By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Know the basics

What is botulism?

Botulism is a disease caused by the toxin called Clostridium botulinum. Clostridium botulinum produces seven types of toxins (by the scientists named from A to G). However only the toxin A, B, E, and F have the ability to cause disease in humans.

There are three forms of botulism include food poisoning, wound botulism and botulism in infant.

How common is botulism?

Everyone of all ages is likely to suffer from botulism. Botulism is not transmitted from person to person. You can limit your ability to disease by reducing the risk factors. Please consult your doctor for more information.

Know the symptoms

What are some signs and symptoms of botulism?

Most botulism symptoms begin to appear from 12 to 36 hours after eating. About 5 to 10% of botulism is fatal . The first symptoms of the disease include:

  • Ptosis;
  • Blurry vision;
  • Double vision;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Stutter;
  • Difficulty swallowing;
  • Muscle weakness.

When should I see my doctor?

Please consult a doctor immediately if you have symptoms of botulism. Because if the disease is not diagnosed and treated in time, you can be paralyzed in the arms, legs, or total paralysis and respiratory muscles. Maybe you will have to use a ventilator to assist breathing.

Know the causes

What causes botulism?

You will get botulism if the ingested foods contain toxins. A common cause is because the food is not properly maintained.

In addition, the disease can occur due to bacteria entering from a small wound that you do not notice. Bacteria will then develop and produce a toxin. This is the case mostly occurs in people who had used drugs.

Besides, babies can be poisoned by eating spores in soil when playing outdoor,  the spores may grow in the intestines and produce toxins.

Know the risk factors

What increases your risk for botulism?

The following factors will increase the risk of botulism:

  • Poor food hygiene;
  • Newborns;
  • The wound is not pasteurized.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.

How is botulism diagnosed?

Botulism have similar symptoms other poisoning conditions, so the diagnosis is often difficult and may be confused. You will need to perform a few tests in the specialized laboratories before going to conclusion. It may take 4 days to get results.

How is botulism treated?

There are different treatments for botulism. Usually, your doctor will check the signs and symptoms, give you pills antitoxins to slow the paralysis and make symptoms less severe.

Lifestyle Changes & Home Remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies to help manage botulism?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with botulism:

  • The majority of cases relevant to canned food, especially vegetables. Therefore, be careful in the processing and preservation of food.
  • Boil food for at least 10 minutes, because toxins are destroyed at high temperatures.
  • Be careful when feeding infants with honey. Many cases have occurred by children ingesting contaminated honey.
  • Keep wounds clean, proper wound care and do not use addictive drugs to help reduce the risk of botulism related to the wound.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 17, 2016 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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