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Food Poisoning (cont.)

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What are the signs and symptoms of food poisoning?

Food poisoning most commonly causes:

  • abdominal cramps,
  • vomiting, and
  • diarrhea.

This can cause significant amounts of fluid loss and with nausea and vomiting; it may be difficult to replace that fluid, leading to dehydration. In developing countries where infectious epidemics cause diarrheal illnesses, thousands of people die because of dehydration.

As noted in the section above, other organ systems may be infected and affected by food poisoning. Symptoms will depend upon what organ system is involved (for example, encephalopathy due to brain infection).

Are food poisoning and stomach flu the same thing?

They may or may not be, depending if the causative agent is transmitted by contaminated food, or if the agent is transmitted by non-food mechanisms such as body secretions. Most health care professionals equate stomach flu to viral gastroenteritis (gastro=stomach + entero= intestine + itis= inflammation). Stomach flu is a non-specific term that describes an illness that usually resolves within 24 hours and is caused commonly by the adenovirus, Norwalk virus or rotavirus, (rotavirus is most commonly found in children).

If numerous cases of "stomach flu" occur in a situation where many people have been eating, it certainly may be considered food poisoning. Norwalk virus is responsible for many cases of food borne illness outbreaks on cruise ships.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/3/2013

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Food Poisoning - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your food poisoning?
Food Poisoning - Treatment Question: What was your treatment, including medication, for food poisoning?
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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/food_poisoning/article.htm

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