Many times it is hard to tell the difference between stomach flu and a food poisoning situation as the symptoms are often hard to tell apart. These are two completely different ailments though with completely different roots. Food poisoning is a result of eating contaminated foods. Some of the common food poisoning symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, mild fever, headaches, and nausea. Many times when people get food poisoning, they make the comment that they probably just caught the flu virus or a stomach virus or something along those lines because they show symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. lt often happens” the other way too where people get the flu and they think they have food poisoning.
What normally causes stomach flu is a viral infection of the digestive tract. Some of the common symptoms of the stomach flu are abdominal cramps, severe dehydration, vomiting, and nausea. In some cases, there can also be symptoms of watery or bloody diarrhea, low-grade fever, headaches, and muscle aches. There is need to avoid contact with the virus in order not to get the flu, which is often a lot easier said than done. The cause of food poisoning is normally a toxin that is produced by a bacteria that grows on the food from not being properly handled or stored. lt doesn’t take very long for bacteria to develop on food, especially things like meat, dairy products, and sauces, which are not kept at temperatures below 40°F. Keeping food like these in temperatures between 40 and 140°F is asking for sickness. There are some indicators that will help you to truly suspect whether it is food poisoning or not.
lf people who have shared the same food develop the same type of symptoms, or if you develop these symptoms after eating food that hasn’t been refrigerated, it is probably poisoning. The symptoms may develop in as little as 1 to 2 hours and as much past 48 hours after you consume the bad food. The results of the standard type of food poisoning are as follows: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea which can last for a period of around 12 to 48 hours.
One type of food poisoning that is rare but often times fatal is called botulism. Most of the times, this is caused by a bacteria that is formed when foods are improperly canned. The foods that most commonly develop this are foods that are low in acid content like beans and corn. This occurs when a bacteria that doesn’t get killed in the canning process develops and grows inside the jar which produces a toxin, so, when someone mistakenly eats the food, they become ill. Some of the symptoms that occur from this are the double vision or blurred vision, and often difficulty in breathing and swallowing. lf you have any of these symptoms after eating food that was processed in this manner, then you need to contact your medical facility immediately.
Gastroenteritis is an upset of the stomach. Gastroenteritis causes nausea and vomiting. You may also have diarrhea or a fever. lt is sometimes called “stomach flu” but it is not the flu. Germs like viruses and bacteria can cause it. You will probably begin to feel better in 1or 2days, but you might feel bad for a week. ln the meantime, get plenty of rest and make sure you do not become dehydrated. Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid. This can happen when you throw up a lot or have diarrhea.
The best thing you can do to keep from catching Gastroenteritis from someone else is to make a habit of washing your hands often. This is especially important after you use the bathroom after you change a baby’s diaper and before you eat or prepare food. Don’t share personal items like forks and spoons, toothbrushes, tongue cleaner, and towels. Try not to be around others who have stomach flu. Keep your hands away from nose, eyes, and mouth. Drink plenty of fluids. Choose water and other caffeine-free clear fluids until you feel better. lf you have kidney, heart or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk to your doctor before you increase how much fluid you drink. Drink fluids slowly, infrequent, small amounts. Drinking too fast can cause vomiting. Electrolytes should also be replaced, especially if vomiting or diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hrs. Electrolytes are minerals in your blood that keep many systems in your body working smoothly. lf you have a long period and diarrhea, you can lose minerals. Sports drinks, which contain a mix of salt, sugar, and minerals may replace electrolytes.
You need to do the following things to prevent being poisoned by food:
- Make sure that you keep all of your hot foods hot and your cold food cold.
- Be sure that you do not eat any meat, dressings, or salads, or any other food for that matter that has been left out for more than two hours between the temperatures of 40°F and 140°F. This is referred to as the 20-40-140 rule.
- Make sure that the temperature in your refrigerator stays between 34 and 40° F. You can be assured of this by using a thermometer.
- Don’t leave meat out on the counter to defrost, as it should be defrosted in either the refrigerator or in the microwave.
- Cleanliness is a virtue. Make sure that you keep all of your kitchen utensils clean, and wash your cutting boards and countertops very frequently. This is especially true after you have handled meat.
- Make sure that you cook your hamburger until it is cooked all the way through, and always cook your chicken until the juices inside of it run out clear.
- Never eat an egg that is raw or any sauces that have raw eggs in them.
- lf you have any cans or jars that have bulging lids or leaks in them, you need to throw them away.
Before you do any home canning or freezing you need to make sure that you understand how to do it properly.
NAUSEOUS VS. NAUSEATED
Nausea is an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach before we vomit. The causes that give rise to nausea are highly varied. However, if we feel constantly nauseated after consuming food, then it shows that something is going wrong in our body. ln fact, nausea is one of the common symptoms indicating the onset of many medical disorders that may not be diagnosed in the early stages if left unattended. You can call it the state which precedes vomiting. It is an unpleasant sensation that arises usually due to ones upset stomach conditions with an urge to vomit and most probably you already have experienced it several times. It is not a disease itself, but actually a symptom related to other disorders of our body.
