A bout with food poisoning usually resolves itself within a few days without any real treatment but there are ways to help your body as it recovers — paying particular attention to your food choices. You might not exactly feel like eating when you're dealing with food poisoning but keeping some tips in mind might help ease your recovery.
Replace Lost Fluids
You will lose a lot of fluids through diarrhea and vomiting so it is crucial to replace what you've lost to help you recover. Even when you can only take sips, make sure you have plenty of water. You can also replenish lost fluids by eating clear soup or consuming sports drinks, fruit juices, or tea.
What To Eat
Your appetite will surely be down but when you're feeling up to it, stick to small, light meals and bland foods like crackers and potatoes. This will help regain your strength but will not overload your stomach before it is back in shape. You can also consider the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet as it is made up of low-fiber food items that can help firm up stool. Bananas also aid in replacing nutrients lost from diarrhea or vomiting.
What To Avoid
You don't want anything that will stimulate your stomach so you should avoid eating dairy products, fatty or spicy foods, those high in fiber (this is the one time you are allowed to skip out on your fruits and vegetables), caffeine and alcohol. Fruit juices are recommended to help you rehydrate while recovering from food poisoning but steer clear of pear and apple juices as they contain sorbitol and a high ratio of fructose to glucose, which can worsen diarrhea for some people.
Preventing The Spread Of Infection
When you or anyone in your household is recovering from food poisoning, make sure that everyone in your home washes their hands properly with soap and water, especially before and after preparing food and after going to the bathroom. Make sure to also disinfect toilet seats, taps, flush handles and other surfaces regularly and to stay home from school or work until at least 48 hours have passed since the last episode of diarrhea.
If your symptoms don't improve after a few days or worsen, please get in touch with your doctor right away.
Photo: Wen Tong Neo | Flickr