Symptoms Of Food Poisoning

Marko Balašević Author: Marko Balašević Time for reading: ~13 minutes Last Updated: December 07, 2022
Symptoms Of Food Poisoning

The main symptoms of food poisoning are: abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, increased body temperature, dehydration. The more dangerous symptoms of toxic infection include disorders of the central nervous system, which can even lead to coma. In general, the intensity and manifestations of food poisoning depend on the amount of bad product consumed, as well as the type of pathogen

Symptoms of food poisoning depend on the amount of poor-quality products or poisonous substances that have entered the digestive tract, the type of toxin or the causative agent of toxic infection .

As a rule, food poisoning occurs due to the consumption of low-quality products, prepared dishes or improper storage of food. Intoxication by poisonous substances is less often diagnosed. Food toxic infections are divided into two categories: non-bacterial (poisonous plants, mushrooms, chemical components) and bacterial — food toxic infections. Symptoms of food poisoning can be very diverse — from colic and diarrhea to kidney failure and central nervous system disorders, besides, the symptoms are directly related to the type of intoxication.


Typical symptoms of food poisoning:

  • Nausea.
  • Colic, stomach cramps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting
  • Increased salivation.
  • An increase in body temperature.
  • Dehydration
  • Drop in blood pressure.
  • Disorders of the functions of the central nervous system and even coma are possible.

Symptoms of food poisoning often appear 1-2 hours after consuming a poor-quality product or poisonous substance, but can also be noticeable only a day after the toxin or pathogen enters the body.


The main types and signs of dangerous poisoning
  • Salmonellosis is a bacterial intoxication caused by one of the organisms of the family Enterobacteriaceae, genus Salmonella. Acute poisoning develops quickly, within 3-6 hours. Characteristic symptoms: a sharp increase in body temperature, fever, spasmodic pain in the stomach, vomiting and multiple loose stools. The consistency of feces is watery, with foam and a specific smell. Diarrhea lasts 2-3 days, even with timely and correct treatment. Complications of salmonellosis can be infectious-toxic and dehydration shock.
  • Food poisoning caused by food contaminated with staphylococcus. Signs of such poisoning appear 2-5 hours after eating food (most often - dairy or meat). Main symptoms: nausea, which turns into continuous vomiting, lethargy, weakness, headache, colic. Diarrhea develops 1-2 hours after the onset of nausea and lasts from 12 to 24 hours. Body temperature, as a rule, is not elevated, there are no traces of mucus or blood in the stool.
  • Dysentery (shigelosis) is caused by Shigella bacilli. The disease most often manifests itself acutely. The main symptoms of poisoning are: a sharp rise in body temperature up to 39 degrees; chills, fever; pain in the lower abdomen (lower colon). The pain changes its character — from dull, aching to spasm-like, sharp; nausea and vomiting; flatulence; repeated urges to defecate, diarrhea (sometimes up to 20 times a day), defecation is painful, profuse for the first 2-3 days, then the stool becomes more liquid, watery and smaller, traces of blood may be observed in the stool; severe dehydration, which leads to dry skin; decrease in blood pressure.
  • Botulism is a severe toxic infection caused by anaerobic bacilli Clostridium botulinum. The incubation period can vary from several hours to two days. The first signs of poisoning : atypical weakness, headache. Diarrhea or vomiting is usually not observed, since toxins mainly affect the activity of the central nervous system. Vision is impaired (oculomotor nerves are affected), paresis of facial muscles develops (smoothing of nasolabial folds, mask-like face). Dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, progressive aphonia, paralysis of the muscles of the larynx and soft palate — all these are life-threatening symptoms of food poisoning , which often lead to suffocation and death.

