The most common causes of sore throat and upset stomach include the common cold, sinusitis and a bacterial infection known as strep throat. In rare cases, these symptoms may also indicate an influenza infection, also known simply as the flu. These symptoms alone are not usually the signs of a serious illness. When coupled with other symptoms such as an unusually high fever, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of consciousness, a more serious illness could be the cause, however.
The rhinovirus, also known as the common cold, will sometimes produce a sore throat and upset stomach. Other symptoms may also include sneezing, nasal congestion, fever, cough, a hoarse speaking voice and chills. Most people experience the common cold at least once in a lifetime and many experience multiple bouts with this illness.
Individuals with a sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, will often experience a sore throat, and an upset stomach can be caused by swallowing mucus. A headache may also accompany these symptoms as swelling of the sinuses commonly prompts pain in the forehead, face and ears. Other symptoms of sinusitis include runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, fever and producing thick mucus. Symptoms may also appear to worsen at night when lying down.
A sore throat and upset stomach may also be caused by strep throat. Such may particularly be the case in adults with heart issues or children under 16 years old, as both of these groups are more susceptible to the disease than the rest of the population. Often, this illness is confused with the common cold since it is also accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills and headache, but includes symptoms such as a skin rash, loss of appetite and stomach pain. A sore throat that is accompanied by congestion is most likely not strep throat, but may simply be common cold symptoms instead. To accurately distinguish symptoms, however, a throat culture must be examined by a health care professional.
Occasionally, a sore throat and upset stomach may be flu symptoms. While influenza is a respiratory infection, stomach upset, diarrhea and vomiting can accompany the usual symptoms of coughing, achy muscles, headache and congestion. There are also many different influenza types, such as the H1N1 virus, the avian flu and others. While most are treatable with rest and antiviral medications, persistent symptoms, including vomiting or diarrhea, sometimes require emergency treatment.