The flu this year has turned out to be the worst after the swine flu epidemic in 2009. However, it's not a sign for you to doom yourself into your bed for the entire season. The symptoms of flu can be annoying. The feeling of constant sickness is irritating, and no matter how much we try to prevent it, flu is annoying, to say the least.
Luckily, there are ways to stave off seasonal flu and colds if you pay attention. But before you jump to those treatments and remedies, it is important to understand the difference between the regular cold and seasonal flu.
Flu vs. cold - what's the difference?
The duration and symptoms of both conditions make them different. Colds are comparatively shorter with minor symptoms. Mostly, it is associated with a plethora of other viruses. It also lasts for a week and involves sneezing, sore throat, coughing, mucus production, and nasal congestion.
Flu stems from one virus we know as influenza, which is further divided into categories A, B, and C. Symptoms of flu are also different from that of cold. You may experience fatigue, body ache, fever, respiratory symptoms, and headaches.
But regardless of the condition, the only way we think we can avoid catching illness is by grabbing our medicine kit. However, experts suggest that before you can even do that, taking preventative measures can help. These include strengthening our immune system and taking care of ourselves to combat the virus.
And this is where these five amazing tips to cure seasonal flu come in!
Drink plenty of fluids
Sweating caused by fever and regular nose blowing can dehydrate your system. Such factors may worsen your flu condition and cause further symptoms like irritated throat and headaches.
This calls for consuming more fluids than you do normally. Other than your regular water, you can drink diluted sports drinks, decaffeinated tea, electrolyte solutions, and even eat soups and fruits with more water content such as cucumber, watermelon, tomato, and pineapples.
Listen to your body
With symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headaches, your body is likely to demand more rest. Listen to it and stay home. Unfortunately, flu is a condition that's usually taken lightly, where people continue with their daily routine.
Treat aches, cough, and fever
Body aches, cough, and fever are the most common symptoms of seasonal flu. To combat the virus, your body increases its natural heat level.
It is essential to take care of these additional conditions to ensure your flu gets better in time. You can consider taking over-the-counter medicines like naproxen, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Seek medical help and contact your GP using a reliable telemedicine platform if you to decide the best OTC medication.
However, in such cases, avoid cold baths.
Sinus and nasal congestion perhaps are the most annoying side-effects of the flu. Steam is the best home remedy that can help you with that. Using steam to loosen mucus can help relieve blocked nasal passages. It also overcomes dryness in the throat.
Take a hot bath to help with congestion. Use water as hot as you can easily stand it. This will fill up the bathroom with steam when the door is closed. This, however, may not be suitable for everyone. If you feel dizzy or weak in a steamy environment, stop right away.
Make sure you thoroughly dry your body and hair after you have showered. Leaving your body or hair damp can mess up your body's natural heat, which isn't ideal for seasonal flu.
You can even fill the hot water in a pot and keep your face close to it. Put a towel around your neck and head and cover the pot to take a maximum steam in for best results.
Keep up with your essential nutrients
This is important when it comes to vitamin D intake. An estimate shows how over 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. The number increases during winter due to less sunlight. This is a major reason we often get sick during winter, and seasonal flu becomes inevitable. If you want to avoid flu and other common conditions, make sure your body is getting enough nutrients.
Vitamin D is crucial for our immune function. Without enough of this essential nutrient in our body, we become susceptible to various infections, including influenza. It is ideal if you get your vitamin D levels checked to start your supplements. You can also include healthy and rich food in your diets, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon - a great source of vitamin D.
Additional Tips to Protect Yourself from Seasonal Flu
- Avoid interaction or contact with infected people
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching contaminated things
- Stay hydrated
- Eat balanced food
- Get enough exercise for stimulating your immune system
Last but not least, time is the best cure for seasonal flu. Pair up these natural remedies with prescription medicines if condition worsens. Give your body time and take plenty of rest to fight the invaders.
Protect yourself and take care of your immune system, and it will fight off seasonal flu and its symptoms.