Even a mild case of the flu or a powerful cold can leave you feeling run down and out of sorts for days or even weeks. While many ailments must simply run their course, there are many steps you can take to fight your way back to good health.
The first step is identifying whether you’re fighting a cold or the flu, which can be tricky because many of the symptoms are similar. However, colds tend to come on more slowly, while the flu hits rather quickly. Often cold symptoms stay limited to your head (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat), while a flu affects other areas of your body with aches, fatigue and sometimes digestive irritation such as nausea or diarrhea. Generally, flu symptoms are more intense than cold symptoms. Sometimes, but not always, the flu brings a fever or 100 F or more, along with chills and sweats.
Follow this advice to help fight cold and flu, and get you back on your feet:
- Stay home and rest, and avoid contact with other people. Also wash your hands frequently to prevent infecting others or re-infecting yourself.
- If you are at risk of developing flu-related complications, consult a doctor about whether prescription antiviral drugs are advisable. Typically, these prescriptions are most effective when taken within the first 48 hours that you become ill.
- Use over-the-counter remedies to ease symptoms and make yourself more comfortable. For example, treat cold symptoms, such as a sore throat, with a medicated lozenge such as all natural Fisherman’s Friend, which provide quick relief of sore throats, coughs and congestion with the maximum dosage of menthol per lozenge.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers and decongestants can also be helpful in managing symptoms; a pharmacist can guide you to the products best suited to your needs, and also help you avoid medications that may conflict with prescriptions you take on a regular basis.
- Avoid becoming dehydrated, which can exacerbate your symptoms and lead to more serious health risks. Water, juice, and warm soups or broths are good options to keep fluids in your system.
- Adjust your climate. Opt for a temperature that is warm but not hot, and if air is overly dry, add moisture with a cool mist humidifier or vaporizer.
- Even the healthiest people encounter germs and get sick from time to time. Taking care of yourself and giving your body the chance to heal is the best treatment.
Content provided by FamilyFeatures.
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