Are you suffering from some sort of food poisoning? Food poisoning ensues when you unwittingly swallow certain types of bacteria, parasites, viruses or toxins with something you ate. This health blurb contains information involving the ingestion of salmonella bacteria only.
Salmonella poisoning, aka salmonellosis, is a fairly common bacterial infection. This bacteria typically has its affect on your intestinal tract causing gastroenteritis, which many refer to as food poisoning. However, some varieties of salmonella infect the bloodstream resulting in typhoid fever.
A common transmission route for salmonella bacteria is via raw contaminated food. i.e. eggs, pork, beef, poultry, seafood and produce. Salmonellosis is also considered a zoonotic disease because the handling of pets and their feces can lead to ingestion, especially birds, rodents and reptiles. And always wash up after handling turtles, lizards and snakes because they can carry this bacteria on their skin. Also, salmonella is considered contagious because it can be spread around through human contaminated feces.
Salmonella Poisoning Symptoms
The mere ingestion of salmonella does not necessarily mean you’ll have gastroenteritis symptoms because your body has natural defenses to minimize a poisoning impact of this pathogen. When symptoms do develop, they frequently involve some combination of:
- bloody stools
- stomach pain
- loss of appetite
- nausea, vomiting
- abdominal cramps
- excessive sweating
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning can last up to a week and it could take in excess of a month for your bowels to get back into their normal routine.
One dangerous symptom of salmonellosis is depletion of fluids and electrolytes caused by the diarrhea and vomiting symptoms. These are vital for healthy function of organs and tissues. So if you fail to replace what you lost, you may become dehydrated. Dehydration symptoms include:
- dry eyes
- dry mouth
- sunken eyes
- minimal amount of urination
Some dehydrate to such an extent that health care attention is required.
Should salmonella gain entry into your bloodstream, this bacteria can infect various tissue and cause:
There are certain health conditions and drugs that can reduce your body’s ability to combat salmonella bacteria as well, like:
- take antacids
- sickle cell disease
- weak immune system
- recently took antibiotics
- inflammatory bowel disease
For most in good health, salmonella bacteria poisoning is not a serious infection.
For healthy folks, the only treatment necessary is ensuring replacement of fluid and electrolytes. Oral re-hydration drinks, e.g. Pedialyte, can help remedy this. At a minimum, drink water during the entire course of your symptoms. Anti-diarrheal, like loperamide, should not be used unless your symptoms are intolerable.
Should salmonella spread beyond your intestines, then hospitalization and antibiotics is your life saving treatment. Otherwise, antibiotics are not considered beneficial for treating simple cases of salmonellosis.