Does Salmonella Make You Really Sick?

It’s not fair that food poisoning, and salmonella specifically, often appears after a fun dinner out with friends or after a home-cooked meal with your family! One minute you are enjoying a tasty meal and good company, and the next, you are doubled over in pain and looking for the nearest bathroom.

Salmonella infections are a type of food poisoning that is found in contaminated food or water. Once ingested, it can make you feel pretty miserable for a few days while your body battles the bacteria.

Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team explains more about salmonella infections and what to watch for below.

How Does Salmonella Get Into Food?

Salmonella bacteria often live in the intestinal tracts of animals, and we can contract this bacteria in a variety of ways. If you don’t cook your meat thoroughly or eat eggs that are not done all the way, this bacteria isn’t killed off and can make you sick. You can also get it from produce if you don’t wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.

Since it is often found in animals, you can come into contact with the bacteria by interacting with an animal and then not washing your hands. This is why those petting zoo stations always have a little washing-up area! Don’t skip that important step, and even try to get into the habit of washing your hands after petting your family dog.

Top 5 Signs of Salmonella

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Do I Need a Doctor to Overcome Salmonella?

While you will probably feel pretty sick for a few days, most salmonella infections aren’t serious and will resolve on their own after about a week. During this recovery time, take it easy! Your body is working hard, so let it do its thing and rest as much as you can.

One complication that can come with salmonella is severe dehydration. Diarrhea can easily cause dehydration if you are not replenishing your fluids, so try to sip on water continually throughout the week. If you ever start to experience signs of a more serious infection, come see us right away.

When to See a Doctor

  • Symptoms lasting more than a few days
  • Bloody stools
  • A high-grade fever of 102 degrees or higher that won’t go away
  • Severe dehydration

Stomach issues can be really frustrating. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah for a diagnosis.