In this article, you’ll learn and discover the top tips to survive stomach flu or food poisoning.
“What’s the most humiliating thing? When you take someone to dinner, or you cook somebody dinner, and they get food poisoning. I mean, how bad do you feel?” -Wendi McLendon-Covey
Stomach flu or food poisoning, no matter how long either one lasts, is never fun. And, although both are not the same condition, they have similar symptoms and can be equally dangerous, especially for young children and the elderly. Also, the longer the symptoms persist, the higher the risk of dehydration. And, ultimately, both can result in the death of the person due to fever and dehydration. Therefore, it’s vital to treat the symptoms straight after the onset of the condition.
The fundamental differences between stomach flu and food poisoning
There is a fundamental difference between stomach flu and food poisoning which is vital to the treatment of the specific condition. Thus, before we look at the best ways to treat the symptoms of, and survive, stomach flu or food poisoning, let’s look at a brief definition of each condition to determine the differences.
According to MayoClinic.com, Viral gastroenteritis (or stomach flu) is “an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever.”
In other words, gastroenteritis is caused by a virus that is transferred from one person to another person. And, the person can be contagious for any length of time from two days up to two weeks.
Additionally, there are many ways a virus spreads; however, the most common method is through close contact with contagious people.
On the other hand, food poisoning, while displaying similar symptoms to stomach flu, is caused by eating contaminated food. Succinctly stated, there are three main originators of food poisoning. In other words, the food can be spoiled by one or more of the following three factors:
Food can be contaminated by viruses like the norovirus, rotavirus, and Hepatitis A virus. It is interesting to note that viral digestive infections can be caused by both food poisoning (the virus has attached itself to food) and through close contact with infectious people.
This is the most common food poisoning cause. Food can be contaminated by bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli.
Parasitic contamination is the least common cause of food poisoning. But it is just as dangerous. Also, parasites can live in the human digestive tract for years before activating itself as it were.
Surviving a digestive tract infection
As highlighted above, stomach flu and food poisoning have similar symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever. They also have identical origins and can be grouped under the single phrase “digestive tract infection.” Therefore, when discussing ways of recovering from stomach flu or food poisoning, both illnesses can be addressed together.
Therefore, here are several tips to help survive a digestive tract infection:
Dehydration is one of the primary challenges with a digestive tract infection. And, it can result in the death of the person, especially in young children and the elderly. Therefore, it is vital to drink enough fluid. Water with electrolytes mixed in and ginger ale are the best liquids to drink. It is also important to take frequent small sips of the liquid; otherwise, swallowing large volumes can cause nausea and vomiting to increase.
Practice hand sanitation and hygiene
Stomach flu viruses are commonly transmitted through close contact with other people. Therefore, it’s vital to wash your hands regularly and to wipe down all surfaces daily in the home to ensure that the virus does not have a chance to spread.
See a doctor
If the symptoms persist for longer than 24 hours or the vomiting and nausea is starting to cause severe dehydration, it is vital to see professional advice. Otherwise, there could be serious consequences caused by dehydration.
The age-old adage “prevention is better than cure” is extremely relevant in this context. Therefore, to prevent food poisoning, it is essential to ensure that food is kept under hygienic circumstances at all times. Additionally, it is vital to wash fruit and vegetables before eating them. And, avoid undercooking meat, especially chicken and pork. Finally, if the food looks and smells odd, it is better not to eat it.