10 Signs of Food Poisoning

Foodborne illness, or food poisoning, is a common illness that results from eating contaminated food. One in six Americans, according to the CDC, get sick from some form of food poisoning each year. Parasites, viruses, and other infectious bacteria can contaminate at any point in the life of your cheeseburger or salad, which makes it all the harder to avoid when eating out at restaurants with friends. Improperly prepared foods, where staff may have transferred a harmful organism from one surface to another, may also cause illness. Keeping meats and produce separated and cooking to the right temperatures are all best practices to avoid illness. Depending on the source of the poisoning, the signs and symptoms will vary, but they are important to keep track of.

Most often these symptoms will appear mild and will resolve themselves without treatment, but if there are any signs of worsening severity after a few days you should seek medical attention. This is especially true for high oral temperatures, extreme pain and neurological symptoms like dizziness. In addition to this, certain groups of people, such as pregnant women and older adults, are more likely to get food poisoning due to a weakened immune system. Their compromised systems may make the effects much more serious.

1. Abdomen Pain

Abdomen pain and cramps are probably one of the most common and early symptoms of this illness. You may experience pain between the chest and pelvis, more commonly along the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. However, abdominal pain can also originate from the kidneys, spleen, gallbladder, liver and even the pancreas. You should not ignore this symptom, as it could be a sign of a greater affliction. You may find pain localized to one area of your abdomen, with a particular organ becoming inflamed, or strong cramps associated with a blockage or other intestinal problems.

However, not every case of food poisoning will have stomach pain as a symptom. The onset of the pain can also vary widely depending on which bacterium or virus is the cause. For example, Staphylococcus aureus, one of the more common causes of foodborne illness, will show symptoms within 1 to 6 hours, whereas Escherichia coli can take up to 8 days before signs show themselves. Abdominal pain may also present itself later after symptoms of being dehydrated, diarrhea and vomiting.