Stomach Flu vs Food Poisoning

PDL-stomach-flu-vs-the-fluOften times when people have stomach pain, they either wonder if it’s a stomach bug or if it was something they ate. Sometimes people even use stomach flu and food poisoning interchangeably, as if they were the same thing. These two things are very different, which means a different course of treatment is required for them. The stomach flu/virus is a viral infection that attacks the digestive system, and is very contagious. Some symptoms of the stomach flu are nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, dizziness, fever and loss of appetite. The treatment is simply to get some rest, stay hydrated, avoid solid food for a few hours, and take OTC drugs until you start to feel better. The virus typically lasts 24-48 hours, and it is suggested you consult your doctor if you still don’t feel better after 2 days or if your symptoms worsen. Food poisoning is caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses on food you digested. The bacteria can create poisonous substances that inflame the intestine. Symptoms usually happen about 6 hours after consuming the food, or in some cases it could take several days. Most people usually experience vomiting, nausea, fever, diarrhea, and/or stomach pain. You will be able to tell if you have food poisoning if someone else who consumed a particular food is also sick, or if you’ve eaten unrefrigerated foods. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to days, but for the most part people start to feel relief in a day. If you believe you have food poisoning, it is very important to remain hydrated.