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Is It The Flu Or Morning Sickness?

Flu and morning sickness are different medical conditions with almost similar symptoms. Thus, the differentiation between both should be done by taking consultation with the healthcare provider.

Is It The Flu Or Morning Sickness?

Is It The Flu Or Morning Sickness?

Any type of infection is dangerous in pregnancy. Some infections, such as stomach flu, present similar symptoms as that of morning sickness. Stomach flu should be distinguished from morning sickness in order to prevent any pregnancy complications. The points of differentiation include the presence of other symptoms, duration, medical history and strategy for treatment.

Symptoms of flu, especially fever, may cause harm to the developing fetus. Following are the major differences presented by the body through which a pregnant woman may differentiate whether she is suffering from morning sickness or flu.

Development Of Other Symptoms. Nausea and vomiting caused due to morning sickness are not usually accompanied by any other symptoms that hamper the quality of life. However, flu is accompanying by symptoms such as fever, diarrhea or cramps, in combination with nausea and vomiting. If the women have a persistent fever during pregnancy, it may lead to a negative impact on the growth of the fetus.

Treatment. Nausea and vomiting caused due to morning sickness are easily managed through medication unless the condition develops into a more severe hyperemesis gravidarum. However, nausea and vomiting caused due to flu and infection are nor easily managed with medications as it also involves other symptoms such as chills, fever, headache, diarrhea, and muscle and joint pain.

Medical History. The immune system of pregnant women is reduced as compared to non-pregnant women in order to provide the least resistant to the growth of the baby. However, this may also lead to increased vulnerability of the person to contract disease with the slightest of interactions with the diseased person. So, if you remember to interact with a person suffering from the flu, there are high chances that nausea and vomiting may be due to flu or infection.

Duration Of Symptoms. Another point of differentiation between morning sickness and flu is the duration of symptoms. The symptoms of flu subsided within a few days although the muscular and joint pain may be for a few weeks; however, nausea and vomiting in morning sickness persists for a longer duration.

Symptoms Of Flu

Following are the symptoms presents by the patient suffering from stomach flu.

Fever. The body, as in any type of infection, starts fighting against the infection and in this process raises the temperature of the body leading to fever. The patient may also develop persistent chills.

Diarrhea. The body starts secreting water into the gastrointestinal tract in response to the toxins secreted by the pathogens. This leads to diarrhea, the frequency of which depends upon the severity of the infection.

Intestinal Cramps. The inflammatory mediators generated in response to infection causes intestinal cramps and pain in the abdominal region.

Muscle And Joint Pain. The patient suffering from stomach flu also feels muscle and joint pain.

Nausea And Vomiting. Irritation in the gastrointestinal tract occurs due to the presence of pathogens and the toxins secreted by them. The irritated tract leads to nausea and vomiting.

Weight Loss. The patient suffering from stomach flu also experiences unintended weight loss.

Reduced Appetite. Due to increased irritation in the GI tract, the appetite of the patients gets lowered.

Symptoms Of Morning Sickness

Following are the symptoms developed in the patient suffering from morning sickness.

Nausea. The patient with morning sickness develops nausea due to the hormonal changes.

Vomiting. Immune system of the pregnant women is compromised. Thus, in order to prevent any infection, the immune system remains in hyperactive state so as to immediately protect the women. Thus, vomiting is hypothesized as a way to prevent any harmful substance from entering into the body. Sometimes, vomiting is where which may lead to hyperemesis gravidarum.

Dehydration. The patient with morning sickness suffered from dehydration, and due to dehydration, the frequency of urination reduces.


  1. Einarson, A., Maltepe, C., Boskovic, R., & Koren, G. (2007). Treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: an updated algorithm. Canadian family physician, 53(12), 2109-2111.
  2. Maegawa, Y., Takayama-Watanabe, E., & Aoki, S. (2017). Differences in cytokine profile between HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia. Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 119, 23-27.
  3. Pazos, M., Sperling, R. S., Moran, T. M., Kraus, T. A., & Zanetti, F. A. (2012). The influence of pregnancy on systemic immunity. Immunologic research, 54(1-3), 254-261.
  4. March of Dimes. (n.d.). Morning Sickness. Retrieved from https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/morning-sickness.aspx

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2023

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