Most people do not know the difference between a common cold and the flu since they have similar symptoms. Unlike the common cold, the flu can cause other health complications such as ear infections and even pneumonia. The flu is especially dangerous for senior citizens and young children as their immune systems are generally not as strong as those in healthy adults.
Even if the flu may not pose any real health threat to you, suffering through the flu is one of the most uncomfortable situations you will find yourself in. Some of the common signs of the flu include coughing a lot, running nose, sore throat, fever, body aches, and general fatigue. Even though there is no real cure for flu, here are some ideas that can at least help you manage some of its symptoms and eventually help you get better.
Health experts generally recommend that a healthy adult should get at least eight hours of sleep every day. However, when have the flu most physicians will advise you stay in bed and rest until you feel better. Do not try to exert too much energy because doing this when sick can worsen the situation. Resting gives your immune system more energy to fight off the flu virus inside your body. Getting added rest and sleep may not prevent the flu, but it may shorten the duration of your illness.
One of the more common symptoms of the flu is chills followed by sweating. When you feel up to it, try taking a steamy shower and breath in the steam from hot water as deeply as you can. Doing this will help reduce congestion in the chest caused by a dry nasal cavity. Steam moisturizes the nasal cavity clearing mucus that accumulates in the nose and throat. This will help you breathe better and easier. Another effective remedy is to add methanol or eucalyptus oil into a sink full of hot water and breathe in the scented steam for a few minutes to relieve nose and throat pain.
While you are sick, be sure to stay away from alcohol or coffee because they promote dehydration. You will want to drink a lot of water, tea or lite sports drinks that contain essential vitamins and minerals. Drinking enough fluids while sick is crucial because it helps hydrate your respiratory system. This will not only lessen headaches and body aches, but it also makes mucus lighter and more comfortable to blow out of the nose.
Fight the fly with tea, ginger, and fruits with a high level of vitamin C
Some doctors also recommend using saline drops to clear your nose and ease some of the discomforts. Also, gargle salt water to get rid of sore throats. Gargling salt water helps to soothe and reduce discomfort along the throat. The salty water helps in easing swellings along the throat and helps to moisten mucus along the throat. Just dissolve one tablespoon of salt in warm water and gargle it. For better results, you can repeat this action several times a day.
Eating honey, just like salty water will also help in soothing sore throats and also reduce coughing. Honey can be mixed with fluids such as lemon water and tea or eaten directly but try not to use more than a spoonful at a time.
Over the counter medicines are also very useful and can help you fight off some of the more severe symptoms of the flu. They can help in treating the coughing, fever, running nose, and even an aching body. However, to be safe, you need to visit a hospital or a doctor to advise you of the correct medicine for your illness and make sure that it does not adversely interact with any other prescriptions or conditions you already have. Health experts also advise making sure to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as they contain antioxidants and other immune system builders like vitamin C.
These are just a few proven ways you can try to fight off the effects of the flu once you are diagnosed. Many health practitioners would prefer that you receive a flu vaccine every year to lessen your chance of contracting the illness. And finally, if you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of being ill. try to isolate yourself as much as possible so you do not spread the illness to neighbors, friends or coworkers.
For more information please visit Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.