Flu Symptoms - What You Need to Know!
Another flu (influenza) season is upon us. Yes, it's a real bummer, and we can't do anyhting about it. Typically it peaks in February or March, and it seems like this year will be no exception - it usually starts in January and unfortunately increases week after week.
It isn't always easy to tell a difference from a cold and a flu. There are many other viruses and germs out there that could make us sick, especially during cold and flu season. For those who are feeling under the weather, and are not sure, what exactly got to them, I have a list of flu symptoms:
- Body Aches
These symptoms will typically bug you for about a week, but could last longer.
How To Protect Yourself From The Flu
You can never protect yourself a hundred percent, but it's definitely worth to try to protect yourself as much as possible!
1. Flu vaccine - you could still get a flu shot, it isn't too late.The traditional and nasal flu vaccines are the best way to prevent the flu, but remember - It usually takes a week for the vaccine to start working, and of course you can still get the flu, but the symptoms could be much easier to bare! Complications from the flu just aren't worth the risk of not getting the vaccine.
2. Wash your hands - a lot! Washing hands reduces a risk of transmission of viruses and bacteria.
3. Use hand sanitizer - when you are not able to wash your hands. Door knobs are crowded with all kinds of viruses and bacteria - carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer, to always have it handy!
And What To Do When You Get The Flu?
OK, you got it - what now??? Flu symptoms can cause a world of misery, but there are a few home remedies, that will make you feel better. Of course the best idea is to visit your doctor, and get your antiviral prescription filled, but a few simple tricks may also relive symptoms, if you flu isn't severe.
- Drink, and then drink some more. The flu can really dehydrate your body - when we are already feeling dry in the winter time, so you don't want to make it worse! Especially if you have a fever, with vomiting or diarrhea. Be sure to drink a lot of water. That's always the best choice, but you can also sip on juices and electrolites (like Pediasure, or Gatorade). Try to refrain from coffee and tea, unless it is a herbal tea or a decaf.
How about alcohol? “When you have the flu, the last thing you want to do is drink alcohol,” says William Schaffner, MD, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. “It makes you sleepy, and flu does that already” (www.webmd.com)
By the way, if you are dehadrated, your urine will be dark brown, and it should look almost colorless.
- Decaffeinated tea with honey can soothe a sore throat, and if you add a few drops on lemon, then you have an extra intake of vitamin C! Tasty and good for you - it's a win-win situation!
- Enjoy a bowl of chicken soup - it may help relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, but besides that, it is very comforting, and that's important too!
- Get plenty of rest - just "sleep on it" - you definitely should take time off from work - to get better, and not to get others sick. Try to spend a day or two in bed, relaxing. Sleep is a crucial factor in the healing process - your body will distress and regenerate.
- Humidify your bedroom - you need moisture in the air! Just make sure your humidifier is clean and free of mold.
- Use a warm compress - on your forehead and nose. A warm cloth is very comforting and will help relieve a sinus pain.
- Suck on throat lozenges and cough drops - they will relieve the pain and help shorten cold symptoms (especially the zinc ones).
- Clear your throat. Gargling with salt water helps get rid of thick mucus, and can also help ease stuffy ears.
And last, but not least: Let somebody take care of you - it will make you feel a bit better - instantly!
Hang in there and feel better real soon!
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