Severe food poisoning manifests itself 1.5-2 hours after consuming poor-quality food or poisonous substances. Symptoms of acute intoxication depend on the type of toxic infection . If it is a food poisoning , the symptoms will appear in the form of cramping pains in the abdomen, diarrhea and vomiting. Stool disorder can be intense - up to 15-20 times a day, which threatens severe dehydration of the body and hypovolemic shock. If the poisoning is related to poisons (toxins), acute symptoms affect, first of all, the central nervous system. Coordination disorders, ophthalmological disorders, paralysis of facial and larynx muscles, suffocation may develop. Severe food poisoningplants or mushrooms causes a feeling of dryness, stickiness in the mouth, headache, nausea, continuous vomiting.

Food poisoning in adults

It is just as difficult as in children, although the child's body is less protected and adapted to the consumption of many products familiar to the older generation. It's all about the range and amount of food. Only an adult can afford "experiments" with the abuse of alcoholic beverages or delicacies in the form of seafood. Children are often deprived of these dubious food pleasures, and the portions they can eat are much smaller. Food poisoning in adults can be provoked by the following reasons (dishes, substances, incidents):

  • Mushrooms, most often - of an unfamiliar appearance.
  • Oysters, shrimps, mussels.
  • Caviar, fish liver.
  • Poorly fried meat.
  • Smoked fish or meat.
  • Home-canned products.
  • Mass feasts (weddings, anniversaries), where the amount of food eaten and the wrong combination of dishes can lead to food poisoning .

Digestive organs in adults are more adapted to a variety of food products than the digestive tract of a child, therefore toxic infection usually develops more slowly than in the younger generation. The immune and enzymatic systems actively engage in the fight against intoxication, which is what sometimes explains the late "start" of food poisoning symptoms in adults.

Food poisoning in children

Unlike adults, a child's vomiting reflex is poorly developed, especially in children under one year of age. In addition, a child's body loses fluid faster with diarrhea and vomiting, dehydration is the main threat to a child's life. His body mass is small, and the loss of even 500 ml of fluid threatens renal failure and hypovolemic shock. Many procedures offered as first aid also cannot be applied to a child at home. The child is simply not able to take a large number of tablets of activated carbon, often refuses the drinking regime, which is necessary in case of toxic infection . Cleansing enemas and medicinal preparations most often have to be used in hospital conditions. Food Poisoningin children, from a clinical point of view, it is much more acute and is accompanied by lethargy, weakness, diarrhea, cyanosis of the skin, weakening of the heart and kidney functions.


Food poisoning during pregnancy

In terms of symptoms , food poisoning is not much different from intoxication of women before or after pregnancy. The only difference is that more visible signs are possible, since the presence of toxicosis deepens the uncomfortable state of the expectant mother. In addition, continuous vomiting and diarrhea can lead to blood clotting and provoking blood clots. Dehydration often activates the production of oxytocin, which can increase uterine contractions with all the resulting consequences. However, fortunately, food poisoning during pregnancy has little effect on the general condition of the mother and the fetus, in particular, if detoxification measures are applied in a timely manner.

Symptoms of food poisoning in pregnant women:

  • Loss of appetite, weakness.
  • Pains in the stomach area, often spasmodic.
  • A feeling of nausea that turns into vomiting.
  • Flatulence.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache and slight hyperthermia.
Mass food poisoning

This is a food way of spreading the infection, because food products are not only carriers of harmful microorganisms, but also a good nutrient environment for them. Mass infections can be provoked by eating dairy, meat products, dishes containing eggs or butter. All foods containing protein, unboiled water, unwashed fruits and vegetables are a source of potential foodborne infection. Mass poisonings are especially common in the summer, during solemn events - anniversaries, weddings, etc. Also, the carrier of the infection may not be the product, but the person who prepared the food, or contaminated water, utensils, and equipment. Mass food poisoning "starts".rapidly, with signs of food infection, several people who consumed food in the same place are admitted to the hospital at once. Symptoms of food poisoning depend on the type of infectious agent. As a rule, they are identical for all patients.

Food poisoning by mushrooms

These are severe, life-threatening intoxications. Symptoms of food poisoning most often appear 4-6 hours after eating poisonous mushrooms. The most dangerous is pale toadstool, followed by amanita and toadstools.

