- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Let us prepare for the Flu.
November and December are the months we see most respiratory infections, but still the real "Flu" is not here. The real Flu season starts at the end of December and goes as long as the winter.
Very often, a common cold is mistaken for Influenza. It's often NOT. Being cold is also caused by a group of viruses, that mimic the action of the Flu but are not as threatening to the health. Influenza is one serious illness and every year, It takes victims even in young healthy individuals.
It is a virus that your body will need to find a way to battle and eradicate.
Normally this happens for one week. If you feel ill for longer - an examination with a physician is what you must do, because there are not yet miracle cures for the Flu or the common cold been found.
Very threatened by the virus are people with diabetes, kidney diseases, respiratory or hearth problems. Often in elderly or young people with not that good immune system, people with AIDS and other - the immune system is working slow, weak or is inefficient.
Flu is very virulent. Almost 100% efficient. That means, that being in contact with ill person is guaranteed to infect you. Precautions need to be taken (see below) at most of the time or simply avoid being around people already sick (sneezing, coughing and fever are easy to distinguish).
Influenza has very rapid growth and can pinpointed to exact day-and-hour when the person felt ill:
- High fever 39-40 degrees Celsius in body temperature(102-104F)
- Because of the higher body temperature, you feel chills and shaky
- Joint and muscle pain in all the body
- General fatigue and feeling "heavy"
- Sore throat and dry cough
Still, there are people that keep trying to self medicate, even if all those symptoms are present. We can tell in all cases, that antibiotics will not work! What can really work is an antiviral drug, but the Flu mutates too rapidly every next season, and the pills that worked last year, does not even scratch the virus this year. What will work is to calm the symptoms and allow the body to heal itself with its own immune system response to the virus.
- Anipyretics for the high body temperature.
- Vitamin C to help the immune system work.
- Rimantadine (prescription only antiviral drug) will stop virus replication if taken up to 48 hours of initial infection.
- Garlic will clean the stomach and intestines from bacteria overproduction, that often starts with weakened from the Flu body.
- Same cleaning benefits to the body will have citrus fruits (Grapefruits especially). They are also very rich in Vitamin C.
Antipyretics are to be taken only by the allowed daily dose and not mixed with other antipyretics. Different brand names sell Paracetamol 250 mg, 500 mg and 1 g with random names, but the active compound is the same. Having more than 2.5 grams of Paracetamol in one day can be harmful to the liver, ears, kidneys and other side effects, that are not completely studied. Stick with one brand and read the description carefully!
If body temperature is still high (above 38 C) and you passed your daily dose of antipyretics, use "the old methods" of lowering temperature. Get a shower. Drink cool fruit juice (not cold, but cool). Have a wet towel on your forehead. Make a contrast shower on your feet. They will all help your body feel better. Temperatures of 38C and below only mean that your body fights an infection and you can only help yourself to not feel steamed with the measures described here. Temperatures above 39 are alarming and need physician examination.
Rimantadine can be prescribed with patients in high risk, that can have fatal onsets of the Flu by a infection specialist. Prophylactic intake of this drug can be no longer than 1 month with 50 mg daily. Don't self medicate with antiviral drugs, even if you can find them in an online pharmacy!
Natural Vitamin C is always welcome in any illness. It strenghtens the body and accelerates immune system response. Most rich in Vitamin C vegetable is the green pepper and best fruit is the red grapefruit. Replace the breakfast with fresh fruit juice and a salad, and you will feel better faster.
Garlic can be eaten as a prophylactic measure every evening. It has very good antibiotic and antiviral properties. The only downfall is - it stinks badly. So better place it in the dinner plate instead in lunch or breakfast.
In all cases, if you can manage the 38 C temperature and fatigue - don't self medicate at all. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of liquids and stick with natural remedy as much as you can afford.