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How is food poisoning treated?

Protecting against dehydration by taking small sips of water treats most food poisoning. Something with a little sugar and electrolytes like a sports drink can help prevent electrolyte disturbances as well. Most intestinal infections will clear themselves if given enough time, and therefore antibiotics are rarely warranted. If your symptoms persist for more than a week, then your doctor may consider prescribing an antibiotic.
Treatment of food poisoning depends on the severity of the infection. In all cases of food poisoning, it is crucial to replace fluids and electrolytes to avoid dehydration. If the case is severe, fluids may need to be given intravenously. If you have food poisoning, except for mild cases, you should have a lot of bed rest and should not take anything by mouth if nausea and vomiting are persistent. If you can stand the intake of food or drink, light fluids and foods may be taken, including clear broth, soft-cooked eggs, or bland cereals. (This answer provided for NATA by the University of Montana Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.