FLU 101

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious upper and/or lower respiratory disease which is caused by the influenza A or B viruses. The common cold is often mistaken as the flu, because they are both contagious viral infections that have similar symptoms. The main difference is that, although having a cold may put a crimp on your life for a short amount of time, the flu can make you totally unproductive, as it often requires complete bed rest for one to get better.

Symptoms:

  1. Fever or feeling feverish, sometimes accompanied by chills.
  2. Coughing
  3. Runny or stuffy nose.
  4. Sore throat.
  5. Headache
  6. Muscle and body aches.
  7. General fatigue or tiredness.
  8. Malaise
  9. Nausea
  10. In extreme cases, some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than in adults.

Home remedies for the flu:

Flu symptoms can cause a world of pain and misery to a patient, but the good news is, there are ways to feel better despite the affliction. Since the flu is a viral infection, antibiotics are no help in easing its symptoms. Prescription antiviral drugs may give some relief, but in many cases, natural home remedies can help you feel better in mild to moderate cases of the flu.

  1. Drink lots of liquids.

The flu leaves one dehydrated, especially if you are sweating out a fever, vomiting, or having diarrhea. So, be sure to drink lots of fluids! Water is your best bet, as are fruit juices and beverages with electrolytes. Stay away from caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea, because caffeine is a diuretic and it will just dehydrate you even more. For soothing a sore throat, herbal tea with honey is a good option. To be sure if you’re getting enough fluids, your urine is a good indicator. It should be pale yellow to almost colorless. Otherwise, you need to drink up more.

  1. Have some hot soup.

Hot soup for the flu is not an old wives’ tale. For generations, mothers have been serving chicken soup to kids who are sick with the cold or the flu. A recent medical study showed that chicken soup can indeed ease the symptoms of the flu. According to Reid B. Blackwelder, MD, of East Tennessee State University, chicken soup does help ease flu symptoms, if only because you inhale the hot vapor when you lean in to sip your soup. Also, the psychological and emotional benefits of someone serving you hot chicken soup can lift a patient’s mood, which aids in the healing process. And if there is no chicken soup to be found, any hot broth will do!

Breathing in moist air helps ease nasal congestion, as well as sore throat pain. Steam vaporizers and humidifiers are essential tools for this remedy. However, if you have neither, then a good home remedy is the steam from a hot shower. If a flu patient has the energy to take a shower, then make it quick so as not to relapse. Otherwise, just sit in the bathroom with the door closed, and breathe in the steam for a few minutes.

  1. Use the “tent” method.

If you need a quick and easy way to unclog nasal passages, this trick could do it for you. Bring a pot of water to a boil, remove it from the heat, drape a towel over your head, close your eyes, lean over the pot making a “tent” with the towel, and breathe deeply through your nose for 30 seconds at a time. Adding a drop or two or peppermint or eucalyptus oil in the boiling water also helps. Or, adding a bit of good ol’ Vicks VapoRub could do the work of unclogging your nose as well.

  1. Warm compress.

Use a warm compress on your forehead, and a warm cloth for your nose. It is a great way to relieve you of headache or sinus pain.

      6.   Gargle with warm salt water.

This remedy is probably as old as time itself, but a very effective way to ease a sore throat. Gargle with warm salt water several times a day, and you’ll be relieved of that nasty throat infection, as well as lessen the phlegm that comes with your cough.

  1. Suck on cough drops and throat lozenges.

Doctors swear by lozenges and cough drops to ease the symptoms that come with the flu. They are affordable remedies, and surprisingly effective in easing a cough and sore throat.

  1. Get lots of rest.

No one expects you to be a hero when you’re down with the flu. Since there is no one sure-fire cure to this ailment, getting loads of rest is the quickest way to recovery. Complete sleep cycles boost your immune system and speed up the healing process, so make sure to stay in bed and rest as much as you can.

Influenza no laughing matter. And in today’s fast-paced world, “bawal magkasakit,” is so apropos. If you happen to be down with the flu and you need a one-on-one online consult with our physicians, feel free to visit us at Bayanihealth.com today.  Bayani health is a subsidiary of Horsepower.ph, provider of human resource benefits such as health plans and back office support.

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