Difference Between Stomach Upset and Stomach Flu

Stomach upset and stomach flu is two terms widely used to describe stomach & digestive system problems. Even though they sound identical, there are a few little distinctions that require our attention. 


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These little details tell us whether a doctor’s consultation is required or our usual home remedies will get the work done for us. 

Stomach Upset vs Stomach Flu 

The difference between stomach upset and stomach flu is that stomach upset usually isn’t severe and doesn’t last long whereas the situation is just the opposite with stomach flu. Stomach flu could last longer without proper treatment it could cause severe illness. So a doctor’s consultation becomes important for the proper treatment. 

Stomach Upset vs Stomach Flu

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Stomach upset is the cause of poor eating habits, such as consuming excessively greasy or fatty food, eating hastily, not chewing food thoroughly, eating on the run,

overeating, and so on, are all examples of poor eating habits. Even though it’s not severe and doesn’t last long but it could cause uneasiness. 

Stomach Flu could be caused by a lack of sanitation. Food preparation in unclean utensils, eating unsanitary food, not covering food, not washing hands before cooking or eating are all typical causes of stomach infections. 

Stomach flu could be severe and could last for a longer duration and in that case, a doctor’s consultation is a must. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonStomach UpsetStomach Flu
DefinitionStomach upset could happen to all ages of people due to their eating habits.Stomach Flu is known to be an infection that happened by eating food that has been infected with microbiological organisms.
InterlinkStomach upset has no link with stomach flu.Stomach upset could also cause stomach flu.
CauseStomach upset is caused due to poor eating habits of unhealthy or fatty/ greasy food.Caused by infection from bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
RemediesThese could be treated with medicines like antacid or other indigestion home treatment.Antibiotics are prescribed to the patient to help him fight the infection.
PainfulIt’s less severe than stomach flu.It’s more severe as compared to stomach upset.

What is Stomach Upset? 

It’s a much more prevalent sickness that affects people of all ages and is usually less severe than stomach flu. Indigestion or dyspepsia are other terms for it. 

Pain in the upper abdomen is reported by the individual. He’ll normally have a slew of symptoms, including belching, bloating, frequent farting, gas, and nausea.

When digestive juices come into touch with the mucosal lining of the esophagus, it causes esophagitis. The esophagus is a tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach.

Due to the presence of the oesophageal valve, the stomach contents normally do not enter the esophagus. Gastric acids from the stomach reach the esophagus and upset the mucosal lining if the valve does not function properly.

Soon after eating, the patient frequently complains of burning in the chest area or the upper portion of the stomach. 

Poor eating habits, such as eating excessively greasy or fatty food, consuming very quickly, not chewing food well, eating on the fly, overeating, and so on, cause stomach trouble or indigestion.

Consumption of certain foodstuffs can trigger tummy distress in some people. When patients with lactose intolerance eat foods containing lactose or fructose, they get gas, bloating, diarrhea, or abdominal cramps. 

Stomach troubles are usually very temporary and can be treated swiftly with antacids or other indigestion home treatment.

Gastroenteritis, gastric ulcers, gastrointestinal reflux illness, inflammatory bowel disease, and even pregnancy can all cause significant stomach distress. In the event of serious symptoms, the patient must see a doctor. 

What is Stomach Flu? 

Gastroenteritis is another name for this Stomach Flu. It is frequently brought on by eating food that has been infected with microbiological organisms such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

These germs enter the human digestive tract and cause inflammation and irritation of the stomach and intestine linings.

Stomach pains, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, inflammation of lymph nodes, headache, and dehydration are all symptoms of stomach flu.

Dehydration can be life-threatening in various situations. E.coli, salmonella, shigella, and campylobacter are the most prevalent bacteria that cause stomach flu.

Norovirus, rotavirus, and calicivirus are among the viruses that cause stomach flu. 

Lack of cleanliness is the leading cause of stomach flu. Stomach infections are commonly caused by preparing food in unclean vessels, eating unsanitary food, not covering food, not cleaning hands before cooking or eating,

not drinking clean water, and not washing hands properly after changing soiled diapers, among other things. It is a very contagious disease that can be transferred by touching unwashed hands.

People who eat roadside food, pregnant women, newborns, undernourished youngsters, immunocompromised individuals, and the elderly are all at risk. 

In most cases, the illness is self-limiting. To prevent dehydration, the person is encouraged to drink enough fluids. Antibiotics are also prescribed to him to help him battle the infection.

In the most serious cases, medical help is essential. Blood in the stools or vomiting, severe dehydration (dry lips, wrinkled skin, inability to pass urine), high-grade grade fever (≥ 101 ° F),

stomach inflammation, pain in the right bottom area of the stomach, or vomiting that lasts longer than 48 hours all require emergency medical attention. 

Main Differences Between Stomach Upset and Stomach Flu  

  1. Stomach Upset is cured with the help of antacids or other home indigestion remedies whereas in Stomach Flu antibiotics are prescribed to the patient to help him fight the infection. 
  2. Main reasons for stomach upset is bad eating habit or intolerance to substances whereas Stomach Flu is due to infection caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. 
  3. Stomach upset is not related to stomach flu whereas severe stomach upset could lead to stomach flu conditions. 
  4. Stomach upset is temporary and mainly doesn’t need special medication whereas stomach flu could last long and may require medication or a doctor’s consultation. 
  5. Stomach upset doesn’t have serious symptoms it usually has symptoms like gas or stomach aches whereas in stomach flu patients could see swollen stomachs or blood in their urine or vomit. 
Difference Between Stomach Upset and Stomach Flu
  1. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA75178700&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=15254283&p=AONE&sw=w&userGroupName=anon%7E63485b29
  2. https://academic.oup.com/aje/article-abstract/115/3/348/173024
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