Although you may take precautions at home by properly washing vegetables and cooking meats until they reach the recommended temperature, you could still come down with a case of food poisoning. You could also get food poisoning when dining out if the restaurant meal was contaminated or not cooked adequately.
Your body's immune response to food poisoning is often good enough to heal you at home. However, sometimes you should visit your local urgent care center for treatment.
If You Aren't Sure if You Have Food Poisoning
The stomach bug and food poisoning have several symptoms in common, such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and loss of appetite. These two ailments have some key differences, however. For example, food poisoning often causes fatigue, severe abdominal pain, and blood in the stool, while the stomach virus comes with headaches, lower blood pressure, and weight loss.
An urgent care physician can perform a physical examination and obtain a full list of your to make a definitive diagnosis.
If You're Pregnant
Depending on the type of food poisoning, women who are pregnant can experience a higher risk of complications from the illness. For example, listeriosis has been linked to an increased risk of premature labor, stillbirths, and babies who are born with infections.
Visit an urgent care doctor and have them check your health and the health of your unborn baby if you begin to suffer symptoms of food poisoning.
If You Suspect Food-Borne Botulism
Another form of food poisoning is botulism and it comes with the following additional symptoms: dry mouth, double vision, slurred speech, poor reflexes, muscle weakness and trouble breathing.
No matter what your age, visit urgent care and seek treatment for botulism as soon as possible. You'll need an antitoxin to combat the food poisoning. Ignoring treatment in this case is not an option, as botulism can lead to death.
If You Become Dehydrated
Perhaps the most common reason individuals head to an urgent care facility when they come down with food poisoning is dehydration. People may find it difficult to keep down any fluids while the vomiting and diarrhea are working against the body.
Dehydration can increase your heart rate, make you lightheaded, decrease your urine output, and even leave you feeling confused. Urgent care doctors can safely rehydrate patients using intravenous fluids.
If You Have Diabetes of Other Health Complications
When you have a chronic illness, such as diabetes, your health is already compromised. In some cases, the immune system is already busy working to heal your body, which makes it more difficult to fight the food poisoning in order for you can get better.
An urgent care doctor can determine if you need intervention, such as a round of antibiotics or a bag of intravenous fluids. The physician will also want to check your blood glucose levels, which may be out of whack due to the inability to eat and drink normally.
If You're Still Sick After 48 Hours
Food poisoning typically lasts 48 hours, so get checked out at an urgent care if you're still feeling sick after two full days have passed. You could be suffering from ciguatera poisoning from fish, which can last as long as two weeks, or you may have something more serious than food poisoning. The doctor can order blood, urine, and stool samples to get a more accurate diagnosis so that the correct treatment plan can be prescribed.
If you suspect you're suffering from food poisoning, contact Family Medicine Walk-In Center in Coral Springs, Florida, to arrange treatment. We can look at your symptoms to determine what is making you ill and give you the treatments you need to feel better.