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

There’s nothing worse than feeling nauseated to the point where you have to stay near a bathroom. What is the source of this upset stomach? It could be a virus, but it could also be bacteria or parasites from ill-prepared or rotten food.

These can both cause similar symptoms, but there are some key differences how your body responds to a stomach bug (which is actually inflammation called gastroenteritis) versus food poisoning. Knowing which one is causing your tummy woes can also help you get the right treatment, so let’s take a look at 12 things to know about both…

1. Signs of Stomach Flu

Generally, stomach flu comes on rather slowly compared to food poisoning symptoms, and it reaches less high peaks as far as illness is concerned. However, that doesn’t mean gastroenteritis – described by Healthline.com as inflammation of the stomach and intestines – isn’t unpleasant.

The source notes symptoms of a stomach bug include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, joint stiffness, and even weight loss.

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