Reel Doctor Talk

It's happening! It happened. . .  

by Smitha R. Chadaga MD


When my now husband and I got engaged we knew one thing – we wanted to keep things low key.  So I bought my wedding dress on line (thanks jcrew!) and we decided to have all our wedding festivities while on a cruise to Mexico. I wondered if I missed out on some fun wedding stuff but when I watched Bridesmaids I felt justified seeing that wedding dressing shopping is not all tulle and tiaras.  Things got personal real quick among Annie (Kristen Wiig), Lillian (Maya Rudolph, @MayaRudolph) and Helen (Rose Byrne) but how much artistic license did Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo (@anniemumolo) and Paul Feig (@paulfeig) take with the stomach bug angle?  Can you really get food poisoning that fast? Yes you definitely can.



Food poisoning is when a person gets sick from contaminated food.  The food can be contaminated from a toxin, chemical or biological agent (bacteria, virus, or parasite).  People who get food poisoning usually have vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.  The amount of time between ingesting the contaminated food and getting ill can help point to what caused the food poisoning.  In the movie Annie and the gang got sick within hours of eating at the Brazilian restaurant.  There are only a handful of things that can cause this situation including:



1.  Staphylococcal aureus poisoning – this is due to a toxin that is pre formed in food and present when eaten. 


2.  Bacillus cereus – causes an infection after eating poorly cooked rice.


3.  Clostridium perfringens – produces a spore in meat that has not been properly stored.



Food poisoning usually lasts only a day or two and many can take care of it at home with rest and hydrating.  While most people drink water, juice, or sports drinks to stay hydrated there are oral rehydration solutions (ORS) that can provide a more precise replacement of fluid lost. ORS tend to be used more in children.  Once the vomiting has stopped then bland food should be gradually re-introduced.  Care should be taken to avoid lactose, caffeine and alcohol initially.  And while most cases are self-limiting and can be cared for at home, see a doctor if you have any of the following with vomiting and diarrhea – fever, blood in the stool, persistent vomiting, persistent diarrhea, or signs of dehydration.


After taking all this into account I realize I would have been safe either way.  I'm a vegetarian so would have been eating a salad with Helen.