What to Do If You Encounter Food Poisoning Away From Home: While I was having a great time on my first trip to Portugal in December, I got food poisoning late at night. I think the raw crabs I ate that day were to blame, but I’ll never know for sure.
Because of this, I had 12 hours of GI hell and had to cancel my tour of the castles of Sintra. Overall, things could have been worse, but I wouldn’t have wanted my worst enemy to be in that much pain at the time. Food poisoning is unfortunately something that happens to a lot of tourists.
What to Do If You Encounter Food Poisoning Away From Home:
There are also things you can do to ease the pain and symptoms if you find yourself in this position. Here is what Fischer and Mao say you should do if you get food sickness while you are traveling.
Don’t lose water
Fischer said, “If you think you have food poisoning while traveling, it’s very important to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water and electrolytes.”
As you feel better, try to drink electrolyte-rich drinks like Gatorade or mix powdered hydration boosters into your water. If you’re feeling sick, sip slowly.
Eat bland things only
Fischer said, “Stay with bland food until your symptoms go away.”
Try to stick to the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) as much as possible. Don’t eat more than you can handle. You can also use saltine crackers.
“Eat little things to stay full,” Mao told them.
Take a break
You shouldn’t force yourself to eat a lot, and you shouldn’t force yourself to move around too much when you have food poisoning either. Even though it might be hard, try to stay in bed when you’re not going to the bathroom.
Fischer told her, “You should rest as much as you can and keep an eye on your body temperature.”
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Keep an eye on your condition
Fischer said, “The signs of food poisoning can be different depending on where the infection came from.” “People who get food poisoning often have stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low energy, fever, and/or loss of appetite.”
He said that some foodborne infections can also cause symptoms that aren’t related to the stomach, like joint pain. Pay close attention to the signs that show up and how they change over time.
Think about over-the-counter medicines
“Taking an over-the-counter medicine to help control your symptoms may be helpful in some situations,” Fischer said.
Ibuprofen might help with stomach cramps, but it might also upset your stomach, so take it in small amounts. Tylenol can bring down your fever. Many doctors say that you shouldn’t take diarrhea medicines like Imodium unless you really need to. This is because diarrhea is your body’s normal way of getting rid of toxins.
If you’re in a different country, try to find out what medicines are available there that are similar to the ones you’re taking and what the active ingredients are called in that language.
Get medical help if things get worse
“Patients should be aware of warning signs like fever that won’t go away, blood in the stool, severe abdominal pain, or being dehydrated,” Mao said. “If you have these symptoms, I think you should see a doctor.”
If your symptoms get really bad while you’re away from home, do some research or call the front desk of your hotel or your travel insurance company to get help finding the right care. You might be able to get this benefit from your credit card even if you didn’t buy travel insurance or travel health insurance.
In addition to paying for medical care, your insurance may also pay for changing your trips or other travel plans because you are sick. Read your policy’s fine print and keep records all the time.
Take steps before and during the trip to fix the problem
You can start getting better from travel food poisoning before you even leave for your trip.
“If you’re going to be traveling abroad, I suggest bringing a simple medical kit with over-the-counter medicines for stomach problems and rehydration solutions with electrolytes so you’re ready for any illness that might happen,” Fischer said. “Before you go on a trip, learn about the health risks that are specific to that place, such as common foodborne illnesses, and think about getting vaccinated or taking other precautions that are suggested for the area.”
You might also want to make a list ahead of time of all the trustworthy medical facilities and resources you can find at your location, just in case.