Chronic nausea arises immediately after eating or sometimes, after a few hours. The causes of this disorder may be the following:
- The food content eaten is not digested by the body for some reason. Hence, they start reacting negatively.
- Food poisoning or allergic reactions can also lead to nausea.
- Starving for long hours before eating food, eating at an irregular time, pregnancy, viral gastroenteritis results in nausea.
- Gulping of food without chewing properly or eating fatty meals excessively or frequently leads to discomfort in the stomach.
In order to get over nausea, you need to identify what is the triggering factor. The other measures to overcome the problem are to avoid those possible conditions that aggravate the symptoms.
- ldentify foods that make you nauseous and avoid them.
- Include green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains that help you curb this disorder.
- Reduce spicy and fatty foods.
- Eat foods that are moderately hot or cold.
- Avoid exposure to perfumes, cooking smell, harmful fumes and smoke from various sources like automobiles, crackers, etc.
- Stress can make you feel worse if you have chronic nausea. Hence, enroll yourself in yoga or other forms of relaxation in order to relieve stress.
Being a symptom, nausea can be caused by a number of varying factors. The most common among them are:
- Digestion problem: if your digestion system does not work properly due to reasons like food poisoning, then the result will be definitely nausea.
- Motion sickness: The attack of nausea often can be seen with people traveling by car or bus prone to motion sickness – a state of disagreement between visually perceived movement and the vestibular sense.
- Pregnancy: When a woman gets pregnant, she often feels the urge to vomit, and it is common to almost 80% of women. Therefore, nausea can be caused by the early stages of pregnancy.
- Alcoholic beverage: Use of excessive alcoholic beverage can also make a person nauseated.
Likewise, nausea can also be felt due to overeating, mental stress, chemotherapy, vertigo or any such illness. our body is naturally trained to react to different circumstances differently and therefore, nausea is just a bodily reaction to force discharge of undesirable substances through vomiting. The urge of one to vomit is the most common symptom of nausea. Besides, feeling of dizziness; sweating and stomach pain, etc. are among other symptoms.
As mentioned earlier, nausea is not a disease, and you can treat it with various home remedies available. Useful home remedies are:
- Empty stomach: ln case of nausea, the best way to deal it is with an empty stomach. Avoid foods for sometimes if the cause is indigestion. Moreover, an empty stomach for nausea often results in vomiting and thus eliminates the whole sensation.
- Ginger: ln nausea, try to eat a small fresh piece of ginger with tea. This will help you find relief. lf you wish, you can add half a teaspoon of honey to the tea at the same time.
- Lemon: A cup of lemon juice with a little salt is also very effective in order to subside nausea. You can as well smell simply a fresh lemon or its leaves.
- Baking soda: Take half a teaspoon of baking soda in one cup of warm water and drink it slowly.
- Apple cider vinegar: This is another effective home remedy for nausea. Just take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and honey in a cup of water and drink at regular intervals.
- Rice water: You can also try drinking rice water (that you used to cast aside) whenever you feel being nauseous.
However, eating a proper healthy diet is essential along with any remedy. ln conditions like food poisoning, it is vital to avoid the poisonous eatables. Likewise, you can also use peppermint and other non-carbonated syrup as home remedies for nausea.
STOMACH FLU CONTAGIOUS
Usually, viral gastroenteritis is also known as the flu. lt is an infection of the intestine that is brought on by various viruses. lf you are wondering whether stomach flu is contagious, the right answer is yes. ln the US, stomach flu is quite common and it is known to cause diarrhea and vomiting. However, most people get better without suffering from any complications. But complications do arise when people do not replenish the fluids lost due to purging and vomiting. Stomach flu can be serious in infants, seniors and those with compromised immune systems. The use of colloidal silver can be beneficial as a remedy for a sore stomach.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE STOMACH FLU?
Depending on the type of virus that causes the stomach flu, the condition can be contagious. Some people can be contagious for three days after they recover, while others can be contagious for 2 weeks if they are infected with norovirus. An infant infected with rotavirus will be contagious for up to 2 days before the symptoms appear and then for another 10 days after the symptoms disappear.
The major symptoms of stomach flu are vomiting having watery diarrhea. ln addition, the person may also have fever, headaches, pain in the abdomen and chills. The symptoms will usually manifest themselves within four hours to forty-eight hours after being exposed to the virus and can last for one to two days. lf the infection is particularly severe, the symptoms will last up to ten days.
STOMACH FLU, WHAT TO EAT
When you have viral gastroenteritis, which is commonly known as a stomach virus orthe stomach flu, you have an illness in which a virus attacks your gastrointestinal tract. Since the two most prominent symptoms of gastroenteritis are vomiting and diarrhea, the first question to ask the doctor is what they should eat when they have stomach flu. Depending on the severity of your case, it may be hard to keep any food down at all, and there might not be much you can digest successfully. But some foods work better than others. Foods that are easy for your system to process have the best chance of staying with you. These include applesauce, bananas, eggs, gelatin, soda crackers, and toast. For the most part, make sure you stay away from foods that are acidic, spicy or greasy. Coarse grains, dairy products, and meats should be avoided too.