Food poisoning can sometimes feel like the ultimate betrayal: you just ate a delicious sandwich from the deli and you’re feeling great about yourself as a result. It was tasty, it was affordable and it was satiating.
And then just shortly after, you start to feel really rather ill. The symptoms of food poisoning can be graphic, extreme and very painful and sometimes they can last for weeks, rendering you completely useless, forcing you to take extensive time off of work and really making life rather not fun for a while. And while it is rare, sometimes food poisoning doesn’t get better on its own and can actually be quite dangerous.
Food poisoning is of course the result of eating contaminated food. Most specifically, it is food that is contaminated with bacteria and the most common culprits are salmonella and Escherichia coli. It can also be caused by viruses, such as norovirus.
Food poisoning is also any host’s worst nightmare. The idea that your guests might be incredibly sick because of your dinner spread is an uncomfortable one and one that might render you friendless during future events.
But here’s the good news: it might not be food poisoning! It might actually be a stomach bug, which can actually have a number of very similar symptoms. In this post, we’ll look at 16 common signs of food poisoning to help you identify whether that is really what’s going on.
1. Feeling Sick
The first thing you are likely to notice is that you feel sick in your stomach. This can make itself known through general stomach pain and cramps, as well as churning and feeling as though you need to throw up.
What’s happening here is that your body is responding to the bacteria that’s now in your gut and trying to get rid of it. This results in feelings of sickness as your system has a reaction and tries to drive out the illness.
If you are lucky and you catch the problem early, then eating activated charcoal may help. This highly porous substance is actually able to absorb a range of contaminants and can thereby actually remove bacteria and other threats from your stomach. It doesn’t always work though!