Food poisoning and gastrointestinal discomfort in summer, what causes it and how to avoid it?

Summer is one of the times of the year when we relax our eating habits. In addition to this, we increase our intake of raw or undercooked meals. This increases the risk of food poisoning or gastrointestinal distress caused by what we eat.

During the summer season, food and drink decompose faster, this can cause bacterial gastroenteritis. Usually food poisoning is one of the most frequent causes found in summer emergencies. Abdominal discomfort, nausea, pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, sometimes accompanied by fever can occur. Pathogens that contaminate food or toxins are some of the underlying causes of these symptoms, which can ruin a good holiday, unless we are careful.

But what can we do when we are affected by food poisoning or any related disease?

Food poisoning can occur when ingested food (solid or liquid) is contaminated by bacteria, viruses, toxins or parasites.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, different treatments or actions will be necessary. We must distinguish between a mild discomfort from overeating, indigestion or food poisoning, which could lead to a more serious risk for our health.

So when should we see a doctor?

Experts advise seeing a doctor if we have nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, headache and/or fatigue. The degree of urgency is determined by the condition of the affected person. We must never rely on home remedies or self-medication, or relax thinking it will pass. The doctor will determine a proper diagnosis and treatment.

How to avoid food poisoning?

It is necessary to ensure the maximum hygiene and washing of fresh foods, even using suitable disinfectant products if necessary. Wash our hands thoroughly before handling any food. Not break the cold chain, in case of frozen food and also freeze any fish intended to be consumed raw or undercooked, before its use.

And if eating out, beware of the dreaded salmonellosis, an infection caused by Salmonella bacteria. Although some people have no symptoms, many suffer from diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Do not eat foods that may contain raw eggs (such as mayonnaise or other sauces).

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