I think I've been food poisoned. Do I need to see a doctor, or should I let this pass on its own?
The first point I want to make is that Ask the Doc is a non-emergency weekday service, so the best way to get advice for more urgent medical concerns such as this is to call the consulting nurse 24 hours a day, by calling 650-3400 and following the instructions. It is a free service to WWU students.
Assuming you are experiencing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, it is best to stay with clear liquids only such as gatorade or 7 up until your symptoms pass and not progress to solid foods until then. No dairy for 3-5 days. Most symptoms resolve within 24-48 hours. If you are spiking a fever, have severe abdominal pain beyond cramping, have bloody diarrhea or bloody emesis, you need emergency evaluation at the ER.
Food poisoning (salmonella, staph, campylobacter, E.Coli) is a bacterial infection and does occasionally need antibiotic support (not for E. Coli as it can make it worse), but typically will clear on its own.