Diagnosing Illnesses: Flu, Food Poisoning or Indigestion?

Diagnosing Illnesses

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You're on your way home from a great workout. You had a dose of glutamine and creatine immediately after training, but decided to forgo a protein drink in favor of a more substantial dinner on the way home. Rice, steamed veggies and chicken breasts sounded good, so you chowed down at your favorite eatery. When you got home, you showered and hit the sack only to be awakened a couple of hours later by your grumbling and gurgling stomach and the urgent need to get to the bathroom pronto. This repeats itself another time or two throughout the night, and by morning you're feeling like crap: weak, extremely tired and pretty queasy. Is this a nasty bout of stomach flu or are you a victim of food poisoning? Good question. Stomach flu and food poisoning have similar symptoms and sometimes even similar causes.


They're both inflammations of the lining of the GI tract. Usually, stomach flu lasts only a day or two and is caused by viruses passed from one person to another. Food poisoning, on the other hand, is usually caused by bacteria that multiply in food and drink, enter your system and produce poisons. Even though many acid-sensitive bacteria are killed in the stomach, their toxins pass through the gut wall, causing illness, usually within a few hours of ingestion. So should you ride it out or call a doctor? Your body normally resolves most episodes of food poisoning quickly and without treatment Vomiting and diarrhea eliminate most of the toxins and your immune system takes care of the rest. if you're an otherwise healthy individual, all you need to do is. rest and get plenty of fluids. If you have an impaired immune system, you should cell a doctor whenever there are repeated episodes of vomiting or diarrhea.

Other symptoms that indicate a need for you to call the doctor include blood in your vomit or stool, severe abdominal pain, a fever greater than 101.5 degrees, and signs of dehydration (dry mouth and tongue, no sweat under the armpits during a fever, dizziness, lightheadedness or decreased urination. Even if you do go to a doctor, don't expect a sure cure. Antibiotics can shorten the duration of an illness caused by some bacteria, mAch as iyelospora or Camp ylobacter, but not others, including E. coil, Salmonella and Shigeila.





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