Title: Tips for a Speedy Flu Recovery
Influenza: a Contagious Respiratory Infection
Influenza, caused by the influenza virus, is a highly contagious respiratory infection. The flu symptoms typically persist for about a week, with the most severe symptoms lasting for 2 to 3 days. Even after recovering from the flu, some individuals may experience symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and cough for about a week.
12 Tips for an Expedited Flu Recovery
Healthline has outlined 12 effective strategies to aid in a faster recovery from the flu.
1. Stay at Home
When battling the flu, it requires time and energy for the body to combat the virus. Therefore, it is crucial to stay at home and temporarily put daily life on hold. By doing so, not only can you prioritize your recovery, but you can also help prevent the spread of the flu to others in your community and workplace.
2. Stay Hydrated
A common flu symptom is a high fever, which often leads to excessive sweating and possible vomiting or diarrhea. To replenish lost fluids and bolster the immune system, it is important to maintain proper hydration. Water is the best choice, but herbal tea or tea with honey are also beneficial. However, it is advisable to avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
3. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep can be a powerful antidote during flu recovery. Prioritize going to bed earlier than usual and allowing for extra rest in the morning. Napping provides your body with the necessary time to recuperate and can reduce the risk of serious flu complications, such as pneumonia.
4. Promote Better Breathing
A congested nose and persistent cough can hinder sleep quality. To facilitate easier breathing and improve your sleep experience, employing a humidifier, taking a warm bath or shower, can help to relieve nasal congestion.
5. Nourish with Healthy Foods
To aid in flu recovery, providing your body with essential nutrients is crucial. Fresh fruits and vegetables offer important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost the immune system while combating viral infections. Despite reduced appetite, maintaining a regular eating schedule is important to preserve energy levels.
6. Control Indoor Humidity
Low humidity levels can exacerbate flu symptoms. The use of a humidifier to control indoor humidity can alleviate nasal congestion, providing relief and comfort.
7. Utilize Over-the-counter Medication
Your local pharmacy provides various medications that alleviate many flu symptoms. Pain relievers can reduce fever, headaches, and body aches. Decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), can open nasal passages, relieving sinus pressure. Cough suppressants, like dextromethorphan (Robitussin), are effective against dry coughs. Expectorants help in loosening phlegm, while sedative antihistamines aid in sleep. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any medication, especially when it concerns children and young individuals.
8. Harness the Power of Elderberries
Elderberries have been used for centuries to treat colds and flu. Scientific studies have shown promising results, with flu patients noticing a reduction in fever, headache, muscle pain, nasal congestion, and cough after consuming elderberries. Another study demonstrated that individuals consuming 15ml of elderberry syrup four times a day experienced symptom improvement four days earlier than those who took a placebo. However, it is crucial to exercise caution with raw elderberry, as it may induce symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
9. Enjoy the Benefits of Honey
Honey is a popular home remedy for soothing sore throats and coughs. Mixing honey with tea rehydrates the body and relieves flu symptoms. Research has indicated that honey is more effective than cough suppressants in preventing nighttime coughing in children aged 2 to 18 with upper respiratory infections. However, honey should not be given to children under the age of 1.
10. Consult Medical Professionals
Antiviral medications to alleviate flu symptoms require a prescription. Therefore, it is important to consult a medical professional to receive appropriate treatment and guidance.
11. Opt for a Flu Shot
The annual flu vaccine is designed based on scientists’ predictions regarding the prevalent flu strains for the upcoming flu season. Even if you have had the flu, getting vaccinated can provide protection against other strains. It’s never too late to safeguard yourself by getting vaccinated.
12. Maintain a Positive Attitude
We often underestimate the influence our emotions and attitudes have on our physical well-being. Although positive thinking alone cannot eradicate a stuffy nose or reduce fever, maintaining a positive mindset while battling the flu can aid overall recovery.
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Influenza, caused by the influenza virus, is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Flu symptoms usually last about a week, but the most severe symptoms tend to last for 2 to 3 days. Even after recovery, symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and cough may persist for about a week.
Healthline presented 12 tips to help you recover faster from the flu.
1. Stay at home
It takes time and energy for your body to fight the flu virus. Therefore, we must stay at home and postpone our daily life. Staying home from the flu until you recover can also help prevent the spread of the flu to others in your community and workplace.
2. Stay hydrated
One of the symptoms of the flu is a high fever which can cause sweating. It may be accompanied by vomiting or diarrhoea. Our body needs more fluids to replenish lost fluids and fight infections. Water is best, but you can also drink herbal tea or tea with honey. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks are prohibited.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep may be your best medicine when fighting the flu. You should go to bed earlier than usual and sleep in later. Taking a nap gives your body more time to recover. Rest and sleep can also reduce the risk of serious flu complications, such as pneumonia.
4. Relax your breathing
A stuffy nose and cough can make it difficult to sleep. To make breathing easier and get a good night’s sleep, it’s also a good idea to turn on a humidifier or take a bath or shower in warm water before going to sleep to help your breathing run smoothly.
5. Eat healthy food
To recover from the flu, your body needs better nutrients. Fresh fruit and vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that strengthen your immune system while fighting viruses. You may not have much of an appetite, but it is important to eat regularly to maintain your stamina.
6. Indoor humidity control
Dry air can make the flu worse. Controlling indoor humidity using a humidifier can help relieve nasal congestion.
7. Take over the counter medicines
Your local pharmacy has medicines that can help relieve many flu symptoms. Pain relievers help reduce fever, headache, and body aches. Decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), open the nasal passages to relieve sinus pressure, and cough suppressants, such as dextromethorphan (Robituscin), relieve a dry cough. Expectorants are useful in relieving phlegm, and antihistamines have a sedative effect and help with sleep.
However, children and young people should be careful about taking aspirin as a flu treatment, and all medicines should be taken after consulting a specialist.
8. Eat elderberries
Elderberry has been used to treat colds and flu for hundreds of years. In one study, flu patients who ate elderberry four times a day saw a reduction in fever, headache, muscle pain, nasal congestion, and cough after 48 hours. In another study, 60 people with flu-like symptoms who consumed 15ml of elderberry syrup four times a day showed an improvement in symptoms four days earlier than those who took a placebo.
However, care must be taken with raw elderberry as it can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
9. Eat a spoonful of honey
Honey is one of the most common home remedies to relieve a sore throat or cough. Drinking honey mixed with tea can help replenish moisture and relieve flu symptoms. One study found that taking honey in children aged 2 to 18 with upper respiratory infections was more effective at preventing coughs at night than cough suppressants. However, honey should not be fed to children under 1 year of age.
10. Meet the medical staff
Antiviral medicines to relieve flu symptoms can be bought with a prescription. So, remember to see a medical professional first and get checked out.
11. Get a flu shot
The annual flu vaccine is produced based on scientists’ predictions about what types of flu will be common during the next flu season. Getting a flu shot after you’ve already had the flu can protect you from other types of viruses, so it’s better to protect yourself by getting the vaccine rather than thinking it’s too late.
12. Be positive
We often forget how much of an impact our emotions and attitudes have on how we feel physically. Although positive thinking can’t clear up a stuffy nose or lower a fever, maintaining a positive attitude during illness can help with overall recovery.
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