Stomach Flu Vs Food Poisoning: Ways to Tell the Difference

It’s a common misconception that the stomach bug or stomach flu is the same as food poisoning, mainly because they both affect the digestive tract and cause abdominal pain and uncomfortable symptoms to those who get infected. In reality, these diseases are two very different entities altogether.

Pin-pointing exactly whether a person is sick due to the stomach bug or because of food poisoning can be quite challenging, especially if you are to base your diagnosis on symptoms alone. However, there are differences between stomach flu and food poisoning that help tell one from the other. These tell-tale signs, coupled with laboratory examinations, help doctors narrow-down their suspicions, allowing them to treat patients more accurately and effectively.

Here are the differences between stomach flu and food poisoning that will help you tell them apart.

1. Cause of Stomach Flu


Contrary to what people think, the stomach flu, also known as viral gastroenteritis, isn’t really the flu or the respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus which many of us are familiar with. It is, however, caused by different strains of viruses that attack the digestive system, the most common of which in the U.S. is norovirus.

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