Flu Treatments And The Truth Behind Them

Influenza, or commonly called as flu, is a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. This virus is airborne and highly contagious. It enters the human body through the mouth and/or nose and binds around the sialic acids along the epithelial cells inside the nose down to the lungs with a protein called hemagglutinin. The human body then absorbs those viruses carried by cells on a process called endocytosis. Once absorbed, the virus then reproduces and multiplies, causing it to mutate and spread throughout the body. It’s a pretty sophisticated process, and strains of the virus usually changes from time to time, making it hard and confusing for the body’s immune system to ward off the virus and stop the infection. And this is where the nagging symptoms start to show up.

Often times, most people confuse flu with common colds because of the similarities of their symptoms. However, it is important to understand that, flu symptoms are far worse than the symptoms in common colds and this impose various health risks, especially to children and elderly individuals with weaker immune system. Children, for example, may experience distressing symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Treating Flu and its Symptoms 

Flu is caused by a virus, so before you rush into your nearest pharmacy and panic-buy for medicines, you need to understand that there’s nothing much you can do but to let the virus run its course and help your body’s immune system on dealing with it. Yes, your first and last line of defense is your immune system. You can strengthen your immune system to regain health and effectively combat the virus and ward it off from your body.

Of course, flu comes with symptoms, and these are always distressing and nagging symptoms. However, you don’t have to endure all these symptoms, as you can always use medications and treatments to lessen the effect of the prevailing and most annoying ones.

Medications for flu are used simply to alleviate distressful and painful symptoms. The most common treatment for this illness is still quite generic – drinking plenty of water, bed rest, and taking Paracetamol to alleviate the effects of the symptoms. However, you need to understand that, the effects of the virus differ from one person to another. This is why doctors suggest treating the illness from its most prevalent symptom. Here are the most common flu symptoms and their treatments.

Flu with Nasal Congestion

The flu virus will cause the nasal passages to get congested and swollen, and it can be the most annoying symptoms that go along with the infection. A good common relief for this symptom can be bought over the counter, such as decongestants and nasal sprays. However, spray shouldn’t be used more than 5 days, to avoid rebound congestion.

There are doctors who prescribe medicated or saline spray. Saline spray is a pretty popular choice, as it loosens the mucous along the nasal passage and doesn’t usually risk rebound effect.

For People with High Blood Pressure

Decongestants are usually over-the-counter drugs, but it’s still important to seek doctor’s approval before taking it, especially if you have an existing high blood pressure issues, as decongestants can cause the blood pressure to surge and increase heart rate. However, if you’re taking medications for high blood pressure, then decongestants shouldn’t be a big problem. But then again, you should keep an eye of your health.

Flu with Cough

Flu usually comes with cough, which is important to clear the lung from pollutants and bacteria-carrying phlegm out of the lungs. There are so many prescription and non-prescription medications for flu with cough, but for those with persistent and painful cough, it’s wiser to seek for professional diagnosis. Pharmacists in your nearest drugstore can also suggest for suitable medications for the symptom.

Flu with Sore Throat

Salt water gargle (where you mix a teaspoon of salt in a lukewarm water and gargle) and drinking lots of fluids is the most popular and effective quick remedy for sore throat, especially when you wake up in the morning. Sore throat is usually caused by bacterial infection, thus it’s always good to have your doctor diagnose the problem. Lozenges are also popular over-the-counter remedy, but they shouldn’t be taken for more than two days straight.

Flu with Body Aches and Fever

Kids are usually discouraged to take aspirins for pain relief and fever. Rather, milder over-the-counter drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen are advised. Go to your nearest drug store and ask your pharmacist for the best suitable remedy for flu with body aches and fever. Also, make sure you give your body plenty of bed rest.