Pale toadstool poisoning can occur when consuming even a few grams of it. The clinical picture becomes characteristic only after 12-24 hours, which is the main life-threatening factor, because during such a period of time toxins manage to get into the blood.

Signs of intoxication:

  • Pain in the muscles of the body.
  • Fever.
  • Severe stomach pains.
  • Diarrhea with blood.
  • Yellow skin tone.
  • Urinary retention.
  • Drop in blood pressure, slowing of the pulse.
  • Convulsions
  • Dyspnea.

Amanita poisoning manifests much faster - after 20-40 minutes. Signs:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting
  • Colic and spasmodic abdominal pain.
  • Stool disorder.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Dyspnea.
  • Involuntary salivation caused by the alkaloid muscarine.
  • Cough with sputum.
  • Delusions, hallucinations.
  • Convulsions

Food poisoning by mushrooms is very often the result of excessive self-confidence of lovers of mushroom dishes, although nowadays many spore plants (eukaryotes) mutate so quickly that even experienced mushroom pickers can make a mistake in their choice.


Fish food poisoning

Most often, this is poisoning with caviar, milk or fish liver. In addition, there are exotic species of sea or river inhabitants that are not recommended as food - marins, osmans, moraines and others, fortunately, unfamiliar to the ordinary fish consumer. Caviar can cause toxic infection, because during the spawning period, even fish accustomed to the stomach begin to secrete toxic substances, which can be preserved in small quantities in eggs, liver or milk. During spawning, you should not eat the listed food components, in particular, if it is perch liver, mackerel or pike roe. Also, consumption of mackerel itself can cause a strong allergic reaction, since its meat contains a large amount of histamine. Mollusks can contain a dangerous toxin — saxitoxin, which belongs to neuroparalytic poisons. Signs of food poisoning by fish are characterized by rapid development. Symptoms of food poisoningvisible after 20-30 minutes after consuming the toxic part of the fish. Abdominal colic, vomiting, dizziness even to loss of consciousness, impaired coordination and vision, shortness of breath are manifestations of food poisoning caused by fish products.


Food poisoning with dairy products

A frequent phenomenon, in particular, in the spring-summer period. The variety of dairy products is amazing - bio-kefirs, ryazhenka, yogurts with various flavor fillers, homemade cheese or cottage cheese - how can you resist here and not try healthy and tasty food. Despite the obvious benefits, all dairy products are sources of potential intestinal infection. Viruses, microbes, fungi, pesticides and salts of heavy metals, parasitic infections and biotoxins - what epidemiologic laboratories do not find in dairy products. Also, milk is the most frequent culprit of mass food poisoning, when technological rules and norms are grossly violated in the process of cooking food or products. In addition, all dairy products are perishable. Even yogurt from a proven manufacturer can become a source of toxic infection if stored longer than the allotted time. Food poisoning with dairy products manifests itself as typical intoxications:

  • Cramp-like pains in the abdomen.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting
Food poisoning with cottage cheese

Most often it happens in the spring-summer period, when the ambient temperature is high and creates favorable conditions for the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria in fermented milk products. You should not consume cottage cheese without heat treatment, in particular, bought on the market, as if from a domestic cow. Statistics show that dairy products from cows kept at home are the main source of salmonellosis or dysentery in the summer. In addition to salmonella, enterococci of various groups "like" to multiply in cottage cheese, i.e. Escherichia coli, and staphylococci are often found in cottage cheese products. Food poisoning with cottage cheese is characterized by an acute onset, the disease develops rapidly. It is manifested by the following signs:

  • Cramp-like pains in the stomach area, colic.
  • Sudden weakness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea with pain.
  • An increase in temperature and fever are characteristic, in particular, of salmonellosis and dysentery.

Food poisoning with cottage cheese in children's institutions, canteens or other public places often leads to mass food poisoning .


