Thursday, July 25, 2024

Do I Have Food Poisoning Or The Stomach Flu

Check If You Have Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning VS Stomach Flu. What Is It And How To Treat?

Symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • feeling sick
  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • feeling generally unwell such as feeling tired or having aches and chills

The symptoms usually start within a few days of eating the food that caused the infection.

Sometimes they start after a few hours or not for a few weeks.

Stomach Flu Vs Food Poisoning: How To Tell The Difference

Differentiating between food poisoning and a stomach flu can be tricky because both share almost identical symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

But you can tell which is which with these critical differences:

  • Food poisoning usually begins faster than the stomach flu since you may experience symptoms within hours. In contrast, a stomach bug takes longer to develop.
  • Food poisoning typically only lasts for a day or two, but the stomach flu can last longer up to ten days.
  • Food poisoning can often be traced back to contaminated food sources, but the stomach flu doesnt have to be linked to a specific food source.

What Are The Other Causes Of Diarrhea

Certain medications like antibiotics and anticancer medication can cause diarrhea as a side effect. Other causes include:

  • Lactose intolerance: Lactose is present in dairy products. Some people have difficulty digesting lactose and present with diarrhea after eating dairy products.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners in sugar-free products can cause diarrhea.
  • Surgery: Abdominal or gallbladder removal surgeries can alter bowel movements causing diarrhea.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: Chronic diarrhea occurs due to several medical conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome .

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Stomach Flu And Food Poisoning Defined

Stomach flu and stomach bug are informal terms for viral gastroenteritis, a sickness in which a viral infection causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines. The term stomach flu can be misleading, says UH internal medicine specialist Christopher Thomas, DO, because the illness in not caused by influenza, which attacks the respiratory system.

Though it shares a number of symptoms with viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning is a condition caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water. In fact, food poisoning is an umbrella term for any of the more than 250 foodborne/waterborne illnesses researchers have identified to date.

What To Do If You Get Sick

What To Do For A Stomach Virus

With the exception of E. coli, gastroenteritis typically resolves on its own, whether its food poisoning or stomach flu. Dehydration is the biggest cause for concern with gastroenteritis, because your body loses water through diarrhea and vomiting. For that reason, its important to stay hydrated.

The BRAT diet is very helpful to prevent dehydration, Taroyan says.

Its also wise to stay home from work and other activities if youre experiencing symptoms. However, if you notice blood in your stool, a high fever, dehydration or diarrhea that lasts longer than three days, make an exception and see your doctor.

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What Are Symptoms Of Food Poisoning

Symptoms of food poisoning include stomach issues, such as cramps and vomiting, a fever, nausea or diarrhea.

Dangerous food poisoning circumstances include over three days of drastic symptoms, such as diarrhea, a high fever of 102, dehydration or a damaging effect to sight or speech, all according to the CDC.

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What Can I Do To Prevent Food Poisoning

To prevent food poisoning, wash your hands often. Also prepare and store food safely.

Always wash your hands after:

  • Using the toilet
  • Touching animals

When preparing food be sure to:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water before and after touching raw meat, poultry, shellfish, fish, eggs, or produce.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables well before eating
  • Use plastic cutting boards for cutting raw fish, poultry, or meat. They are easier to keep clean.
  • All utensils and surfaces should be washed with warm soapy water before and after they are used to prepare food. One quart of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of bleach can be used to sanitize surfaces and utensils.
  • Cook poultry, beef, and eggs for the right amount of time before eating
  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from other foods
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure foods are cooked to an appropriate internal temperature.

When choosing food to eat be sure to:

  • Not have any food made from unpasteurized milk
  • Not have any food made from raw or undercooked eggs, poultry and meat

When storing food be sure to:

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Food Poisoning Vs Stomach Flu: Whats The Difference

Food poisoning definition

Simply put, food poisoning is an illness caused by consuming spoiled and contaminated foods, or foods contaminated with toxins, says Christine Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic. The source of this contamination can be hard to pinpoint, as theres a huge range of bacteria and virusessay, like E. coli, listeria, salmonella, norovirus, and many morethat can lead to food poisoning in different ways.

Foods can get contaminated at any point of processing , production , or during serving process , says Dr. Lee. Its more common to experience food poisoning after eating in places where meals were prepared for large groups of people, such as school cafeterias, social gatherings, and restaurants, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Stomach flu definition

Stomach flu, medically known as viral gastroenteritis, is a short-lived stomach disorder of an infectious cause attributed to a virusmost commonly noroviruses and rotavirus, says Dr. Lee.

