Difference between Food Poisoning and Stomach Flu – You feel a contraction in your stomach and then another. He will soon be stuck in the bathroom with diarrhea and vomiting that seem to last forever. Obviously, there is something wrong, but how do you know if the symptoms are caused by a viral infection or an underdone lunch meat? The symptoms of the two are similar and with enough observation, you may be able to define exactly what is happening in your stomach.
Difference between Food Poisoning and Stomach Flu
The pain commonly known as stomach flu or stomach virus is actually viral gastroenteritis, which is contracted after contact with viruses such as adenovirus, astrovirus, norovirus, and rotavirus. Intestinal infection is usually not serious and healthy people tend to recover between one and ten days.
Symptoms of stomach viruses
Symptoms of stomach virus do not appear immediately after ingestion of a particular food and can take several days to develop after exposure to the virus. It is characterized by several symptoms, some of the most common are bloody diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and low fever.
Should You Seek A Doctor?
There is not much to do about viral gastroenteritis, so the best thing is to let it go by itself. However, if there is a high fever, blood in the stool, vomiting, or if the symptoms suddenly worsen, it is time to see a doctor. It can be worse than a simple case of stomach flu. Consult your doctor also if you have diarrhea for more than 24 hours or begin to experience symptoms of dehydration.
Food poisoning occurs with the ingestion of something contaminated with infectious organisms. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites are the most common. Types of food poisoning with lesser lethal potential depend on the type of contamination and the health of the person in general.
Symptoms of food poisoning
The symptoms of food poisoning are similar to those of viral gastroenteritis and can be often confused. Food poisoning also involves nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, low fever, abdominal pain, cramps, weakness and tremors and, in some cases, fainting.
Should I see a doctor?
Like viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning does not always require a visit to the doctor. However, if you suspect it is the cause of your symptoms, prevention is better than cure. If they persist for a few days, they get worse, if the fever suddenly goes above 40 degrees, if you notice signs of blood in the stool or vomit or develop signs of dehydration, consult a doctor.
How to know the difference
It is extremely difficult to identify with certainty whether it is a stomach virus or food poisoning without professional help. If the symptoms do not improve within a few days and you are worried, consult your doctor and he or she will be able to perform tests to check the cause.
He will request a report of your symptoms, when they started and their severity. If for example, you remember what you ate shortly before you became ill, this information may help your doctor determine the reasons for your malaise. If further testing is required, it may be necessary to remove a blood sample for identification of certain viruses or a stool sample for the presence of parasites.
Some causes of food poisoning are not identified, so do not be surprised if the doctor sends you back home with instructions to rest and drink plenty of fluids until symptoms subside.