E. coli is a word that we often associate with stomach problems – pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea – and for the most part a mild case is exhibited by symptoms that hit rapidly and depart within a short period of time. What Canadian researchers have recently found, however, is that there could be long term effects that come back years after the food or water poisoning occurred. When it does come back, it’s in the form of high blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart disease.

This research began with a group of adults in an Ontario town who developed gastroenteritis (stomach flu) in May 2000 as a result of E. coli contamination in the municipal water system and followed the victims’ health statuses eight years after the outbreak. Of the study participants, those who had the most severe gastroenteritis were 1.3 times more likely to develop high blood pressure, 3.4 times more likely to develop kidney problems, and 2.1 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

While most of us feel like food poisoning is pretty far removed – like something you only get from Aunt Betty’s deviled eggs at a summer picnic or from the county fair – the truth is, it’s actually quite common. According to one source, E. coli causes and estimated 120,000 gastrointestinal illnesses, resulting in more than 2,000 hospitalizations, and 60 deaths in the U.S. every year. One of the leading causes? Drinking water.

Fortunately, you can add another layer of protection with an inexpensive home water treatment system like a reverse osmosis. To learn more about these water systems, visit our website or if you live in the Escondido, Solana Beach, San Diego, or the surrounding areas, give us a call.

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