In the case of food poisoning caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites, a diagnosis can usually be made based on symptoms and a physical examination. Your doctor may order tests targeting blood components whose loss would lead to dehydration, or it could ask for a stool sample to enable it to detect the presence of bacteria or parasites.
When it comes to other types of food poisoning, early establishment of the correct diagnosis is of vital importance. Some poisons have specific antitoxins which neutralize their effects completely.
When food poisoning affects groups of people, it is easier to identify the cause. Often all those affected have eaten a food joint, and analysis can be conducted to determine toxicity.
The treatment of food poisoning depends on its cause and severity. Most people recover quickly without treatment of food poisoning. People with mild diarrhea for less than 24 hours should be cured by drinking clear liquids such as oral solutions replacement. These solutions contain the right amount of water, salt and sugar that are necessary to prevent or treat mild dehydration. You can prepare a solution by adding 1 teaspoon of salt and 4 teaspoons of curved sugar to 1 liter of water.
It would probably be better if you abstain from solid foods while you have diarrhea and vomiting. Once you are able to take liquids, start eating slowly your prepared food and your body can recover bit by bit. Avoid alcohol and caffeine while you are sick. People with very intense symptoms or severe dehydration are likely to need hospitalization. This will allow them to receive rehydration solutions intravenously (into a vein).
Treating most bacterial food poisoning does not appeal to antibiotics, but some types of infections may require this medication.
When it comes to food poisoning that affects the nervous system, taking other medications or antidotes is recommended. For example, in cases of poisoning by fungi (muscarine poisoning), you can use a drug called atropine * to avoid and prevent from the toxic effects. In case of poisoning by fungi and pesticides, gastric aspiration (ie gastric lavage) may be necessary. Gastric lavage is a technique used in hospitals. This practice requires the insertion of a conduit from the mouth to the stomach to clean it with a solution and then to pump its content.
A person who has a very severe poisoning may need to use a ventilator (artificial ventilation device), dialysis and to be admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital.
You cannot always prevent food poisoning, but you can take some precautions to minimize the risk.