When you develop symptoms depends on the exact cause of the food poisoning. The most common types of food poisoning generally cause symptoms within 2 - 6 hours of eating the food.
Possible symptoms include:
Your health care provider will examine you for signs of food poisoning, such as pain in the stomach and signs your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. This is called dehydration.
You will be asked about the foods you have eaten recently.
Tests may be done on your blood, stools, vomit, or the food you have eaten to determine the cause of your symptoms. However, tests may not be able to prove that you have food poisoning.
In rare but possibly serious cases, your health care provider may order a sigmoidoscopy, a procedure in which a thin tube placed in the anus to look for the source of bleeding or infection.
Sodha SV, Griffin PM, Hughes JM. Foodborne disease. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 99.
Craig SA, Zich DK. Gastroenteritis. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009:chap 92.
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