No one enjoys feeling under the weather. When you catch the flu, you may start to cough and sneeze; you’ll likely feel extremely tired, lose the desire to do even the things you enjoy, and you’ll probably experience discomfort and aches all over your body. Many people find that the flu knocks them out for at least a week, and it can take a long time to recover from. But is flu something we just have to suffer through? Let’s explore the main symptoms of influenza, how to treat seasonal flu in Redditch, Bishop Auckland and beyond, and how to protect yourself and others from the flu in the future.
What are the main symptoms of the flu?
Here are some of the most common flu symptoms:
- Fever: the flu will usually cause a noticeable spike in body temperature. Most flu-related fevers range from a low-grade fever of about 37.8°C up to a shocking 40°C. Symptoms of fever include sweating, chills, and feeling cold even though you have a high body temperature.
- Coughing and a Stuffy Chest: this may get worse and become uncomfortable, and even painful. Your cough may also come with some shortness of breath, but any chest discomfort should subside after about two weeks. If you do not feel better and still experience respiratory troubles after a fortnight, you should contact your GP. (It’s also worth noting that this is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, so if you are experiencing this symptom, you should follow guidance with regards to self-isolating and getting a test.)
- Muscle aches, headaches, and general fatigue: this is often due to a combination of the physical toll on your body as it puts all its energy into fighting off the virus, and the exertion of coughing.
You can find out more about flu symptoms on the NHS website.
What are the best ways to treat seasonal flu?
Most flu symptoms are mild enough to treat without prescription medications. Just be sure to stay at home and avoid contact with others where possible.
Here are some ways to lessen the severity of your flu symptoms, and potentially shorten the time for which you feel unwell:
- Drink plenty of fluid, like water, soup, herbal tea, and squash. Staying sufficiently hydrated is particularly important if you’re experiencing stomach issues alongside your flu symptoms. The better hydrated you are, the easier time your body will have when transporting immune cells and essential nutrients throughout the body.
- Eat healthy, nourishing foods like fruits, cruciferous vegetables, whole-grain bread, pasta, and rice. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is a great way of staying hydrated if you don’t like drinking lots of water, and many nutrients are essential to the health of your immune system. If you lose your appetite, supplement what you do want to eat with a multivitamin. The most important nutrients for the immune system are vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and minerals folate, zinc, iron, selenium, and copper.
- Treat symptoms like headaches and fever with over-the-counter meds. You can safely take two ibuprofen and two paracetamol together, provided you are over 16. You can also use decongestants like Phenylephrine hydrochloride, which you can find in most supermarkets and pharmacies.
- Keep your hands clean and sanitised so you don’t spread the virus to other objects and people nearby. Make sure you don’t prepare food or water for other people in your family who do not have flu. When you cough and sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and dispose of it as soon as you can.
- Rest – your body needs all of its energy to fight the virus, so take some time to rest. When you have flu, you’ll likely not have much motivation to do anything you don’t have to, but if you’re a super-parent or dedicated employee, don’t overdo it. Stay home on the sofa or in bed as much as you can.
Ultimately, the best treatment is prevention
The best way to treat seasonal flu in Redditch, Bishop Auckland and beyond is to avoid getting it in the first place. While this is much easier said than done, it is possible. Make sure you keep your hands clean, don’t touch your nose or eyes while using public transport, and get your seasonal flu vaccination at the end of the summer or in the early weeks of autumn. You can find out more about why flu vaccinations are necessary in our latest blog post.
Where can I treat seasonal flu in Redditch, Bishop Auckland and beyond?
Whether you’re looking for medication to help ease your flu symptoms or are ready to book in for your flu vaccination, we’re here to help. There are Knights Pharmacy branches across the entire country, from Northampton up to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
Find your local branch and call them to book your flu vaccination today!