What to Do with the Flu
It happened again. You got the flu. Your body aches, your nose keeps running, you can barely hold food down, and you don’t want to get out of bed. All you want to do is cuddle up with a nice warm cup of chicken soup like your grandma used to make … but you’re out of paid sick time. Should you go to work and risk spreading the virus to your coworkers? Probably not. And should you even eat chicken soup? You’re not too sure. What are you supposed to do when you have the flu? What are you not supposed to do?
-Come to HCE! We can get you set up with all you need to get to feeling better!
-Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you feel even worse than you already do. Unfortunately, it’s easy to become dehydrated when you have the flu, especially if your case of it comes with vomiting and diarrhea. To combat this side effect turn to water or a drink like Pedialyte to replace minerals and rehydrate. Avoid juices, soft drinks, and sports drinks. If you’ve been throwing up, rehydrate by taking small sips of water to avoid making yourself sick.
-Eat chicken soup. The warm broth of chicken soup is not only a good source of nutrients for someone feeling a bit under the weather, but it can help clear blocked airways and soothe the throat.
-Get plenty of rest. Don’t overexert yourself when sick. If you don’t want to stay bedridden you can do easy, low-intensity workouts. Stick to your bed or a comfy spot if at all possible to allow your body to recover from the fatigue caused by the flu.
-Take antivirals. Go to your neighborhood HealthCARE Express for an antiviral prescription. Antivirals can lessen flu symptoms and help you start feeling better faster. They can also help prevent your case of the flu from progressing to pneumonia.
-Drink hot lemon and honey tea. Similarly to the warm broth of chicken soup, a cup of hot tea with honey and lemon can do wonders to soothe a sore throat. Both honey and lemon have antibacterial properties that can help prevent infection. Don’t like hot tea? Simply substitute it for hot water instead.
-Use a humidifier. Warm mist humidifiers are great for soothing nasal passages and can help clear out a stuffy nose. The moisture from the humidifier makes it easier for you to breathe as it loosens and clears up airways.
-Take antibiotics. Since the flu is caused by a virus and not a bacteria, antibiotics will do nothing to help you feel better.
-Go to work. There are a couple reasons why you shouldn’t go to work when you’re sick with the flu. You can overexert yourself which can make you feel worse and lengthen recovery time, and you could potentially spread the sickness to your coworkers. Just because you don’t have a fever, doesn’t mean you aren’t contagious. Stay home and get some rest.
-Drink a hot toddy. While a hot toddy is pretty good at soothing the throat and clearing out nasal passages, the alcohol can cause dehydration, which is already a problem many people with the flu are suffering with.
-Take herbal supplements. Though they aren’t harmful, there’s little evidence supporting their helpfulness in relieving symptoms of the flu.
-Take zinc medications. There is some evidence that taking zinc orally can help shorten the amount of time you suffer from the flu, but the side effects greatly outweigh the benefits. It can interact negatively with other medications and cause or increase your nausea. Completely avoid taking zinc nasally as it has shown to cause a permanent loss of sense of smell in several cases.
-Take an excess of vitamin C. Vitamin C does help boost your immune system, but taking too much of it while already suffering from the flu can do more harm than good. An excess of vitamin C can cause or increase nausea and other gastrointestinal issues.
If you do end up with the flu, come visit us at HealthCARE Express and we’ll do whatever we can to get you feeling better again!