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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.


Food poisoning is a good explanation for your symptoms.

If your symptoms began within a few hours of your suspicious meal, the food was probably contaminated with a toxin. Fortunately, food poisoning symptoms go away on their own without treatment if they are caused by a toxin. Vomiting and abdominal cramps usually last less than a full day, but diarrhea and changes in your appetite and digestion may linger for up to one week.

If your symptoms took several days to develop after your suspicious food exposure, you may have a bacterial infection in your intestine. Your doctor might request that you provide a stool sample, so you can be checked for an infection with salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, or an aggressive strain of e. coli. Infections with these bacteria types may require antibiotic treatment.

If you have more than a few episodes of diarrhea, you may become significantly dehydrated as a result of food poisoning. Treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids might be necessary. If you notice dizziness or feel that you are losing fluid faster than you can keep up with by drinking, you should contact your doctor urgently. Your doctor's care is especially important if you are elderly or have heart disease or diabetes.

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