Search icon


20th Jun 2015

Her Check-Up: Let’s Talk About… Treating A Case Of Food Poisoning

The low-down on beating a sick stomach.


With festival season underway, roadtrips planned to new corners of the country and flights to foreign shores, there’s a strong chance you could pick up a sickly stomach along the way.

Food poisoning is caused by bacteria or other toxins being found in food, typically resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea.

Remember if you are concerned about your health at any stage, book in to see your doctor, or talk to a pharmacist who may advise medical assistance or be able to prescribe over-the-counter medication to help.

Although food poisoning can usually be treated without seeing a doctor, be sure to follow these tips to help ease symptoms and prevent feeling worse:

Control Nausea And Vomiting:

  • Avoid solid foods until vomiting ends. Then eat light, bland foods, such as crackers, bananas, rice, or bread
  • Sipping soda may help prevent vomiting, but be sure it’s not too fizzy, as this may unsettle your stomach. Wait for a few minutes and drink when it’s ‘flat’
  • Don’t eat fried, greasy, spicy, or sweet foods as these will irritate the stomach lining/ lie in your stomach
  • Don’t take anti-nausea or anti-diarrhoea medication without asking your doctor, as this can you’re your bowel trouble worse. A doctor will give you anti-nausea medication if you are at risk of becoming dehydrated.

Prevent Dehydration:

  • Drink clear fluids, starting with small sips and gradually drinking more
  • If vomiting and diarrhea last more than 24 hours, drink an oral rehydration solution

Most cases of food poisoning will last between 24 and 48 hours, and provided you are able to drink fluids, you should be ok to resume eating on day 3 and building up your eating again. If symptoms persist after 72 hours, you should call a doctor for medical assistance.

doctor patient irish cancer society

Signs For When to Call a Doctor

Call a doctor immediately for diarrhoea when:

  • It lasts more than 3 days
  • It happens after you eat seafood or mushrooms
  • You diarrhoea is accompanied by a fever
  • You are passing blood or dark stools
  • Suffering with prolonged vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down
  • You are presenting with signs of severe dehydration, such as dry mouth, decreased urination, dizziness, fatigue, or increased heart rate or breathing rate