Botulism Treatment in Hurst, TX
We’ve all eaten something that we didn’t agree with or gotten a nasty cut somewhere. These conditions usually resolve quickly. Yet botulism, caused by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, can change these inconveniences into serious problems. Botulism affects your nerves and muscles, causing symptoms like blurred vision and muscle weakness.
Botulism poisoning is a medical emergency. If you think you have botulism, don’t wait—call your doctor or seek medical treatment right away. To learn more about botulism treatment in Hurst, call (817) 203-2760 or contact Dr. Jessica Stangenwald online.
What Are the Symptoms of Botulism?
Botulism symptoms usually start with weakness of the muscles that control the eyes, face, mouth, and throat, which can then spread to the rest of the body and cause muscle paralysis. Botulism can also cause gastrointestinal distress. Common symptoms include:
- double or blurred vision
- drooping eyelids
- nausea and vomiting
- slurred speech
- a thick-feeling tongue
- difficulty swallowing
- dry mouth
- muscle weakness
Botulism also can weaken the muscles involved in breathing, eventually leading to death from respiratory failure. Even when botulism is treated, you may be fatigued and short of breath for years.
What Causes Botulism?
Botulism causes are found in the environment. The Clostridium botulinum responsible for botulism is found in soil, oceans, and lakes, and produces spores that act as a protective coating. Under the right circumstances, these spores can grow and produce the dangerous toxin.
The conditions in which the spores can grow and become toxic are:
- environments with little or no oxygen
- low acid, sugar, and salt presence
- certain temperatures (about 95°F)
What Are the Types of Botulism?
There are five main types of botulism, each with its own cause:
- foodborne botulism: occurs when you eat food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum that’simproperly canned, preserved, or fermented; sources include low-acid foods like corn, potatoes, asparagus, and green beans, tomatoes, nacho cheese, carrot juice, cured pork and ham, and raw or smoked fish
- wound botulism: spores enter a wound and produce toxin: often via illegal drug injection, after a traumatic injury, or during surgery
- infant botulism: spores can enter and produce toxin in an infant’s intestines making him or her lethargic and constipated, with a weak cry and poor appetite
- adult intestinal toxemia: a very rare form of botulism that occurs when spores enter an adult’s intestines; more common in patients with serious health conditions
- iatrogenic botulism: occurs when dangerous doses of Botox are injected for cosmetic or medical reasons, like wrinkle reduction or migraine headaches
How Is Botulism Diagnosed?
Diagnostic methods include:
- physical exam to look for symptoms of botulism
- cerebrospinal (spinal) fluid examination
- nerve conduction study (NCS)
- electromyography (EMG) to test muscle function
- blood, stool, or enema samples to analyze for the presence of toxins
- imaging scans to detect any internal damage to the head or brain
- tensilon test or edrophonium chloride test for myasthenia gravis, which presents similar symptoms to botulism
How Is Botulism Treated?
If you have botulism, you will be need to be hospitalized immediately. Ways to treat botulism include:
- antitoxin: protects your nerves from botulism toxin
- botulism immune globulin: used to treat infant botulism
- ventilator: a breathing machine that helps with respiratory problems; may be required for several months
- surgery: removes diseased tissue present in wound botulism
- antibiotics: prevents secondary infection in wound botulism
As with any medical treatment, results will vary from patient to patient, depending on age, genetics, environmental conditions, and other health factors.
Botulism prevention includes:
- proper wound treatment: look for signs of an infection (painful redness, swelling, pus)
- infant diet: never feed babies honey or corn syrup until they are at least 1 year old
- lifestyle: refraining from injecting illicit drugs, and making sure you follow your doctor’s instructions if you’re prescribed injectable medications
Specific prevention methods for foodborne botulism include:
- keeping your food clean and at a safe temperature
- separating raw and cooked food, and cook food thoroughly
- cleaning food with safe water
- discarding food containers that are leaking, bulging, damaged, discolored, moldy, foul smelling, or leaking liquid
- refrigerating homemade oils infused with garlic or herbs and throwing away any unused oils after a few days
- keeping baked potatoes hot (above 140°F) or refrigerated
- following safe home canning instructions recommended by the US Department of Agriculture
- properly washing, cleaning, and sterilizing canning equipment
- boiling home-processed foods for at least 10 minutes before eating
Reserve Your Appointment Now
Botulism is a medical emergency, but when treated promptly and properly, it usually doesn’t cause any long-term effects. If you think you’ve been exposed to botulism toxin, don’t hesitate—call your doctor or get emergency medical care right away.
The New You Medical & Infusion Clinic
Address100 Grapevine Hwy
Hurst, TX 76054
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm