You don’t want to be dramatic, but it feels like you need your mom more than ever. More specifically, you need your mom making you Campbell’s tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Granted, you probably don’t have an appetite, but the thought of it makes you feel just a bit better…and for a moment, it makes you forget you have the flu.
Your body’s internal temperature is in a never-ending battle. You have aches like Tom Brady feels after his defensive line falls shorts. And your dog keeps trying to lick the sweat off your face. You are miserable. You have the flu.
Yes, the flu. Sometimes we go into denial and claiming it’s just a little head cold.
We like to convince ourselves that despite not getting a flu vaccination, there is no way you could get the flu.
However, waking up with these symptoms may convince you otherwise:
-achy bones and muscles
-and of course, fever (with body temperatures ranging between 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit)
Difference between a Flu and a Cold
A cold, on the other hand, is usually a stuffy nose, maybe some moderate congestion, and general tiredness. It is easy to mistake the two except that the flu feels like a cold on steroids. The cold season is year-round; however, the flu season peaks from Dec- Feb and can last as late as May.
So, as you lie on the couch in misery, wondering what’s ringing in your ears, you might hear your mom’s voice asking, “Did you get your flu shot, yet?”
Well, you didn’t. We have some tips to help you peel yourself off your couch and take your dog for a walk instead.
1. Stay Protected:
Eat your yogurt, drink Kombucha, or just take probiotic tablets. Probiotics help ward off infections in your repository system. They also help you get well sooner. Eat foods high in Vitamin D like tuna and whole eggs because Vitamin D produces antimicrobial peptides protect and defend against bacteria and germs.
Also, staying away from over-processed foods and sugar is a contributing factor to your health during flu season. Processed foods do not provide your body the nutrients it needs to function as it is supposed to and, therefore, won’t protect your body while it is under siege by a flu virus!
2. Stay Hydrated:
The reason we experience high fevers during a flu is because our body is working to kill the intruder. Pyrogens released from the infected area is what signals the hypothalamus in the brain to increase your body’s temperature. The reason your body sometimes gets chills and then heats back into a sweat is because your body is trying to obey the hypothalamus’s orders; but it’s a delayed, chain reaction.
Want a quick, over-the-counter solution? Take Ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen can help relieve you of some the stress and discomfort of this. Also, to reinforce your body’s protection efforts and to replenish your body’s sweating, stay hydrated. Drink a lot of fluids, including but not limited to: water, Gatorade, or any beverage high in electrolytes to help give you some strength.
3. Relieve a Runny Nose:
Your nasal airways get congested or runny because your body starts overproducing mucus. Mucus is full of enzymes and antibodies that aid in attacking the infection’s germs. You can purchase over-the-counter saline sprays to clear up some of the congestion. Mucus can often times lead to drainage, which can lead to coughing.
To remedy your coughing, try warm tea with honey. Or for the not-so-faint of heart, eat a gob of honey directly. The honey will naturally coat and soothe your throat. The Journal of Pediatrics also have proven that 2 teaspoons of honey before bed helps both children and adults cough less frequently through the night.
4. Soothe Aches:
Why do our muscles and bones feel so achy during the flu? This is because during an infection our body releases cytokines, a chemical, to aid your white blood cells. Your white blood cells are your army; the cytokines are their ally.
However, their release results in body aches. Ibuprofen can be taken, as directed, to help ease you of your achy pain. In addition, warm bat with Epson salt will help detoxify your body and relax your muscles. Steam can help both your tensions and your congestion, if you have it. (Not to mention it’s just nice to take a bath every now and then.) Go ahead, light a candle, and “enjoy” your day off of work.
5. Get Plenty of Rest:
Yes, you have the day (or two or three) off of work to get better. You need to do just that- get better. Your body’s immune system is already working hard. Don’t send it into overdrive by making it do other things simultaneously. You should take the opportunity to relax in bed or on the couch and taking naps is recommended. Our immune systems are stronger when we get enough sleep. Find it coincidental that when you’re over-stressed and exhausted you feel sicker? It’s not a coincidence. If you’re uncomfortable, prop your head up to aid with the draining of your nose and ease your congestion.
Of course these remedies cannot are not a catch-all cure for the flu. If your fever is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, see a doctor right away. Only a medically-licensed doctor can prescribe you with the medicine you need to recover from more serious flu symptom. Also, because the flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics do not work. If your flu symptoms last more than a day or two, visit your family practice to make sure your flu hasn’t caused any other issues (like infections that can be cure with antibiotics). Also, many women’s health care providers now recommend women get more sleep than men for optimal health.
If you think you have the flu, it is important to visit the doctor.
“Within the first 48 hours of flu symptoms, a doctor can prescribe Tamiflu, an antiviral that lowers the severity of symptoms and helps prevent complications,” says Dr. Faisal Tawwab.
Visit Multicare Physicians, your friendly neighborhood Lake Mary family practice, where all walk-ins and new patients are welcome.
We can help you avoid the flu altogether by getting a preventative flu shot! Right now, we are offering flu shots for $20. Give us a call today to schedule yours!
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