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Botulism is rare. However, that doesn't mean it's impossible to contract, or that you may never encounter it. It's classified as one of the most serious illnesses. It is transmitted through food, contaminated soil and even an open wound. It may be a hard notice in some cases, and that's why it may be deadly. If not treated well, death, paralysis, and breathing malfunctions are all possible. The condition is caused by a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. It is a potent bacterium. Botulism is so rare is because the bacteria causing it can only survive in places without oxygen. Home canned foods, chemical facilities, and other places are excellent breeding grounds. There are three types of Botulism. These are an infant, foodborne and wound botulism. Wound botulism is the rarest, as symptoms begin appearing only after ten days in some cases. Infant and food botulism is noticeable after 12 to 36 hours. That's why the wound type is the most dangerous one.

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Loss of appetite

The sad thing is that 65% of all people affected by botulism are infants. It is so because they eat processed and canned foods. So they have the highest likelihood of facing the dangerous condition. If you see that your infant doesn't feel hungry. When your infant doesn't feel the need to feed, then it is a real alarm. This is because of Clostridium botulinum attacks through the digestive tract. It starts troubling the esophagus and intestines right away. It reduces the influx of hormones that signalize hunger. If you see your baby experiencing this, go to the local pediatrician right away.

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Constipation

Most symptoms on this list are of digestive nature. It is so because the bacteria enter your body through the mouth in most cases. When it comes to constipation, botulism doesn't give the sign of the slightest hint of stool. The bacteria attack your esophagus. It causes malfunctions in the digestive process. It means that food stops converting into waste and nutrients. If probiotics or laxatives don't help, your best bet would be to visit a doctor. This is one of the fastest symptoms to appear, so you're in luck.

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Tiredness

Both in infants and adults, tiredness is one of the most prevalent symptoms of botulism. The science is quite simple with this one. We need a constant influx of food to be able to it convert nutrients to provide energy for your body. If there aren't enough nutrients, your body will try to go into sleep mode and prevent any excess spending of energy. As botulism affects the digestive tract, it manifests itself by giving a low feeling. You should track your infant's state on a regular basis. Prolonged tiredness is a code red when it comes to health.

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Drooling

Drooling is a prevalent symptom with infants. The bacteria will spread through the digestive tract in both ways. When it reaches the mouth cavity, it will affect how saliva glands function. You will notice that the baby starts drooling more than normal. That's why it's important to know the habits of your baby and to notice changes. Sometimes the glands begin to exocrine too much fluid. It's the body sending an alarm about losing balance. You should go and consult your pediatrician if this drooling persists for more than 4 or 5 hours.

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Irritability

This is very prevalent in infant botulism but can affect adults too. When suffering from botulism, your body will spend every last ounce of energy. It fights the condition and prevents from spreading all over the organism. This way, it won't have any energy left to focus on the less important facets of your body and brain. If the baby is in a worse mood than usual, it's something to take a good look at, as it might mean that there is an imbalance. This goes for adults too; prolonged periods of bad moods or an inability to be positive can be a sign of botulism.

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No head control and floppy movements

Babies generally have undeveloped connections between their minds and muscles. That's why this symptom is extra hard to notice because it may not differ with regular movement in any way. You may notice your baby moving its head in weird ways and being incoherent. It may be a sign to go and visit a specialist. This is due to muscle weakness, as the body will shut down neural connections to limbs and muscles. It may a sign that the condition is advancing.

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Weak cry

When an infant doesn't cry as loud and as expressive as it should, it can state that something is wrong with the throat. Because botulism attacks the digestive tract, it's passing through the throat is imminent. That's why, if the disease advances enough, it can affect the vocal cords and the facial muscles. This all leads to less pronounced cries of the baby. Every pediatrician advises monitoring the habits of your child from a young age. So you can know if something changes all of a sudden.

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Blurred vision

Using your vision to register objects and shapes around you takes a certain amount of effort. That effort is a normal, possible thing is everything is okay with the body. If not, your organism won't spare energy. It will focus on watching something that will cause blurriness. It will worsen over time, too. Your first move should be to go to an ophthalmologist. Next, check if it's structural damage to the eye or something more serious. If it turns out it's not a matter of your eyes, he or she will direct you to get tested for botulism and other conditions.

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Nausea, vomiting, cramps

When you contract foodborne botulism, your digestive tract is at the mercy of this disease. The first thing that might appear is slight nausea, which is the sign that disruptions in that region are only beginning. Next, your body won't accept food so lightly and will instinctively urge you to throw it up. Cramps are usually a sign that the bacteria are advancing through the abdominal region and that the body is losing the fight. This is one of the more advanced symptoms.

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Paralysis

This is one of the final stages of the condition and can even be permanent. If botulism isn't treated right, your neural connections between the brain and the muscles will be weakened and damaged beyond repair. Doctors will usually try multiple incisions and tests to determine whether there is a way to revert your body to normal. Hopefully, the condition will never reach such an advanced stage, and you will be nursed back to health. Paralysis will usually be gradual and will advance at a semi-steady pace. Keep an eye out for possible signs.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.