10 Ways to Beat the Flu

Every year, the flu season creates one of the biggest outbreaks of illness in the world. The CDC estimates that more than 35 million people were infected with influenza in the 2018-2019 flu season. That means that the flu represents one of the most serious recurring health problems around the world. Thankfully, most people can beat the flu with some easily accessible treatments. 

What Treats the Flu?

Treating the flu comes down to making a care plan that is based on the infected individual. Most people will get better with some bed rest, professional medicine, and home remedies while people who are older, individuals with immune disorders, and young children can face serious complications.

The best way to treat the flu, of course, is to start your treatment as soon as you believe you are infected…

10. Preventative Treatment

Preventative treatment is one of the best plans for predictable health problems. We exercise and eat healthy diets in part to keep ourselves safe from predictable health problems like heart disease and other illnesses. As it turns out, we can take the same approach with the flu. 

Why It Helps

Preventative treatments include getting the flu vaccine, wearing a face mask if you are showing symptoms or recovering, and staying home if you are sick. Experts recommend staying indoors 24 hours after symptoms subside in order to prevent the spread. A big part of flu preventative care is about stopping the spread of the seasonal flu. 

In addition to preventative treatment, there are some classic at-home remedies for the flu… 

9. Rest Up

If you are currently wrestling with the flu, nothing can help quite as much as getting some bed rest. Whether you’re 6 or 65, the age-old wisdom of kicking back and relaxing is the foundation of treating your flu. 

Why It Helps

Resting while you recover gives your body the resources it needs to defeat the flu. It might not seem like it, but, while you are resting, your body is hard at work. Our immune systems need a lot of energy to battle off infections like influenza, you see. By resting while you’re infected, you are therefore giving your body all the energy it needs to defeat the flu. 

Another thing your body needs during a flu infection is adequate hydration… 

8. Stay Hydrated

If you’re a health buff, you’ve probably heard “stay hydrated” a million times, but that’s for a good reason. Hydration is something our bodies need under the best circumstances. When we are fighting off a flu, we need to stay hydrated more than ever. 

Why It Helps

Water, sports drinks, and broth are great choices for keeping your body hydrated while recovering from the flu. Between our immune system being hard at work, potential vomiting and diarrhea, and cold sweats, the flu drains our natural hydration. Replenishing these liquids gives our bodies what we need to stay ahead of the flu.

The body spends lots of effort fighting the flu, which can make us physically uncomfortable. Fortunately, over-the-counter (OTC) treatments can help… 

7. Fever Suppressants 

A fever is the body’s natural way of fighting an infection. Our bodies turn up the heat to smoke out any infectious agents that are bringing us down. While a fever is a natural part of the healing process, it can become dangerous or uncomfortable. 

Why It Helps

Fever suppressants don’t fight the flu, but they can make it more comfortable. Over-the-counter fever reducers like ibuprofen, Tylenol, and aspirin can be combined with classic remedies like a cold cloth to reduce a fever. 

Another common symptom to treat is the sore throat and cough combo…  

6. Sore Throat and Cough Relief

Flu and a sore throat go hand in hand. Whether your throat becomes sore from all of the coughing or from the virus itself, helping treat your flu often involves treating your sore throat. Over-the-counter medications, tea with honey, and warm broth are all great options for taking care of a sore throat. 

Why It Helps

Sore throats are one of the most annoying parts of the flu. They make coughing, talking, and even drinking painful. Relieving sore throat pain helps make recovery easier and also helps people who are recovering with other aspects, like staying hydrated and getting enough rest. 

When a flu gets bad, it can often cause aches all throughout the body that need relief… 

5. Over-the-Counter Pain Medicine

Over-the-counter pain medication helps relieve the aches and pains that come with the flu. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium are four common medicines for helping to take the edge off of flu-related pain. 

Why It Helps

The flu is notorious for causing aches all over the body. These aches can make it hard to get the rest you need to recover from the flu. Over-the-counter pain medicines can help you relax and start to get the rest you need in order to recover quickly. 

Unlike the other things in our list, there is one surprising thing you can do to help with the flu…  

4. Moderate Activity

While getting enough rest is the key to defeating the flu, you still need to keep the body moving. This doesn’t mean hitting the gym, but rather making sure you get in some very light cardio. Activities like walking around your home, regularly moving from bed to couch, and getting some fresh air can all help your body recover faster. 

Why It Helps

The human body loves fresh air and activity, even when we are sick. Getting in some very moderate activity can help you from feeling cooped up and sluggish. This helps your body from developing further sores and can promote a faster recovery. 

A healthy diet can also help your body start to recover from an influenza infection… 

3. Try a Flu-Friendly Diet

What we eat says a lot about our health. While recovering from the flu, we need to make sure that our diets are focused on getting adequate hydration as well as nutrition. This involves classic flu remedies like soup, broth, and light snacks like bread. 

Why It Helps

When our bodies get infected with the flu, we need a healthy diet that responds to what the flu does to us. This means a diet rich in liquids and light on unhealthy snacks. Giving out bodies the nutrients they need to stay healthy can help us get through even the toughest flu seasons. 

One thing you can do right away when you get the flu is take a hot shower… 

2. Take a Hot Shower

There’s nothing like a hot shower after a stressful day. This is doubly true when we are recovering from the flu. A hot shower helps people recover from the flu in a variety of ways. 

Why It Helps

Hot showers have a few important benefits for people recovering from the flu. The first comes from the steam that rises into the air, which helps open up the airways and reduces congestion. The hot water can also help with soreness and stiffness. A hot bath or even sitting in the bathroom while a hot shower runs can also help. 

When all else fails, your doctor can help you with more serious treatments… 

1. Take Antiviral Medications

When the flu takes a turn for the worse, your doctor can step in with some prescription treatments. This isn’t necessarily needed for the majority of people who become infected with influenza, but for people with autoimmune conditions and other health concerns, these treatments can be vital. 

Why It Helps

Your doctor can prescribe you a class of medications known as antivirals. These medicines can help your body fight off a viral infection. This does two things for people. Firstly, it helps fight off the current flu infection. Secondly, it helps prevent a secondary viral infection that can occur alongside the flu. These treatments are usually only necessary for people with pre-existing health concerns. However, anyone with a flu that just won’t go away should see a doctor.

Taking these steps to fight off the flu can give you a head start before the next flu season starts. 

Final Thoughts 

The flu is one of the most common infections in the country. Odds are, you will get the flu a few times in your life and you will definitely know plenty of friends and family who get this infection. Follow these tips to create the perfect at-home treatment plan for you and make sure to visit your doctor if the flu doesn’t clear up on its own. 

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