When To Go To Urgent Care For Food Poisoning Vs Er

“Stomach Flu” or Food Poisoning – The Queen’s Medical Center – Ask a Specialist

Most of the time, itâs fine to pick urgent care if you want an opinion after coming down with food poisoning or a stomach bug. As long as youre not in potentially life-threatening danger, urgent care providers will be able to offer the medical opinion you need.

That said, if it does seem serious, a trip to the ER may be in order. So, how do you know if food poisoning or a stomach virus is bad enough to warrant a hospital visit? If youâre experiencing one of the symptoms below, seek medical emergency attention immediately:

  • Blood in stool or vomit
  • Green or yellow colored vomit
  • Fever above 101ðF

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How To Prevent These Conditions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States propose some preventive measures that can help avoid stomach viruses.

Included in the list is proper hand hygiene, especially after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, or before eating or preparing food. It is also important, for example, to rinse fruits and vegetables and to cook all foods well.

Another tip is to disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated, wash your clothes well because these viruses can spread easily from one person to another, and keep your distance from anyone infected with the virus.

In the case of poisoning, it is possible to prevent it by taking care that meats, salads, dressings and other foods are stored at the right temperature. It is also essential to wash your hands when the person handles raw meat and to make sure that this food is cooked well.

Specialists recommend avoiding the intake of raw meat and eggs or sauces made with uncooked eggs. During outdoor celebrations or parties it is recommended that foods that need refrigeration be kept on ice.

Normally, these conditions pass in a few days. In the case of stomach viruses, it is possible that some medication or vaccine should be applied while in food poisoning it is usually enough to get plenty of rest, stay isolated, maintain hygiene and drink enough fluids. In complex cases, antibiotics may be required.

How Long It Lasts

Most food poisoning takes about 3-6 hours to affect you, but it can take up to 24. Symptoms typically last 6-12 hours, and most people recover within a few days without seeking medical treatment. Food poisoning caused by certain bacteria like Campylobacter or Listeria can take even longer to develop or show symptoms.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning symptoms can look like the symptoms of stomach flu . Many people with mild cases of food poisoning think they have stomach flu.

The time it takes food poisoning symptoms to start can vary. Illness often starts in about 1 to 3 days. But symptoms can start any time from 30 minutes to 3 weeks after eating contaminated food. The length of time depends on the type of bacteria or virus causing the illness.

Each persons symptoms may vary. Symptoms can range from very mild to very serious. They can last from a few hours to several days. Symptoms may include:

  • Belly cramps
  • Fever
  • Belly bloating and gas

Food poisoning symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

What Is A Stomach Virus

Food Poisoning Vs Stomach Flu: Which One Do I Have?

The terms stomach flu and stomach virus are used interchangeably both in this article and in popular usage, however the official medical term for this condition is viral gastroenteritis. The Mayo Clinic defines gastroenteritis as an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever. As its name indicates, the stomach virus is caused by a virus that can be transmitted from person to person. It is usually not very serious and once a person is struck with the stomach flu, they can expect to recover fully within a few days. While the term flu is used, the stomach flu is not the same thing as influenza, or seasonal flu. That type of flu impacts the respiratory system and causes cold symptoms in the nose, throat, and lungs. Gastroenteritis , on the other hand, affects the stomach and/or intestines.

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Getting Over Stomach Viruses & Food Poisoning

The path to feeling better is roughly the same even if stomach viruses are significantly different than food poisoning. As with most illnesses, staying hydrated is key. Since stomach viruses and food poisoning tend to result in your body expelling fluids, youll want to replenish those fluids with water, electrolyte drink, or tea.

Remember to stay away from alcohol and coffee, as these drinks are dehydrating and will keep you passing very watery diarrhea.

When you have a stomach illness, your digestive system tends to be sensitive. That means youll want to eat foods that are bland and easy to digest, and maybe even limit yourself to consuming liquids until you feel that you can handle solid food. Even if you love spicy food, its best to put down that hot sauce as spicy foods can be hard on the stomach while digesting. When in doubt, and looking for tried & true home remedies, you can follow the BRAT diet:

B – Bananas

A – Apples

T – Toast

Other easy-to-digest foods include potatoes, vegetables, and plain yogurt .

When food poisoning is caused by bacteria, sometimes antibiotics are prescribed. Unlike viruses, bacteria can be fought with prescription medication, so be sure to seek medical attention, such as urgent care. If antibiotics are not needed, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest is usually your best bet to feeling better.

How Are Food Poisoning And Stomach Flu Diagnosed

Theres a lot of overlap between the symptoms of food poisoning and stomach flu, so youand your doctormay need to do a little detective work to try to suss this out.

Mostly, it comes down to the symptoms youre dealing with.

Here are a few things to consider:

The stomach flu typically shows up within one to three days after youve been exposed, and it usually only lasts a day or two, according to the Mayo Clinic. After that, you should start to feel like yourself again, Dr. Adalja says.

