How to Survive Food Poisoning

9 May

The best tactic would be to avoid food-poisoning, but this is not possible in India.  You can get food-poisoned in expensive restaurants and be perfectly safe on the streets.  After eating street chaat for months, I finally succumbed to a bowl of Tom Yum at the Tasty Tangles restaurant in DLF Mall and a bowl of miso ramen soup at the restaurant in the Metropolitan hotel.  (Don’t eat east asian soup in India!  It’s never fresh.)  Those experiences were worse than the time that I ate 3-wk old chicken soup.

The effects of diarrhea will not be immediate.   The next day will be deceivingly good.  But if in the off-chance that you know you have gotten food-poisoned, take activated charcoal tablets.  These things absorb anything you’ve eaten recently out of your system.  If you can’t find activated charcoal tablets at the store, then you can make some by burning toast and scraping off that black gold.

The first sign of things gone wrong will be fever and pain that will have you in a fetal position.  Sleep through this.  In fact, treat this condition like the flu: sleep and drink liquids as much as you can.  Then you can start yourself on the BRAT diet.  Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast.  Also eat yogurt.  I scoffed in everybody’s face when they suggested the yogurt, because you’re not supposed to consume dairy products, but somehow this is the lone exception.  Yogurt is okay.  And even good, because it contains the probiotics.  Drink Gatorade for the electrolytes.  But do not make the mistake I did and fast.  For a couple of days, I drank only Gatorade and ate glucose biscuits because I felt too sick to eat.  This created worse-looking bile (green liquid!) and introduced acid reflux to my ear, resulting in a weird ear sore.  Not quite an infection, but it felt like one.  After putting everything under the sun into my ear to make it go away, I finally realized that it was part of a stuffed up sinus and would go away naturally when the sinuses did.

Getting food-poisoned in India is worse, because there are no bland foods to eat.  Everything, include the salad, is drenched in masala spice.  The rice is even oiled up.  I think this is why it took me so long to recover and why I lost so much weight.  There will not be a day when your stool is suddenly normal.  For me, I didn’t have to poo for a couple of days and was quite worried about what was going on inside my stomach and if I would suddenly explode when the time came.  You will have to make the decision that you are well and then start living life.  Stay strong!  And don’t take Immodium!  Cipro is a nuclear bomb for your stomach and should be avoided unless you have chronic diarrhea.

Guide of Foods Okay to Eat (Not Scientific at all!)

  • chicken (preferably without skin, but don’t sweat a broiled chicken.  Lightly fried is okay too, but try to avoid it.)
  • any kind of soup
  • pasta, without sauce
  • rice cooked in water
  • boiled eggs
  • I’ve heard that you’re supposed to avoid raw fruit.  (But bananas are apparently okay.  There’s exceptions to everything!)

2 Responses to “How to Survive Food Poisoning”

  1. cris June 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    thank u for ur comment and suggestions, I will follow for sure. im going thru my 2nd food poisoning experience i really needed some ideas : )

  2. Fiona April 20, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    Thanks I will take your advice and hope for the best.

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