Do I have food poisoning?

Sure, not every meal sits perfectly. But can you tell the difference between your stomach churning after...

Sure, not every meal sits perfectly. But can you tell the difference between your stomach churning after eating too many slices of pie or unknowingly indulging in salmonella-tainted greens? Simply put, food poisoning is no fun, and can even be life-threatening. Look for these symptoms when determining whether or not to seek treatment.

Common symptoms
Signs of food poisoning can start within a few hours, days or even weeks of eating contaminated food, according to the Mayo Clinic. Initial symptoms include stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea and a fever.

These symptoms can last a few hours to up to 10 days. If you can't drink water or eat anything while these symptoms persist, see a doctor. You don't want to risk dehydration or becoming malnourished while your body purges the tainted food.

Get it checked out
If your diarrhea has turned watery and you're vomiting frequently, it's time to seek professional help immediately. Call an Atlanta-area physician to give you a complete evaluation. He can suggest stomach-soothing medications and bland diet options to get your health back on track. Be sure to take a list of new or uncommon foods eaten up to two weeks prior to the onset of your symptoms. This will help the doctor diagnose the cause of the poisoning.

Log off and go to the emergency room
If you notice any of these symptoms, have a friend or family member take you to the nearest emergency room immediately:

  • bloody vomit
  • bloody bowel movements
  • vomiting immediately after drinking water
  • vomit resembling coffee grounds
  • temperature above 101.5 Fahrenheit
  • blurry vision
  • feeling disoriented
  • inability to speak or swallow

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