Food Poisoning Or The Stomach Bug: Why You Should Know The Difference

Treating the Stomach Flu While on the Road

Being sick to your stomach is awful, but being sick to your stomach is even worse when you’re on the road and not close to a restroom.

Stomach bugs (gastroenteritis) are common and are often very contagious. With all the public places truck drivers visit each day, it’s not at all uncommon to come in contact with a stomach virus. However, it’s also not at all uncommon to come in contact with spoiled, mishandled or undercooked food, either.

In order to treat your stomach upset, it’s important to first distinguish between whether you have a stomach bug or food poisoning.

Both the stomach bug and food poisoning can be dangerous.  The stomach bug can cause severe dehydration, but food poisoning can be far more dangerous if you’ve contracted E.coli or salmonella.

Symptoms: 

-Stomach bug- diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, cramping, fever, muscle aches, headache

-Food poisoning-stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, fatigue (usually 4-6 hours after eating).

Risks:

-Stomach bug- dehydration

-Food poisoning- dehydration, kidney failure (certain strains of E.coli)

Treatment:

Stomach bug-rest, rehydration, diet of bland foods, avoid dairy

Food poisoning-rehyrdation, possible antibiotics

Duration:

Stomach bug: 1-5 days

Food poisoning: 6-24 hours

See:
Treating the Stomach Flu While on the Road