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Stomach Virus Symptoms: Food Poisoning or Stomach Bug

Updated on July 17, 2014
Contaminated Meat & Food Poisoning
Contaminated Meat & Food Poisoning | Source

Most people find it quite difficult to distinguish between whether or not they have food poisoning or a stomach bug. The two conditions have very similar stomach virus symptoms and can both be very serious health concerns if not handled with proper care. This hub will briefly outline the differences between food poisoning and a stomach bug -- while also highlighting some things you can do to alleviate the problems in your belly.

Food Poisoning Stomach Virus Symptoms

Food poisoning occurs when someone has eaten contaminated food caused by bacteria. You will definitely know when it hits you because you will feel like a bag of cow dung. Generally, two to three hours after consuming the contaminated food, you will start to feel sick to your stomach. You will also likely start to feel nauseous, have headaches, feel the urge to vomit and quite possibly get the squirts. Diarrhea is common with most food poisoning cases. Food poisoning is just as taxing on your system as a stomach bug.

Flu Bug Stomach Virus Symptoms

A stomach bug has very similar symptoms as food poisoning and can drain you off all your energy in the same way. The technical term for the stomach bug is “gastroenteritis” and it is caused by viruses that infect your intestinal tract. Just like food poisoning, you will generally feel like you have a fever or even dizzy because of all the fluids lost in your body from the diarrhea. Gastroenteritis is usually not as serious as food poisoning since food poisoning can sometimes stay in your system longer and you need to take more precautions with it. Regardless of what condition you have, it’s important to consult with your doctor.

Conclusion: Is it food poisoning or a stomach bug?

Well, since the two conditions show such similar stomach virus symptoms, the only real way to tell which one you’ve contracted is by checking with people who ate the same meal as you on the day you started feeling sick. If you ate alone, you may never really know. However, if the person you ate a meal with is also feeling sick, then the chances are both of you have food poisoning.

You can also get your stool tested for contamination, but your doctor probably won’t advise for the test unless you specifically request it or if your condition is very serious.

Food Poisoning or Stomach Bug Treatment

The best remedy for both conditions is to get plenty of rest and keep your body hydrated. Your main concern is to make sure that you maintain proper fluid levels in your body. Drink plenty of water, tea and soup. Remember to eat healthy food and definitely stay away from food that you think may have made you sick in the first place. Take a few sick days off work and give your body time to recover properly. Again, whether you think it’s food poisoning or a stomach bug, take necessary precautions and always consult your physician to diagnose your stomach virus symptoms for proper treatment.

Video: How to treat food poisoning

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting info since I did not know the difference. You have a very relaxed way of writing; in other words a good voice that will only improve with time. Welcome to HubPages and best of luck to you.