Appendicitis Vs. Stomach Virus

Stomach Flu or Appendicitis | Signs to Know

You wake up one day with horrible pain in your lower right abdomen. Despite going to bed feeling fine, now you’re hunched over and crying like a baby. Then comes the question: appendicitis or stomach virus?

These two common illnesses are often confused with each other. This article will give you easy ways to tell the difference between appendicitis and food poisoning.

What Is Appendicitis? 

In your lower-right abdomen, you’ll find the appendix, which is a small tubular-shaped piece of tissue. While the appendix may slightly aid the immune system in childhood, the body no longer relies on the appendix in adulthood. Therefore, it can be surgically removed if it is inflamed. 

The most common cause of appendicitis is obstructions. As a result, the appendix becomes infected and swells. If blood flow is limited, the appendix can rupture eventually. If the appendix ruptures on the inside, it can develop an even worse infection that leaks into the abdomen. 

What is a Stomach Virus?

Stomach virus or gastroenteritis is an illness of the digestive tract that often causes mild to moderate gastrointestinal distress, including stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes headache, chills, or fever. 

Stomach virus is caused by a virus and spreads through direct contact with an infected person or objects that that person has contaminated. It usually starts as a mild, nonspecific flu-like syndrome, but it can lead to severe illness or death if it is not treated. 

Differentiating Appendicitis from Stomach Virus

Patients with stomach viruses and appendicitis may experience similar symptoms. Many appendicitis patients are incorrectly diagnosed because of this, so they are sent home. A person can save lives and prevent complications if they understand the different symptoms of appendicitis from a stomach virus.


Inflammation and infection of the appendix result in appendicitis. A person with appendicitis experiences symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever, constipation, or diarrhea.

An abdominal pain that begins around the navel and moves rightward is another symptom that occurs suddenly and worsens within a few hours.

Stomach Virus

An intestine-attacking virus causes a stomach virus. Food or water contaminated with bacteria is the most common way to catch a stomach virus.

In addition to abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, low-grade fever, and headache, stomach flu symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and muscle aches. Typically, these appear one or two days after infection, and they can last anywhere from a day to ten days, depending on the symptom.

Would It Be Possible to Just Verify What I Have?

Indicators of appendicitis include several different symptoms. The pain begins in the middle of the abdomen, typically resembling a bad stomach ache, and it migrates to the right lower quadrant within a few hours. 

In addition to pain, you may experience:

  • The situation deteriorates significantly within a few hours
  • Inflammatory and pain medications do not reduce it
  • Moving around, taking deep breaths, coughing or sneezing worsens the pain
  • The pain is so severe; you cannot sleep
  • The appearance of other symptoms less specific

Appendicitis may present with less-specific symptoms, such as:

  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Having difficulty passing gas
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Consistent discomfort being relieved by bowel movements.

The sooner you seek medical care if you have symptoms of appendicitis – especially if you have pain in your lower right abdominal quadrant – the better.


Appendicitis can cause vague pain that is easily confused with stomach flu for a time. After a day and a half of mild bowel rest, stomach viruses usually subside. Appendicitis can cause you to become immobile as the pain becomes more intense, and this is due to movement aggravating the pain.

You should seek medical attention at once if you suspect appendicitis. Make an appointment with Post Oak ER today.