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How Can I Treat Cramps from Food Poisoning?

By Madeleine A.
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Cramps caused by food poisoning can be particularly uncomfortable. Antibiotics are the preferred treatment for food poisoning, because these drugs can usually kill the organisms that cause the condition. To manage the painful cramps that accompany the infection, however, patients can drink ginger or chamomile tea, or drink small amounts of apple cider vinegar. It is important to consume plenty of fluids during a bout of food poisoning to prevent dehydration.

The treatment for cramps from food poisoning includes antibiotics. Since food poisoning is typically caused by a bacterial organism, taking antibiotics will generally eradicate the systemic bacteria, relieving cramps. The entire course of antibiotics needs to be finished or the infection may not be cured. It may be difficult for a person to tolerate antibiotic therapy, however, because antibiotics can sometimes cause abdominal pain and diarrhea, further worsening symptoms.

Causes of food poisoning include the consumption of undercooked meat and fish, contaminated water, and unpasteurized apple cider and milk. In addition, it can be caused by food handlers, bacterial growth on food, and even from improperly canned foods. It is also important to note that food poisoning can be contracted from foods that have been left out of the refrigerator for too long, generally for more than two hours.

Other methods of easing cramps from food poisoning include drinking chamomile tea, which can help relax the gastrointestinal tract and relieve abdominal spasms and cramping. In addition, over-the-counter medications for diarrhea can also help relieve cramps, but the patient should check with a medical professional before taking them to make sure doing so is appropriate for this condition.

When cramps are especially severe, the patient will probably not be able to tolerate eating much. He must drink fluids, however, so that he does not get dehydrated. In addition to causing cramps, food poisoning can cause significant nausea and vomiting, making eating and drinking a challenge. Drinking ginger tea and eating small amounts of fresh ginger may keep nausea at bay, but again, this should be discussed with a medical professional before doing so.

Apple cider vinegar can help ease stomach cramps because it might contain antimicrobial properties that can help alleviate the actual infection, relieving symptoms. Mixing 2 teaspoons (9.8 ml) of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water and consumed a few times per day may help eliminate abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Although apple cider vinegar is considered safe, consuming large amounts may contribute to stomach upset.

Although home remedies to reduce cramps from food poisoning may help significantly, if you don't get relief after a few days, medical intervention may be necessary. Prolonged symptoms may indicate a more dangerous type of food poisoning that, if not quickly recognized and treated, may lead to extremely serious symptoms, including organ failure. In addition to cramps and nausea and vomiting, other symptoms of food poisoning may include chills, fever, fatigue, and weakness. In addition, numbness and tingling in the extremities can occur, which may signal the beginning of neurological complications.

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Discussion Comments
By mrwormy — On Apr 08, 2014

I think intestinal cramping is the worst part about true food poisoning. I wish I could suggest a good home remedy to handle that particular problem, but all that's ever worked for me is letting it run its course. I try to eat some soft or semi-solid foods like soup and crackers whenever I can, but for the most part I haven't found anything that will instantly calm the spasms and cramps. Sometimes I'll calm myself down emotionally through meditation, and that will help me get through the worst of the cramps.

By Buster29 — On Apr 07, 2014

One thing I've learned over the years about cramping is not to fight it artificially. If you're suffering from food poisoning, it's okay to let your body purge the toxins naturally. Don't fight back whatever urges you may be experiencing. When things calm down, drink water to stay hydrate and take anti-diarrhea medications to help calm the intestines.

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