With the flu season already upon us, protecting yourself from the nasty virus that spreads with every cough or sneeze, must be your top priority. But if you weren’t as careful (or that person in your office just wouldn’t cover their mouth as they sneezed) and have caught the dreaded respiratory virus, then I can’t help but feel sorry for you; probably because I’m feeling sorry for myself too. What else is a person who is down with flu supposed to do? How do you handle all those symptoms with a runny nose, painful throat, aching bones, stiff muscles and overall weakness? But it turns out there are ways to deal with all these symptoms. Eager to know, are you? Keep reading…
The biggest problem a person suffering (literally suffering hell) seems to face is the high levels of fatigue. It’s one of the earliest signs of flu and in some cases a warning before other symptoms start to surface. Take extra rest during the time you’re ‘feeling under the weather’. Apart from that, exercise. Yes, you heard me; alternating rest and light exercise will ease the fatigue and provide relief. Avoid oily, caffeinated and cold foods; they will worsen your condition. Don’t listen to your friend, cold does NOT kill cold, hot does.
Body ache and chills: The next thing you must be prepared for once you feel extreme fatigue is body ache and chills. While you can’t avoid these symptoms of flu, you can definitely ease them with medication and diet. Chills can accompany the body aches at the same time and this is swiftly followed by a high temperature. So make sure to take enough rest and drink lots of hot fluids like soup, broth, etc. A glass of hot milk with ¼ th spoon of turmeric can provide relief from the chills and body ache.
Cough: This one is the most irritating symptom (next to a runny nose which is highly annoying) A persistent cough is a sign that flu is worsening. It could even be accompanied with wheezing, sore throat and tightness in the chest. This may cause the formation of phlegm and then you may need to address your condition with the help of a physician. To avoid that, reduce your intake of alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeinated drinks. Eat light and practise deep breathing exercises. Also, please don’t forget to cover your mouth while coughing. You don’t want to spread the infection.
The common cold is easily the worst symptom of flu. If you had to work at a desk for 9 hours with back-to-back sneezes and a runny nose gone red, you’d know what I’m talking about. With no cure for the cold invented yet, you HAVE to hit the sack and give it time to treat itself. But while you rest, you can try these remedies to get temporary relief: blow your nose often, gargle with warm water, drink lots of fluids with vitamin C, take a steamy shower (a soak in the bath with some Epsom salts would also be relaxing), and you may also take steam from a vapouriser.
Early flu symptoms extend way below the head, nose, throat and chest. Ahem, gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting can occur during the course of your flu. This may be dangerous as it can cause extreme dehydration. Increase your fluid intake, and eat light if you have to. Remember to take electrolytes (Electral is a good source) as you may need to replenish your body’s electrolytes and salt levels.
Also read: Habits that ruin your health
High temperature or fever is not so bad. Trust me, fever is a sign that your body is trying to fight an infection. Flu-related fever is typical at 100 degrees or higher. Although fever is a common symptom in early flu stages, not everyone with flu will have fever. Consult your physician if your fever is too high. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both effective fever-reducing drugs, but don’t expect them to cure the virus.
Also read: 5 Exercises That Are Harmful For Your Health
If you’ve been diagnosed with the flu and are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, be prepared to allow yourself a reasonable recovery period. The recovery rate varies on the severity of the flu so it is advisable that you don’t go back to work until you are completely free of fever and other symptoms.