If influenza caught up with you this year, here are some at-home remedies to fight its symptoms:
- One word: Rest. First and foremost, when flu symptoms hit, make sure you provide your body with plenty of rest. Listen to what it's trying to tell you, and stay home from work. Sleeping helps restore the body's energy, and by resting, all that energy can be used toward the immune system fighting off the virus. Those chores can wait another day; get your butt to bed!
- Drink up, but drink the right things. You may want to stay away from coffee and other sources of caffeine during your sickness as caffeine can act as a diuretic. Illness can also often leave you dehydrated so stock your body up on fluids like water, fruit juices and even some carbonated beverages such as ginger ale. Don't over do it; take small sips to avoid upsetting your stomach even more. If your urine is pale yellow, you are receiving enough fluids.
- Never underestimate the power of soup. While there is still some debate on whether or not soup actually helps the body heal from sickness, studies have shown that chicken soup may assist in relieving symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections that are often found with the common cold or influenza by reducing the inflammatory effect that occurs when the body responds to these viruses. As the debate continues, it still doesn't hurt to try, right?
- Steam it out. Create a little steamer for your head by boiling a pot of water or filling the sink or tub with hot water. Place a towel over your head and lean over the hot water and breathe the steam in deeply to clear up your airways. For added benefit, you can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil, peppermint, fresh ginger or an over-the-counter (OTC) menthol ointment. Be sure to speak with a Gatti pharmacist about our OTC items next time you are in.
- Hang out with a warm compress. To ease head pain and difficulty breathing through your nose, place a warm compress on your head and sinus area throughout the day. When you sleep, you can try sleeping with your head propped up to help keep liquids from blocking up through the night.
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You can learn more about vaccinations, including the flu shot, here.