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FOOD POISONING

Self-Care at Home

Short episodes of vomiting and small amounts of diarrhea lasting less than 24 hours can usually be cared for at home.

Do not eat solid food while nauseous or vomiting but drink plenty of fluids.

Small, frequent sips of clear liquids (those you can see through) are the best way to stay hydrated.

Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, or sugary drinks. Over-the-counter rehydration products made for children such as Pedialyte and Rehydralyte are expensive but good to use if available.

Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade are fine for adults if they are diluted with water because at full strength they contain too much sugar, which can worsen diarrhea .

After successfully tolerating fluids, eating should begin slowly, when nausea and vomiting have stopped. Plain foods that are easy on the stomach should be started in small amounts. Consider eating rice, wheat, breads, potatoes, low-sugar cereals, lean meats, and chicken (not fried) to start. Milk can be given safely, although some people may experience additional stomach upset due to lactose intolerance.

Most food poisonings do not require the use of over-the-counter medicines to stop diarrhea , but they are generally safe if used as directed. It is not recommended that these medication be given to children. If there is a question or concern, you should always check with a doctor.

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