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Food poisoning or stomach flu. Which one is worse?

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Some people are often confused between whether they have stomach flu or food poisoning because the signs and symptoms of both the infections are almost similar with only few differences. But the real question is which one is worse.

Only the difference between these two infections will help you judge which one you have and which is worse.

Difference between food poisoning and stomach flu?

Food poisoning symptoms is when you eat contaminated food or food which has some toxins or chemicals produced in them. Poisoning can not only be caused by food but water as well. This infection attacks the stomach but in severe cases the poison may spread to other organs.

Stomach flu, on the other hand, is a communicable virus. It is also known as stomach bug. If your friend has stomach flu it can be transferred to you by a simple handshake. Stomach flu attacks the intestines and other organs.

How can you differ between the symptoms?

Both the infections have almost similar symptoms that is why you become confused as to which one you have.

The common symptoms of food poisoning and stomach flu are:

  1. Both will cause abdominal cramps which will get severe as the infection increases.
  2. Diarrhea and vomiting is common. In severe cases, you may experience blood.
  3. Both food poisoning and stomach flu will cause bloating. Which is actually swelling due to the infection.
  4. In the initial stages, nausea will be experienced by the patient.
  5. High fever is common in severe cases.

In stomach flu the abdominal cramps are actually muscle aches. You might also experience headache. The symptoms of stomach flu might not be evident in one or two days.

The symptoms of food poisoning are evident within 48 hours of consuming the contaminated food. The patient may not experience muscle aches.

What is the treatment of both these infections?

The treatment of both food poisoning and stomach flu is almost similar. The doctor will ask for urine and stool sample in both cases. Patient will experience dehydration which is due to diarrhea and vomiting. The doctor will suggest a mixture of electrolytic solution and water to keep the dehydration at bay but if the doctor notices extreme dehydration he will definitely suggest a drip.

Rest and excessive intake of fluids is necessary in both the cases. The patient will experience exhaustion due to the pain in both stomach flu and food poisoning. The physician will prescribe antibiotics and painkillers.

The only difference in both the infections is that food poisoning can be cured by medicines and by maintaining the electrolytes in the body but stomach flu will take its time. Painkillers will only help to relieve the pain and water will help to eliminate the dehydration from the body.

By the above symptoms, you will be able to know which one you have and how to treat it. But stomach flu seems to be the worse infection as it is longer and will complete its course.