Food poisoning with meat

There are four forms of classical intoxication by meat products:

  • Rotten meat that contains enterovirus or paratyphoid bacillus toxins. Manifested by symptoms of food poisoning , similar to dysentery or cholera. Such toxic infections are called gastroenteritis. Fever, general weakness, in addition to severe diarrhea and vomiting, can lead to exhaustion and even death.
  • Meat containing the typhoid bacillus. Provokes not only local intoxication, but also poisoning of the whole body. Symptoms will appear and develop quickly, from chills to high fever and loss of consciousness. Diarrhea is rare, as is vomiting.
  • Putrefactive toxins found in spoiled meat can cause paralytic symptoms — dilated, immobile pupils, dry mouth, tachycardia, visual impairment, and incoordination. Paralysis covers all the muscles and often leads to a stoppage of the bowels.
  • The most dangerous type of poisoning by meat products is botulism. Food poisoning by meat containing Clostridium botulinum is a serious danger to human life. Paralysis of the oculomotor muscles occurs, the pupils dilate, and sharp weakness appears. Botulism is manifested not only by ophthalmological symptoms, the most dangerous are the syndrome of impaired breathing and swallowing, as well as disorders of the central nervous system.
Canned food poisoning

This is mainly botulinum toxin poisoning , since these anaerobic rods are able to live and reproduce only in a sealed environment, that is, without access to air. Rarely, other dangerous microorganisms such as staphylococci and enteroviruses are found in canned foods. Symptoms of canned food poisoning are typical for the clinical picture of botulism:

  • A headache that grows gradually.
  • Dry mouth, reduced salivation.
  • General weakness, malaise.
  • Increased body temperature, sometimes there is hyperthermia up to 38-39 degrees.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea is not characteristic of botulism, constipation is more common.
  • Ophthalmological disorders — double vision, blurred vision, asymmetric pupil dilation.
  • Difficulty swallowing food and even liquids.
  • Strong muscle weakness, the person is not able to hold the head vertically.
  • Decreased blood pressure.
  • Impaired urination (delay) due to paralysis of the bladder.
  • Paralysis of breathing.

Symptoms of food poisoning can be diverse, however, if there are typical manifestations of them - colic, diarrhea, vomiting, at the first signs of poisoning , the severity of the patient's condition should be assessed and medical help should be sought.


Baking soda poisoning

It is practically not found in toxicological practice. Sodium dioxide, on the contrary, used to be considered a panacea for almost all diseases. Soda was used to treat high blood pressure, cleanse the intestines, and relieve heartburn symptoms. Indeed, if it is not possible to get emergency medical help in case of intoxication with alcohol, iodine, phosphorus or mercury, soda is suitable as an emergency medicine. Washing the stomach with a soda solution will help to stop the spread of the poison a little bit. However, in case of poisoning with various types of acids (hydrochloric acid, vinegar), soda cannot be used. In such cases, self-activity can actually provoke poisoningbaking soda The reaction of sodium and acid is accompanied by a violent release of carbon dioxide, primary intoxication develops much faster and more severely.


Food additive poisoning

This is intoxication by natural or artificial substances that are added to food. In dietetics and toxicology, there is a concept of "Chinese cuisine syndrome", which describes a characteristic allergic reaction to specific flavor additives to Chinese dishes. Food additives are added to food products to improve their organoleptic properties, however, most additives are prohibited in European countries and the USA, as they provoke mass food poisoning and even cancer. Symptoms of poisoning with food additives are often similar to allergies, at least the initial stage of the development of a toxic infection looks like an allergic reaction:

  • Rash.
  • Itch.
  • Swelling of the face and limbs.
  • Colic, abdominal pain.
  • Rarely - diarrhea.

Any synthetic oxidizers, stabilizers, dyes, preservatives or thickeners are not natural. Substances familiar to the digestive tract. Exceeding the permissible norms or eating products of dubious origin can lead to the accumulation of harmful substances in the body and the occurrence of food poisoning , even when following a strict diet.


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