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Jane Anderson

Stomach Flu? Or Gluten?

By February 18, 2014

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As the mom of a gluten-free child, I'm always on high alert for the words "my stomach hurts." I hear those words more frequently than I would like, too ... especially this time of year, when the stomach flu seems rampant in her school. And whenever I do hear those words, I need to make a judgement call: Does she have a virus? Or did she get glutened?

Yup, it can be tough to tell the difference. The symptoms of stomach flu and a glutening overlap considerably, as do the symptoms of food poisoning and a glutening.

To help you figure out what's going on, I've pulled together a guide: Is It Stomach Flu, Is It Food Poisoning, or Did I Get Glutened? By going through the symptoms one by one, you can get hints that might help to tell you whether you should keep your child home from school, or even whether a trip to the pediatrician is in order.

Of course, I've known some kids (yes, even mine) who occasionally try to use "my stomach hurts!" as an excuse to avoid going to school.

This isn't unusual when it happens once in a while, but if it happens frequently, you may want to look around for reasons beyond glutenings that could be causing her to dislike school. I explain more in My Gluten-Free Kid Says His Stomach Hurts - Should I Keep Him Out of School?

Finally, if you have gluten-free kids, I've combined my best resources in this section: For GF Kids. There, you'll find everything from information on symptoms unique to children to recipes and sources for kid-friendly gluten-free food.

Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world -- sign up for my newsletter, connect with me on Facebook and Google+, or follow me on Twitter - @AboutGlutenFree.

Photo Getty Images/Roseanne Olson

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