats can be a potential carrier of such toxins, examples of animal-borne parasites that can cause food poisoning are: Diphyllobothrium sp., Nanophyetus sp., Taenia saginata, Taenia solium, Fasciola hepatica etc.
According to a statistical report from Center for disease Control (CDC), USA, one out of six Americans experience food-poisoning yearly, so also an estimated 1 million cases and 20,000 food-poisoning hospitalization cases (traced to E. salmonella) are documented yearly. One of the first signs of food poisoning is lowered immunity especially micro-organism related food poisoning.
Food poisoning symptoms present based on how fast the poison reacts, and the source of food poisoning. Toxic substances such as acids accidentally ingested may produce fast outward food poisoning symptoms which often may lead to death quickly than other sources.
Symptoms of food poisoning
If you have food poisoning, you definitely will experience one or two health issues which may be one of the following:
1. Abdominal cramps
This is a hallmark of food poisoning as it may trigger production of gastrin which may cause abdominal cramps and gastro-enteric reflux disease. This could further lead to heart burn.
2. Loss of appetite
Loss of appetite is often a serious concern, and food poisoning gives you a mental conditioning to avoid food as it could lead to more issues.
3. Body weakness
General sickly feeling is also common with food poisoning, it may also present with other symptoms such as weakness at the joints, headache, migraine and inability to move around.
4. Dry mouth sores
This is a sign of serious dehydration, this may further be seen as cracks around the mouth while symptoms persist.
5. Persistent diarrhea
Persistent diarrhea may be a sign of food poisoning especially if there is no relieve after taking common over-the-counter drugs such as metronidazoles and penicillin anti-biotic drugs. This should call for emergency if it persists beyond one day also depending on the severity.
6. Difficulty breathing
This is a sign of complication, as it may have affected the lung cavities. Infections spreading to the lungs may cause inflammation of the alveoli which may lead to fluid buildup which tends to increase the pressure within the chest. This may be presented as gasping for breath by a sufferer, it may also be accompanied by shortness of breath and forceful exertion.
When you have complications arising from food poisoning you may experience the following symptoms of food poisoning which oftentimes necessitate emergency calls:
1. Increase in body temperature higher than 102⁰F.
2. Difficulty talking or breathing.
3. Profuse sweating with signs of dehydration.
Food poisoning may be diagnosed via blood tests, urine test and stool test to know the exact source of the poison and how much damage has been done to the body. Less severe cases may be treated at home with food poisoning symptoms resolving within 3-5days, however, when the signs of food poisoning presented indicate complications, it is not always advisable to do home-based treatments.