How to distinguish food poisoning from intestinal infection
The use of not only contaminated products will lead to the development of acute diseases of the digestive system. Sometimes it is enough to eat a small amount of fresh food with a short shelf life, and the disease will still hit the stomach or intestines. These are essentially similar illnesses, but at first glance, there are still minor differences.
How to distinguish food poisoning from an intestinal infection? The difference is not only in the pathogen, there are several key signs that these painful processes are different.
What is intestinal infection
Intestinal infections are a vast group of diseases, including some acute infectious diseases caused by the following pathogens:
- salmonella - typhoid, paratyphoid, salmonellosis;
- shigella - dysentery;
- esherichia coli - escherichiosis;
- viruses - rotavirus infection.
The main sign that unites all these diseases is the development of acute inflammation of one of the departments of the gastrointestinal tract, due to infection by some infectious agent. That is, the main role here is played by microorganisms - bacteria or viruses. Each of them affects its department of the digestive system. As a rule, it is a stomach, a thin or large intestine, to which they still have to "reach". Therefore, most infections develop after several hours, and in some cases even more than a day after infection.
Food poisoning is an acute short-term illness, in the development of which opportunistic microorganisms or products of their vital activity are involved - toxins. So, often it happens - after a long stay of the finished product under improper conditions (in the sun, or a day without a refrigerator), some microorganisms begin to multiply and release harmful particles - toxins. Normally, a small number of these bacteria or viruses do not harm a person. But after death or in a certain critical amount, they cause food poisoning.
What is the difference between food poisoning and intestinal infection? When food poisoning itself, the causative agent may be absent, that is, bacteria can die during heat treatment, but toxins lead to intoxication. Often, these are ready-made products purchased in cooking or cafeteria. Another category of products - two- or three-day soups, the dishes left after the party. The first dishes, despite repeated boiling, are already seeded with microorganisms. Repeated heat treatment will kill bacteria, but after destruction, the products of their vital activity remain that are more resistant to high temperatures and can not be destroyed in the usual way.
An example can be:
- staphylococcus aureus;
- Klebsiella and many other microorganisms that produce enterotoxins.
Food poisoning and intestinal infections are equally unpleasant diseases, bringing a lot of trouble with health. Sometimes from the first symptoms without a specialist's examination and the appointment of special studies it is difficult to determine what a person is infected with. After all, food poisoning and intestinal infections are very similar.
The digestive system is affected first of all. Any of the departments can be involved in a painful process: a stomach, a small or large intestine.
- All these diseases proceed cyclically. In each of them can be identified several main periods: incubation, the height of the disease, remission.
- The general mechanism of transmission is through contaminated products.
- Symptoms in most cases are similar: nausea, multiple vomiting, soreness in the stomach and along the bowel, cramping pain, stool (diarrhea).
- In connection with, a sharp loss of fluid from the body and due to the influence of toxins of bacteria after a few hours are involved in the painful process and other organ systems. Reacts the cardiovascular and nervous system. There are dizziness, frequent or rare pulse, weakness, changes blood pressure.
After such a characteristic of each type of disease, it becomes unclear what their differences are. What is more severe acute intestinal infection or food poisoning? Everything depends on the specific case. Despite the same manifestations, there are also significant differences.
What is the difference between food poisoning from intestinal infection
Sometimes even an experienced doctor is difficult at the first time to determine what disease a person has. But special methods of research help in medicine: bacterial cultures and general analyzes. In ordinary people, it is not possible to determine at home which illness they are exposed to. Therefore, you need to know the typical characteristics of each process.
All frequent intestinal infections occur with a long incubation period. This is the interval during the course of the disease when a person feels a general malaise, and typical expressed clinical manifestations have not yet been observed. In a bacterial or viral infection, this period lasts up to two weeks. Food poisoning begins several hours after receiving a poor-quality product. So, occurs in connection with the presence in the latter case of already isolated toxins (they are the ones that accelerate the course of the disease). With the development of the same intestinal infection, toxins are released several hours after ingestion of microorganisms into the stomach.
- More often, food poisoning affects the upper parts of the digestive tract - the stomach and the initial parts of the small intestine. In cases of intestinal infections, pathologies are more susceptible to the thin and large intestine.
- How to distinguish food poisoning from rotavirus infection? In the latter case, children more than two years old are more likely to be the source of infection, all parts of the digestive system are involved in the disease: stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, then rumbling and soreness in the abdomen, diarrhea.
- The temperature of the body increases in different ways. In the case of food poisoning, it can rise slightly, up to 37-39 ° C, the first hours of the disease with a gradual decrease. In intestinal infections, the temperature can reach a maximum after 2-3 days and rise to a large number (40 ° C).
- Uncomplicated food poisoning does not last long - 1-3 days, a person recover faster. Intestinal infection lasts for a long time in some cases more than 10 days.
Finally and fully diagnosis can be made only after a study in a hospital. People with suspected strong food poisoning or intestinal infection should be hospitalized in the infectious disease department for full treatment.
Food poisoning and infections can mimic each other, hide behind the same symptoms. In rare cases, you can immediately determine their differences. This will take time, which a person often does not have. Therefore, at the first signs of any of these diseases it is better to immediately consult a specialist.