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When should I see a doctor about food poisoning?

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Your symptoms usually pass in a few days or even in mere hours. But if your discomfort doesn’t go away, you may need to get checked and find out exactly what made you sick. You should also see a doctor if along with other symptoms you have high fever, blood in your stool, or feel dehydrated or unable to keep any food or liquid down. It’s hard to miss the main symptoms: stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. They can hit a few hours or a day or two after you eat the food that caused the problem.

SOURCES:

PubMed Health: “Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness).”

CDC: “Be Food Safe: Protect Yourself from Food Poisoning,” “Salmonella: Diagnosis and Treatment,” “Staphylococcal Food Poisoning,” “Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Food poisoning (foodborne illness) (Beyond the Basics).”

American Family Physician : “Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illness,” Evaluation of Nausea and Vomitting.”

Medscape: “Food Poisoning Workup.”

FDA: “Foodborne Illnesses: What You Need to Know.”

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Repor t: “Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses.”

Clinical Microbiology Reviews : “Laboratory Diagnosis of Bacterial Gastroenteritis.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 23, 2019

SOURCES:

PubMed Health: “Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness).”

CDC: “Be Food Safe: Protect Yourself from Food Poisoning,” “Salmonella: Diagnosis and Treatment,” “Staphylococcal Food Poisoning,” “Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Food poisoning (foodborne illness) (Beyond the Basics).”

American Family Physician : “Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illness,” Evaluation of Nausea and Vomitting.”

Medscape: “Food Poisoning Workup.”

FDA: “Foodborne Illnesses: What You Need to Know.”

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Repor t: “Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses.”

Clinical Microbiology Reviews : “Laboratory Diagnosis of Bacterial Gastroenteritis.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 23, 2019

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How do I know if I have food poisoning?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.