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Food Poisoning Health Center

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Exams and Tests

Most food poisoning is mild and passes in a few days, so most people don't go to a doctor for a diagnosis. You can often diagnose food poisoning yourself if others who ate the same food as you also become ill.

If you do go to your doctor, he or she will make the diagnosis based on your symptoms, a physical exam, and your medical history. Your doctor will ask where you have been eating and whether anyone who ate the same food has the same symptoms.

Recommended Related to Food Poisoning

Understanding Food Poisoning -- Symptoms

Generally, food poisoning causes some combination of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may or may not be bloody, sometimes with other symptoms. After eating tainted food, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, can start as early as one hour in the case of staph and as late as 10 days in the case of campylobacter. It may take even longer to develop symptoms from parasite infections such as Giardia. Symptoms can last from one day up to a couple of months or longer, depending on the type of...

Read the Understanding Food Poisoning -- Symptoms article > >

Sometimes the following tests are done:

Your doctor may need to report your condition to the health department. This is done to help the government track the condition and identify possible outbreaks.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 18, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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