How to manage a ‘food poisoning’ scenario

Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating contaminated food. It’s not usually serious and most people get better within a few days without treatment.

All foods naturally contain small amounts of bacteria. But poor handling of food, improper cooking or inadequate storage can result in bacteria multiplying in large enough numbers to cause illness. Parasites, viruses, toxins and chemicals also can contaminate food and cause illness.

Signs and symptoms of food poisoning vary with the source of contamination, and whether you are dehydrated or have low blood pressure. Generally they include:
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration

With significant dehydration, you might feel:

  • Lightheaded or faint, especially on standing
  • A rapid heartbeat

Whether you become ill after eating contaminated food depends on the organism, the amount of exposure, your age and your health. High-risk groups include:

  • Older adults. As you get older, your immune system may not respond as quickly and as effectively to infectious organisms as it once did.
  • Infants and young children. Their immune systems haven’t fully developed.
  • People with chronic diseases. Having a chronic condition, such as diabetes or AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer reduces your immune response.

If you develop food poisoning:

  • Rest and drink plenty of liquids.
  • Generally, anti-diarrheal medications should be avoided because they may slow elimination of organisms or toxins from your system. If in doubt, check with your doctor about your particular situation.
  • Infants or young children should not be given anti-diarrheal medications because of potentially serious side effects.

Foodborne illness often improves on its own within 48 hours. Call your doctor if you think you have a foodborne illness and your symptoms have lasted longer than two or three days. Call immediately if blood appears in your stools.

Seek emergency medical assistance if:

  • You have severe symptoms, such as severe abdominal pain or watery diarrhea that turns very bloody within 24 hours.
  • You belong to a high-risk group.
  • You suspect botulism poisoning. Botulism is a potentially fatal food poisoning that results from the ingestion of a toxin formed by certain spores in food. Botulism toxin is most often found in home-canned foods, especially green beans or tomatoes. Signs and symptoms of botulism usually begin 12 to 36 hours after eating the contaminated food and may include headache, blurred vision, muscle weakness and eventual paralysis. Some people also have nausea and vomiting, constipation, urinary retention, difficulty breathing, and dry mouth. These signs and symptoms require immediate medical attention.

Stress Management and Healthy Lifestyle

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives, according to the most recent survey.

In looking at the causes of stress, remember that your brain comes hard-wired with an alarm system for your protection. When your brain perceives a threat, it signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labeled the “fight-or-flight” response.

Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that your alarm system rarely shuts off. That’s why stress management is so important. Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your alarm system.

Stress Management

Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert. Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems. Don’t wait until stress has a negative impact on your health, relationships or quality of life.

The first step in successful stress relief is deciding to make stress management an ongoing goal, and to monitor your stress level.

Once you start monitoring your stress level, the next step is identifying your stress triggers. When or under what situations do you experience the most stress? Some causes of stress are easy to identify, such as job pressures, relationship problems or financial difficulties. But daily hassles and demands, such as commuting, arranging child care or being overcommitted at work, also can contribute to your stress level.

Positive events also can be stressful. If you got married, started a new job and bought a new house in the same year, you could have a high stress level. While negative events in general are more stressful, be sure to also assess positive changes in your life.

Once you’ve identified your stress triggers, you can start thinking about strategies for dealing with them. Identifying what aspect of the situation you can control is a good starting point.

Relaxation Techniques 

Relaxation techniques are an essential part of stress management. If you’re an overachiever, you may put relaxation low on your priority list. Don’t shortchange yourself. Everyone needs to relax and recharge.

Relaxation is invaluable for maintaining your health and well-being, and repairing the toll that stress takes on your mind and body.

Almost everyone can benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques can help to slow your breathing and to focus your attention on the here and now.

Common relaxation techniques include meditation, tai chi and yoga. But there are more-active ways of achieving relaxation. For example, walking outdoors or participating in a sports activity can be relaxing and help reduce stress.

And remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle to help manage stress —  apart from good exercise, eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep. Having a healthy lifestyle will help you manage periods of high stress.

It doesn’t matter which relaxation technique you choose. What matters is that you select a technique that works for you and that you practice achieving relaxation regularly.

Stress won’t disappear from your life. And stress management isn’t an overnight cure. But with ongoing practice and incorporation of resiliency into your lifestyle, you can learn to manage your stress level and increase your ability to cope with life’s challenges.


Exercise and healthy lifestyle

Being physically active on a regular basis is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.Regular physical activity and exercise are important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone.  Even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of people who are frail or who have diseases .

1. Control Your Weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

Regular trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.

2. Fight bad health conditions

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, a number of types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

3. Be in a good mood

Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.

You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

4. Engergize yourself

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.

Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.

5. Prepare you for good sleep habit

Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to hit the hay.

6. Promotes active sex life

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and physical appearance, which may boost your sex life.

But there’s even more to it than that. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

7. Enjoy exercise

Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.

So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Bored? Try something new, or do something with friends.

To conclude

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, boost your health and have fun. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.

Try to engage in a combination of vigorous and moderate aerobic exercises, such as running, walking or swimming. Squeeze in strength training at least twice per week by lifting free weights, using weight machines or doing body weight exercises.

 Space out your activities throughout the week. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to ramp up your exercise efforts.

Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns.