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Stomach Pains for Three Days After Eating Shrimp

Stomach pains that last for three days after eating shrimp are probably caused by food poisoning 12. Shellfish can carry infectious organisms that can cause temporary digestive complications. The most common bacteria found in shrimp that causes food poisoning is V. cholerae 12. If you suspect that you have food poisoning, call your doctor for further evaluation 12.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Shrimp and Food Poisoning

Shrimp that are infected with bacteria, parasites, toxins or viruses will cause food poisoning 12. Your digestive system becomes inflamed for one to 10 days, leading to digestive symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • stomach pain
  • cramping
  • bloating
  • gas
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • a low-grade fever

Most initial symptoms develop within the first four hours after you’ve ingested shrimp, but can develop up to 36 hours after consumption.

Cause

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Shrimp that is contaminated with infectious bacteria may not have been cleaned properly, may have become infected by cross-contamination or may have been left out at room temperature for too long. During the food-handling process, dirty hands, dirty utensils or contaminated surfaces can contaminate shrimp.

Treatment

Food poisoning is treated with increased fluids, diet modification and rest 12. If your doctor confirms that you have food poisoning, start drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea 12. You may need to eat a bland diet that promotes bulk-forming stools, such as:

  • white rice
  • white toast
  • plain yogurt
  • bananas
  • apples

If your symptoms improve, you can add other bland foods, such as

  • crackers
  • boiled potatoes
  • cooked carrots
  • skinless chicken
  • fish

Talk with your doctor about what you should eat.

Risks

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You are at greater risk of getting food poisoning if you eat shrimp that is raw or that is kept on a buffet line 12. Food poisoning typically resolves itself on its own 12. People who are greater risk of food poisoning or a severe reaction to food poisoning are the elderly; infants; people who have a pre-existing medical condition; people taking antibiotics, antihistamines or steroids; people with a compromised immune system and pregnant women 123. Such patients should call their doctors immediately if they suspect food poisoning 12.

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