ZocdocAnswersDid I actually have food poisoning?

Question

Did I actually have food poisoning?

Yesterday after I ate out at a restaurant with my friends I started sweating really bad and almost passed out. I didn't really have any stomach problems other than being a little nauseous. Was that food poisoning though? What should I do about it now?

Answer

Food poisoning occurs when food becomes contaminated with bacterial toxins that provoke symptoms after eating the contaminated food. Usually these symptoms start within hours of ingesting the food, and they typically include nausea, vomiting, and potentially diarrhea. It is possible that your symptoms represented a atypical, mild case of food poisoning, although the symptoms that you had do seem a little unusual. Another possibility would be that you had a "vagal" reaction from a large meal. This can sometimes occur when the stomach becomes very distended with food, leading to symptoms like dizziness and sweating, because of stimulated of the vagal nerve by stretch receptors in the stomach. Finally, there are several medical conditions which can lead to an exaggerated production of insulin after a meal, causing very low blood sugars, which can give these symptoms as well. These conditions are actually quite rare, but they are a possibility to consider, especially if the symptoms you experienced recur more than once. I would suggest that you make an appointment with your primary care doctor. They will be able to give you a thorough checkup and help you decide if further workup for this episode is needed at this time. Good luck!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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