The symptoms of food poisoning onset often feel like the flu, and they arrive within a few hours, generally no more than 12 to 18 hours, after eating the contaminated food. They will often cause feelings of headache and fatigue, and just an overall feeling of being unwell. Bloating or indigestion are also some of the first ways to recognize the onset of food poisoning, followed by nausea. The food poisoning will then rapidly progress to the full symptoms, such as vomiting, and, or diarrhea, which may last a number of hours or even days. If dehydration is occurring, which is very common with food poisoning, it may be necessary to visit the emergency room for IV fluids and treatment.
Recognizing the symptoms of food poisoning onset is important to ensure you have sufficient time to get home before you get very sick. A fever is not common with food poisoning, which is one of the easiest ways to differentiate early symptoms from the flu, since they are very similar. The flu will often present with a fever. Tiredness and headache are common, and a full-body feeling of illness that may at first be difficult to identify the source of, is also a regular occurrence.
Generally, abdominal pain will also occur at the beginning of food poisoning. This may cause bloating or heartburn, though pains may also be concentrated and sharp. Over the counter medications designed to treat heartburn will generally not have an effect on this symptom either, which is another clue. It is very common to get nauseous at this point, and the feelings of headache and fatigue will likely continue to worsen as well. Some people still simply not notice these food poisoning onset symptoms, because it can be difficult to identify if you have never had food poisoning before.
Unfortunately, there is often little to be done once you have eaten bad food and are experiencing the symptoms of food poisoning onset. You will likely experience vomiting or diarrhea as the body attempts to expel the bacteria or other toxin from the system as soon as possible. In some cases it will only last for a few hours, while others will experience it for much longer. Dehydration is a risk that can be fatal, so it is important for anyone who can't keep clear liquids down, or who finds that their urine output is slowing, to go to the emergency room for treatment with anti-nausea medication and fluids.