By Reecha Kulkarni/Sept. 9, 2021 2:15 pm EDT
If you’ve heard that all hot girls have stomach problems, you’re probably hot, have Pepto Bismol, and are on the right side of the TikTok algorithm. The #stomachprobs is trending on TikTok, with 4 million views on videos that reclaim issues like IBS, endometriosis and Crohn’s disease. Considering the increased diagnosis of gastrointestinal issues among Gen-Z and Millennials, according to a study done by Blue Cross Blue Shield, this trend is a relatable one.
There are so many kinds of stomach issues and that means symptoms can overlap, making it hard to go with your gut. Stomach bugs and food poisoning are especially common issues; 48 million Americans experience food poisoning in a year while there are 21 million cases from just one of the viruses (norovirus) that cause stomach bugs (via Healthline). Both have similar symptoms but are very different in the way that they affect you. Read on to know more about why food poisoning is very different from catching the stomach flu.
Food poisoning and stomach bugs give you similar symptoms
The stomach flu, also known as viral gastroenteritis, is most commonly caused by three viruses: the norovirus, rotavirus, and the adenovirus. These viruses make a stomach bug incredibly contagious and you can catch it from direct contact with a person who has it or something they’ve touched, per Healthline. The symptoms from a stomach flu can leave you vomiting, dealing with diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and a fever.
Food poisoning can also give you similar symptoms, in addition to chills and increased muscle aches, according to Heathline. However, a way to discern between the two is the incubation period. If you experience these symptoms within two to six hours, you probably have food poisoning. But if it takes a day or two, it could be the stomach flu, per Healthline.
Food poisoning is usually caused by bacteria contamination. You can reduce the risk of getting it by avoiding raw meat, undercooked eggs, unpasteurized cheeses or raw fish — or at least making sure you trust the person making it. However, you should definitely speak with your physician if you think you have either and make sure you’re treated accordingly. Stay safe and hydrated!
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