One moment you are biting into a juicy hamburger and the next moment you are running to the bathroom. Food contaminated with bacteria can send you into a whirlwind of stomach cramping and diarrhea. E. coli is also found in milk, fresh produce and lingering about your favorite restaurants. To quickly address the problem, home remedies for E. coli poisoning can help you feel much better.
Table of Contents
- What is E. Coli?
- Causes and Symptoms
- E. Coli Home Remedies
What is E. Coli?
Escherichia coli (also known as E. coli) is bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most varieties are harmless or lead to a brief bout of diarrhea, while other strains are responsible for severe bodily reactions. E. Coli can contaminate nearly any food, including unpasteurized apple juice and lettuce . However, the bacteria are famously linked to deadly outbreaks of food poisoning associated with undercooked hamburgers. In most cases, the source of contamination is coming in contact with animal manure.
Causes and Symptoms
An E. coli infection occurs when you ingest a strain of the bacteria. This can occur with eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, or certain person-to-person contact. There are many strains of E. coli, but only a few are responsible for triggering the unpleasant wave of diarrhea associated with food poisoning.
• The most common way that people suffer E. coli poisoning is by consuming contaminated food, such as ground beef, unpasteurized milk, contaminated fresh produce, and restaurant meals where preparers and servers have not washed their hands.
• When human and animal feces pollute ground and surface water (such as streams, rivers and lakes), contamination can cause E. coli poisoning when someone drinks it. Even water from a contaminated source that irrigates crops can pass on the bacteria to the food. Some people have also been infected after swimming in pools or lakes that were contaminated with feces.
• Personal contact with infected people and animals is another common cause of E. coli poisoning. E. coli bacteria can easily travel from one person to the next, especially when infected adults and children don’t wash their hands like they should. Children have also become sick after visiting petting zoos and touring animal barns at county fairs.
The toxin produced by E. coli causes abdominal cramping and bloody diarrhea. One group of E. coli (which includes O157:H7) is linked to the production of a powerful toxin that can damage the lining of the small intestine, which can lead to bloody diarrhea. Other signs and symptoms include nausea and vomiting. Young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the bacteria, and in the worst cases – can die from severe anemia and kidney failure within a few days.
E. Coli Home Remedies
It’s hard to completely dodge a case of food poisoning, especially if you enjoy going out to eat. Instead of cursing your love of fast food hamburgers, get into self-care recovery mode with the following home remedies for E.coli poisoning:
Grate or cut raw papaya into small cubes to take advantage of this natural digestive aid. Boil the papaya in one to two glasses of water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the contents and drink the liquid about two times per day.
b) Soda without Bubbles:
Remove the bubbles of ginger ale or cola to turn it flat, which can soothe the stomach and give you an energy boost when fighting a bout of food poisoning. To turn a soda flat, pour a serving back and forth between two glasses.
Staying in bed will give your immune system energy to effectively fight the E. coli bacteria in your body. All of your energy will go towards getting you healed instead of helping you complete activities throughout the day.
d) Choose Bland Foods:
Bland foods will help your stomach ease back into your regular diet. Good choices include cereal, toast, pudding, soda crackers and clear broth. You should avoid eating foods commonly associated with stomach irritation, such as products with lots of fiber, spices (though grandma does have many home remedies using spices), acids, grease, sugar and dairy.
e) Cranberry Juice and Pepto:
While on an empty stomach, drink eight ounces of pure cranberry juice (with no additives) followed immediately by two tablespoons of pink bismuth (also known as Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate). Repeat this remedy three times a day for one week. Some users swear that the cranberry juice dislodges the E. coli from the stomach.
f) Balanced Temperature:
When you’re battling food poisoning, it’s suggested to set the room temperature to a number that is not excessively hot or cold, as this can trigger nausea.
You can stay hydrated between meals by sucking on Popsicles and frozen juice bars.
h) Herbal Teas:
Sipping on herbal tea can help ease symptoms of food poisoning. When choosing a brew, opt for mint, raspberry, chamomile and blackberry to enjoy the best results.
i) Sports Drinks:
Electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, are lost when you’re fighting a case of E. coli poisoning. The vomiting and diarrhea can have a draining effect on your body, but you can replenish lost fluids by sipping on sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade.
j) Warm Water:
When you sip warm water immediately after vomiting, you can soothe the stomach and ease any abdominal pain.
k) Ginger and Buttermilk:
Combine a small piece of ginger and buttermilk to create a paste that can ease symptoms of food poisoning that affect the stomach. This remedy is most effective when taken two to three times per day.
l) Ginger and Lemon Juice:
A combination of two to three tablespoons each of ginger extract and lemon juice can create a remedy to ease the discomfort of vomiting and nausea associated with E. coli poisoning. Add a pinch of black pepper to the mix, and take the blend about three to four times on a daily basis.
m) Fill Up on Liquids:
E.coli poisoning can leave you dehydrated, so drinking a lot of fluids can prevent dehydration. Water is preferred for the best results, but you can also opt for other liquids, such as a glass of apple juice.
n) Avoid Certain Foods:
When you are suffering from E. coli poisoning, you should avoid foods that can worsen your symptoms, such as dairy products, fatty foods, high-fiber food, and highly seasoned foods.
 Diseases [Fever to Hypothermia] Volume 4 by Grolier Education; pg. 9.