Listeria is a type of bacterial food poisoning that may or may not require medical treatment. In most cases, the symptoms will go away on their own within a few days of infection, but more severe cases may require medical assistance. Some of the possible listeria treatment options include proper hydration, dietary changes, and the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications. Any persistent or severe symptoms should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation. Any specific questions or concerns about listeria treatment on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
In most cases, listeria treatment can take place at home and is designed to keep the patient hydrated and as comfortable as possible while waiting for the infection to run its course. This means consuming extra fluids to replace those lost through the vomiting and diarrhea that typically occur with this type of food poisoning. If severe dehydration occurs, the patient may need to be briefly hospitalized and given extra fluids through a small catheter inserted into a vein. The infected person should try to rest as much as possible during the illness in order to allow the body to fight the infection more efficiently.
As long as the nausea persists, it may be a good idea to avoid foods that may make this symptom worse. If the nausea is severe, the patient should probably stick to a clear liquid diet and consume only foods such as broth, gelatin, and popsicles. Clear soda, especially ginger ale, may be helpful as well. As the nausea begins to subside, bland foods such as plain toast, bananas, and rice can be added to the diet, gradually leading to the reintroduction of normal foods as tolerated by the patient.
Over-the-counter medications designed to treat individual symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea may be used as a form of listeria treatment, but it is important to note that these drugs will not shorten the length of the illness. If the non-prescription medications do not provide sufficient relief, stronger drugs may sometimes be prescribed by a doctor. Antibiotics may be used during listeria treatment, especially if the symptoms are severe or the patient is pregnant, really young or old, or if other illnesses exist that have caused the immune system to become compromised. These antibiotics are usually given as an oral preparation, although some patients may require intravenous antibiotics in a hospital setting.