Food poisoning is a very serious condition. It can start within hours or it can last for days. Most cases go away on their own within a week or two, although it is best to stay home and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. In severe cases, you should stay home from work or school for a couple of days. The underlying cause of food poisoning is not known. If you suspect you have become ill, contact your local health department and follow their advice.
Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of food poisoning. It is usually accompanied by vomiting and may be bloody. Some food poisoning infections also cause blood in the stools. Other symptoms of food poisoning include crampy abdominal pain that eases with each passing diarrhoea episode. A fever may also occur. Food poisoning may also affect the nervous system, causing confusion, numbness and tingling in the extremities.
Many bacteria can cause food poisoning, either directly or through indirect action. Bacteria are found in meat, poultry, eggs, and contaminated water. Parasites can also cause food poisoning through contaminated produce. Giardia lamblia is one parasite that causes food poisoning. A muscarine toxin in food is another possibility. Muscarine poisoning is caused by dozens of species, attacking the central nervous system. In severe cases, it can lead to partial paralysis.