If you are one of the millions of people that have come down with the flu this year, it is important to know how to treat the flu. While you just can’t make the flu go away through simple treatments, there are things you can do to reduce the duration and severity of your flu. Understanding what those things are depends at least in part on understanding a little bit about the flu itself.
The flu is a condition that is caused by an influenza virus. This virus targets the respiratory system, including the lungs, throat, nose and the bronchial tubes. Flu symptoms include things like loss of appetite, fever, sore throat, congestion, a cough that becomes productive, weakness, exhaustion and muscle aches and pains.
Here are some things that you can do in order to treat the flu
- Get enough fluids. Getting enough fluid is probably the most important factor in trying to treat the flu. When you have the flu, you lose quite a bit more fluid than what you think. You have to replace those fluids to give your body the strength it needs to fight of and get rid of the flu. Water is a good choice of fluid, as is orange juice because of its vitamin content. You might also consider sports drinks such as Gatorade because they include electrolytes.
- Sleep. When you have the flu, your body needs to sleep. Not getting enough sleep may be what lets you be vulnerable to getting the flu virus in the first place. So having a lack of sleep certainly won’t help you get rid of it.
- Food. You have to eat when you have the flu. It is an important part of your recovery. Don’t let having the flu keep you from getting the fuel that you need in order to keep your body strong and fight off the flu virus. Chicken soup is an excellent choice of food because it not only gives you nutrition, but it helps you to keep up your fluids.
- Watch your fever. Especially in young children, high fever is common with the flu. If the fever exceeds 103 degrees, or if your fever last more than three days, you need to contact your doctor immediately.
- There are some medications that can help you to treat the flu. Pain relievers for example will help you reduce your fever. Tylenol and Advil are good choices for pain relievers to help with fever. You might also want to use a cough suppressant if you have a dry and hacking cough. However, if your cough is productive, you should not use a cough suppressant as you would want your body to get rid of those things. You may also add a decongestant medication to help you treat the flu.
While these things won’t guarantee the flu will go away any time soon, they will help make the time that you have the flu much more bearable.