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Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning

Description

Food poisoning no longer means that poison has been placed in someone’s food but that food has become contaminated by bacteria or viruses.

An isolated case may be difficult to identify, so in most instances, several members of family, sharing the same meal, or several diners at a restaurant, all becoming ill shortly afterwards, will confirm the source as this meal.

The “poison” may be designated as infectious or non-infectious, although this both types can occur in the same food. Thus, shellfish can harbor bacteria as well as containing high levels of chemical residues.

Food-borne illness is on the increase in spite of educational campaigns and inspection.

Americans report over 2 million cases each year and the number of unreported cases must be many times this number.

Causes

The bacteria most commonly recognized include: salmonella, campylobacter and listeria. The most serious, life-threatening form is botulism.

Bacteria is present in almost all foods but the levels are harmless as long as proper storage and cooking protocols are followed.

The most common virus, occurring chiefly in shellfish is the Norwalk virus.

Sources of poisons, include: mushrooms (or toadstools mistaken for mushrooms) and exotic foods such as the puffer fish, or even casava, requiring expert preparation.

Signs & Symptoms

The sudden onset of stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea are familiar signs of food poisoning.

More subtle infections may also occur but take much longer to develop: e.g. parasites, most commonly some type of worm.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Intestinal Health &
        Detoxification


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General Supplements
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Acidophilus1 tspn bid
Bioflavonoids*
Charcoal Tablets*
Fiber*
Garlic2 capsules tid
Potassium100 mg
S O D5,000 mg
Vitamin C8,000 mg
Vitamin E600 IU



*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Dietary recommendations with regard to food poisoning are more about exclusion, than inclusion!

Certain high risk foods need to be recognized. Most cases of botulism, for example, are the result of improper home-canning techniques. Salmonella spreads if poor kitchen hygiene is practiced i.e. cleaning and cooking procedures.

More than 1000 cases of infant botulism have been reported to the CDC over the past 3 decades. These numbers are alarming because this illness can be fatal if left untreated. Numerous case-control studies and case reports led to the conclusion that consumption of honey by children younger than 12 months old is a positive risk factor for the development of infant botulism. In addition, analyses of honey products showed that approximately 10% of samples tested positive for C. botulinum toxin or spores. Clinicians should not recommend honey-containing supplements or the use of honey as a flavoring agent for infants in this age group.

Homeopathic Remedy

Arsenicum Album

Treatment Schedule

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).

This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.

Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.

Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.

Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.

Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.

If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.

References

Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.

Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.

Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.

Herbal Approaches

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Herbs
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Goldenseal (alcohol free)
Lobelia (enema)
Milk Thistle
Red Clover

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Geranium Essence,Lavender Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Diarrhea
Food Allergy
Vomiting

Abstracts

References

Albert MJ et al., The role of food in the epidemiology of cholera. World Health Stat Q, 1997, 50:1-2, 111-8.

Anonymous: Foodborne outbreak of diarrheal illness associated with Cryptosporidium parvum--Minnesota, 1995. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 1996 Sep 13, 45:36, 783-4.

Anonymous: Tetrodotoxin poisoning associated with eating puffer fish transported from Japan--California, 1996. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 1996 May 17, 45:19, 389-91.

Anonymous: Update: outbreaks of cyclosporiasis -- United States and Canada, 1997. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 1997 Jun 13, 46:23, 521-3.

Barrie D: The provision of food and catering services in hospital. J Hosp Infect, 1996 May, 33:1, 13-33.

Cliver DO: Virus transmission via food. World Health Stat Q, 1997, 50:1-2, 90-101.

Crerar SK e al., Foodborne disease: current trends and future surveillance needs in Australia. Med J Aust, 1996 Dec 2-16, 165:11-12, 672-5.

DeRosa CT & Johnson BL: Strategic elements of ATSDR's Great Lakes Human Health Effects Research Program. Toxicol Ind Health, 1996 May-Aug, 12:3-4, 315-25.

Greenaway C & Orr P A: foodborne outbreak causing a cholinergic syndrome. J Emerg Med, 1996 May-Jun, 14:3, 339-44.

Meng J & Doyle MP: Emerging issues in microbiological food safety. Annu Rev Nutr, 1997, 17:, 255-75.

Mines D et al., Poisonings: food, fish, shellfish. Emerg Med Clin North Am, 1997 Feb, 15:1, 157-77.

Motarjemi Y & Käferstein FK: Global estimation of foodborne diseases. World Health Stat Q, 1997, 50:1-2, 5-11.

Moy G et al., Improving the safety of street-vended food. World Health Stat Q, 1997, 50:1-2, 124-31.

Ollinger-Snyder P & Matthews ME: Food safety: review and implications for dietitians and dietetic technicians [see comments]. J Am Diet Assoc, 1996 Feb, 96:2, 163-8, 171; quiz 169-70. /

Palmer S et al., Problems in the diagnosis of foodborne infection in general practice. Epidemiol Infect, 1996 Dec, 117:3, 479-84.

Parish ME: Public health and nonpasteurized fruit juices. Crit Rev Microbiol, 1997, 23:2, 109-19.

Pivarnik-LF et al: A food-safety curriculum for second- and third-grade elementary students. J-Am-Diet-Assoc. 1994 Aug; 94(8): 865-8.

Rocourt J & Bille J: Foodborne listeriosis. World Health Stat Q, 1997, 50:1-2, 67-73.

Ross-EE: Vibrio vulnificus and molluscan shellfish: the necessity of education for high-risk individuals [see comments]. J-Am-Diet-Assoc. 1994 Mar; 94(3): 312-4.

Timbo-BB: Raw shellfish consumption in California: the 1992 California Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. Am-J-Prev-Med. 1995 Jul-Aug; 11(4): 214-7.

Todd EC: Epidemiology of foodborne diseases: a worldwide review. World Health Stat Q, 1997, 50:1-2, 30-50.

Wall PG et al., Food poisoning: notifications, laboratory reports, and outbreaks--where do the statistics come from and what do they mean? Commun Dis Rep CDR Rev, 1996 Jun 21, 6:7, R93-100.

 


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