Stomach Flu or Food Poisoning?
Even though, upon reading the title above you might find yourself confused, this truly is a topic of importance. Namely, regardless of the fact that stomach flu and food poisoning are two absolutely different conditions, they both still have something in common. Interestingly, they share many symptoms, thus often making one unsure of what what is causing them. Additionally, both of these conditions affect one's digestive system, making the whole confusion even more complex. Therefore, one needs to get acquainted with the differences between the two illnesses in order to be able to know how to recognize the right one while ruling out the other.
Characteristics of Stomach Flu
This flu, which, actually, has nothing to do with the regular flu, takes place due to the bacteria and viruses inside one's digestive system. Its first indicator is diarrhea, after which the other symptoms start occurring. The diarrhea is caused by the bacteria or viruses interfering with normal functions of the digestive system. Sometimes, these microorganisms release poisonous substances while in one's stomach, causing pain, diarrhea and possible inflammations. Depending on the place of inflammation, one may be suffering from either gastritis or enteritis, due to the bacteria and virus activities.
Characteristics of Food Poisoning
Although, food poisoning takes place due to bacteria as well, the whole exposure system is different. Namely, we eat poisonous food, which contains microorganisms which are not good for our health. Upon getting into our digestive system, this food is degraded by some other types of microorganisms. These, through the degradation process, release the poisonous bacteria into our digestive system, causing us to feel abdominal pain, nausea and to vomit.
Having considered both the similarities and differences, we may conclude with revising some facts which additionally make stomach flu different from food poisoning. First of all, stomach flu, as mentioned above, is triggered by a bacterial or viral infection while food poisoning is caused by digesting toxic food. Furthermore, while the first spreads through water, physical contact or food, the latter takes place solely by consuming the toxic food. While most of the symptoms are the same, there is a difference in disease prevention. By taking care of proper hygiene and washing your hands often, as well as avoiding contact with infected people, you may be sure to avoid stomach flu. However, in order to avoid food poisoning, you need to be sure that the food you are eating is prepared right and that it is fresh.
All in all, as soon as you start feeling abdominal pain or experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is best to pay your doctor a visit instead of trying to find a reason behind the condition yourself.