How to distinguish toxicosis from poisoning

интоксикация Before you give an unequivocal answer to the question of poisoning or toxicosis make you unwell, let's try to figure out what is toxicosis and poisoning, what causes and symptoms usually accompany them.

Toxicosis or intoxication is a painful condition of the body, caused by the endogenous substances (chemical elements that make up the body) that are harmful and endogenous toxins (that is, those that enter the body from the outside) that are harmful to it.

The state of toxemia can be caused by changes in the body of a pregnant woman, but it should be understood that not only pregnancy can be its cause.

Food poisoning is a deterioration due to the consumption of foods that are infected with certain types of viruses, bacteria, or parasites, toxins. Symptoms of food poisoning are usually accompanied by nausea, passing into vomiting, pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, urine becomes dark yellow, dry mucous (most often in the mouth).

Types of toxicosis and their differences from poisoning

There are several types of toxicosis, the symptoms of which we consider below. And also find out what is their difference from poisoning.

Toxicosis with acute adrenal insufficiency

инфекция головного мозга This type of toxicosis is usually caused by the main causative agent of meningococcal infection - a disease that occurs in the form of infectious inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or inflammation of the mucous membranes (nasopharyngitis).


  • increased body temperature, sometimes reaching 40 degrees Celsius;
  • pronounced pale skin tone;
  • the appearance of a "star rash" - against the background of pale skin, bright patches of red and cherry rash, which resembles scattered stars;
  • a feeling of lethargy, fatigue and lethargy;
  • respiratory distress - frequent, arrhythmic, superficial;
  • bloody vomiting is possible.

Differences from food poisoning

  • poisoning is not accompanied by the appearance of red spots on human skin;
  • usually there is no rash in food poisoning;
  • food poisoning does not cause such a high fever;

Toxicosis with hepatic impairment

печеночная недостаточность Usually caused by a viral disease in children up to three years. At the initial stage proceeds as SARS or intestinal infection.


  • drowsiness;
  • convulsions;
  • profuse vomiting;
  • high body temperature;
  • clouded consciousness;
  • breathing becomes quick and deep;
  • enlarged, painful liver.

The difference between this toxicosis is a hardening, enlarged liver. Toxicosis with hepatic insufficiency can lead to coma.

Differences from food poisoning

  • if the emetic urge is accompanied by the occurrence of seizures, it means that you are dealing with toxicosis;
  • toxicosis in the first stages proceeds in much the same way as ARVI;
  • although there is no jaundice, but the liver is enlarged and dense.

Toxicosis with acute renal failure

острая почечная недостаточность Usually accompanied by anemia (lack of iron in the blood) or thrombocytopenia (decrease in platelet count, causing worsening of blood clotting and wound healing);

The causes of toxicosis are most often:

  • respiratory viral infections;
  • gastrointestinal infections;
  • vaccination.


  • swelling of the nose, eyes and lips;
  • abdominal pain;
  • vomiting;
  • lowering, and then a gradual increase in blood pressure;
  • the appearance of shortness of breath and many others.

This type of toxicosis leads to abnormalities in the cardiovascular system. Most often, it can be confused with food poisoning. May cause normochromic anemia, thrombocytopenia (decreased platelet count).

Differences from food poisoning

  • food poisoning can cause a jaundiced skin tone in very rare cases, most often this symptom is a sign of toxemia of this type;
  • food poisoning does not cause hemorrhages from the nose, which, in turn, often occurs in this type of toxicosis.

Toxicosis during pregnancy

токсикоз и беременность Most often occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy. With the appearance in the last months of pregnancy, it takes a more dangerous character than in the early stages. It is divided into three different degrees:

  1. First degree Symptoms: rare nausea (no more than 5 times a day), most often provoked by strong odors of food products.
  2. Second degree Symptoms: the number of vomiting, ending vomiting, increases to 10-15 times a day. Sharp weight loss (sometimes up to three kilograms) and increased heart rate.
  3. Third degree Symptoms: vomiting occurs up to 20-25 times a day, which can provoke any movement. High pulse rate, body temperature rises to about 37 degrees Celsius.

Differences of toxicosis during pregnancy from food poisoning

  • most often nausea and vomiting appear only in the morning;
  • the main factor causing malaise and nausea is odor intolerance;
  • in case of toxicosis in pregnant women, diarrhea does not occur;
  • no cramping and abdominal pain.
Help with toxicosis in pregnant women

To facilitate well-being during toxicosis, rest and peace are recommended for pregnant women. Helps to deal with nausea mint tea with a slice of lemon. It is recommended to start your day with him. During toxicosis it is useful to carry an orange or lemon. A couple of these citrus slices will help you to get rid of the feeling of nausea. In order not to provoke nausea and vomiting, it is recommended to refuse fatty, salty and fried foods. Let your menu include more vegetables and fruits. And cooking is best done by steaming with minimal salt intake.

Toxic-septic condition

токсико-септическое состояние Caused by staphylococcus entering the human body.


  • pallor;
  • swollen lymph nodes;
  • the appearance of shortness of breath;
  • dehydration;
  • the appearance of a soporous state (lack of human response to the environment).

It can cause pleurisy, hypoxia, calcium deficiency and dehydration, which, in turn, can cause dystrophy.

Differences from food poisoning

  • if your skin has become a sallow grayish shade, this is an indication that you have toxicosis. When food poisoning usually occurs light pale skin;
  • probe your lymph nodes, if they are enlarged, then it is toxicosis.

How to generally distinguish toxicosis from poisoning

отравление Summing up, I would like to turn my attention to how to generally distinguish between toxicosis and poisoning .

First of all, you should remember that diarrhea does not occur with toxemia. This is a very rare occurrence. Do not rush to start treatment for food poisoning, if you do not feel cramps and pain in the abdomen, and you vomit causes a strong smell or even the appearance of food. These are the main signs of toxicosis, and not food poisoning.

However, we should not forget that toxicosis in acute liver failure can also cause abdominal cramps, but you can safely push away the suspicion of food poisoning if you develop puffiness of parts of the face, pressure jumps, shortness of breath and many other symptoms described above.

And remember, if you know the enemy by sight, then there is no chance that you will be able to confuse him with someone. Consult with specialists about your ailments, they will help you professionally understand what exactly is happening with your body.