Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To diagnose botulism, your doctor will check you for signs of muscle weakness or paralysis, such as drooping eyelids and a weak voice. Your doctor will also ask about the foods you've eaten in the past few days, and ask if you may have been exposed to the bacteria through a wound.

In cases of possible infant botulism, the doctor may ask if the child has eaten honey recently and has had constipation or sluggishness.

Analysis of blood, stool or vomit for evidence of the toxin may help confirm an infant or foodborne botulism diagnosis, but because these tests may take days, your doctor's clinical examination is the primary means of diagnosis.

Jul. 19, 2012