(continued from last week)
No cure exists for flu – as with cold, the virus has to run its course. The goal then is to minimize discomfort and prevent complications. Generally, you can treat the flu on your own.
However, if you have trouble breathing, a persistent cough , or cough up yellow-green sputum, call a doctor; you may be developing pneumonia.
The best way to combat flu is to get plenty of bed rest, so your body can marshall all its strength to fight off the virus. Other suggestions include:
- Drink plenty of hot / warm water liquids. They’ll soothe your throat, relieve nasal congestion, and replace bodily fluids lost through perspiration caused by fever.
- Gargle with tepid, strong tea or warm salt water.
- Suck on lozenges or hard candies to lubricate your throat.
- Don’t suppress a cough that produces phlegm or sputum – it helps rid the respiratory tract of mucus.
- Avoid drinking milk or eating cheese and other dairy products for a couple of days – they can thicken mucus secretion, making them difficult to expel.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after blowing your nose and before handling food.
Used with permission from A Year of Health Hints by Don R Powell, PHD and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, copyright 2010. www.healthylife.com