If youre dealing with symptoms for a shorter or longer time than a day or two, you may have food poisoning. While norovirus is a common cause of both food poisoning and the stomach flu, so many bacteria can potentially cause the food poisoning that it can have a wider time frame than the stomach flu. Symptoms of food poisoning can crop up just a few hours after contamination, or even days or weeks later, and they can typically last from a few hours to several days, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If you have diarrhea and can stomach looking into the toilet bowl, take a peek. Its like the poop version of reading tea leaves: If you see blood in your diarrhea, it could be a sign of food poisoning.

Bloody diarrhea is more likely to be a symptom of some types of food poisoning because some bacteria, like shigella, can cause inflammatory changes in the intestines and lead to bleeding, but viruses are less likely to do so, Dr. Adalja explains.

The Exorcist

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How To Tell If You Have Food Poisoning Vs Stomach Bug

If youre going over the things you ate in your head or wondering if you were around someone else sick, you may be wondering if you have the stomach flu or food poisoning. Neither is fun, and illness has an even bigger stigma post-pandemic. Did I eat something contaminated? Who was I around? Who have I seen since? Knowing what youre dealing with can help you decipher if you should stay away from others if you are contagious.

Determining the onset of your symptoms can help you figure out if you are suffering from the stomach flu or food poisoning. Food poisoning comes fast, whereas a stomach bug will slowly worsen for a few days to 12 hours. On the contrary, a stomach bug progresses gradually. You will know if you ate contaminated food if you are rushing to the toilet a few hours maximum after eating. However, if you ate food contaminated with a parasite, it could take your body weeks to show symptoms.

Causes Bacteria And Their Toxins Viruses Chemicals Vegetable Poisoning 3

Stomach Flu vs. Food Poisoning Medical Course

The 411 All You Need To Know About Food Poisoning – Bacteria That from i.pinimg.comTry Free Audible Plus

Trichinosis, also known as trichinellosis, is a parasitic disease caused by roundworms of the trichinella type. For example, wines including champagne contain sulphites, and bacon contains the preservatives nitrates and nitrites to prevent the growth of. During the initial infection, invasion of the intestines can result in diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. In reality, food additives have a long history of consumption and are used in many traditional foods. Remember to cook all the meat you eat thoroughly and at the correct temperature. This is caused by eating food contaminated with. Migration of larvae to muscle, which occurs about a week after being infected, can cause swelling of the face, inflammation of the whites of the eyes, fever, Food poisoning foods contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms usually do not look bad, taste bad, or smell bad.

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When Should You See A Doctor

If you experience the following issues while dealing with your illness, its time to see your doctor, especially if youre very young, very old, pregnant, have a compromised immune system, or have multiple medical issues, says Dr. Lee.

  • Struggling to keep up with fluid losses with obvious signs of dehydration
  • Blood in stool
  • High fever
  • Vomiting for more than 24 hours
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 3 days

Both food poisoning and stomach flu can result in complications, or even be fatal, if not treated properly. In severe cases, antibiotics may be necessary, says Dr. Lee. Your doctor can offer tests to determine the cause of your illness, often from a stool sample, to find the best treatment.

How Do You Get Food Poisoning Vs Stomach Flu

Viruses are the most frequent cause of food poisoning in the U.S. The next highest causes are bacteria. Other causes include chemicals, parasites, toxins, and bacteria.

Foods most commonly associated with food poisoning include:

  • Eggs

Symptoms of food poisoning sometimes depend on which organ system the poison effects for example, the neurological system may be altered by neurotoxins like pesticides and botulinum toxin.When a group of individuals experiences similar symptoms after eating or drinking similar foods, food poisoning may be suspected.

Stomach Flu Symptoms and Signs

By definition, gastroenteritis affects both the stomach and the intestines, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms and signs include:

  • Low grade fever, usually less than 100 F
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Mild-to-moderate diarrhea
  • Crampy painful abdominal bloating

More serious signs and symptoms of stomach flu

  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Vomiting more than 48 hours
  • Fever higher than 101 F
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Increasingly severe abdominal pain
  • Dehydration – weakness, lightheadedness, decreased urination, dry skin, dry mouth and lack of sweat and tears are characteristic symptoms of dehydration.

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Stomach Flu & Food Poisoning Symptoms

Both stomach flu and food poisoning can cause these symptoms:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

Stomach flu can also cause chills and body aches. In most cases, people get sick about 1-2 days after being infected. Since stomach bugs are contagious, its important to limit your contact with other people to avoid infecting them.

For many food poisoning cases, symptoms can start appearing a few hours to a few days after eating contaminated food. Foodborne illnesses arent passed from person to person.

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