Salmonella infection is a contagious bacterial disease and salmonella treatment can consist of home remedies and prescription medications. Salmonella bacteria affects the intestinal tract, and humans usually come into contact with the bacteria through contaminated water and food sources like poultry, meat, and eggs.
People with salmonella infection typically develop diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and fever within three days of exposure. Symptoms can occur within twelve hours. Healthy people usually recover without any medical treatment. However, life-threatening complications can occur if the bacteria spreads beyond your intestines. If your illness lasts for more than a few days and causes dehydration, fever, or bloody stools, it’s time to see the doctor. Here are the most common methods of salmonella treatment.
Items Needed For Salmonella Treatment
- Liquids, such as water and sports drinks
- Normal diet (recommended)
- BRAT diet (if needed)
- Antidiarrheal medication (if needed)
- Antibiotic medication (if needed)
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Intravenous fluids (if needed)
Typical Salmonella Treatment
- Rehydration. Dehydration caused by diarrhea is the most frequent complication of salmonella infection. To prevent dehydration, take frequent sips of water or a rehydration drink. Sports drinks are also acceptable, but stay away from soda and fruit juices. They have too much sugar and cannot replace the electrolytes that are lost through diarrhea.
- A Normal Diet. To recover from salmonella infection, your doctor will probably recommend a normal diet. Your normal diet should give you enough nutrition and help you feel better quickly. Avoid coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods–as well as foods rich in fat or high in sugar–until all your salmonella symptoms have disappeared.
- A BRAT Diet. Changing your diet can help reduce some of the symptoms associated with diarrhea. Your doctor may suggest that you avoid milk products and follow a BRAT diet. BRAT is an acronym that stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These binding foods can ease diarrhea and make stool firmer.
- Antidiarrheals. Certain antidiarrheal medications, such as lopeamide, can help relieve the cramping produced by salmonella infections. However, these medications usually prolong the diarrhea associated with the infection. If you take diuretics, stop using them until your diarrhea has cleared.
- Antibiotics. Salmonella infections are not always confined to your intestinal tract. Sometimes salmonella bacteria will enter the bloodstream. If your doctor suspects this has happened, he or she will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
- Pain Relievers. If fever and aches are associated with your diarrhea, your doctor may recommend or prescribe pain relievers. These include common pain killers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
- Intravenous Fluids. Some people with diarrhea cannot drink anything due to nausea. This can cause severe dehydration, which requires medical attention, a hospital stay, and intravenous fluids. This occurs more frequently in children than adults.
Since salmonella infections are contagious, prevention is important–especially when preparing food, or when caring for infants, older adults, or people with compromised immune systems. Wash your hands often, store and prepare raw meat away from other foods, and avoid eating products made with raw eggs.