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What to Do When You’re Sick After Eating

Feeling sick after eating? These symptoms can be due to food poisoning, Norovirus (Winter vomiting bug), food intolerance, or other health conditions. If you ever experience any of the following, you probably just want the symptoms to go away so you can get on with life. With that said, below are some common reasons for that unsettling feeling in your stomach.

Food Poisoning

Poisoning can set in within an hour of eating a meal tainted with certain types of bacteria. In most typical cases, shortly after eating a meal, symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting set in. In most cases, the symptoms will resolve within 48 hours and there is no need to seek medical care. If you feel sick after eating at a restaurant, contact your local State Department of Health to report the possible public health threat.


Noroviruses are also contracted through food, and can cause severe stomach upset. The symptoms usually don’t appear until a day or two after consuming the tainted food. In addition to feeling sick to your stomach, they cause low-grade fever, chills, and muscle cramps. Symptoms of Norovirus usually resolve after three days.

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances are not the same thing as a food allergy. Dairy products, wheat, beans, and certain types vegetables are the most common offenders. The victim has some innate difficulty in digesting a particular food, which causes digestive distress to occur. Symptoms usually do not appear for 12 to 48 hours after ingestion, which can make it difficult for sufferers to identify the offending substance.

Home Remedies for Upset Stomach

Take a break from eating to let the digestive tract recover, and get plenty of rest. It is also important to stay hydrated, so take small sips of water throughout the day or suck on ice chips. Although you can buy a food poisoning remedy for diarrhea and vomiting at any drugstore, experts suggest not using them. It’s important for your body to flush the offending organism or substance away as quickly as possible. As the symptoms resolve, don’t rush back into eating. A healthy adult will not suffer any harm from avoiding food for several days. Instead, focus on staying hydrated. Drinking flat ginger ale (with real ginger in it) can soothe the stomach, and sports drinks can provide valuable electrolytes. When you resume eating, focus on bland, easy-to-digest foods such as broth, crackers, toast, and bananas, which are high in potassium.


If you feel sick shortly after eating a meal with symptoms that include salivation, mental confusion, blurred vision, muscle weakness, or difficulty swallowing, seek emergency treatment immediately. You may be a victim of mushroom or botulism toxin poisoning. If you have been suffering from severe vomiting and/or diarrhea for several days, also seek health care. You can become dangerously dehydrated.


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