Monday, July 30, 2007

Food related diseases? (Part 1)

Food is suppose to be useful to our body, we take it for sustenance, but if taken when it is contaminated or bad could be very dangerous for our health and could result in food borne diseases.
Food-borne diseases are those that are acquired by ingesting food and/or drink. Most occur due to wrong cleaning, cooking and food storage techniques, and can be prevented. Not all of these diseases present early. When the disease-causing agent (microbe) is swallowed, there is a delay, called the incubation period, before the symptoms of the illness begin. This delay may range from hours to days, depending on the agent, and on how many of them were swallowed. Sometimes, even when the disease-causing agent is dead, its products, left in the food/ drink could be harmful to the body. During the incubation period, the microbes pass through the stomach into the intestine, attach to the cells lining the intestinal walls, and begin to multiply there. Some types of microbes stay in the intestine, some produce a toxin that is absorbed into the bloodstream, and some can directly invade the deeper body tissues. The severity of symptoms produced depends greatly on the type of microbe and quantity ingested.
Which bring us to Gastroenteritis - an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It may be caused by viruses, bacteria (and their toxins), and parasites (collectively called microbes). The symptoms are very similar, making it difficult to say which agent is likely to be causing a given illness unless laboratory tests are done, or the illness is part of a recognized outbreak. Similar symptoms may be side effects of medications, or a reaction to foods.
Symptoms are:

  • Watery bowel motions
  • Abdominal cramps and pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting or both
  • Occasional muscle aches or headache
  • Low-grade fever

If you then notice any of the following in addition to the above,Please consult your doctor immediately.

  1. You are not able to keep liquids down for 12 hours
  2. You vomit for more than two days
  3. You vomit blood or become dehydrated. [Signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry mouth, deep yellow urine or little or no urine, and severe weakness, dizziness].
  4. You notice blood in your bowel movements
  5. You have fever above 380C (100 F)

Diarrhoea is one of the most common and fastest killers in children.Please Do not wait until it is too late.


Cryton Chikoko said...

Hi Bola!

Thanks for your visit to my blog and your kind comments. I travelled through your blogs. Fantastic entries! I will take sometime to feast on them later. What an amazing person you are! Of course your smile is infectious. You are indeed a nice person.

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