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Food Poisoning or Flu? How to Tell The Difference & What To Do About It

Food sickness has many of the same symptoms as the flu. Both are bothersome, giving you an upside-down, lurching stomach that demands frequent breaks to the restroom.
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Oh, no! That topsy-turvey, over-the-top, sudden queasiness has hit, leaving you down and out for the day. Did your last meal throw you for a loop? Or, did you somehow catch a dreaded seasonal bug? It can be unbelievably frustrating trying to know the difference between food poisoning and flu.

One thing’s for sure, no matter what you've got, neither is pleasant. The afflictions can knock you completely off your game at a moment's notice. To ease your discomfort and find faster relief, understand the difference between the two and how to soothe your aching belly.

Food Poisoning vs. Stomach Flu: What's the Difference?

The stomach bug — sometimes called the stomach flu — typically occurs from exposure to a virus. The sneaky intruders enter your digestive tract, wreaking havoc on your insides. The following are likely causes for the illness1:

  • Contact with a contaminated surface
  • Exposure to another sick person
  • Sharing food or drink with others
  • Touching your face
  • Placing your fingers in your mouth

On the other hand, food-borne illness occurs when parasites or bacteria like salmonella, E.coli and staphylococcus aureus enter your gastrointestinal (GI) system.2 The following are entry points for infection:

  • Failing to wash hands before cooking
  • Eating uncooked food items such as eggs or seafood
  • Consuming food that sits out too long in the heat
  • Enjoying vegetables that needed additional cleaning

Similar Symptoms

Food sickness has many of the same symptoms as the flu. Both are bothersome, giving you an upside-down, lurching stomach that demands frequent breaks to the restroom.3 They both can also lead to fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

Differences in Symptoms 

You deserve to feel better ASAP. It’s important to take in the few subtle differences to alleviate the stomach culprit.

Food Poisoning Symptoms 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, aka the CDC,4 patients suffering from food poisoning experience a quick onset of symptoms and may range from severe to mild.5 It's harsh, gross, and targeted, and usually fairly quickly (within the one to two hours) after eating. If you ate something questionable or different, it could be the cause. Furthermore, food impact tends to stick to the tummy zone, leaving the rest of you alone.

Stomach Flu Symptoms

Consider your recent exposure and activities. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the stomach flu tends to impact you a few days after exposure. Were you recently around someone else who ended up sick or complained about feeling “off?” 

The Cleveland Clinic notes the awful stomach bug may include more than an upset belly and a change in bathroom habits.6 Your nose starts to drip, your throat often aches, and a subtle cough develops. Furthermore, you might experience chills or body aches. These are tell-tale signs you've caught a nasty virus.

At-Home Treatments

When the sniffles set in, you know what to do. Head to your medicine cabinet for your homeopathic cold and flu relief.7 It's sure to relieve that aggravating post-nasal drip. With food upset or a stomach bug, try a different route. Grab yourself a blanket, the remote, and a comfy spot because it's time for a bit of personal care and rest.

Hydration is Key 

Okay, water intake is essential here. Your body is pushing out fluids at an epic pace, depleting you of critical minerals and vitamins. Your system needs all of the hydration to replenish energy and fight off that infection!

Fill up a big glass of water. Don't guzzle it down. Your sensitive tummy requires baby steps. Instead, sip away slowly throughout the day, alternating water and hydration drinks.8 You may try clear broths and tea as well. Just be careful of your sugar intake, avoiding too many juices and sodas. Too much of that sweetness can irritate your digestive lining.

We believe it's good to say goodbye to the bad stuff as quickly as possible. Detoxify's herbal cleanses work wonders. These include vital supplements plus impact you faster, working within the bloodstream. Less gunk is better all around.

Rest, Rest & More Rest

Take the day off from the typical craziness of life. You do a lot. But your body needs time to heal, and pushing yourself through it could prolong your upset stomach and weaken your immune response. Use this time to take a much-needed nap. Pick out a show you've had on your potential binge-watching list. Sit back, and get some "you" time.

Relieve Your Stomach With Polisorb 

Can you get immediate relief? Polisorb battles your queasiness and cramps effectively, giving you a leg up in recovery. Crafted with silicon dioxide, Polisorb enters your digestive system. As it moves throughout your digestive tract, it works with your body's natural cleansing process, connecting to toxins such as bacteria and viral particles. It draws out the bad stuff, helping to reduce the toxins causing your symptoms. 

Because you're not interested in something complicated, Polisorb is designed for easy use. Simply take off the lid within minutes of your first signs of concern. Grab about half a cup of water and add in two tablespoons. Stir, and enjoy. Repeat to soothe your aches, enjoying it up to five times the first day and three the days that follow. Children may use it too! Follow the directions to reduce the water and dosage.

 

Fast Relief from Upset Stomach & Loose Bowels Shop Polisorb

Easy-To-Digest Foods

Think bland and basic. You don't want to rock the boat. Bread, crackers, and potatoes become your best friend here. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these complex carbs deliver plenty of nutrients while remaining kind to your belly. 9 Once you start to tolerate more, continue to add in selections that remain tummy-friendly such as jello, plain rice, bananas and lightly seasoned chicken.10

The stomach flu and food poisoning symptoms come on suddenly and wipe you out quickly. When you're in the thick of it, exhausted and down, remember there is hope. Take a deep breath. You will get better if you care for yourself properly and slow down! Take it easy, stay hydrated and rest up. Allow your body time to do its job, eliminating the intruders. Home care remains vital during this time, giving your system a chance to recoup.


Resources:

1 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/viral-gastroenteritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378847

2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20356230

3 https://www.uhhospitals.org/Healthy-at-UH/articles/2021/04/is-it-stomach-bug-stomach-flu-or-food-poisoning

4 https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/symptoms.html

5 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/food-poisoning

6 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12418-gastroenteritis

7  https://discoverbrilliahealth.com

8 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/viral-gastroenteritis/treatment

9 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/eat-drink-avoid-stomach-flu/

10 https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/best-foods-to-eat-when-you-have-a-stomach-bug