Food Poisoning & Joint Aches

Initial symptoms of most food poisoning substances include gastrointestinal reactions, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Onset of symptoms varies with the source, but most often begin within a few hours to up to a couple of days. Some types of food poisoning, if left untreated, can cause more severe symptoms such as kidney failure, difficulty swallowing, a slow heart rate and joint pain.

A man is holding his shoulder in pain. (Image: yongtick/iStock/Getty Images)

Salmonella

Salmonella is one of the most familiar types of food poisoning. Salmonella bacteria reside in the intestines of animals and humans and are eliminated through feces. The most common method of human consumption is through contact with contaminated feces during food preparation, such as failure to wash your hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom, or eating contaminated foods, such as eggs and meat that are undercooked. A possible complication of salmonella poisoning is reactive arthritis, with symptoms such as joint pain and swelling.

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasma gondii, a single-celled parasite, is found primarily in the feces of infected cats. Toxoplasmosis occurs when you ingest water or food contaminated by an infected cat's feces. The parasite takes up to five days to become infective, but it can remain infective for years. An infected mother can pass toxoplasmosis to her fetus. Symptoms of toxoplasmosis include fatigue, skin rash, pneumonia, central nervous problems, and muscle and joint pain. While toxoplasmosis does not typically cause gastrointestinal distress, prevention includes washing your hands after contact with raw meat and cooking meat thoroughly. Raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, unwashed and unpeeled fruits and vegetables are possible sources of toxoplasmosis, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Campylobacter Jejuni

Campylobacter jejuni is a food borne pathogenic microorganism found in cattle, birds, chickens, flies and sometimes in non-chlorinated water, states the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Raw chicken is a major carrier of the bacteria. Symptoms of an infection from Campylobacter jejuni include nausea, abdominal pain, headache, fever and muscle pain. Possible complications of Campylobacter jejuni include reactive arthritis with joint pain. The bacteria is easily destroyed by properly cooking your chicken. Also, drink pasteurized milk and chlorinated drinking water.

Brucella

Brucellosis, a bacterial infection caused by Brucella, is found in unpasteurized, contaminated milk from cows, goats, camels or sheep. Symptoms of brucellosis include flu-like symptoms, long-lasting fatigue and joint pain, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To reduce your chances of food poisoning from brucellosis, avoid unpasteurized dairy products. Although it is rare, once infected, brucellosis can be spread through breast feeding and sexual activity.

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